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Most Interesting Facts about Cameroon

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This Central African country is known essentially for being a major exporter of cocoa, for its football team and my favourite, native style music. And its time to find out what more ought to be known about Camerooooon!

Interesting Facts:

1. Baka is a tribe of hunter-gatherers, the very first inhabitants of Cameroon. With an average height of 4’9”, labelling them Pygmies is deemed to be offensive and ignorant of their culture and roots.

2. It is home to the highest active volcano in sub-Saharan western and central Africa. Mount Cameroon stands at a height of 13,250 ft. The volcano erupted last in 2000. Its multiple eruptions have led local folklore to state that a god resides inside the mountain, who when angered spits out fire.

Mount Cameroon
Source: https://volcano.si.edu/volcano.cfm?vn=224010

3. Despite its official languages of French and English, as many as 280 endemic languages are spoken locally! This doesn’t come as much of a surprise when you learn that it is home to over 200 ethnic groups.

4. The Fulani folks of Cameroon hold an initiation ceremony for young boys. This involves lashing them with sticks as the marks represent their coming of age. The Fulanis also believe that a person’s status is signified by the number of cattle they own.

5. It is believed by scientists that HIV originated from a chimpanzee in Cameroon when a human attempting to kill it in 1908 contracted the infection in the process.

6. Ribit ribit says the frog and just how big do you think the largest frog in the world is? The Goliath Frog is the largest ribbit-ing kind in the world and found only in Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon. And when we say big, we mean the size of a house cat!

Goliath Frog
Source: https://www.naturepl.com/stock-photo-young-boy-holding-goliath-frog-conraua-goliath–sanaga-cameroon-image01584966.html, Daniel Heuclin

7. On a more pleasing note, Cameroon has over 1000 species of butterflies!

8. Korup National Park is Africa’s oldest forest and found inside Cameroon since 60 million years ago! It has over 1000 species of flora and fauna, 90 of which have medicinal value.

9. A number of people in Cameroon still practice traditional customs and believe in witchcraft. In 2001, when meningitis took multiple lives in Baba village, the residents called for a witch hunter as they suspected a witch to be behind this!

10. The tribes have diviners, individuals who are believed to possess special powers. Spider diviners create a burrow outside the burrow of an earth spider and read one’s fortune as per how the spider steps out and disrupts the said shrine.

11. The Bamileke people’s dominant religion relies on ancestral worship. This is done by exhuming and worshipping the skulls of ancestors 2 years after the burial. They make sacrifices, sing and dance in their worship of the skulls. The skulls are believed to hold the ancestral spirits, capable of bringing fortune to the community. Their king called fon is believed to have the capability of turning into a lion, leopard or elephant. He takes on many wives.

Source: https://www.britannica.com/topic/Bamileke

12. Arranged marriages are still prevalent here too wherein the man has to pay a dowry of bushmeat, wine and animal, to the bride’s family. Men who can afford dowry for multiple brides can marry multiple times.

13. All possible terrains found in Africa can be witnessed in Cameroon, such a rainforests, savannah, swamp and desert. Thus, bestowing the name “Africa in miniature” upon it.

14. Prime Minister Yaya had to be jailed in 2012 because he was found guilt of embezzling approximately $29 million which were meant for a presidential plane.

15. Explorer Ferdinand Po named the country “Rio Dos Camaroes”, i.e., River of Prawns due to the presence of shrimp here. It is the only country on Earth to have been named after a crustacean (lobster, shrimp, crabs, crayfish, barnacles and krill). The name in English then became Cameroon.

Author’s Recommendations:

1. A visit to Cameroon would be loved by those who enjoy relishing in the culture of a place to truly understand it and for wildlife lovers who enjoy seeing more and more creatures from around the world.

2. Visit the Palais Royal to get a little taste of Cameroon’s history as you explore the palace of the Bamun dynasty.

Palais Royal
Source: http://ttnotes.com/place-de-lind%C3%A9pendance.html#gal_post_232_place-de-lind%C3%A9pendance-yaound%C3%A9-1.jpg

3. You can visit the Baka tribe and interact with them. Make sure to be respectful of them as you interact to have a closer look at their lifestyle. Head from Grand Batanga.

4. For the wildlife lovers a visit to see lions, giraffes, hippopotamuses, etc. is not to be missed when in this part of Central Africa! The Waza National Park is the perfect place to do so. I mean have you truly experienced this part of the world until and unless you have been on one of their safaris and said hi to a giraffe?!

5. Meanwhile, if you have your heart set on seeing a gorilla then go to Mefou National Park run by the Ape Foundation.

6. Head to Bandjoun to how representatives of provinces would traditionally gather. The Bandjoun kingdom is 300 years old and a visit will let you learn more about their period and way of life. You will also get to see the traditional style artisans and their handicrafts.

7. Beach bums if you’re itching to take a dip and kickback to relax on a beach, then Kribi and Limbe are where you need to head. The beaches of Cameroon have both light coloured as well as chocolate-brown sand.

Kribi beach in cameroon
Source: https://in.pinterest.com/pin/362539838724800468/

8. The Fon’s Palace in Bafut will give you a glimpse of the local chieftain’s (fon) reign and tribal practices, some of which have been around for centuries.

Fon’s Palace
Source: https://www.lonelyplanet.com/cameroon/attractions/fons-palace/a/poi-sig/1014679/355105

9. And of course, where there is a waterfall there is the want to get to it! Chute De La Lobe make for picturesque waterfalls with the water gushing straight into an open sea.

Chute De La Lobe
Source: https://www.inspirock.com/cameroon/kribi/chutes-de-la-lobe-a1129420591

How to reach:

Flights from India to Cameroon, can involve layovers in either Addis Ababa, Cairo, Nairobi or Istanbul.

For Visa:

For the visa requirements, kindly refer to the following page on our website:

Cameroon Visa Requirements for Indians

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