Facts About Cameroonian Culture, Geography, and History
Cameroon is a Central African country and sometimes mistaken for a West African country because of its position on the map. Culturally diverse and blessed with powerful connections, there are so many fun facts about this nation – some we have chosen to share here.
We would like you to join in the fun of revealing the many surprises Cameroon has to offer – please leave a comment below.
12. Cameroon has a lot of thermal springs
Thermal springs can be found throughout Cameroon. This can be attributed to current or previous volcanic activities particularly around the Western border of the country. This is where Mount Cameroon, the largest mountain in sub-Saharan Africa, is situated and where dome eruptions have taken place in the past.
The thermal springs are located in Ngaoundéré, Mt Cameroon and Manengoumba area, Lake Moundou. The Thermal springs are potential energy sources that can be used for gas and produce up to 21% of what the country requires.
11. The Sanaga River is the longest in Cameroon, and it’s not navigable
Sanaga River is the longest river in Cameroon. It is 918Km in length covering South, West and Center Province of the country. It takes its source at the base of the Adamawa Plateau and feeds into the Atlantic Ocean.
However, it is not navigable because of falls and rapids that characterizes the river around Edea and the north of Yaounde. It can be used for hydroelectric purposes. Tributaries to the Sanaga are Vina, Lom, Meng, Mbam and Noun rivers. Other important rivers are the Benue and Nyong.
10. Cameroon was a German colony known as Kamerun
Before World War I, the vast majority of Cameroon was an African colony of the German Empire between the years 1884 to 1916. At that time it was known as Kamerun – this was the German name given to it. The Germans were later defeated and Cameroon was given to Britain and France to rule.
9. Poor Cameroonians depend on subsistence farming to live
Subsistence farming plays a vital role in the life of poor Cameroonians. Working their plot of land to provide food for their family with little or nothing to sell, the poor Cameronian finds a way to survive poverty.
There are many economic, political, social and financial factors that stands in the way of expanding their farms. Yet subsistence farmers benefit from the positive traits of local, ecological and social relationships.
8. Paul Biya has been the president since 1982
Paul Biya has been the president of Cameroon since November 6, 1982. He took over from Ahmadou Ahidjou who ruled the country since 1960.
Biya has weathered the storms of the presidency and is still going strong after 35 years. During this time, he survived a coup plot in 1984, dealt with multiparty politics, terrorist insurgents and a range of different economic crises and civil strikes.
7. First African country to make it to the quarter-final of the FIFA World Cup
In 1990, Cameroon became the first African country to reach the quarter-final of the FIFA World Cup. The Indomitable Lions made history when the star footballer Roger Milla at age 38, took his team to victory by scoring two goals at extra-time against Colombia. The Indomitable Lions of Cameroon are still one of the African greatest football teams.
6. It is known for bananas, cotton, oil-seeds, cocoa, and coffee
Cameroon is known for its cash crops of coffee, cotton, bananas, oilseeds and cocoa. Cameroon is one of the world’s largest producers of coffee. 130,000 tons of the varieties Robusta and Arabica were produced in 2004. The bananas grown in the South West and some of the country’s cotton are sold internationally. The remaining cotton is used in textile production
5. Some of the most fertile land in the world is in Cameroon
Cameroon is blessed with some of the most fertile lands in the world. Before the discovery of oil, agriculture was the main source of income and foreign exchange.
It still plays a major part in the economy with the industry employing seventy percent of the nation’s workforce, providing 42 percent of the Gross Domestic Product and generating 30 percent of the export revenue. Some of the crops produced covers both cash crops and food crops.
4. Waza National Park is a very popular destination
The Waza National Park in Cameroon is one of the most visited places in the country. Located in the North Region of Cameroon, it initially began as a hunting reserve in 1934 before becoming a national park in 1968.
It has 30 species of mammals which includes the hartebeest, Sudan cheetah, water buck, lions and African Bush Elephants. It is also home to the rare Kordofan giraffe. The birds found in the nation’s primary tourist venue of 379 species includes Ostrich, great white pelican, greater spotted eagle, marbled duck, scissors-tail kite, waterbirds, and many more.
3. About 230 spoken languages on top of French and English
230 other languages are spoken in the Cameroon region apart from its official languages – French and English.The languages can be categorized into seven groups, the largest is the Niger-Congo where 169 languages are spoken, Benue-Congo with 142 languages, and Bantu language variation takes 130 out of this.
There are 55 Afro-Asiatic languages, four Ubangian languages, 28 Adamawa languages, two Nilo- Saharan and one Senegambian language.
2. One of the wettest places/countries on Earth
Cameroon receives plenty of rainfall every year, making it one of the wettest places on Earth. Debundscha in Cameroon is actually the sixth wettest place on the earth with rainfall of 10, 299mm.
It has a long raining season and short dry season because of its proximity to the equator and the Mount Cameroon right behind. The mountain restricts rain clouds from going elsewhere, therefore, it rains a lot.
1. Rich in geographical and cultural diversity
Because of the geographical and cultural diversity of Cameroon, it is often referred to as “Africa in miniature” and as “the hinge of Africa”. It also has every climate and ecological system represented in the country. Diverse in language and culture as well, many claims have to do with its special relationship with Europe but regardless, it is a unique and rich nation.