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3000 Years Petroglyphs

Bidzar is an archaeological

This site  is 20 km from Guider, Cameroon, featuring petroglyphs between 3000 and 300 years old. The site, currently under threat from local cement and marble manufacturing operations, is being considered for inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage list of sites with "outstanding universal value" to the world.The Rupestral Engravings of Bidzar, on the other hand, showcases a marble field with about 130 sq km of Cipolin outcrop. This is located on the road of Maroua Garoua. The flagstone comprises marble engravings of diagrammatic representations. The art that is depicted in this engraving are part of the tradition of Cameroon. This engraving, the geometric styles diagram, is believed to have been man made and some are as old as 300 years.

DISCOVERY & SITUATION

The rock engravings of Bidzar were discovered by the french researcher Buisson in 1933. Other researchers were Jauze (1944), J.P. Nicholas (1951), E. Mveng (1965). In 1970 A. Marliac rediscovered the site and carried out some further studies, A. Marliac (1982). Bidzar is a small village near Guidar, situated on the Maroua-Garoua road in the north of Cameroon. The field of marble extends in the west of the road for about 2.5km long and 1km wide.The total length of these engravings have long been considered by some researchers as natural. A great quantity of marble was destroyed because of the industrial exploitation.

THE MATERIAL

The material on which the engravings were carved is the calcareous marble (cipolin) from which the presence of schist (rock), rich in chlorites, modified its whitish colour producing hues of green, yellow, blue or pink. This marble seems to have been chosen voluntarily because its resistance to engraving is very low, whereas the neighbouring rocks such as granite are too hard and the micaschist too soft. The engravings could only have been done with iron tools; the first layer of the marble is easily removed giving way to the whitish and most resistant part of the rock.

TECHNIQUES OF THE ENGRAVING

The engravers knew the usable material beside the neighbouring and less favourable rocks. In most of the cases, the engravers of Bidzar used a direct thrown percussion i.e. The hammering of a hammer placed on the engraved surface. The mark by staking is observable on the engravings; the engravers seem to have chosen the surfaces having no cracks or holes.

The disposition of the engravings on the paving stones seems to be linked either to the spread of the available surfaces (at times the surfaces are empty, at times full) or to the choice of the engraver. The engraver probably began the design at the greatest circular part, especially in the case of complicated figures. Then later added the internal figures and the external parts. It also worth noting the presence of huge figures occupying the whole paving stone, although nothing appears in these figures, the possibility of internal designs remained. engravings could only have been done with iron tools; the first layer of the marble is easily removed giving way to the whitish and most resistant part of the rock.

DEGRADATION AND DESTRUCTION OF ENGRAVINGS
 

Two types of degradations can lead to the wearing away of the engravings: Natural destruction caused by erosion (water flow) and the degradation of the marble (cracks) by climatic agents. Human degradation, The field of marble at Bidzar has been long visited by men and animals, which has led to an increase in the deterioration of the marble. One can also note the piling up of stones and freshly made holes during cultivation periods.

To resolve these problems an enclosure was constructed around the most important fields of marble. The policy of preservation needed to be put in place, as the paints and coatings that may have been used on the engraving were being erased over time due to climate and erosion.

DATING OF BIDZAR ROCK ENGRAVINGS

It is difficult to give an exact date to these engravings, but studies have shown that they could not go beyond the early Iron Age (2500-1500 BP).

INTERPRETATION OF THE ENGRAVINGS

The Bidzar engravings clearly have a meaning, but their interpretation is subjective. Moreover the local population have no concept of their meaning.

Cameroon

Sahelienne Zones

The excursion to Rhumsiki that just make regional delegates North and Far North is, without a doubt, a real boost to the promotion of domestic tourism. In this specific period of rain, the Mayo-Tsanaga surrounded by vast mountain chain flaunts her natural beauty.

The green that comes to resuscitate the rainy season is an additional trim. In order to strengthen solidarity among them and promote domestic tourism, the members of the Association of Northern Regional Delegates (Aderno) and the Association of Regional Delegates and assimilated the Far North (ADRA) have made an excursion to Rhumsiki in the Mayo-Tsanaga. After welcoming the delegation said at the crossroads of North Mokolo, close to Salak, both teams shake towards the town of Mokolo. A short distance from Mokolo, the famous Forge Ziver is the first stop. Regional delegates discover that blast furnace extraction of iron from the 15th century. They are explaining the process of extraction and manufacture of iron.

The fitted continues its trek to the promised land. To join, you must swallow 48 Km rocky road separating Mokolo this picturesque town of 5000 inhabitants. As as the delegation approaches the destination, the Nigerian border is drawn on the long chain of mountains. Throughout the course, the lunar landscape with its Kapsiki pythons volcanic offer size. After the town of Mogodé, chief town of the district of the same name, one approaches the ultimate.

