The rich culture of Cameroon

Africa is a beautiful continent where people rely on nature, more than technology. They are proud of their and believe that culture is more important than the latest trend. Republic of Cameroon or Cameroon is a country located in West Africa and like the continent, this country is also a rich and assorted mix of religions, culture and languages that are followed by the indigenous population of 250 which aweing to witness.

Culture

Cameroon populous consists of divergent groups of 250 -300 each having their own set of culture, religion, language etc. The groups are divided on the basis of religion or ethnicity. Various religious are present that are based on the previous colonial rulers or influence of their past history. And ethnically there are divided on the basis of Cameroon’s geography which is pretty diverse to begin with.

Their colonists have had great influence on their culture creating 3 different cultures that include two separate regional cultures and a national culture. The regional cultures are from the region of the Francophone and the Anglophone where a different legal system is used and English and French are the primarily spoken languages. Then comes the national culture that is recognized and followed in all of the public institutions like schools, municipalities etc. and football is the nationally loved sport.

nigerian-refugees-marouna-campReligion

Cameroon is a mix of cultures that follow numerous religions with 69 % of the population following Christianity (both Catholic and Protestant), 21 % of the population following Islam and the rest of the population following various indigenous religions.

Languages

It has been estimated that more than 300 languages are spoken by the different groups in the Cameroon populous. Cameroon has a number of africa_ethnic_groups_1996local languages that include languages like the Gbaya language, the Gyele language, the Mundang language, the Vengo language, the Ngiemboon language, the Koonzime language, the Fula language and the Akoose language. But they show their flair for diversity by having the language of their former rulers, which are English and French as their official language.

Politics

Despite being a not so developed nation Cameroon has been a multi-party state since 1992 when an amendment was added to the Cameroon Constitution. The various parties present have equal chance of gaining power over the government. The gaining of a government position is influenced by various factors such as ethnic background, religious background, the contacts you possess etc. Their political system allows the president to hold office for seven years that includes executive power but hey can do so only for two terms. At national level the cabinet and its president hold the ultimate power. Ahmadou Ahidjo was the first president of Cameroon a he was in office from 1960 to 1982.

Holidays

Holidays days in Cameroon are highly influenced by the religions present the western world. The religious holiday’s followed are both Christian and Muslim like Easter Sunday, Good Friday, Ascension Thursday etc. for Christians and Ramadan, Eid ul-Adha and Eid ul-Fitr for Muslims.

Whereas the national holidays show influence the western world like ccc-easter-sunday-baptism-confirm44Women’s day, Teacher’s day, New Year’s Day etc.

The amount I have described doesn’t event cover 50 % of the rich culture present in Cameroon. This is nation filled with mixture of several religions, languages, foods etc. making it a unique and beautiful place.

Cameroon- The Lonely Planet But With A Difference

Africa’s pulsating and exotically beautiful so called lonely planet Cameroon with its thick rainforests, white sandy beaches, mixture of active volcanoes not to miss the amazing parched landscapes broken by queer rocks of the Sahel is a world in itself. The country is a large ethnic area constituting of Francophone and Anglophone regions with a jigsaw of over 230 local languages but despite this it still enjoys a great deal of stability with good infrastructure.

Cameroon’s Ring Road

12916275_989939154423751_2758592553934748283_oThe Ring Road is 376 km long that runs a full circle around the ‘Grassfields’. The Grassfields as the name suggests are not gentle green rolling fields but valleys that look more yellow than green with tall grasses, sharp mountains, red earth not to mention the rugged terrain. This could be Cameroon’s scenic drives if the roads were not so bumpy but the sight of cattle grazing in the hills and the mountains dolloped with small lakes all make this ring road quite inviting. Hiking and cycling are other options but the rainy season makes these activities quite challenging. Kumbo is the largest town of the Ring Road followed by Sabga Hill, Bamessing, Kumbo, Wum and Bafut.

