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USD 4,353

Babungo Craft Kingdom Tour

Country: Cameroon
City: Bamenda
Duration: 8 Day(s) - 7 Night(s)
Tour Category: Art And Crafts Tours
Departure Date: Thu 01 Jan '99

Package Itinerary

Babungo, itineraries of the collective memory

The Sites of the History, Myth and Legend

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.

1. Forghai: where the Babungo people are believed to originate from
2. Ngineh: the first palace of the Babungo people
3. Ntoh yindoh: the second palace of the Babungo people
4. Shale: the third palace of the Babungo people
5. The fourth and present palace
6. Feshah: where the fon’s water is being fetch when there are no taps
7. Dong: where the first people were seen by the immigrants from Forghai (Nchiafe)
8. Beh: a fall where masquerades were believed to emerge and fight for the Babungo during    wars
9. Ifing: a fall with a secret place where it was believed that if one carries water in a container then no water will be seen in the container
10. Mbelung: where an important god of the people reside
11. Sah:
12. Itchuih: where the body of death princes and princesses were laid
13. Bah’s compound: where the fon’s assistant live, where the first fon mother (Mange) who came from Forghai was buried and also where the oldest and biggest traditional building in the village is found (Nchuhse)
14. Tihbeng’s compound: where debris of iron smelting can still be found
15. Ndifuangow’s compound:
16. Fuangole’s compound: where the furnace of iron smelting can be found
17. Tabua Fuamuluh’s compound:


Day 1 – Douala
On arrival in Douala you will be met and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is free to relax or explore this lively city. Overnight at  Hotel or similar.

Day 2 - Bafoussam
Drive through rubber, banana and coffee plantations on the road to Bafoussam. We visit a tropical flower plantation as well as the impressive Ekom Waterfalls. Later we stop at Baham to visit the palace of a traditional Bamileke chief. At the end of the day we arrive in Bafoussam. Overnight Hotel Altitel or similar.

Day 3 - Bamenda
After breakfast we leave for Bamenda, visiting the sacred Mectchie waterfalls en route, where local Bamileke people come to make sacrifices in the hopes that their wishes will be granted. On arrival in Bamenda we visit the local markets and the chief’s palace at nearby Bafut, where we see traditional dances by the princes and princesses. Overnight Ayaba Hotel or similar.

Day 4 – Wum - Okpwa
We continue on the ‘Ring Road’ to Wum, visiting Menchum Falls along the way. The scenery of this area is quite beautiful, with meadows, mountains and lakes, punctuated with Fulani herders tending their livestock. At Wum we set off on foot to reach the village of Okpwa, our base for the next two nights. Overnight in tents or a village house.

Day 5 - Okpwa
We spend today in Okpwa, settling into the rhythm of village life and learning about the traditions and customs of the Bororo people that live here. This is a fantastic insight into the intricacies of life in rural Cameroon, and one of the highlights of the trip. Overnight in tents or a village house.

Day 6 – Wum – Bamenda – Babungo
We say goodbye to our hosts and walk back to Wum, where we visit the beautiful crate lake. From there we drive to Bamenda and take a short tour of the city’s sights before heading to Babungo. We visit the museum at the Fon’s palace, home to more than 3000 traditional masks. Overnight at the Babungo Foundation guesthouse.

Day 7 – Babungo - Foumban - Douala
This morning we visit some of the projects of the Babungo Foundation, a village community initiative which includes a pig farm, a traditional and modern clinic and a school. We then drive to Foumban. The town is renowned for its excellent traditional crafts and is rich in history, with good museums and a superb royal palace, and we spend time exploring the town’s key sites. Overnight Paradise Hotel, Koutaba or similar.

Day 8 – Douala
Depending on your time of departure, there may be time to take a boat ride through nearby mangrove forests and visit local fishing villages. Tour ends with a transfer to the airport.

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