Members Aderno and Adra find themselves in front of the most famous of these rocky needles, needle Mchirgué which culminates at 1224 m. This is the peak Rhumsiki that majestically overlooks the area. This unique moon landscape of this village is a mecca of tourism in Cameroon and a necessary step for all circuits in the Far North.

By late afternoon, when the sun goes down, the rocky peaks and the surrounding savannah make ocher and reddish, making the landscape even more fascinating. The rhythm of war dance Kapsiki, visitors delight. The camp Rhumsiki, the wizard crab is another attraction. With 82 years Mboula nestled behind the camp Rhumsiki predicts the future of all using crab.

Crops are they good, my marriage succeed it? Will I be appointed in the next government or DG? I gain the next election? These are the questions which are interests of clients of all backgrounds and all nationalities. In the group, the sorcerer predicts there will be three ministers in the new government. What could be better?

Rhumsiki, Cameroon

City Of Cattle

Belel is one of eight districts that make up the department of Vina. This place is located about 200km from the city of N'Gaoundéré or 3 to 4 hours a Kafkaesque journey on this unpaved road. An obstacle course for those who made ​​this trip for the first time. Especially during the rainy season. Bitumen begins about 1 km from the site of the school, in all likelihood was once a camp housing belonging to a company involved in the construction of the Chad Cameroon Pipeline.

The visitor who arrives is immediately struck by the beauty of the place, some containers and buildings which display the least, modern architecture. The choice of N'Gaoundéré and Belel was not fortuitous; looks like. Breeding area for excellence with its vast pastures, Adamawa is the largest cattle herd in Cameroon.

But do not misunderstand. Veterinary medicine is not limited to cattle, for which said medicine clinic in which said we must be able to meet several types of patients: cattle, sheep, goats, unless this is a clinic -

This lack of diversity of animals are the difficulties related to the quality of infrastructure, site access, remoteness, in short, in isolation. Finally, we can mention the perennial problem of insecurity including road bandits in the area. Reasons to believe that the relocation will be effective the way to go. Thus, it seems that we must live in Cameroon to measure its development efforts to achieve the emergence in 2035.

Ngaoundere, Cameroon

Fon Of Banso

Seat of the supreme head of the Nso people, it is the heart of the social and cultural life of Kumbo. The palace consists of various traditional buildings decorated with wood carvings, surrounding two courtyards where the Fon is customary to sit to receive his people or his advisers. The center of the first courses Ngonso the statue of the first queen of Nso people according to legend. Around the palace itself, stand other traditional buildings, also decorated with wood carvings. It is the headquarters of sacred societies responsible for assisting the Fon in his work: the company and the company Ngwerong Ngirri. A mosque was also built next to them, although most of the Nso are Christians.

Cameroon

Babungo

The Babungo have live in the Upper Nun Valley for centuries, but their museum and palace have only been open to visitors since 2006.  The museum and palace are impressive both because of quality and quantity.  It is amazing that the Fon was about to keep so much of the chieftaincy’s art and ritual objects in their own collection while so much of the physical culture of Africa had been spirited off to high end commercial art galleries around the globe .(several dozen out of several thousand pieces) of the most significant, highest quality pieced were are displayed in the museum (carved and beaded thrones, stools, staffs, musical instruments, jewelry, masks, containers, pipes, etc.)  No photography is allowed in the museum so will have to either visit, image or buy the catalogue to appreciated that part of the collection. 

The quantity element can be viewed at the palace.  In the court of the palace there are thousands of sculptures lining the walls literally stacked to the rafters, and hanging from them as well.  Also impressive is the coverage of the art; every wall is decorated, every pillar and door frame carved.  A lot of the work displayed royal symbols like the double gong, leopard, tortoise, lizard and two-headed snake.Carved figures at fon’s or chief’s or king’s palace at Babungo in Ring Road area Grassfields region Northwest Province Cameroon West Africa Carved by fon himself as part of his traditional role of woodcarver and sculptor.

THE BABUNGO MUSEUM

Cameroon is one of the best places in West Africa to buy locally produced carvings. Carving is a very old craft in Cameroon going back many generations. The carvings have always been practical as well as decorative and are used in many ceremonies, particularly the masks. If you visit Babungo, the Fons (Kings) have an age old tradition of skills in wood carving and the palace contains more than 30000 traditional masks, some from more than 300 years ago. You can buy carvings in all the handicraft shops around the country. There is a large selection in the handicraft market in Douala. I found that Dschang was a really good place to buy, at the row of small craft stalls at the side of the road. Prices are reasonable, the goods are well displayed and clean and the sellers are not pushy.

Babungo Palace of the Fon in Cameroon, the table represents the universal circle of life.

Tropical Hardwood.

