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Central Africa: Cameroon

World  (tags: Cameroon, africa, children, pictures, sights, travel )

- 1774 days ago -
Cameroon is sometimes described as "Africa in miniature" because it exhibits all the major climates and vegetation of the continent: mountains, desert, rain forest, savanna grassland, and ocean coast land.

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Kit B (276)
Thursday August 15, 2013, 6:19 am

We are going to the African Nation of Cameroon.

5 Facts You Might Not Know

1 Cameroon has an extremely diverse range of religions amongst its population. Two-thirds of its people are Christian, with one-fifth Muslim and many other religions represented. The West of the country is largely Protestant; the east and south are predominantly Catholic; but there remain southern groups who follow African animist practices, believing in witchcraft, which is outlawed by the government.

2 Cameroon gained its independence from France on 1st January 1960, 2:30am. After 1919, the country had been split into French Cameroun and British Cameroons. This governance was highly controversial, with political resistance put down by French forces. Following independence, on 1st October 1961 British Cameroons was reunited with French Cameroun to create the Federal Republic of Cameroon. Today, the country is governed by a President, who has very wide-ranging powers to form policy, govern agences, issue orders to the army, and arrange treaties. He is elected every seven years by popular vote.

3 Cameroon is home to the world's most endangered language. It became the object of considerable international attention through the efforts of language preservation websites. Busuu, a Southern Bantoid language, has just eight speakers left in the world, and efforts are now being taken to preserve the language for future speakers in the region, as linguists study its structure and grammar. Many more languages in the region are also in danger of disappearing, as the population becomes increasingly colonised by more widely-spoken languages.

4 Cameroon is one of the most geographically various countries in the world. It is larger than the state of California, stretching nearly 500,000 sq km, making it the 53rd largest country in the world. However, unlike other countries of a similar size, it has an extremely diverse geography: coastal, mountainous, rainforest, savanna and grasslands. It exhibits every major climate type, often in extremes.

5 Cameroon is home to the world's second wettest region. Dubuncha, situated at the foot of the Cameroon Mountains. Annual rainfall levels average at 400 inches roughly twenty times that recorded in England.

The capital of Cameroon is Yaoundé. The currency of Cameroon is the CFA Franc BEAC ‡(XAF) Flag of Cameroon.

Ten fun facts about Cameroon:

Fact 1: Cameroon is the first African country to reach the quarter-final in soccer world cup.

Fact 2: The official languages in Cameroon is French, English. They also have other native African languages.

Fact 3: Cameroon celebrated its first independence day from the France and England on October 1, 1960.

Fact 4: The religions followed in Cameroon are mostly Christianity and Islam.

Fact 5: More than 30% of the total population lives at less than $1.25 per day.

Fact 6: Cameroon is famous for producing coffee, cocoa, cotton, bananas and oilseeds.

Fact 7: Cameroon has the tallest mountain in West Africa, Mount Cameroon.

Fact 8: Cameroon is one of the wettest lands on the earth with annual rainfall of about 1028 cm.

Fact 9: The Cameroon flag has a star and three colours; green for vegetation, red for independence and yellow for sunshine.

Fact 10: Cameroon is a Portuguese word meaning River of Pawn.
Foods of Cameroon:

The staple foods eaten by the people of Cameroon vary from region to region, depending on climate, and what is grown locally. In general, the Cameroonian diet is characterized by bland, starchy foods that are eaten with spicy (often very hot) sauces. Meat on skewers, fried and roasted fish, curries and peppery soups are common dishes.

Staple foods eaten in the north are corn, millet, and peanuts. In the south, people eat more root vegetables, such as yams and cassava, as well as plantains (similar to bananas). In both north and south regions, the starchy foods are cooked, then pounded with a pestle (a hand-held tool, usually wooden) until they form a sticky mass called fufu (or foofoo), which is then formed into balls and dipped into tasty sauces. The sauces are made of ingredients such as cassava leaves, okra, and tomatoes. The food most typical in the southern region of Cameroon is ndole , which is made of boiled, shredded bitterleaf (a type of green), peanuts, and melon seeds. It is seasoned with spices and hot oil, and can be cooked with fish or meat. Bobolo , made of fermented cassava shaped in a loaf, is popular in both the south and central regions.

Fresh fruit is plentiful in Cameroon. The native mangoes are especially enjoyed. Other fruits grown locally and sold in village marketplaces include oranges, papayas, bananas, pineapples, coconuts, grapefruit, and limes.

