Mount Cameroon Region
The Mount Cameroon Region is situated in the South West Province of Cameroon in Central Africa. The area extends from the Atlantic coast to the enormous Mount Cameroon with an altitude of 4.095 meters. Mount Cameroon, the highest mountain of West and Central Africa, is still an active volcano. The last eruptions were recorded in 1999 and 2000. Due to the volcanic origin, the surrounding soil is rich in nutrients and provides high fertility for both natural vegetation and farmland.
According to the drastic changes in altitude, the natural vegetation is of great diversity and presents a sequence of vegetation forms like mangrove forests and freshwater swamps at sea level, evergreen lowland forests, sub mountain and mountain forests to mountain and sub alpine grasslands (savannah) above 2000 m. These different habitats host various endangered and endemic species, e.g. forest elephant, drill, chimpanzee, Francolin bird, as well as antelopes, reptiles and chameleons.
Apart from the exceptional fauna and flora, it is the volcano itself, the craters and lava flows of recent eruptions, caves, crater lakes and waterfalls that attract nature loving tourists and mountaineers to the region. Furthermore, the beautiful coastline with black sand beaches and river estuaries offers many possibilities for swimming and boating. The Botanical Garden and the Wildlife Centre in Limbe are also worthwhile visiting and provide good information on plants and animals of the region.
With its historical sites and colonial architecture, the provincial capital Buea contributes to the attractiveness of the region. At an altitude of approximately 1.000 m and with pleasant temperatures, Buea offers possibilities for visiting colonial buildings and is at the same time the starting point for mountain excursions. Additionally, each year the international “Race of Hope” is hosted here with several hundreds of athletes competing in running to the summit of Mount Cameroon and down.
The indigenous inhabitants of the mountain belong to the Bakweri tribe. Their friendly and receptive attitude towards foreigners establishes an open atmosphere of mutual respect. Local dance groups, choirs and artists maintain the Bakwerian tradition, as well as arts and handicrafts. The elephant dance, for instance, is a traditional dance performed only by special members of a secret society, using masks of elephants and other symbols.
Finally, it is also the aspect of accessibility rendering the region highly attractive and suitable for tourism development. The international airport in Douala can be reached within about 1 hour driving time from Buea and Limbe.
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