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Located in Ozalla at Nkuanu West Local Government Area in Enugu, it is a natural lake that is inhabited by crocodiles. The crocodiles are considered as goddesses as they appear from the lake by the incantation and command of the chief priest to take offerings from its worshippers.
Ani Ozalla Practices
The Ani Ozalla Lake and Shrine is a genuine throwback to the old religious practices of the residents, the natural site is a place for attraction, cultural and outdoor entity. Tourists who like to see the crocodiles must come with a white fowl, a keg of palm wine and kola nuts which the chief priest offers to the crocodiles. However, there are other rules that must be adhered to before visiting and during the tour of the lake.
Some of these rules and regulations are:
- The presentation of a white fowl, palm wine and kola nut is necessary.
- One must have taken his/her bath before visiting the Ozalla Lake and Shrine, if not the crocodiles would not appear.
- After attending a funeral ceremony, you just not visit the lake the same day.
- You must take a thorough bath after engaging in sexual intercourse, if not the crocodiles will not welcome you.
- A woman in her menstrual period must not visit the lake.
- The legs of the visitors must not touch each other on their way to the lake.
- The chief priest must not return home late at night, after having any event.
- The crocodiles forbid noise making, and if there’s any noise they would not appear.
At the corner within the parameters of the shrine, there is a large-sized wooden traditional gourd called ‘ekwe’ which the symbol of the goddess (crocodile) is carved on. The Ekwe is an integral part of the Ani Ozalla shrine especially during festivals
Based on its safety and security, it is rated good, but pay attention and heed to what your tour guide says and heed to where he/she permits, because you are liable to be attacked by crocodiles or get attacking looks from the indigenes of the land.
There are two times when they have the Ani Ozalla festival in a year, and that during the raining season and the dry season. The road to the Ani Ozalla lake has a typical African ambiance, with the sounds of insects, birds and the crushing of dry leaves. However, before getting to the lake there is another shrine that will be reached where the people have to take off their footwears
- Ensure you adhere strictly to the rules and regulations
- This tourist site might not be appealing to people who practice other religions, especially Christianity. It is advised that tourists go there to observe, appreciate and get knowledge from the visit.