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Cameroon

Cameroon

General Information

Cameroon is located in the bay of the Gulf of Guinea, just above the Equator and extends from Lake Chad to the Atlantic coast.  Cameroon enjoys a tropical climate: humid in the south and dry in the north.  There are roughly 20 million inhabitants belonging to more than 250 ethnic groups.

There are two official languages in Cameroon: French, spoken by over 80% of the population in 8 regions, and English, spoken by 20% of the population, particularly in the 2 English-speaking regions.

The savannas in the north of Cameroon harbour one of the most wild and varied animal populations in Africa.  With its six national parks, the North is the ideal area for discovering the African fauna.  Tourists may observe and photograph magnificent species of animals living in total freedom in the natural environment.  The lion, king of the savannah, is Cameroon's symbol. The great, dense forests in the south and the long rivers which traverse the country are veritable havens for numerous animal species, such as gorillas. 

Excursions in this region allow the tourist to discover all the riches of equatorial Africa.  Many excursions are available departing from the bigger towns. It is possible to discover the national parks, cultural and historical heritage and sites dedicated to eco tourism.

Cameroon harbours all varieties of trees and bushes. From the luxurious forest in the south, where mahogany, ebony, umbrella, kapok, sapeli, and many other trees flourish, through the savannah in the centre of the country with its high grasses and scattered trees and up to the north where the land is desert-like. Cameroon is an open book when it comes to African botany.

For a long time, agriculture has been the backbone of the Cameroon economy. The farming of bananas, tea plantations, oil palms and sugar cane represent the largest part of this activity.
It is possible to visit the different production units located throughout the country. Special circuits allow the visitor to discover all these products which are to be found in every market throughout the world. 
In Cameroon, agrotourism is practised in the Littoral and Southwest Regions where huge areas of agro-industrial exploitation extend as far as the eye can see (pineapples, bananas, etc.). 

Cameroon contains various national parks spread throughout the country.
The Waza National Park covers an area of 170,000 hectares and includes lions, giraffes, elephants, cobs, ostriches, sassabies (antelopes), leopards, waterbuck, etc. It is the most famous park in Cameroon and one of the most spectacular in French-speaking Africa. Located in the Far North Region, 120km from Maroua, it is a haven for the big cats and other animal species as well for many varieties of birds. This park is an absolute must to discover.

The Bouba Ndjida National Park extends over 220,000 hectares. Rhinos, lions, Lord Derby Eland (antelopes), elephants, etc., are all to be found here. It is situated in the North Region, 270km from Garoua and is considered THE area for rhinos.

The Bénoué National Park with a surface area of 180,000 hectares contains a large number of hippos, Lord Derby Eland (antelopes), hyenas, panthers, etc. Situated in the centre of the North Region, 170km from Garous, it is the favourite place for the largest antelopes such as the Lord Derby Eland.

The Faro National Park, 225km from Garoua, extending over 330,000 hectares, is a park where rhinos, buffalo, elephants, giraffes, etc., may easily be spotted.

The Kalamaloué National Park, with its 45,000 hectares on the Mokolo road in the Far North, is above all, a special place for botany enthusiasts.

The Mozoko Gokoro National Park, covering 1,400 hectares, is exceptional by way of its wealth of plant and animal species. It is situated in the Mayo Tsanaga Département, in the Far North Region.

The Korup National Park is located in the South-West Region, and is a forest reserve known throughout the world covering an area of 125,600 hectares. It is considered as one of the oldest and most beautiful tropical forests in the world. Its wealth of flora and fauna derive from the fact that Korup survived the ice age and is now a true ecological treasure.

The Lobéké National Park extending over 4,300 hectares is a forest and animal reserve, as well as being a gorilla sanctuary, in the east of the country.

The Campo Ma'an National Park in the south of the country boasts a rich variety of animal species, being inhabited by elephants and chimpanzees which take advantage of the luxuriant forest.

