Cameroon: Africa in miniature
Do you like a chill day on a beach or a hike in the mountains? Do you enjoy exploring the beauty of a green rainforest or a golden desert? If you answered yes to at least one of these, Cameroon is the right place for you to visit.
West-Central African country with a lot to offer, 250 different languages and dialects, and 25 million inhabitants. Often called “Africa in miniature” due to its natural, cultural, linguistic and gastronomic variety, Cameroon will greet you both in English and in French.
Cameroon was formerly governed by and divided between France and the United Kingdom. It has been an independent country for almost six decades. If you decide to travel to Cameroon’s capital Yaoundé, have some French phrases handy, since the city is predominantly French speaking. Although Yaoundé is not too popular among the tourists, make sure to visit one of its many local markets once you’re there.
Did you know Cameroon has one of the three waterfalls in Africa that empties directly into the ocean? You do now! Lobé Waterfalls empty straight into the Atlantic. The Waterfall is around 65 feet high and you can reach it by a boat. Still not sure if the country is worth visiting?
How about telling you that world’s rarest great ape, the Cross-River gorilla, lives in the forests of Cameroon? There are only about 300 Cross-River gorillas existing in the wild. Don’t go too close to one if you happen to spot it though, they might throw a tree branch at you.
OK, let’s add one more persuading fact about the miniature Africa. 600 square miles of UNESCO natural preserve and a genuinely large mammal population, that is what Waza National Park has to offer. In order for the wildlife, including elephants, lions, giraffes and antelopes, to remain protected and undisturbed, the only way to experience the park is with a professional local guide.
Moving from being eaten by a lion to eat something yourself! Cameroonian cuisine is heavily influenced by Europeans, mainly Portuguese and French, but you can also find a lot of Arab traits when it comes to the spices and sauces, although as it happens with the nature or languages, the cuisine of Cameroon is a little bit of everything. If you are a fan of spicy food, Cameroonians like to spicy things up with adding hot sauces to most of their dishes. The country is also rich in fresh fruits and vegetables. Grab a mango or a banana on your way.
It is still very common even nowadays for the Cameroonians to live as subsistence farmers with most of the population working in the agriculture and forestry sector. Cameroon’s main products are cocoa beans and petroleum, which form the country’s biggest earnings. Coffee crops does not stay behind and if you are a lover of a bitter-like robusta taste, Cameroon is the place to enjoy your cup of coffee. As common in many other African countries, music and dance is a very important part of the Cameroonian culture. Native music styles Makossa and Bikutsi are accompanied by traditional instruments like drums and flutes. And as family is a crucial element of the country’s society, you will rarely see a small group of dancers or singers. So pack your backpack and go explore the beautiful country of Cameroon!
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