Mt. Cameroon

Hiking to Mt. Cameron West Africa’s highest peak is a strenuous climb that takes two to three days, the main feature being a start from sea level and reaching a high altitude in a relatively short distance. November to April are the best months to climb the mountain, using the Mann Spring Route for ascending and the Guinness Route for descending. Hikes are often arranged by the Mt. Cameroon Ecotourism Organisation with the local villagers working as guides and porters

Mandara Mountains in Cameroon

The Mandara Mountains are very popular with hikers in Africa that run from Maroua to the Nigerian Border. The villages that are located on these ranges have a charm that captivates tourists and hikers alike. Some villages are Rhumsiki, Koza, Maga, Tourou and Mora. Hiking between the villages is a great way to enjoy the scenic beauty and the culture of the kapsiki_home_in_rhumsikiplace. Rhumsiki is the main point where the hikers start their journey and all the other villages provide some accommodation but if you are looking for infrastructure, it is definitely lacking. Local buses and Moto-taxis are the only options to travel between the villages. Basalt cliffs, dot the volcanic plains while dust storms sweep the thorny trees and the red rocks on the way up the Mandara Mountains.

Limbe

Limbe is amazing place situated between the rainforest foothills of Mt. Cameron and the Atlantic coastline. Limhe is blessed with fabulous natural surroundings where both local and foreign tourists can have a great time on the beaches before they want to go hiking up the Mt Cameroon.

Cameroon has thus rightly been described by tourists as “Africa in Miniature” as you can experience all the major climates and vegetation of the continent here including features like the coast, desert, rain forests, mountains and the savanna.

5 Things You Must Do In Cameroon

Cameroon located in Central Africa on the Gulf of Guinea is a country known for its wildlife and varied terrain. The biggest city of Cameroon is the seaport of Douala and its inland capital is Yaounde that are transit points for ecotourism sites. Douala can boast of innumerable things to see and do from the natural wonders like the calm soft beaches, cultural gems to an active volcano. It is a beautiful place to visit for a vacation right from innovative art works to enjoying the local cuisines.

Safari at the Lobeke National Park

Lobeke National Park is found in the Congo basin but also acts as a border of the Central African Republic and the Republic of Congo. This park is home to elusive western lowland Gorillas. Visitors can stay the night in a special built watchtower to enjoy the experience of spotting the graceful giant gorillas besides the elephants, giant forest hogs, red river hogs and bongo antelopes.

Visit the Monument of La Nouvelle Liberte

la_nouvelle_liberte_au_rond_point_deido

This 12 meter high monument of La Nouvelle Liberte is a well known l

andmark in Deido, Douala made by the famous artist Joseph Francis Sumegne using metal recovery parts. It was first implemented in 1996 but was finally completed in 2007.

Explore the Eko Market and the Marche des Fleurs

Eko market being the biggest market of Cameroon where you can just stroll around and shop for anything and everything while witnessing the daily lifestyle of the people of Douala. The Marche des Fleurs is a flower and African crafts market where one can pickup unique souvenirs and the local art pieces. This is an excellent market place where you can shop and haggle to your heart’s content. If you really want to try Greek, Lebanese or Italian cuisine then Mediterranee Restaurant is the place to go to as you can get the feel of the city’s atmosphere besides getting excellent dishes like the wood-fired pizza.

Go for a Cruise on River Wouri

douala_2005_09River Wouri is famous for its stunning mangrove swamps and a cruise is just right to see the amazing view of the Gulf of Guinea. The 160 km long river is always lined with fishing boats belonging to the locals.

Climbing up an Active Volcano

 Mount Cameroon is the highest mountain in Central Africa standing tall at 4095 m. Though a visit to the base of Mount Cameroon is possible, but for mountaineers and adventurous people you can even go for climbing expeditions all the way to the crater of the volcano. Although the climb is quite difficult and full of hazards but it all seems worth the effort to actually see an active volcano.

royal-palace-and-museum-at-foumban-cameroon-traditional-buildings-german-colonization-1024x768Cameroon is thus a paradise for people who love adventure and want to explore the wilderness. From wading through waist deep rainforests to going to the top of Mont Febe housing the Benedictine Monastery’s Musee d’Art Cameroonais or visiting the small farms known as Kapsiki and seeing their ages old customs including crab sorcery, Mount Cameroon has it all.

The Cuisine Of Cameroon

The cuisine of Cameroon is quite unique as the dishes are influenced by a variety of cultures. Moreover, the different climate and seasons in the country also affect the choices of food. Since it had been under the control of Portuguese, German, French and British during the past centuries, some foods of these countries also became common in this region. Agriculture is one of the most important occupation of population and provides about 44% of GDP. Therefore, its cuisines mainly depend on the crops that can grow here easily.

Meals:

The majority of the population of Cameroon prefers traditional African food. People like the dishes made with starchy food such as vegetables and combine it with hot and spicy sauces. Meat of fish is more common as compared to beef and other types of meat. The traditional dish, known as Fufu is the favorite of people in northern region. Whereas the southern region prefers traditional soup referred to as Ndole. Banana and pineapple salad is another specialty of the country.

