Just over the equator, you have a rendezvous with the heart of Africa, whose vibrations you can hear as soon as you land in Douala or Yaoundé. Stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to Lake Chad, Cameroon’s black roots are breathtakingly rich.
Cameroon – the “river of shrimps”, as the Portuguese explorers called it on their arrival – is one of the most prosperous and diversified economies in French-speaking Central Africa. Douala is the financial capital, Yaoundé the political and cultural capital.
On the banks of the Wouri, the former vibrates, roars, and is constantly building its own future. It is there that Cameroon was born as a trader, it is there, in its banks, on its quays, that the Cameroon of tomorrow is taking shape. The second city, which is quiet and friendly, is all about political diplomacy and culture. It manages the heritage of some 200 ethnic groups that make up this country, which is the greenest, most ecological and most pristine in Africa.
Indeed, Cameroon is a land of promise and vastness. Imagine a territory of about thirty natural parks, the most beautiful reserves of butterflies, precious woods and monkeys… You breathe the jungle, you touch it, you hear it…
In 1998, barely 78 visitors had pushed open the door of the Office intercommunal d’écotourisme, in Buéa, a pioneering structure in Cameroon. Twenty years later, ecotourism is no longer perceived as an intrusion, because it respects customs. It knows how to make communities benefit from new facilities and infrastructures. If the colonisers have left their architectural marks – such as the German lighthouse in Kribi, the French villa in Mundemba, the English church in Foulassi, which is also the cradle of the Cameroonian anthem – this heritage coexists with a history that goes back thousands of years.
But it is not in the capitals with their galloping demography that this past will jump out at you. Make Douala and Yaoundé the starting points for new journeys, for excursions to other landscapes. Dive into the setting of folk tales… Nothing has disturbed, or still does today, the chieftaincy of Bafut in Bamenda, the village Nkolandom. In the Bulu language, Nkolandom, in the south-central part of Cameroon, means ‘mount of elegance’. Elegance, the perfect definition for ‘Cameroon’ and ‘Cameroonians’… Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)