The Republic of Cameroon sits in West Central Africa and is bordered by Nigeria to the west, Chad to the north east, Gabon, Republic of Congo and Equatorial Guinea in the south and Central Africa Republic to the East.
It is little visited by tourists, although it does support a wide range of wildlife including several rare primate species and thousands of unusual plants, so is a perfect place for natural history holidays and the Africa Safari enthusiast! The Unesco listed biosphere of Benoue Nationa Park is in the north of Cameroon and is home to plenty of monkeys, crocodiles, warthogs, hippos, elephants, lions and buffalo.Waza National Park is the easiest to get to of Cameroon’s parks with elephants, lions, buffalo and giraffe. Lobeke National Park was set up in 2001 and is part of the Sangha River Tri-National Park (along with Dzangha Sanga Forest Reserve in C.A.R and Nouabale Ndoki National Park in Congo). The tri-national park is the largest area of unexploited, primary forest in Africa. Lobeke itself covers nearly 1,840 sqkm of forest and is home to over 300 species of bird, 45 species of mammals, 215 species of butterflies and 16 species of amphibians. Amongst this rich wildlife are Forest elephants, Lowland gorillas, chimpanzees, leopards, bongos (a type of antelope) and the largest population of Grey parrots in the world. The park is also known for its saline-swampy forest clearings known as Bais where animals, including the forest’s mega-fauna, come to take advantage of the rich mineral deposits present. A number of viewing platforms have been set up, 5m above ground in some of these clearings by the WWF for monitoring and observation purposes.
The coast of Cameroon sits on part of the Gulf of Guinea on the Atlantic Ocean. Places like the sleepy town of Kribi are untouched and have fantastic sandy stretches of beach. There is great diversity in Cameroon, in both geological features and culture. With many types of ‘Natural Worlds’ being found here – beaches and deserts, rainforest, mountains and savannas. Mount Cameroon is the highest point at 4,095m in the south west and is an active volcano – last errupted in 2000. Crater lakes and waterfalls surround it flowing to rainforests and mangrove swamps.
The earliest people thought to live here included the Sao peoples from around Lake Chad and the Ba’aka hunter gathers whose ancestors still live in the south east rainforest and Congo Basin. The name Cameroon comes from the Portugese Rio dos Camaroes meaning ‘river of prawns’ from the words of 15th century explorers.
Douala is the capital and flights arrive here from Paris, Zurich and Nairobi. Yaounde one of the other large cities, has daily domestic connections from Douala.
The main rains run from May to October with the highest rainfall July – September. French and English are widely spoken and along with native music styles, football is a national pastime with the football team being world famous!
You will need various vaccinations and be fit with a sense of adventure to visit Cameroon and the neighbouring region of the Congo Basin, but contact me to find out how to get there and I’ll put together a tailor made plan for your holiday to West Africa.