Cameroon – a mosaic of African Cultures

According to Bruneau, “Cameroon is the Africa of the jungle and that of the savannah; the Africa of the Moslems, Christians and Animists; French-speaking, English-speaking, yes, even Arabic-speaking Africa.”

Cameroon lies in central Africa and borders Nigeria, Chad, the Central African Republic, the Republic of Congo, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. At 475 000 square kilometers, Cameroon is 1.3 times Germany’s size.

Yaoundé, the country’s capital city, has 1 800 000 inhabitants.  Over 50 percent of the country’s population is under 20 years of age. The “average Cameroonian” is just about 18 years old. The official languages in Cameroon are French and English. In addition, there are circa 230 local languages. This linguistic variety reflects Cameroon’s ethnic wealth, where diverse cultures, ways of life, languages and religions have been living together harmoniously for over 50 years.

The French geographer Jean-Claude Bruneau called Cameroon “Africa in miniature”. Geographically belonging to central Africa, the country nevertheless is a connection between the two large geographical areas of West and Central Africa in terms of its flora, fauna, populations and cultures. The Peuls in the North of the country attest to the pre-colonial connections between west and central Africa.

To see Cameroon is to experience Africa’s diversity. It is a country of variety, which has managed to retain its traditional structures while at the same time embracing the rise of modernity.

Having visited Cameroon is to experience Africa’s diversity. It is a country of variety, which has managed to retain its traditional structures while at the same time embracing the rise of modernity. The Fulani clarify in the north that there is still a historical and cultural continuity between West Africa and Central Africa outside borders born before the colonial period.

The relief in Cameroon is divided into a geographically coastal region with more or less space, which extends from separated layers until the plateau of Southern Cameroon. In western of the country rises a volcanic mountain, which next spreads itself in the north of the Mounts Mandaras. The semi-arid north crosses the undulating savannah of Adamaoua. In this region, which borders the west on the greenery of the high Mounts Mandaras, there are numerous wildlife reserves and minerals. The Benue River, which throws itself to Niger in the Mounts Mandaras, flows westward. Waterfalls up to 2000m of forested volcanic peaks are located in the northwest. On the coast there are agricultural mangroves, behind which rises a wide belt of forest to the savannah Highlands.
Cameroon has several large dams, whose task is on the one hand in regulating the water levels of the Sanaga River and Benue for power generation; on the other hand, they are mainly used in the northern as water reservoirs for irrigation and drinking water.

Landscapes and climate

Cameroon climate is tropical, with shares in equatorial climate and tropical climate change. Thereto are altitudes, which peak on Mount Cameroon into the alpine zone. A more sophisticated climate classification results for Cameroon an area of tropical rainforest always damp climate in the south (dry season 0-2 months) over summer a damp savannah climate in the centre (dry season 3-5 months) to the tropical dry savannah climate in the north (dry season 5-8 months). In addition there are extreme climatic sites such as the west region of Mount Cameroon that is with enormous rain quantities of more than 11000mm/year, among the richest precipitations zones of the world. The local climate conditions depend on geographic width, distance to sea and altitude.


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