We embarked on this journey on November 14, 2015. We took off at 5: 20am and reached there around 9:30 am
THE HISTORY OF THE CROCODILES OF PAGA NAVE (NAH-VE)
Paga’s patriach and founder Nave’s story goes back more than a dozen generations to Timpela in Kampala in present day Burkina Faso and begins with Nave’s father; Prince Panlogo. Upon his father’s death (Prince Panlogo’s father) Panlogo contested for the position of Pio (Chief) but lost to his younger brother. Dissatisfied, Panlogo left his homeland. He travelled with a group of his sympathizers to the land of Timpela. Some supporters of his brother followed and his younger’s brother’s people gave chase. Panlogo and his followers reached a raging river with no means of crossing. In the midst of desperation, the people saw a crocodile at the bank of the river. Panlogo’s people believed the spirit of their ancestors resided in crocodiles. Panlogo asked for help from the animal in crossing the river and in return, swore his support for the crocodiles and promised to treat them as sacred beings who would never be harmed or killed and will be treated as human beings and be buried after their deaths.
We reached there around 9:30am and the tour guide readily opened up because we booked before getting there.
We were ready to see the sacred crocodiles.
And so we entered.
But not before I took a picture of the reception
And got an image opposite the view of the pond
Last to go in, I took a frontal view photograph
And we reached the walkway to the pond
Fascinated students looked at the pond expecting the crocodiles to show. But we were told the guide needed to call the sacred ones with a young chicken.
The left view of the pond
The pond in pictures
Only the brave one ventured to stand close without the tour guide
The outskirt of the pond
Lined up, they were led
While we dared to get close
Time for us to follow
From afar, we expected to see so much
Our target is the tree
Finally we meet the stars of the moment
The guide sheperded as students took pictures in turn for one Ghana cedi
Many dared for pictures
And it continued
Getting the star alone
Other stars surfaced but were ushered into the pond for the 98 year old crocodile to have all the star light
The girls dared
Fear and intrigue, at least she tried
The caller of the crocodiles with his little chicken
A good guide we got. Always there to calm all fears
And all those interested took turns
Nothing could make her royal highness sit on the crocodile. This was as far as she could go and the students noticed
They spiced things up by bringing the horse for pictures
Our last moment to view
We came together to take a picture
And we always do something crazy.
Image of goodbyes
Some of us went to their restaurant to eat.
Crocodiles are really revered
Culture of the arts
The mini pub
The cozy inn
Even the bath house looked cool
Rice is not her favourite food but she enjoyed it somewhat because it tasted really nice
THE LEGEND OF NAVE
Nave was born to Panlogo and grew up in Kampala. He grew up to be a powerful hunter and lived in a time when the Savannah had no boarders. One morning, he went for hunting with his loyal dog and saw an antelope. Hoping to get the game and present it home for the family meal, he gave it a hot chase and it entered an aardvark hole. Nave also entered but the antelope and the aardvark escaped and the frightened aardvark covered the hole trapping Nave in.
Back in Kampala, Nave’s people were terrified after two days without seeing signs of their son. When they saw his dog, they feared the worst. Nave lost consciousness but a crocodile who was in one of the aardvark holes used its tail to brushed a cool dirt on him, waking him up. He then followed the animal through its hole out.
The animal led Nave to a cool pond and he quenched his thirst and was able to go home to his people who were thankful for his life. So he reaffirmed his father’s decision not to harm or kill or eat crocodiles.
Nave saw a pond filled with crocodiles in Paga and thought they followed him to his new settlement to keep watch over him. So to the people of Paga, harming a crocodile is a grievous crime. It is further believed that the crocodiles in the natural ponds of Katogo, Chura and Cho-Buga (all in present day Paga) are souls and spirits of past generations.