Babungo: memory, arts and techniques
The museum presents a sample of major and significant objects from the rich cultural and artistic heritage of Babungo, which was formerly the most important iron-work centre in Cameroon. The treasure of the talented sculptor-kings of Babungo with thousands of pieces still remains the most impressive of the Grassland.

Babungo is having a high reputation when it comes to craft work because of the its craft works of their former kings.And as such they posses one of the numerous well kept artifacts  in Cameroon store in history This old woman is 130 year old

Bamenda, Cameroon

Archaeological Remains Of Shum Laka

This site under the shelter of a huge rock of 1200 sq m lies close to Bamenda. An archaeological heritage site has remnants of a typical forest land, where skeletal remnants of men living thousands of years ago were unearthed. Belonging to the Community of Baforchu, this site gives a view of how mankind evolved in this part of the world. The age of the engravings has proven difficult to determine. Radiometric dating has produced a range of estimates, dating various carvings to between 300 and 3000 years of age. The petroglyph site was discovered in 1933 by a French researcher named Buisson. In the twentieth and twenty first centuries, the calcareous marble on which the engravings stand has been extracted for use at nearby cement and marble factories. This activity endangers the engravings, which received provisional protection when the site was included in the Cultural category of the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List, on April 18th, 2006

 

Bamenda, Cameroon

Nyos

Lake Nyos is a few square kilometres in area, and is around 200 m deep.  It is situated in the crater formed from the collapse of the pipe feeding a now extinct volcano. The lake is compositionally stratified, with fresh water in the upper 50 m and heavier sodium and carbon dioxide rich water below that.  The water below 180 m is particularly rich in sodium and carbon dioxide.  Most of the sodium and carbon dioxide come from numerous sodium-bicarbonate bearing springs - derived from an underlying magma chamber - feeding into the bottom of the lake. In August of 1986 some event – perhaps a mudslide, heavy rain or wind blowing across the lake – caused the water column to be disturbed.  Some of the deep carbon dioxide rich water moved towards surface where it was subjected to lower pressure.  The dissolved carbon dioxide quickly converted to carbon dioxide gas and rushed to the surface starting a chain reaction of degassing the deeper water.  A huge cloud of carbon dioxide spilled over the lake’s outlet and down into the surrounding valleys.

A chain of volcanoes extends in a straight northeasterly line from Annobon Island in the Atlantic Ocean into the western part of Cameroon.  It is thought that this feature is related to a rift which was first activated during the initial formation of the Atlantic Ocean (although the existence of a mantle plume has not been ruled out).  The volcano at Lake Nyos is now extinct, although the Mt. Cameroon volcano, near to the coast, 400 km to the southwest, is still active

Disater of 1986

In the middle of an August night in 1986 in the west-African country of Cameroon a misty cloud of carbon dioxide bubbled out of a lake and swept silently down the surrounding valleys - thousands of animals and 1700 people died, many in their sleep.

Cameroon

Mbingo Cliff

This is easily the best trek in Boyo region. From the top of the Mbingo cliffs the views overlooking Boyo are simply breathtaking. Trek from Mbingo hill top along the grassy ridge and stop on top of the tallest cliff. From here you have a birds eye view of the outlying villages. A trek along the hilltops and through the peasant farms will bring you back to Belo

 

Bamenda, Cameroon

Belo

  • Belo, Boyo Division, NW Cameroon
     
  • Description:  These 15m high waterfalls are hidden within Belo itself, a beautiful oasis close to the activity of the village.  During the dry season it is even possible to walk behind the falls.
     
  • Accessibility & transport:  2/5.  The walk from the centre of Belo takes around 25 minutes, through sparse forest.  Not that during the rainy season the waterfalls can only be seen from a distance as the rocks in the area become slippery and dangerous.
     
  • Time needed:  Allow 2 days for the complete trip.
  • Other info:  Take sufficient water for the duration of the trip.
Bamenda, Cameroon

Ngawara Tea Plantation

  •  The Ndawara Tea Estate is the largest in Cameroon with currently around 5000ha of cultivated plantation and is set high in traditional Fulani land  A guide will show you around the estate, including the factory, vast tea fields and nursery. 

    After the tour of the estate, you can hire ponies which will take you on a trip to a nearby crater lake.  Depending on the amount of time you have to spend in the region, you could also choose to spend a night with a nearby Fulani family.  Alternatively, you could stay with a Kom family closer to Belo.
     
  • Accessibility & Transport:  You can either walk up to the estate, which takes approximately 2 hours, or get motorbike taxis from Belo, taking around 40 minutes.
     
  • Time Needed:  Allow a whole day
    • 40 minutes or 2 hours to arrive at Ndawara, depending on if you take a motorbike or walk up.
    • 2 hours to see plantation
    • 2.5 hours pony trekking (plus any time you may want to spend at the lake)
    • 2 – 3 hours to walk back to Belo
Bamenda, Cameroon