Cameroon : Africa’s throbbing heart
The central Africa country with an area of 475,650km2 derived its name from the Portuguese world, Camaroes, meaning shrimps. The Portuguese explorer Fernando Poo arrived in 1472 at the Wouri In Douala and found out that the river was filled with Shrimps so he decided to call the river, Rio Dos Cameroes meaning ‘River of Shrimps’ in Portuguese. It was from this word that the territory derived its name which is now spelt in various forms. The Germans spelt it Kamerun, The Spanish, Cameroes, English Cameroon and the French Cameroun.
The country is located north of the Gulf of Guinea (Atlantic Ocean) it is bordered by Nigeria in the west and Congo, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea in the south. Central African Republic at the east and Chad at the north east and in the north by Lake Chad.
The territory was colonised by the Germans in 1884 but after the end of the first world war Cameroun was given by the league of nations to the French and British governments. France took the greater sector formerly known as East Cameroon while Britain. Took responsibility over former West Cameroon known then as “Cameroon under British Administration”.
On the 1st day of January 1960, The French sector became independent under the new name of Cameroon Republic. Following agitation for independence by the southern Cameroon before the name was changed to West Cameroon, a plebiscite was held in that sector of Cameroon on February 11, 1961 under the UN supervision. The result was overwhelming for unification (233,571 against 97,741) and gave southern Cameroon automatic Independence and unification, which was achieved on 1st October 1961. Thus, after the reunification of both sectors The Federal Republic of Cameroon was born.
After a referendum in May 1972, Cameroon became a united Republic and by a presidential decree of 1984 it became the Republic of Cameroon. The largest city is Douala, it is the country’s Port and economic capital, Yaounde is the second largest city and the political capital of Cameroon. Other major cities are Edea, Limbe and Kribi. English and French are the official languages. Alongside the two are about 270 African languages and dialects, including pidgin, fulfude and Ewondo.
Getting to Cameroun
Camair.co is serving as the flag carrier of the country, it operates out of Douala.
Places to Visit
Cameroon is gradually becoming a travel destination for the tourists who love to see the glory of nature in its purest form and indulge in fun and adventure. The mount Cameroon is a favoured tour destination in the country. It is a straro Volcano, located at the western side of Yaounde, the capital city of the country. It is a most preferred spot for racing, being the highest peak in central Africa. Other tourist attractions in Cameroon are: The Benedictine Museum of Mont Febe which houses several sculptures of animals, African men and sceneries. It features a huge collection of Camerounese art.
Waza National Park
It is a national park in the department of Logone-et-chari, in far northern region of Cameroun. Founded 1934 as a hunting reserve. It covers an expanse of 1,700 square kilometers. It became a national park in 1968 and later a UNESCO biosphere reserve in 1979. The park is adjacent to Chingurmi Duguma sector of Nigeria’s Chad Basin National Park. The forest dwellers who lived within the park were resettled on the borders after it was established to prevent poaching activities and preserve the parks resources. The kind of vegetation cover is in the transition zone between the Sahel and Sudan Savannah containing acacia and open Yaere Savannah forests.
The prominent faunal Species found in the park are: West Africa Lion, African bush elephant, hyena, hartebeest, roan, puffin’s Kob, waterbuck, reed, gazelle, Sudan Cheetah and West Africa giraffe. The avifaunas reported are geese, egrets, ostriches, herons, labirus, ibis and pelicans.
Dja Faunal Reserve
This faunal reserve is a UNESCO World Heritage site inscribed in 1987. The reasons for the inscription is because of the diversity of species present in in the park, the presence of five threatened species and the lack of disturbance in the park. The boundary that secludes the reserve is the Dja River. It as a matter of fact almost surrounds it there are more than 1500 known plant species in the reserve. Also available are over 107 mammals and more than 320 bird species. The Dja Faunal Reserve covers and expanse of 5,260 square kilometers.
Musee de Douala
This is a tourist attraction for art lovers. It is housed within the hotel de villes first floor. The Museum features collection of Bamoun and Babileke art. The Musee de Douala contains thrones statues and more relics from the country’s precolonial period. The building also has a shopping area with wood and brass sculptures available for purchase.
Limbe Botanical Garden
This garden was founded by a group of German in 1892, it served initially as a test centre for crop species foreign to Cameroon. Among such crops were coffee, cocoa, rubber and sugarcane. The garden was renovated in 1988 during which there was a new focus on conservation. This encourage the protection of the Cameroonian forests and sustainable agricultural practices. Important feature of this garden are the large trees and the picturesque views of the nearby mount Cameroon.
Mile Six Beach
Mile Six Beach is along the coast of the South Atlantic Ocean in the south west province. The beach is renowned for its project surfing waves and the calmness of the environment offers a good space for picnicking, sunbathing and other beach activities. It is very close to the Korup National Park which has more than 50 species of mammals.
This is a beach resort and seaport on the Gulf of Guinea. Kribi is located near the mount of the Kienke River approximately 80km from Douala. Among the attractions are the Lobe waterfalls, and the roads inland which extends as far as Lolodorf, through the coastal evergreen forest. A great spot for tanning and relaxing on sandy beaches.