Saturday, February 01, 2014

Short Journeys: Cameroon

Hey everyone, the first book of 2014 is up and ready for Kindle download! Short Journeys: Cameroon.
I visited Cameroon back 2011 and found the place to be beautiful, interesting, inspiring even. Despite having a cold that turned to flu at one point, I really enjoyed Cameroon and if you're interested in seeing some of Africa and don't know where to start, then I think Cameroon is the perfect jumping-off point. It's bi-lingual - French and English, which helps as other West African nations are purely French-speaking. Here is an excerpt from the book.

Short Journeys: Cameroon  (Amazon US)

Short Journeys: Cameroon  (Amazon UK)

Cameroon is a really pleasant country to visit, nestled in an interesting and not-so-visited part of the world in West Africa. To the north-west you have Nigeria, to the north-east Chad, to the east Central African Republic, to the south-east the Republic of the Congo, to the south Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, and to the east, the Atlantic Ocean. So yes, it borders a lot of countries.

Can any of them claim to be as pleasant or friendly as Cameroon? I’d say probably not. If you are looking for an introduction to French West Africa, then Cameroon is your best bet. It’s also bi-lingual, in the north English is the dominate language, and to the south it’s French (all in all, French is much more commonly spoken). So if your French isn’t so great, you should be able to find someone who speaks English to help you out.

I spent around two weeks in Cameroon in 2011, and really loved the place. Does it have a lot of amazing, famous, tourist sites? Well, no it doesn’t. But visiting Africa is about much more than that. It’s the experience of being in Africa alone which is the principle reason I’ve visited the continent. I found Cameroon had less hassles than some of the other African countries I’ve visited. Finding decent food wasn’t an issue. Most people I met were friendly. In short, I was able to relax and enjoy the place for the most part. T’was a little laid back, friendly, smiling faces, and more than anything the feeling of ‘Que sera, sera.’ Whatever will be will be. You’ll get to your destination eventually. It’s about the journey.
Cameroon, compared to many countries in West Africa, is a pretty safe country to travel. I certainly had no issues around my security when I was there. In fact, I left a bottle of water accidently at a restaurant, and after leaving the place I had someone running after me to return it! (not to say you shouldn’t exercise caution whilst there)
Limbe Wildlife Sanctuary
I visited Doula, which has a bit of a reputation as a dodgy city, but I didn’t get that vibe at all. The highlight for me was Kribi, a small seaside town south of Doula where I stayed nearly a week and relaxed. It was a beautiful area, with waterfalls and not too far from tribes living in the jungle. Pleasant for a walk too.
Limbe, north of Doula, was similar in some ways. There’s a famous wildlife sanctuary there for Chimpanzees, Gorillas and other apes. It’s not too far from Mount Cameroon either. At over 4000 metres it is one of the highest mountains in Africa. The Ring Road is another place of great beauty in Cameroon, a bit further north and further inland.

The capital Yaounde rounded out the journey, and was probably my least favourite place in Cameroon. However it is interesting for a day or two, and features several interesting buildings.

Travel in Africa can be very challenging, but in Cameroon it was relatively easy. The people were friendly for the most-part; there aren’t a lot of tourists around so you have the chance to be really independent. It features some of the most stunning, green African scenery you can find. A mixture of farmlands, rolling hills and then jungle further south and east. For an introduction to the region I can’t think of a better country. 

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