Cameroon: Tribes of the dry north and the equatorial forest

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Trip Duration Days - 12 Days

Cameroon: Tribes of the dry north and the equatorial forest

Price Starts from € 0

Route through the two most fascinating regions of Cameroon; the primary jungle area of the East and the Sahelian north. The trip has been designed to discover a different Africa than the traveler may have already visited. The itinerary goes through the valley of Faro, territory of nomadic tribes and refuge of the last animist peoples, Vokre Mountains and continues through the virgin tropical forests of Cameroon, discovering the Bantu peoples and the Baka pygmies who continue to live from hunting and gathering.
Dates: December 26, 2021 - January 6, 2022.

Duration: 12 days / 11 nights.

Price per person: € 2.270
Single supplement: € 240

Guide: Abdoull Yauba, spanish speaking and expert in Cameroon tribes

The price includes:
- All transfers
- Hotels and tents.
- Spanish-speaking local guide throughout the trip.
- The detailed meals according to itinerary.
- Bottled water
- Transportation in a private vehicle (minibus), gasoline and tolls.
- The mentioned excursions.
- Tickets and entrance fees to the places detailed in the itinerary.
- Basic travel insurance.

Price does not include:
- International flights and air fares.
- Meals not mentioned in the itinerary.
- Beverages at meals.
- Visa (processed at the Cameroonian Embassy in your country of origin)
- Cancellation insurance
- Expenses caused by delays and / or cancellations of flights and ships due to force majeure
- PCRs

-The order of visits and excursions can be modified according to local conditions (road conditions, market days ...).

-If some visits / or excursions cannot be made due to external causes, they will be replaced whenever possible.

-There are long distances between cities and towns, and often the roads or roads are in poor condition.

-Vehicles: You travel with Toyota Hiace or Toyota Coaster minibus.

-It is recommended to carry a single ‘soft’ non-rigid large suitcase for the trip, and one or two small backpacks. Important note: there is always the possibility (lately it does not happen, but you never know) that the luggage does not arrive on the same day in Cameroon, and apart from the fact that the contracted company will not take it to its destination, it would take a lot of money and time to make it arrive where it will be at that moment, therefore it would surely remain in Yaounde; so it is important to carry as necessary hand luggage. You have to ask in the flight company the allowed kgs, both checked baggage and hand luggage. There are medium-sized 10-liter backpacks that let you pass as carry-on luggage, but you should always be informed about the weight of the airline company.

-Mandatory vaccines: Yellow Fever

-Food: All food is included where indicated, but the traveler has the option of bringing nuts, some packaged sausage, some can, and energy bars.

-Expenditure on the trip: the traveler can change to local currency in Douala or Yaounde about € 300 approx. for drinks, meals not included, shopping. To buy art or crafts it is convenient to bring some more money. Bring cash, the cards just work around here.

-Electricity or how to charge cameras: in hotels there are sockets and in some isolated places there is a generator and batteries can be charged.

-Internet: the only possible access is for each person to buy a Cameroonian phone card with internet service and access from their personal phone.

-It is advisable to bring capelin, sun cream and flip flops for the bathroom.

-Service codes: breakfast + accommodation (B&B), half board (HB), full board (FB)
Day 1: (Sunday December 26) EUROPE - CASABLANCA - YAOUNDE
International night flight to Cameroon via Casablanca.

Day 2: (Monday December 27) YAOUNDE - NGAOUNDERE
Arrival at the international airport of Nsimalen (Yaoundé). Meeting with the guide and transfer to a hotel to rest for a few hours. Breakfast with the guide to discuss the activities of the day. We will tour the city of Yaounde, political capital of Cameroon. Among other visits we will go to Mont Febé where there is a good view of the city and a curious museum of African art (sometimes it is not open). The trains to the north leave around 18:30 and arrive around 10:00 in the morning (although it can arrive sooner or later). Night train in dormitory cars. B&B

Arrival in the morning to Ngaounderé. This city is the capital of the Province of Adamawa, and plays an economic role in the region since it connects by train the north of Cameroon and Chad with the port of Douala, and also has cattle and cotton. Despite its economic growth, the city maintains its ancient medieval atmosphere around the Lamido Palace (Sultanate). Breakfast and visit the Sultanate, the old quarter, where some traditional adobe houses survive, and the old colonial market. Visitors will be introduced to Muslim Cameroon, so different from the southern jungle and Christian zone. Night at the Catholic mission or similar. B&B

After breakfast, descent from Adamawa Plateau to the Benoué Valley. Spectacular views of the African plain can be observed, and climate change will be felt as it descends. The modern villages around Ngaounderé - built with cement and zinc sheet - disappear after 20km., And only traditional adobe villages will be seen along the dirt road. Stop to eat (grilled meat, corn, sweet potatoes, bananas and cookies) at a local market in the direction of Poli. Arrival in the afternoon to Poli, the capital of Faro. Dinner under the starry African sky. Night at Bukaru Camp with showers and WC. FB