Traditional Foods of Cameroon:

In Cameroon, most families have mud stoves outside their homes for cooking and because smoked fish is such a vital part of the diet, most homes will also have a smoking stove.

Dried fish is a firm favourite which is why, in most Cameroonian kitchens, a biltong box can be found, it’s used for drying large strips of fish.

In rural Cameroon, the fuels used for cooking are firewood, charcoal, kerosene, cow dung and crop residues.

Cuisine of the Northern, extreme Northern and Adamaqua regions
Cereals, maize and millet are the staples here.

The most commonly eaten meat is beef from the huge herds that make northern Cameroon so wealthy. Insects (termites, the karite caterpillars) and small hunting animals like field mice, squirrels, frogs and local rats are also eaten here.

Cuisine of the Littoral regions

This province is home to many cultures and culinary traditions, the Bassas and Bakokos who adore palm nut (mbanga) soup, made with either fish or meat and eaten with cooked cassava rolls.

The Dualas tribe’s staple dish is bitterleaf soup, served with boiled plantains on the side.

The regional speciality of the Littoral province is Ekoki – a dish made with vigna beans and voandzou (matobo) seeds served with plantains, cocoyams or kolokashia.

Yellow soup served with cocoyams is another speciality that get’s the juices flowing.

Cuisine of the Western, South Western and North Western regions
Here fufu is the staple food and it's made with maize.

Over and above maize, tubers like yams, cocoyams, sweet potatoes and cassava are traditionally eaten.

In some parts of this region the locals eat more exotic dishes featuring snakes, insect larvae (considered delicacies) and an unusual fruit known as mbu (a purplish-blue fruit resembling a small plum).

Pat B (356)
Thursday August 15, 2013, 6:36 am
Beautiful country, so green and lush.!!! Felt like dancing to the music too, very, very nice, Kit. Thank you for my trip this morning. ;-)

Ben O (150)
Thursday August 15, 2013, 7:28 am
And, if I may add some absolutely useless info: When I was a seaman, many years ago, I spent nine days in Doula...

Ben O (150)
Thursday August 15, 2013, 7:32 am
In fact I posted a Country profile 5 years ago...

Nicole W (646)
Thursday August 15, 2013, 9:36 am
always a pleasure traveling with you Kit

. (0)
Thursday August 15, 2013, 9:40 am

pam w (139)
Thursday August 15, 2013, 11:43 am
Cameroon is home to several endangered primates....the drill baboon, chimpanzees and other monkeys. Peter and Liza Gadsby have created the Pandrillus preserve for them. They're working hard to get local people educated on the need to protect these animals from loggers and hunters. If you want to see what two dedicated people can create......

Kit B (276)
Thursday August 15, 2013, 11:46 am

Thank you Ben and Pam for adding a some extra information about Cameroon.

Birgit W (160)
Thursday August 15, 2013, 12:40 pm
Interesting, thanks.

. (0)
Thursday August 15, 2013, 2:20 pm
If I had to pick an African destination, Cameroon would be considered. The government under Biya is authoritarian, but stable. I would have loved to see more unauthorized pictures. What is the capital like?

JL A (281)
Thursday August 15, 2013, 4:23 pm
Beautiful--many locales pictured have CA counterparts--but those outdoor stoves and some of the building designs I don't think went with any CA tribes. However, the wildlife made it clear it wasn't CA (unless you count SoCA safari wildlife park). I loved the baby hippo.

marie C (163)
Thursday August 15, 2013, 5:07 pm
Pam W I visited a monkey sanctuary in Cameroon I think it was 1992 the sanctuary had been broken into and many monkeys stolen to eat. Incredible people who actually dedicate there whole lives to a cause
Thank you Kit second time was much nicer with you my last visit was very fleeting I am impressed how it has improved

Jonathan Harper (0)
Friday August 16, 2013, 8:39 am

John De Avalon (36)
Friday August 16, 2013, 9:24 am
Fascinating! Thank you for posting, dear Kit.

Melania Padilla (122)
Friday August 16, 2013, 3:14 pm

Barbara K (60)
Saturday August 17, 2013, 11:32 am
What a beautiful, serene vacation that was, my friend. Thank you.

Past Member (0)
Saturday August 17, 2013, 11:30 pm
A destination to keep in mind 4 sure! Thanks Kit
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