Exploring Tourism in Cameroon
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Bamenda, Cameroon

The Northwest Province (since 2008 known as the Northwest Region) is the third most populated province in Cameroon. It has one major metropolitan city: Bamenda with several other smaller towns such as Wum, Kumbo, Mbengwi, Ndop, Nkambé, Batibo, Bambui and Oshie. The province saw an increase in its population from about 1.2 million in 1987, to an estimated 1.8 million people in 2001. The population density, at 99.12 people per square kilometre, is higher than the national average of 22.6 people per square kilometre. The provincial urban growth rate is 7.95% (compared to the national average of 5.6%), while the rural growth rate, at 1.16%, is equal to the national rate. According to the Statistical Provincial Services of North-West Province in 2001, the population of the province is largely a young one, with over 62% of its residents aged less than 20 years. The dependency rate is therefore high in the province, particularly in the rural areas.The topography of this part of Cameroon is covered with grassy vegetation offers a captivating spectacle characterized by the contrast offered panoramic plains surrounded by mountains, deep valleys that are home to some rivers cut falls and many crater lakes. Outside of the rainy season (July to October), the region offers all the rest of the year, a climate conducive to travel. The climate is mild and cool with temperatures hovering around 22 ° C. Bamenda, the main town and capital of the region, is a city both modern and traditional. It is an important commercial center and a crossroads for all of Africa.
A 350 km road called Ring Road allows visitors to admire the region in all its diversity tourism: traditional chiefdoms, landscapes, lakes, waterfalls, wildlife reserves etc ... Located at an average altitude of 1500 meters above sea the Northwest is a region of highlands dominated by a chain of mountains rising with Oku mountains, more than 3000 meters .

The city has numerous markets, banks, offices and coffee processing facilities. The local shops display a wide variety of local baskets, beads, wood carvings and bronze statues.To the north of Bamenda is the Ring Road, a 367 km (228 miles) circular route through Cameroon's most spectacular mountains. Along this road is Mount Oku (3,000 m/9,800 ft), the Kimbi River Game Reserve, the Menchum River waterfalls, a huge chief's palace at Bafut, and a pyramidal thatched shrine at Akum (also known as Bagangu).The palaces are interesting cultural sites that could be visited such as the Mankon Fon's (Chief's) Palace with its newly constructed [Cultural/History Museum, and the Bali Fon's palace with its ancient architechtural structures. Have an audience with the Fons (King of the tribe). Go along with gifts such as a bottle of wine and make available some changes 1000 FCFA, 2000 FCFA or up to 5000 FCFA for the Go-betweens and guides.You would also like to explore the countryside, do some trekking to have a view of Bamenda from the hills and valleys that make up the grassfields land. The mountainous nature of the terrain with wonderful topographical sites contributes to the beauty of the region. The mountain Sabga (hill) is just an example from which one can get a fantastic view of the Ndop plain.

The countryside around Bamenda is also dotted with Tea plantations high lands that are ideal for hiking.  If you would like extensive hiking, then head to Belo (a village of 45 mins taxi from Bamenda). Visit the Berudep Visitors Centre and Tourist Information to get details on walks and treks. Berudep are a non profit organization.

A must see in the centre of Bamenda is 'Fanta Benji – “Arts Prophet and Doctor”. He is a Rasta artist doing beautiful abstract oil paintings. Ask him to explain the stories behind some of his work and you could be there for a while!

Another place you must see while in Bamenda is the Prescraft, This is a great craft shop on Commercial Avenue offering all types of arts and carvings from Cameroon but especially from the N/W. The great thing about Prescraft is it's fair trade policy ensuring that the craftsmen get a fair price for their workmanship

Dreamland and Alizane are restauranst in Bamenda where you can get “white man’s food” or local dishes. It is the nearest thing to what a westerner would consider a restaurant with table clothes, waiter service, and full menu.

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