Blogs from Cameroon, Africa

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Africa » Cameroon » South » Yaoundé April 23rd 2019

Returning from a business meeting and with a couple hours to spend before the windy road back to the Yaoundé airport we were looking for a unapologetically quick act of tourism. We had been holed-up in the Hilton Hotel and needed something a short distance away. Fortunately, the musee de blackitude is tucked away on a side road only five minutes walk from the hotel. This museum is the kind of thing that makes travelling in Africa such a joy. It is an unexpected gem housed in a rather rudimentary setting. The museum comprises an eclectic collection of costumes, musical instruments, masks, furniture, sculptures, utensils. A reconstruction of a village kitchen and a royal chamber. It is a result of personal passions and is testament to one persons desire to preserve a heritage. This private collection ... read more
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Africa » Cameroon June 5th 2018

“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” - Martin Buber What’s in a language? This is a somewhat unusual question to be asking and one that hardly ever is. Language is just something that we all use without much thought but at the same time is also something that is easily taken for granted. It’s inherent that we rely on it to communicate, get things done and to socialize with our fellow human; but what if this was not so. What if tomorrow one lost the ability to speak the same tongue as their peers, how would this impact one and the others around them. For most this is not a situation one is faced daily so its not a concern, in fact its not even a thought. However as a traveler ... read more
Me ready to swim in the warm Atlantic
Crystal clear fresh water Lagoon of Seme
Tea plantation on route to Buea

Africa » Cameroon » South » Yaoundé July 2nd 2012

Monday July 2 I sat up front with Denise for the drive to the capital, Yaounde. Still being obsessed with 'The Meat Man', we found a good one for lunch, huddling close to try and stay out of the rain. It seemed to stop and Denise and I went looking for a bathroom when it began to pour. Within seconds we were soaked through, needing a change of clothes. It was an easy drive along good roads and we were on the outskirts of Yaounde when a tyre burst. Pulling over, I jumped out to help Suse reverse a short distance to a petrol station where we could turn in and change it off the road. The directions into town weren't overly helpful as there seemed to be several new roads to choose from. Taking a ... read more

Africa » Cameroon » West » Limbe June 26th 2012

Tuesday June 26 Today we crossed into Cameroon after stopping in Ikom. We picked up pasta and ingredients for a tomato sauce and a noodle omelette for lunch (yay!) before I bought some ridiculous pants and an old t-shirt to wear if we got stuck so I wouldn't destroy my clothes. The elasticated high-waist pants will probably never see the light of day, more suited to... Probably rags! The road was slow going but not too bad to begin with. The usual small potholes, crevices and uneven ground with occasional muddy areas was nothing we hadn't seen before and we were beginning to think we may be lucky with the weather and conditions. We met traffic moving in both directions but it was only when a truck bumbled towards us and refused to move off the ... read more
Bumpy, but the roads are still good
Glad we're not going up there
Grr...

Africa » Cameroon » West » Douala May 27th 2012

In February 2012, my services were enlisted to attend to an electrical matter on a ship in Douala. The flight, via Libreville, Gabon, was quite tiring, and it was relief to get my sore butt off the plane. After a long wait for the baggage to reach the carousel, we were whisked into town by the agent, who had our passports. More on that later. It transpired that I would lodge at the Hotel Prince de Galles , in Akwa, downtown Douala. The ride into town was daunting, to say the least. Some vehicles drive without their lights at night. The roads are in poor condition, but the show goes on. After checking in, I dropped my bags in my room and headed off to the pub downstairs. The only local brews were Castel, and the ... read more
The village en route to the harbour
Ican. Canoe?

Africa » Cameroon October 31st 2011

Having some time on my own in Bamenda, capital of Northwest province. Only a few days left before returning to the Netherlands.. I had the most amazing few days climbing Mount Cameroon! It was the one slightly more expensive thing that I chose to do, but it was worth the money.. The hike started from the nice mountain town of Buea, at the root of the mountain. I went with a very knowledgeable guide Samuel and a porter Rudolf. To have a porter is something I'm not so used to, but when going up I thought I was very happy about the trip being organized in such a way.. besides, climbing the mountain is not really possible without going through the Mount-Cameroon Intercommunal Ecotourism Board, which provides the guides and porters. It was a 3 km ... read more
waiting..to start a small forest trip
One common monkey, called moustac
a green mamba

Africa » Cameroon October 6th 2011

We’ve more or less finished our actual fieldwork. In Ma’an area, we managed to make quite some interviews, so in the end the number reached around 30. This made us really happy! We hired a car and a driver for this last area. Our driver “Papa” looked like some kids in Finland, driving his Toyota Corolla, with a cap always on, a towel around his neck, and Wunderbaums hanging from the front mirror. The car was a 4WD though, and he was very good on the red, muddy, slippery roads. It was like driving on ice sometimes. A car made our travel much easier. Still we decided to stay a lot in villages due to distances and condition of the roads, and this offered us some nice experiences and talks with people again. Most of the ... read more
At the beach in Campo
Church in Ma'an
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Africa » Cameroon September 20th 2011

Due to break in internet connection this blog update is a bit longer..! Now we’re back in Campo again, after finishing two areas, Nyète and Akom 2, north and east of the national park. We had a day in Kribi town, too. It’s really turning into rainy season now, roads getting worse and travelling on moto (or by car) more tricky. With a small vehicle it might still be most easy to get from place to place, so we’re planning to rent one for the last 10 days of our fieldwork. In Nyète and Akom 2 arrondissements we started to get a real feeling of the dynamics that exist between people and nature here around the national park. Nyète is dominated by the HEVECAM, which stands for hevea Cameroon. Hevea-plantations are main source of income and ... read more
In Nyamabande. As small gift we gave some fish to the families before leaving
making "peanut -arragit- butter" ourselves
a beautiful open-air toilet!

Africa » Cameroon August 28th 2011

Finally we’re actually doing something, it feels great! We spent four days in Mbiogo village, close to Campo, doing interviews. It was a new experience to us, so much to learn and absorb in everyday situations. Mine and Linda’s thesis topics go a lot together. I concentrate on the characteristics and levels of hunting and its commercialization around the national park, and the effects it could have on wildlife densities. Linda compares two methods, transect line counts which are normally used for estimating mammal densities in rainforests, and PLEO method (pooled local expert opinion), which means estimating densities based on opinions of experienced hunters. We work together with Cyril, a Cameroonian student, whose thesis is also about hunting. The data we collect is first and foremost for our theses, but WWF might also use some of ... read more
Visiting the traps.. piège a cou sur les arbres
Civets, fresh from the forest..
The kids loved the camera!

Africa » Cameroon August 23rd 2011

On our last day in Yaoundé we visited a primate sanctuary in the national park of Mfou. To get there we called a number found in my Cameroon guide book. We didn’t really understand each other with the people in the other end, so after all we just agreed that someone English speaking would still call us back the morning after. By late next morning it was anyhow me who called the people again, but that was good because finally there was the park director in the phone, speaking perfect English and giving us instructions about how to get to the park and what it would cost. So everything seems to work out eventually, people can be so easy-going and helpful..! One just needs some patience and trust in things. We went to the park by ... read more
These guys were in the forest, too.
From the book "Ishmael"?
Linda and me with the tree




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