Cameroon

Driving Directions Cameroon

CAMEROON is a triangular-shaped republic of diverse landscapes in west-central Africa. It stretches from Lake Chad at its apex to the north­ern borders of Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and the Congo in the south. Cameroon is a country of varied topography and natural vegetation. The far north is a region of savannah plain with marshland near the shores of Lake Chad. Eastwards, the land becomes drier, grading towards the Sahel grasslands in Chad. In the west, a belt of volcanic mountains and bamboo forests spill over the border with Nigeria. Further south, the savannah plains rise gradually to form the extensive Adamawa Plateau (Massif de I’Adoumaoua), partly covered in woodland. In the south, the coastal plain is covered with tropical rainforests. In the West, out of this rises a group of high volcanic mountains, including the sporadically active Mount Cameroon (4,100 meters or 1,250 feet).

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Cameroon’s jungles contain commercially valuable trees and an immense diversity of other plants, many of which identified as useful for their medicinal properties. Wildlife is equally varied and includes apes (gorillas and chimpanzees), various monkeys, bird species, and numerous snakes and amphibians.

The climate is tropical, but both temperature and amounts of rainfall vary according to the locality. The south is humid, but conditions become drier towards the north, with the rainy season’s timing varying between the different regions of the country.

The majority of the population are farmers who live in the south and central Cameroon, where they grow maize, millet, cassava, and vegetables; in the drier north, where drought and hunger are well known, life is harder, and seminomadic herders populate this area. Bananas, coffee, and cocoa are the major exports, although oil, gas, and aluminum are becoming increasingly important.

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The terrain (surface of the land area) of Cameroon is diverse. The country has four basic geographic regions. The southwestern lowlands are located along the coast. The northwestern highlands run from the northern coast along the border with Nigeria. The central region covers a majority of the country and includes the Adamawa Plateau. The northern plains run through the northern arm of the country that reaches up through Chad. This area is a part of the Sahel, the semiarid region that borders the Sahara Desert.

Along its west coast, Cameroon borders the Bight of Biafra, an eastern bay of the Gulf of Guinea.

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Cameroon’s exotic native wildlife is attractive to tourists. The government has created game reserves where animals can be observed first-hand, such as elephants, lions, giant eland (a large antelope), bongos (white-striped antelope), chimpanzees, crocodiles, and dozens of species of birds. Game reserves are located in the far north and the southeast, home to a small lowland gorillas population.

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