Cameroon: Africa in Miniature – In what Sense?
During the past few weeks I have had occasion to introduce myself to many people and three out of these remarked when I mentioned I was from Cameroon “you guys have a great football team! What is that guy’s name again… Roger Milla’…. and that was it. They knew nothing else about Cameroon. In a way it is a relief that I did not get to be asked whether there is war in my country or some of those obnoxious questions. The reason for this lack of information is not far from the fact that today, the world thrives in reporting on negative things and leaving out the good ones. Hence, I was really intrigued by this beautiful piece written by Ekango Afoh Rhoda of the Royal Concept Travels which gives a person a reason to visit Cameroon other than as a NGO worker or a researcher.
REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD VISIT CAMEROON
Planning a trip to Africa anytime soon? Guess what? You have the unique opportunity of visiting the whole of Africa just by planning a trip to one country- CAMEROON. Sounds intriguing right? You most be asking yourself right now-how’s that possible? Let me tell how.
First things first – English and French are official languages, a heritage of Cameroon’s colonial past as both a colony of the United Kingdom and France from 1916 to 1960. This means that two of the most popular languages in the world are spoken in Cameroon. Canada is the only other country that has these two languages.
– But more intriguing is that Cameroon is home to 230 languages. These include 55 Afro-Asiatic languages, two Nilo-Saharan languages, and 173 Niger-Congo languages. This latter group is divided into one West Atlantic language (Fulfulde), 32 Adamawa-Ubangui languages, and 142 Benue-Congo languages (130 of which are Bantu languages).
Now to the more interesting bit…
Tourist literature describes Cameroon as “Africa in miniature” because it exhibits all major climates and vegetation of the continent: coast, desert, mountains, rainforest, and savanna. The land is consisted of flat plains, mountains and coastal plain. It is a volcanic prone area as well. Therefore the soil is rich in minerals. The natural resources of the county are timber, gemstone, oil, gas, phosphate, iron ore, manganese etc.
Want to find out more, then plan a trip to Cameroon and you will not be short of things to do and places to visit. Below are but a few of the touristic attractions you should be looking forward to visiting:
South West Region
Buea:-Mount Cameroon (Mount Fako) , commonly called “the
he chariots of the gods’’ its an amazing tourist site,and one of Africa’s largest volcanoes, rising to 4,040 meters (13,255 ft) above the coast of west Cameroon. Every year, people travel from all around the world to participate in the mount Cameroon race, either as spectators or runners. The race is hosted by
the government and sponsored by Guinness Cameroon, attracting over 2000 participants from around the world.
Limbe (Victoria):- while in Limbe you get to see a Zoo, Sun and Beaches. Limbe beaches :(Black sand Beaches at Semme and Ngeme,Batoke), limbe Botanic Garden covers nearly 48 hectares area. Presently it is a perfect garden to meet the requirements of science, education, recreation and tourism. This garden remains open for all. Limbe Botanic Garden in Cameroon is an ideal spot for nature lovers. The peaceful atmosphere will refresh your soul in no time. The backdrop of Mount Cameroon enhance the beauty of the garden.
MUNDEMBA:-Korup is Africa’s oldest and most diverse rainforest. Established in 1986, Korup National Park covers an area of 1,260 km² between Mundemba and Eyumojock in the South West Province of Cameroon. More than 620 species of trees and shrubs and at least 480 species of herbs and climbers have so far been recorded. Korup is the single richest lowland site in Africa for birds (more than 400 species), herpetofauna (82 reptiles and 92 amphibians) and butterflies (around 1,000 species). There are in addition 130 different species of fish and more than 160 mammals. Many of them are endangered and some are found nowhere else on earth.
North West Region
Bamenda :-Just on your way to the North West you see Amazing landscapes that will blow your mind, and take you to another world. You will get to see its beautiful Palaces and Fondoms e.g the Bafut chiefdom one of the most beautiful palaces in the traditional Northwest region with particular organization architecture. You could see the ‘’Talking Drum’ ’visit the museum and the palace and attend the mask traditional dance (Juju).visit places like Mankon, Babanki Tungo with its famous Sabga Hill; the Babungo Palace one of the greatest kingdoms of the plain and Ndop famous for its rich museums.
