Ouagadougou (pronounced Wa-ga-doo-goo) may be one of the coolest named cities in the world, but it’s also one of the most boring.

In fact, there’s not much at all to see & do in Burkina Faso.

You can, however, travel some 35km from Ouagadougou, the capital, to visit a legendary crocodile farm in the town of Bazoule.

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The admission price is 1000 CFA, known as the West African franc. It is the currency of 8 independent states: Burkina Faso, Benin, Guinea-BIssau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal & Togo.

1000 CFA is the equivalent of US$1.70.

For another few thousand, you can buy a few live chickens to feed to the crocodiles.

We handed over some bills to the African Crocodile Hunter-Guide, hooked the chickens up to sticks & headed over to the crocodile pond.

There were about 5 or 6 crocodiles in the water. The Crocodile Hunter dangled the chickens out & they slowly started making their way onto land. We only bought 3 chickens, but these weren’t stupid crocs – they knew the odds were against them, but played along with the game, and came out to meet us.

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The Crocodile Hunter kept nudging us towards them, insisting it was safe… I didn’t need much convincing, anything for a photo…

The next minute, I was touching a crocodile, sitting on it, lying on it & holding up it’s tail.

Oops.

The crocs were all incredibly placid & had definitely been tourist-trained.

It was a crazy, surreal & very African experience.

I wish we bought more chickens.

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The scariest part of the day was getting to & from the crocodile farm – riding on the back of a motorbike with someone who had never ridden before, through peak hour Ouagadougou traffic, roundabouts, highways & red dirt roads.

Post-survial celebrations:

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3 Shovels

Accessible DIY travel to more distant locations via multiple connections or longer forms of public transport

26 May 2011