From the heart of the Gulf of Guinea to the foot of the Saharan Desert is the Central African Nation of Cameroon, home to 24 million ‘Indomitable Lions’ with more than 250 ethnic groups and languages. Formerly a colony of Germany and a trust territory under France and England; Cameroon has a blend of both French and English cultures and a subtle German touch. The many ethnic groups range from Hausas, Fulani, Bantus, and semi Bantu groups. Cameroon according to AFK Travel should have been called “Little Africa” because it contains the diversity of all of Africa within its borders. The strategic location of its seaports in the Gulf of Guinea acts as a strategic international business hub while serving landlocked countries within the Central African Region.
Any African stepping foot on the triangle as described by many based on the shape of its map will readily fit in as Cameroonian cultures are similar to other African countries as well as the languages. The welcoming and friendliness of Cameroonians are just astounding, adding to the fact that more than 80% of Cameroonians express themselves in either English and or French or both languages which ease communication for visitors in Cameroon. The majority of Cameroonians in the North are Muslims while most Christian is in the south with spares population who believe in traditional deities.
The cuisine in Cameroon is mouth-watering and irresistible. Any regular menu will include but not limited to the regular suspects; Fufu and Eru, Achu soup and pounded cocoyam, Ndole and plantains and bobolo and groundnut paste which are usually accompanied by beef, chicken or smoked fish. Although Nigeria and Ghana fight for the best jollof rice, Cameroon can also boast of Cameroonian Jollof which is unique and should definitely be crown the king of all Jollof.
The presence of international and pan-African banks makes any visitor feel at home, as monetary transactions during the time spent in Cameroon will not be a headache. As one of the countries promoting Science, technology, it is host to mobile telecommunication networks with affordable internet rates and services to keep visitors connected to their countries of origin.
The scenery in most parts of Cameroon is breathtaking. Cameroon’s Mount Fako also known as the Chariots of the gods, stands as the highest peak (4,040 meters) in West and Central Africa and very popular for as it is host to more than 500 over the world during the Mount Cameroon Race of Hope. Its massive coastal line and beaches serve as an exquisite touristic destination. These beaches are characterized by chocolate-brown colored sand and the terrain is as beautiful as the verdant jungle meets with the sweeping waves of the sea. Some of the best beaches in Cameroon include Seme beach which offers surfing opportunities, Kribi Beach and Limbe Beach. Natural reserves like the renowned Waza Park as well as animal sanctuaries in Yaounde and Limbe are sites to behold for nature’s lovers. The historic Botanic Garden located at Limbe is host to various unique plants that exist only in Cameroon. The garden equally serves as an area for relaxation offering visitors a unique connection with nature.
In sports, Cameroon is notable for its exploits in football as they are recorded as the first African team to reach the Quarter Finals of the FIFFA World Cup and four times winner of the African Cup of Nations; which has nicknamed every Cameroonian ‘Indomitable Lion’ stemming from the name of the National Team. Prominent figures here include Samuel Eto’o who has been decorated four times Africa Player of the year and winner of the FIFFA Golden boot and Roger Milla who took Cameroon to the first-ever African Quarterfinals in the History of the FIFA World Cup after beating Colombia 2 goals to 1.
Cameroon is blessed with a rich cultural heritage, completely unique to itself. It hosts some of the most amazing and ancient cultures like the Baka and Badgeli pygmies in the Eastern jungle, the nomadic Mbororos on the Adamawa and North provinces, the animist Komas in the Alantika Mountains, and also Bantus, Kom and many more. There still exist ancient traditions, colorful festivals, arts, crafts and artistic expressions throughout the whole country. Worthy of note are the works of King Njoya of the Bamoun who developed the Bamoun scripts or alphabet around 1895.
Cameroon is a destination worthy to visit as regardless of the cultural and language diversity, Cameroonians have managed to rise above tribal and cultural lines to become a people so unique you will want to meet at least once in a lifetime. Despite the current socio-political crisis rocked the country in the last 3 years, affecting more than 500,000 persons, it is the hope of every indomitable Lion for calm, peace and justice to return to den.
Belle W. Ntui
YALI TV Cameroon