More on Cameroon

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cammore_1Limbe with Mt Cameroon behind cammore_2 cammore_3 cammore_4Chella, the LWC silverback cammore_5Drills at the LWC cammore_6 cammore_7 cammore_8 cammore_9 cammore_10

Cameroon

All trips begin in Limbe. Limbe is the most pleasant town I know in Africa. It's clean, friendly streets offer fabulous views of the rain-forested foothills to Mount Cameroon, the bay and towering Mt Malabo out at sea.

Along the coast beautiful long sandy beaches separate the sea from the forest and mountains.

Limbe is home to one of the most important primate conservation projects in Cameroon - The Limbe Wildlife Centre (LWC) - which rescues gorillas, chimpanzees and all other indigenous primates from the bush-meat trade.

From Limbe:

- 2-3 day trek up Mount Cameroon, West Africa’s highest mountain
- 1 day trek up Mt Etinde or "mini Mt Cameroon"
- Visit the Botanic gardens
- Relax on the beautiful beaches
- BBQ fish straight from the sea on Down Beach
- Visit the volcanic crater lakes

From Limbe you will venture out for the other parts of your trip.

My set trips concentrate on the south.  I run two distinct itineraries.

The Kingdom At The End Of The Road trip takes you to the Bamenda Highlands and the Kingdom of Esu for a unique experience of the grass roots of African culture, the village. This is my home from home in Africa and you will be welcomed as a special guest.

Esu is remote, verdant and fertile with a pleasant dry climate. It is collection of villages spread along a lush river valley.

The agricultural Christian Esuans live harmoniously with the cattle herding Islamic Fulani and Hausa settlers.

Anyone wishing to go way off the beaten track and experience Africa at its core should consider this trip. It would also be very inspiring for teenagers and young adults.

Look at Origins for more on my relationship with Esu.

The Dzanga Sangha Gorilla trip takes you across to the east of Cameroon to the border with Central African Republic and the great Congo Basin.

This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience - the opportunity to observe at close range the only groups of habituated Western Lowland Gorilla.

You will follow a family for an hour as they move through the forest.

This reserve also merits a visit for the excellent chance of seeing forest elephants and buffaloes in the bai, for the pure beauty of the landscape, and to experience the way of life of the Ba’Aka pygmies  who have inhabited the region for tens of thousands of years.

Pandrillus in Nigeria

As an add-on I can offer the Pandrillus project in Nigeria. Pandrillus is the NGO that runs Limbe Wildlife Centre. Just across the border in Nigeria they have their main primate conservation project, the very impressive Drill Ranch.

From Limbe we take a speed boat along the coast, through mangrove forests to Calabar in Nigeria. Here we will be hosted by Peter Jenkins and Liza Gadsby, founders of the Pandrillus project. Their garden is a mini-LWC - the rescued chimps and drill monkeys arrive here and are socialized into groups before they travel to Afi mountain and Drill Ranch.

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Drill Ranch is at the base of the Afi Mountain National Reserve. It has 8 large forest enclosures where the drills and chimps are able to live in semi-wild conditions, foraging for food on the ground and sleeping in the canopy at night. Looking onto these enclosures are four wonderful eco-lodges with only gauze separating you from the forest. Go to sleep with the cacophony of the forest meters away, and awake early to see, from your bed, the drills and chimps descending from the canopy to forage.

From Drill ranch trek into the mountain reserve where there are unknown numbers of the Cross River gorilla. They are extremely rare and were only recently found to exist on the Cameroon/Nigeria border. These treks are truly wild - there are no habituated gorillas here waiting for you. We will be tracking gorilla - the likelihood is you won't see one - but the thrill of the possibility, and seeing last night’s nests in the forest environment is truly exhilarating.

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