Things to do in
Though Cameroon’s gorillas and chimpanzees can be seen in the wild, your best bet is the excellent sanctuaries that battle the bushmeat trade. Limbé is the best known, but they can also be seen in large enclosures at Mfou Primate Sanctuary in Mefou National Park. Pongo Songo specialises in rescuing baby chimps, who are fostered by the older chimp residents. They live without enclosures on an island. Reintroduction into the wild is, sadly, rarely possible – so closer interaction with humans may be permitted.
Tick off the tribes. With 250 ethnic groups, you’ll never meet them all – but the Ring Road is a good start, linking numerous small kingdoms, traditional villages and artisan workshops. In the Mandara Mountains, the Koma are some of Cameroon’s most fascinating people. Having fled here to escape colonial and tribal invasions, they remained unknown to outsiders until 1980. The Fulani are elegant and striking – nomadic cattle herders of North African origin, who you’ll likely encounter on your Cameroon travels.
Jim O’Brien, from our Cameroon specialist Native Eye, recommends staying in a pygmy village: “I stayed in a village near Kribi and went out into the forest with them, and collected honey. They’re very marginalised, they don’t really play much part in mainstream society unfortunately. Pygmies are really, really friendly and they like to have a drink and party, which is quite interesting! You get more accepted the longer you stay with them.”