Cameroon is an African nation located in west Central Africa, bordered by the countries of Nigeria, Chad, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and the Republic of the Congo on all sides. It is officially known as the Republic of Cameroon, and is often referred to as “Africa in miniature” for its geological and cultural diversity. Natural features include beaches, deserts, mountains, rainforests, and savannahs, which are home to a diverse set of ethnic groups as well as of flora and fauna. The country has a total land area of 475,442 square kilometres, with a population peaking at 20 million based on 2012 figures.
Currently, Cameroon has one of the highest literacy rates in Africa, even if the country's progress is hampered by persistent problems with corruption. The local fashion scene is booming too – with Cameroonian fashion designers making an impression in the international fashion scenes especially in Europe. Tourism is also at its finest nowadays, and is basically set on the country's beautiful natural resources.
What to see & do
Waza National Park – The Waza National Park is a national park located in the Department of Logone-et-Chari, in the Far North Region of Cameroon. It was founded in 1934 as a hunting reserve, and covers a total of 1,700 square kilometres. Waza achieved national park status in 1968, and became a UNESCO biosphere reserve in 1979. The park is filled with a huge mammal population that is considered one of the largest in central West Africa. At least 30 species of mammals reside in the park, including the red-fronted gazelle whose population is on the rise, the Korrigum, the Loxodonta Africana, lions, elephants, and one of the last populations of the Kordofan giraffe. Other animals, including the olive baboon, patas, vervet monkey, leopard, cheetah, and nocturnal aardvark, are also present here. Some 379 species of birds also reside in the park and co-exist with the other land animals mentioned.
Mount Cameroon – Probably the most important symbol of the country, Mount Cameroon is an active volcano near the gulf of Guinea. It is also known as Cameroon Mountain or Fako, or by its native name Mono ma Ndemi. It has an elevation of 4,040 metres and prominence of 3,901 metres.
Korup National Park – Yet another national park in Cameroon's roster, the Korup National Park is reputedly one of Africa's oldest and richest rainforests in terms of floral and faunal diversity. Cross the hanging bridge to the other side of the park, and visit the animals and the plants located here. Some species can even be tracked as
survivors of the dry period of the Pleistocene era. Reptiles, birds, amphibians, and butterflies are rich here, as well as species of mammals, which account for some 161 species in 33 families.
Mankon Museum – The Mankon Museum is an art and cultural museum located in Mankon Bamenda. It displays the cultural and artistic production of the Kingdom of Mankon of Grassland Cameroon.
How to get around within Cameroon
For tourists who have money to spend on transport services, Cameroon has a few tour operators which can arrange experienced guides and car rental at local prices. For others who prefer cheaper alternatives, they may explore the national train service Camrail, as well as buses that are comfortable and modern. 4X4 rentals are also available, costly, yet sometimes necessary, especially when travelling to the east and central areas of Cameroon.
How to get there
Cameroon can be reached through the Douala International Airport. It is an international airport located six miles from Doula, the largest city in the country and the capital of Cameroon's Littoral Province. It is connected to various African and European nations, and is served by airlines such as Africa's Connection STP, Aero Contractors, Air Cote d’Ivoire, Air France, Arik Air, Brussels Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, and many others. Be careful when venturing to this country as some of its borders are strained due to violence and other issues. Always be vigilant and on guard. Contact first local immigration offices and tourism offices before travelling to Cameroon.
Images by Flickr/John_Mauremootoo
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