Situated on the west coast of Africa, Cameroon is bounded by the Gulf of Guinea, Nigeria, Chad, the Central African Republic, Congo, Gabon, and Equatorial Guinea. The country to the northwest is beautiful; volcanic peaks covered by bamboo forest rise to over 2000 m (6500 ft), with waterfalls and villages scattered over the lower slopes. The capital, Yaoundé, stands on seven hills. There are several modern hotels and many markets, shops, and cinemas. Luna Park, a fun-fair and weekend holiday resort 40 km (25 miles) north of the capital, can be found on the road to Obala. Douala, Cameroon's economic capital, is 24 km (15 miles) from the sea and dominated by Mount Cameroon, West Africa's highest mountain (4095 m/14 435 ft). The cathedral, the Artisanat National (a craft/souvenir market), and Wouri Bridge are well worth visiting. The Kalamaloue Reserve in northern Cameroon, is small but offers plentiful opportunities for viewing antelope, monkey, and warthog. Cooking is predominantly French or Lebanese, though local food can be very tasty. Avocado pears, pineapples, and mangoes are frequently used ingredients. In Douala and Yaoundé, nightclubs and casinos can be found independently or within most good hotels.
Resorts and excursions
The Centre and East
Yaoundé, the capital city, stands on seven hills. There are 13 modern hotels and many markets, shops, and cinemas. Museums include the Musée des Bénédictins, a collection of traditional arts and crafts housed in a Benedictine Monastery on Mont Fébé, and the newer Yaoundé National Museum. To the northwest, jungle-clad mountains rise to an altitude of 1000 m (3280 ft). Mont Fébé, which overlooks the city, has been developed as a resort, with a luxury hotel, nightclub, casino, gardens, and golf course. Its high altitude ensures a pleasant climate.
Luna Park, a permanent fun-fair and weekend holiday resort 40 km (25 miles) north of the capital, can be found on the road to Obala. Further on, one can view the Nachtigal Falls on the River Sanga and continue to Bertoua, Yokadouma, and Moloundou with its abundant wildlife, most notably a small population of lowland gorillas.
The Cameroon's economic capital West Douala, , is 24 km (15 miles) from the sea, on the left bank of the Wouri and dominated by Mount Cameroon. The cathedral, the shopping avenues, the Artisanat National (a craft/souvenir market), Deido market, the harbour, the museum, Wouri Bridge, and the electric coffee-grading plant are worth visiting.
Buéa is a charming town situated on the slopes of Mount Cameroon (4095 m/14 435 ft), West Africa's highest mountain and the highest active volcano in Africa. For those interested in climbing the mountain, which is relatively easy, a permit from the local tourist office is necessary (these are not issued during the rainy season from March to November).
Limbé (formerly Victoria) is a pleasant port with a botanical garden and "jungle village". There are beautiful white sandy beaches a short drive out of town. The tourist season runs between November and February.
Dschang is a mountain resort at an altitude of 1400 m (4600 ft) where the temperature is pleasantly cool. The road southwards to Nkongsamba and Douala passes through some splendid scenery - spectacular valleys and waterfalls.
Bamenda, in the highlands north of Dschang, has a museum and a craft market. Foumban, northeast of Dschang, has many traditional buildings dating from its period of German colonization, including Fon's Palace which includes a craft center. There is also the Musée du Palais, whose collection includes bejewelled thrones, armaments, musical instruments and dancing masks, the Musée des Arts et des traditions Bamoun, and a market. The town serves as an excellent base for experiencing the Bamileke region's colorful Bamoun festivals and feast days.
Kribi, a small port and beach resort south of Douala, has perhaps the finest beach in Cameroon, Londji Beach. It is also a convenient starting point for tours to local villages and the Campo Game Reserve region. Buffaloes, lions, and elephants roam the virgin forests inland.
North Cameroon presents unexpected natural landscapes, with an average altitude of 1500 m (4900 ft) and plains, reaching an altitude of 300 m (1000 ft), covered by savanna.
Maroua is located in the foothills of the Mandara Mountains, along the Mayo River. Places worth visiting include the market, the Diamare Museum (mainly an ethnographic museum where local craftwares are on sale: jewellery, tooled leather articles, etc), the various African quarters and the banks of the Mayo Kaliao. There is a National Park nearby (see below).
Mokolo is a picturesque town in a rugged rocky landscape. Approximately 55 km (34 miles) away is the village of Rhumsiki, which features a maze of paths linking the small farms known as the Kapsiki; the Kirdi live here, whose customs and folklore have changed little for centuries.
Going further north, there is a very typical village called Koza located at an altitude of 1100 m (3600 ft). From here, the road continues to the village of Mabas which gives a panoramic view on the large Bornou plain of Nigeria and where one can still see primitive blast furnaces.
The Kalamaloué Reserve is small but offers opportunitiesfor viewing several species of antelopes, monkeys and warthogs; some elephants cross the reserve. Waza National Park covers 170 000 hectares. There is a forest area (open from November to March) and a vast expanse of grassy and wet plains, called Yaeres (open from February to June). Elephants, giraffes, antelopes, hartebeest, cobs, lions, cheetahs, and warthogs are numerous. There is also a rich variety of birds: eagles, crested cranes, maribous, pelicans, ducks, geese, and numerous Guinea-fowl. Accommodation and other facilities are available. There are no vehicles for hire at the park, but buses run from Maroua.
The Bénoué National Park, situated just off the Ngaoundere-Garoua main road, has buffalo, hippopotami, crocodiles, hyena, giraffes, panthers, lions, and a variety of primates, and can be visited all year round.
Korup National Park is Cameroon's newest national park, home to Africa's oldest and most biologically diverse rainforest. Accessible by bush taxi, it is located in the westernmost corner of the country, along the Nigerian border near the town of Mundemba, which is about 150 km (93 miles) north-west of Douala. A wide variety of primates, birds, trees, and other plants, including dozens of recently discovered species are there. Travellers should dress to cope with the 100% humidity and the fording of waist-high pools.
The Boubandjidah National Park is on the banks of Mayo Lidi River in the very far north of the country; its wildlife includes elan and buffalo, rhinoceri, elephants, and lions. There are several other parks and reserves which are not open to the public.
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