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Ninki Nanka : The African Nessie


At a glance

Origin African Mythology
Classification Hybrids
Family Members N/A
Region  West Africa
Associated With River Gambia, Death

Ninki Nanka


A Ninki Nanka is a mythical creature in West African folklore. It is described as a reptilian animal with a dragon-like appearance. Intrinsic to the cultural and mythological beliefs of the people of Gambia, for some it’s a massive serpent with reflective scales, a head crest and a winged dragon.

Physical Traits

The Ninki Nanka is described as a black and green snake-like creature with a feathery crest, measures about 50 meters long. It has both been described as having legs like a lizard and also as being limbless like a snake.

Some describe it as having the neck of a giraffe or a crocodile as opposed to that of a snake. The body is also said to either resemble that of a hippo and in some cases, a dragon.

In its python form, it also slithers underground to keep everything filled up from below, its tracks eventually meeting with its celestial route in one large and nourishing circle.

Powers and Abilities

Seeing the Ninki Nanka almost is a guarantee of death or a serious illness followed by death. Some accounts also claim that death is assured if you lock eyes with the creature. Death can occur almost immediately to a few weeks apart.

The only thing that can kill the Ninki Nanka is its own reflection and that is why the travellers along the River Gambia always carry a mirror on their person.

Modern Day Influence

In 2006, a team of dragon hunters from the CFZ went to Gambia to look for the Ninki Nanka. They were met with varying testimonies from individuals who claimed to have seen the creature or had an encounter with it. Eyewitnesses claim that it resembled a Chinese dragon and lived in the waters.

The expedition, known as the “J. T. Downes Memorial Gambia Expedition 2006”, received a fair amount of media attention, including coverage in a BBC Online article.

Nowadays, tours are organised along the River Gambia known as Ninki Nanka Trails which is similar to a spotting expedition for enthusiasts

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Frequently Asked Questions

Where is Ninki Nanka monster sanctuary?

Monster Sanctuary is a video game featuring various cryptozooids and the Ninki Nanka can be encountered in the Sun Palace.

Are there dragons in African mythology?

There are many types of African dragons: Ayida, who is a rainbow goddess, and Damballah, who is a cosmic rainbow serpent are the 2 best examples but Ninki Nanka is not technically a dragon.

Where does the Ninki Nanka live?

In West Africa, Ninki Nanka are believed to live in the swamps. The large and dangerous animal is said to take children who disobey their parents.

What is the story of the Ninki Nanka?

In 2006, a group of hunters from the Crocodile Forest Zone went to the country of Gambia to search for Ninki Nanka, but they were met with conflicting testimonies. Some of the hunters claimed that the animal looked like a Chinese dragon.

Where did the Ninki Nanka come from?

Ninki Nanka are legendary creatures in West African folklore. The descriptions of this animal vary, but most people believe it’s a reptilian or dragon-like creature. It’s believed to live in the swamps of West Africa and is very dangerous.


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