Nature Reserves

Apart from the National Parks, Cameroon offers many reserves devoted to flora and fauna. Pangar-Djerem, Dja, Kribi, Mbi Crater, Douala, Edéa, Kalfou, Lac Ossa, Santchou, Bafia… to name but a few.

The Dja reserve is a sanctuary for gorillas and chimpanzees and various other animal and plant species may be observed here.

Other sites

Generally speaking, possibilities for exploration and discovery are available just about everywhere in the country, including in close proximity to towns.

The beautiful landscapes of the West and North Regions are particularly suitable for picnics.

The Cameroon craft industry derives its rich resources from the presence of a large number of ethnic groups and a vast array of cultures and traditions.
 You can admire the dexterity of the craftsmen and women and purchase objects such as:
• masks,
• figurines, 
• statuettes,
• leather goods,
• local skins and fabrics, 
• etc.

The palace of Sultan Bamoun de Foumban, famous throughout the world, contains a rich and very interesting collection which reflects the history of the Bamoun people. One of the most popular places here is without doubt the street where the craftsmen and women work and where the Bamoun craft industry is practised on a daily basis, based on sculptures in bronze and other different metals, as well as a large selection of pottery.

The Djingliya Crafts Centre, located 10km from Mokolo town in the Far North region, is easily accessible and has a permanent display of works of art. The local art museum and the crafts centre with its tannery makes the town of Maroua one of the largest tourist attractions in the country.

The country abounds in major sites dedicated to ecotourism, including the following:
• mountains; 
• lakes;
• waterfalls;
• caves; 
• archaeological remains; 
• plus many other potential sites suitable for the development of ecotourism.

An ecotourism project to protect sea turtles is underway in the areas of Campo and on the beaches of Ebodjé.
The National Park of Campo Ma'an which includes the natural beaches of Campo Beach where an infrastructure based on tourism has been built (ecolodges, trails for watching animals, etc.) is very attractive to tourists.

Ecotourism is also practised at Mount Cameroon and in protected areas such as the Lokeké and Dja reserves, etc.

 Furthermore, there are other sites which favour trekking, such as:
• Bamboutos Mountains; 
• Mbéré Valley National Park; 
• Atlantika Mountains in the North Region; 
• Manengouba Mountains in the Littoral Region, 
• etc.

The Ebogo tourist site is very conducive to ecotourism.  This is a natural site right in the middle of the equatorial forest in the Mbalmayo forest reserve in the Centre Region, located 70km from Yaoundé and 20km from Mbalmayo on the main Mbalmayo Ebolowa highway.  It is rich in biodiversity. 
Several activities are carried out here: canoe excursions along the Nyong river, recreational fishing, excursions along botanical trails to discover various tropical species - the three hundred-year-old tree for example - butterflies and a great variety of insects.

With its 400km of coastline, Cameroon is a special place for seaside holidays and watersports.  With an agreeable climate throughout the year, white sandy beaches and the ocean just a few steps away, it has everything to make your stay an unforgettable one.

 For fishing enthusiasts, the well-stocked waters will please the most experienced fishermen. Recreational fishing and other leisure activities are possible throughout the year.

Kribi is considered a real Cameroon Riviera and lends itself to lounging on the beach. The wide, white sandy beaches extend as far as the eye can see, lined with splendid palm trees. The combination of ocean and equatorial forest is simply entrancing.
In the south of Kribi, there is a site which will surprise even the most blasé of tourists: the Lobé Falls, a river which plunges directly into the ocean in a series of waterfalls and a little further on, two typical fishing villages, Eboudja and Ebodjé, where the fishing borders on the miraculous. 

From Lobé, canoes take you to discover the pygmies of the equatorial forest.

Golf
For those interested in golf, there are four magnificent golf courses at Yaoundé, Douala, Kribi and Tiko on the Limbé coast.

Information courtesy of Cameroon Tourism

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