Explore Cameroon

Country Profile

The name Cameroon is derived from the Portuguese word, Camarões, meaning shrimps. As Portuguese sailor Ferdanando Poo arrived in 1472 at the Wouri river in Douala and discovered so many shrimps in the river he decided to call it Rio Dos Camaroes (River of shrimps, in Portuguese). It was from this word that the territory derived its name which is now spelt in various forms: Spanish spelt it Cameroes; Germans, Kamerun; English, Cameroon; and French, Cameroun.

The territory was colonized by the Germans in 1884 but after the end of the First World War Cameroon was mandated by the League of Nations to the French and British governments. France took the greater sector, formally known as East Cameroon, while Britain took responsibility over former West Cameroon known then as “Cameroon under British Administration”.

On January 1st 1960 the French Sector became independent under the new name of Cameroon Republic. Following agitation for independence by the Southern Cameroons – before the name was changed to West Cameroon – a plebiscite was held in that sector of Cameroon on February 11th 1961 under the United Nations supervision. The result of the plebiscite was overwhelming for reunification (233,571 against 97,741) and gave Southern Cameroon automatic independence and unification, which was achieved on 1 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. 

A virtual guide to Cameroon, the Central African country is located north of the Gulf of Guinea (Atlantic Ocean). The country is bordered to the west by Nigeria to the south by Congo(Brazzaville), Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, to the east by the Central African Republic and north-east by Chad, and in north by Lake Chad. 

With an area of 475,650 km², it is almost the size of Spain or slightly larger than the US state ofCalifornia. Its southern and coastal areas are characterized by dense vegetation, a vast river system and a hot, humid climate with abundant rainfall. 

Cameroon’s highlands in central and west offer a cooler climate and an average altitude of more than 1,100 m, the region is rich in volcanic soils, favorable for agriculture (coffee, vegetable, etc.).

Largest city is Douala, the country’s main port and economic capital with its commercial and industrial activities, Yaounde is the second largest city and the political capital of Cameroon. Buea is the first ever Capital of German Kamerun. It is branded the town of legendary hospitality. Buea hosts one of Cameroon’s greatest touristic sites, “Mount Cameroon” .


Limbe Wildlife

Limbe Wildlife Center was founded in 1993 as a collaborative effort between the Government of Cameroon and Pandrillus. At that time, Peter and Liza were doing field work in Cameroon for the drill survey. In too many places, orphan primates were encountered with nowhere to go – chained on the roadside, locked in storage sheds, displayed in noisy hotel garden bars and kept as lonely individuals in private homes – from the most remote village to the upscale Bastos neighborhood in Yaounde. There was no facility for these animals in Cameroon and taking them all to Nigeria was not an option. The problem was particularly acute for chimpanzees; in just 6 months of field work we had compiled a database of nearly 50 chimpanzees needing a new home.

Today the Limbe Wildlife Center is home to 15 primate species native to Cameroon, including gorillas, chimpanzees, drills, mandrills, baboons, 3 mangabey species, and 7 guenon species. With 16 gorillas, including the only known Cross River gorilla in captivity, LWC has Africa’s best record for gorilla rehabilitation and care. The Center also cares for small carnivores, duikers, birds and reptiles that have been orphaned and brought in for rehabilitation. Most of these animals are later released to the wild in suitable habitats.

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Limbe Seme Beach

Seme Beach is an attractive black beach situated in Limbe 45 minutes from Buea. It has an international standard Hotel, with restaurant, comfortable rooms and suits.

Seme Beach has got very amusing games such as horse riding, football, volley ball etc.

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Bota Island and Bimbia Slave trade center

Cameroon slave trade served a very important supply zone for the export of African slaves to the New World after the Portuguese exploration on the Cameroon coast. Cameroonian slaves were mostly sold to the Fernando Po collection center. The island of Fernando Po was one of the main collection points for slaves taken along the Bight of Benin. The Douala of Cameroon was the predominant slave-trading middlemen in these transactions. The majority of slaves traded from the Cameroon coast came from inland invasions as well as from the neighboring Batagan, Bassa, and Bulu.Four groups Tikari, Douala-Bimbia, Banyangi and Bakossi, Bamileke accounted for 62 percent of the people carried out of the River and from Bimbia in these years.