Fufu is made by pounding a boiled vegetable into a mass with the help of mortar and pester. Small balls are then made from this mixture. Spicy sauces made with cassava leaves, tomatoes and okra complement the dish. Ndole, the national dish, is a thick soup cooked in hot oil from boiled and shredded bitterleaf, melon seeds and peanuts. It also is eaten with sauces and meat.

Most of the foods are cooked with vegetables. Meat of sheep, chicken, goat and fish are not affordable for everyone, therefore, they are used less frequently. But on occasions and holidays, chicken is a must. A variety of fresh fruits such as banana, papaya, orange, pineapple, coconut, lime and grapefruit are consumed every day as they are abundant in the region.

Adoption of Foreign Cultures:

african-foodFrench bread, omelets and Italian pasta became popular among the people of Cameron after the country was colonized by France in 20th century. However, their high prices have caused it to be limited to only the reach of well-off families. Foreign restaurants offering pizzas and hamburgers, as well as Chinese, Russian, Italian, French and Greek cuisine are also visited frequently by residents.

Crops:

Various parts of Cameroon have high level of rain throughout the year, therefore the soil of such regions is fertile and a variety of crops can grow here. The climate of Cameroon is suitable for cultivation of food crops of what_is_sorghum_n-800x4142xsugarcane, corn, millet, cassava, sorghum, yams, eggplant, sweet potatoes, potatoes, rice, cocoa, coffee, bananas, peanuts, plantains and dry beans.

Coffee and green tea are the most common hot drinks all around the country. The cuisine is highly impacted by the European cultures, however, the local food still holds its identity. Sauces made with different recipes are part of every meal. The major specialties of the region include the dishes of Brochettes, Sangah, Ndole, Fufu, Koki, Achu etc. Anyone visiting the country should try these foods, otherwise they will miss the unique taste of this amazing cuisine.

An Africa Within Africa

The Republic of Cameroon is a part of West Africa. It is nicknamed as “Africa within Africa” or “Africa in Miniature”. The major reasons are that it is the home to people speaking more than 1738 different languages and has a diverse climate and landscape. Mount Cameroon, National parks of Korup and Waza, Dja Faunal Reserves and historical museums are the famous points of interest. The country has high literacy rate of above 71% and quality of education is satisfactory. However, like many other African countries, child labor, poor health facilities and unemployment are serious issues.

Geography:

Cameroon is the neighboring country to Chad, Nigeria, Congo, Gabon and Guinea. It is situated near Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Guinea and has an o-born-this-way-cameroon-lgbt-underground-facebookarea of 475,442 sq. km. The country has four different types of geographical regions with a variety of climatic nature. The mountainous regions are suitable for agriculture due to high fertility of land. There are large forests and national parks where many rare species of animals and birds are present.

Economy:

The economy of Cameroon is strong and a recent major growth has been noticed in the past few years. Foreign currency reserves have increased due to an increase in export of oil by 28%. Moreover, the construction sector has grown by 7.3%. The subsidies on various oil products have been cut down which has led to an increase in inflation. Despite the threats of attacks of terrorist groups from nearby countries, the economy has remained stable.

Impacts of Corruption:

Corruption is common at every level of government sector which has negatively affected the economy of the country. The department of Police is considered to be the most corrupt department, whereas judicial system cameroon-solderis-1is not safe from its effects. The cases take longer than required and the results of cases can be altered by bribing the judiciary. Operating a business is quite difficult due to the same issue. Tax collected from population is not spent completely on the growth of country and licenses for digging land in search of fuel are given to those who offer more bribe.

Health Sector:

The health sector is not given much importance in the country and it receives only 4.1% funds from GDP. Furthermore, a majority of medical staff has started moving to other countries due to the unavailability of jobs in this sector. The expectancy of life at birth is just 54%. 5 out of gdpevery 100 people, between age of 15 to 49, are affected by HIV/ AIDS. Other common diseases include malaria, dengue fever, meningitis and sleeping sickness.

Though Cameroon is facing poverty and low medical facilities problems currently, its future seems bright due to hard work of different organizations working in the country. But poverty and corruption are the significant factor that have become barriers. The country has highest rate of school attendance in the African continent and some serious actions are being taken against corruption. Once the major issues are addressed, the other smaller problems can be solved too.