Awing: one of the small villages in the North West Region but leaving without visiting there will not be fair it has and amazing landscape beautiful sceneries and a mysterious lake ‘’Awing Lake’’. The touristic attraction to Cameroon lakes over many years has been phenomenal. People are attracted to their eerie appearance, and bizarre stories. Most of these lakes are found in the Northwest region in Cameroon, spread across different tribes. They are believed to harbor ancestors and spirits which are worshiped as gods. However, the entire experience in visiting the lake is completely fascinating. Lake Awing is the most sacred place in the Northwest village Awing. The lake is exceptionally still
during the day and glitters under a bright sunlight. Only certain areas are open for swimming but the lake is generally kept sacred for yearly sacrifices to the gods of the village.Myths have it that the water travels at night and anyone passing by it at a certain hour in the night will see lighted houses in the place of the water. These houses are reputed to be the residence of the ancestral spirits. However, curiosity is not advised. The lake is easily accessible by road given that it is found in the heart of Awing, which is a village with car roads.
Far North Region
Garoua:-you get to visit one of the most famous arks in the country known as the ‘’Waza Park’ ’Founded in 1934,covers a total of 1,700 sq km, was instituted as a National Park in 1968.The Waza park is home to Giraffes, Antelopes, Elephants ,lions, Over 379 species of birds have been recorded in the park. Lions have been celebrated throughout history for their courage and strength, dreaming to be in direct contact with the big wild Cats of Africa? Visiting Waza turns your dreams to realities.
Rhumsiki:- a village in the Far North Region of Cameroon. Rhumsiki is located in the Mandara Mountains 55 km (34 mi) from Mokolo and 3 km (2 mi) from the border with Nigeria. Surroundings are “one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world.” The spectacular effect is created by surrounding volcanic plugs (the remnants of long-dormant volcanoes), basalt outcroppings, and the Mandara Mountains. Get the chance to see Hippopotamus ponds. Pursuit, visiting assistant crabs that will predict your future with amazing accuracy, visit potters and weavers to discover their wonderful work.
Here you meet a people still very in touch with its tradition. Historically, the peoples of the East have been settled in Cameroonian territory for longer than any other of the country’s many ethnic groups, the first inhabitants being the Baka (or Babinga) pygmies. Though traditionally hunter-gatherers, in recent times, the Baka have established trade with their Bantu neighbors, exchanging wild game for crops or metal tools. Pygmies believe that a god named Tore created the world and is the supreme being. He is identified with the forest, since everything is dependent on it. They only call upon Tore during times of crisis. He is usually summoned by a trumpet blast, which is supposed to imitate his voice. Some groups believe that
after creating the first humans, Tore was no longer interested in the affairs of the world, and so he withdrew to the sky.Pygmies also believe that “forest spirits” influence the souls of the dead. The Efe, in particular, believe that after Pygmies die, their borupi, which means “rhythm” or “life,” is carried away from the body by a fly. They believe the fly takes them to Tore.
Yaoundé:- founded in 1888 by German traders as a base for the ivory trade and as an agricultural research station. It was occupied by Belgian troops during World War I. After Germany’s defeat, France became the colonial power in eastern Cameroon. Yaoundé consequently became the capital of French Cameroon, and continued as the capital of the Republic of Cameroon at independence. With a pop of approximately 2.5 million, the second largest city in the country after the port city Douala. Visit the Mvog Betsi Zoo-botanic garden.
Kribi:- It has an estimated population of 55401.  It services sea traffic in the Gulf of Guinea and also lies near the terminus of the Chad-Cameroon pipeline. The Lobé Waterfalls are nearby and there is a road inland, through the Littoral Evergreen Forest, as far as Lolodorf.Visit of the cascade lobe(the only place where a waterfalls enters the Atlantic Ocean by a waterfall).Beautiful scenery of sea and beautiful sandy beach. You definitely will love to eat fresh seafood. Visit the Museum of grand Batanga with varied and diversified objects.
The tourism industry is currently under going rapid growth of unsurpassed nature and Cameroon is moving along with that pace. Like most countries in Africa Cameroon remains still unknown to the world beyond negative reports of wars and famine. However it has lot to offer, we could go on and on just naming the varied touristic sites Cameroon has got to offer, but we will not be able to name it all. These are just few of the Beautiful sites you will be privileged to visit should you plan a trip to Cameroon. Thanks to its vast diversity, during a trip in Cameroon one is left with the impression of visiting the whole of Africa at the same time.
Pick up you Calendar and start scheduling for your next vacation to Cameroon you will be left breathless and you just might be planning a lifetime in Cameroon.