There is only one place you can come up-close with nature and not feel threatened. Visit the #Zenga Crocodile pond, popularly called the Paga Crocodile Pond located at Paga in the Upper East region Ghana. Touch and play with untamed crocodiles. The Paga Crocodile pool is a sacred pool where protected crocodiles can be seen, touched and fed. Visitors can also enjoy a village tour and an evening of drumming and dancing by local Cultural Group. #seeghana #feelghana
Paga has been a trade centre for centuries, it is located near the Burkina Faso border and serves as a gateway to the Gulf of Guinea from points north. In the mid1800s, slave traders used the same route to transport their captives.
Today, Paga offers tourists an opportunity to see a remarkably well preserved outdoor slave camp, as well as a sacred pool, where protected crocodiles can be seen, touched and fed. Visitors can also enjoy a village tour and arrange evening drumming and dancing by a local cultural troop. A guided tour of the chief’s compound is a particularly fascinating experience.
The Pikworo Slave Camp in Paga was created as a holding place for slaves brought down from the north until they were forced to continue their trek 150 km south to the slave market at Salaga and then on to the coast for shipment.
The legend of Paga Crocodile Pond’s crocodiles dates back 600 years to a time when one of the animals is said to have led a young man to safety. As a result, the animals are considered to be totems for local residents.
Things to Do
- Stop at the summer hut near the sacred pond to arrange your tours. Then explore the banks of the sacred pool with a guide, who will call one of the animals to the shore and offer you a chance to touch or even sit on the crocodile. For an extra fee (and not for the squeamish) you can see a crocodile being fed live prey. Time: 1 hour. Difficulty: 1
- Tour the fascinating, but chilling Pikworo Slave Camp to see the feeding bowls for captives carved into the soft rock, the punishment rock, the lookout post and the slave graveyard. The site also features sweeping views of the surrounding lands. Time: 1.5 hours. Difficulty: 2
- Discover how the residents of Paga spend a typical day on a guided village tour. You will see people at work, food being prepared and local landmarks. Time: 1.5 hours. Difficulty: 1
- Experience drumming and dancing by a local cultural troop in an evening performance. This activity must be arranged in advance.
When to Visit
The greatest number of crocodiles at Paga Crocodile Pond are seen early in the morning and during the dry season (November- April). Both the sacred pool and slave camp are coolest early in the morning and in the rainy season.
Accommodation, Food and Refreshments
Home stay and food from local chop bars can be arranged at the visitor centre. There are also hotels in Navrongo (8 km) and Bolgatanga. Camping is also available.
6 am to 6 pm daily
Drive 18 km northwest from Bolgatanga to Navrongo. Turn right at the junction near the prison and continue 9 km to the signs for the site on the main road. Turn right down a rough dirt track toward the sacred pond. For public transport, take a taxi from the main transport station in Bolgatanga (behind SG Bank).
Don’t Miss This!
Arrange a tour of the fascinating Chief’s compound with its maze- like architechure.
Go “crocodile riding” at the back of these wild but friendly crocodiles. You can even lift their tails.