Cameroon

April 12, 2013


Cameroon is a country of about 20 million people, apparently almost all quite friendly based on my sample. In the 1800s it was a German colony that was later administered by the French (and partially by the English) prior to independence in 1960.

Cameroon shares the frustrating profile of many African countries:  remarkable natural resources (e.g., petroleum, cocoa, minerals); economic development hindered by red tape, corruption, and high taxes; and one-party or one-man pseudo-democracy.  Also, like many, it has a mix of strong and nominal Christians (of various denominations), plus residual if not intense elements of animism and some Muslims mainly in the north.
Early in the morning we went by canoe up the lush, peaceful river,
managed to get through a thick tropical forest, and...
 ... visited a pygmy village that receives visitors from time to time.

After a plantain, avocado, mango, seafood lunch,
we walked along a long lovely beach. Above:
Local boys practicing their flips. 
A rare waterfall that empties directly into the ocean.
A celebratory wedding drive around town.
North of Kribi is Limbe, another of Cameroon's key coastal towns.
Limbe is flanked by the highest mountains on the west side of Africa.
As has been true everywhere we've been so far on this trip,
people in Cameroon were exceedingly warm and friendly.
At the Limbe botanical gardens, we saw a series of wonderful traditional dances
performed by social groups whose members migrated from rural areas to
the city but get together to continue their traditions.


The Limbe Wildlife Center works to conserve endangered species, especially
those threatened by, among other things, the popularity of "bush meat." 
Included were chimpanzees, gorillas, and certain types of monkeys.
My favorites were the gorillas, but I also had an interesting face-to-face
encounter with this baboon who had slipped out of the habitat.
Here he was coming swiftly toward me, but I successfully
waved him away, and then made a strategic retreat.