Breakfast. Travelers will discover together with the guide the main ethnic groups of the Faro Valley. One of the most fascinating villages in the region is undoubtedly the Mbororo, a nomadic cattle ethnicity that has lived in this region for centuries and that retains its traditional culture to this day. It highlights the custom of decorating the face and body part with beautiful or complex tattoos that mark social class, and marital situation of the one who wears them. We will greet the elders of the tribe, who command the destiny of their people and preserve the old customs of honor, respect for nature, and the close relationship of the mbororos with their cattle. In the afternoon we will travel to the feet of the nearby mountains to make an excursion to one of the Dupa villages. Walk about 2 hours to reach the tribe. Camp installation We will greet the elders of the tribe and be introduced to the dupá reality. We will know its architecture, its sacred forests, and its customs. In these mountains the locals continue to cling to their ancestral way of life. The dupá are peasants and their lives unfold around the millet fields. Therefore, they organize festivities before and after the harvests where they drink abundant bil-bil, the local beer (fermented millet). If one of those festivities occurs while the group is there, it is necessary to ask permission to participate in the celebration. Dupa men combine work in the fields, and hunting using bows and arrows. It is an African society that is strongly tied to its animistic values and its desire to preserve them from "Modernity." Night with this mountain town. Night in tents. FB

Breakfast with our hosts, last exchanges of affection and friendship with this town little accustomed to foreign visitors. We will continue with the porters to the main track of the Faro Valley and return to Poli and the Bukaru Camp. We will visit again the Mbororo who live near our base camp. Night at Bukaru Camp with showers and WC. FB

Breakfast at Bukaru Camp and day to explore the Faro valley. We will go to Kongle, where the English anthropologist Nigel Barley studied the Dowayo world, the dominant ethnic group in the plain. The Dowayo blacksmith continues to make farm tools, metal bracelets and curious wooden fertility dolls decorated with beads. In the afternoon we will go to one of the Mbororo camps, people of Semitic origin who live on livestock and some subsistence agriculture. They stand out for their features that transport us to the Horn of Africa, their hairstyles and facial tattoos. Night at Bukaru Camp with showers and WC. FB

Day 8: POLI - MBE - NGAOUNDERE (6h)                
Breakfast and route to Ngaounderé. We will stop on the way if we see something interesting or a weekly market. Once in the city we will buy food and drink for the train trip. Arrival at the train station around 18:30. Then, information will be provided to customers about the jungle part of the tour. Night on the train, reading, playing cards, or just relaxing. Night on the train in wagons with bunk to Yaoundé. B&B

Arrive in Yaounde. Visits and transfer to the hotel. Food, visits and possible purchases (crafts, etc) in the city, rest. Day to regain strength and prepare for the second stage of the trip. Night at Hotel Congress, Mansel or similar. B&B

Early breakfast. Long route to the jungle east of the country. It is the region of Cameroon where the jungle is still predominant. This is Bantu territory, a majority ethnicity in Cameroon and to which the country's political elite belongs. We will pass through some populations of colonial origin where some buildings of the Germanic period survive (1884-1916). Lunch one of these colonial towns. We will cross several tropical streams and reach the jungle where the last clans of traditional Baka pygmies live. Arrive on foot (1h30) to the camp and greet our hosts. Tents installation. This people is very special because of its connection to the tropical forest and because they have preserved much of their animistic culture. We will share activities with them such as the collection of wild yams, plants and medicinal barks and we will learn hunting techniques. At night we will enjoy its polyphonic songs and the sacred dance Ejengi (spirit of the jungle) in this magical place in the middle of the jungle. Accommodation in: tents. FB

After breakfast, we will spend a little more time in this magical place in the middle of the Central African equatorial jungle, say goodbye to our hosts and return to the main road back to Yaounde. Transfer to the hotel. Transfer to the airport and night flight home. B&B


Tourist visa to travel to Cameroon
The tourist visa is mandatory to enter Cameroon. Last Places helps to process it.

Compulsory vaccinations in Cameroon
Yellow fever. Recommended prophylaxis against malaria.

Security in Cameroon
In general Cameroon is a safe country although you have to take precautions in big cities like Douala or Yaoundé and not drive at night as they can cross people or animals and cause an accident. In 2019 the Anglophone region of the southwest was in conflict and could not be visited without government permission. The region of the Far North also implies permits or going through more security controls. The rest of the country works as usual, with police controls (less heavy and corrupt than before), bad roads (that costs change), and a welcoming population, especially in the villages. It is key to go with a good professional guide to enjoy the Cameroonian experience and avoid negative surprises.

?Best time to travel to - Climate of Cameroon
Last Places organizes trips throughout the year. The rains, from June to October, do not prevent visiting the country since it does not rain continuously and the landscape is beautiful. Having said that, the ideal time to travel to Cameroon is late October and early January. To see fauna, February and March are the driest months and where animals approach artificial rafts to drink. The average maximum temperature in Cameroon is 35 ° C in February and 28 ° C in July.

Money in Cameroon
The national currency is the CFA Franc, common currency in several countries (former French colonies) of West and Central Africa. You can exchange Euros for the local currency at airports, banks, or exchange houses. The Last Places guide can help you exchange money. The places that allow paying by credit card are counted, so money must be carried in cash.

Time in Cameroon
GMT / UTC + 1.

Electricity and charging cameras / mobiles in Cameroon
Voltage: 220 V Plugs: Type C Frequency: 50 Hz
To charge the batteries during the camping days, we will have the plugs of the vehicles themselves as well as a generator that will facilitate.


Eat in Cameroon
In the large cities of Cameroon there is a good offer of local and international restaurants (French or Lebanese food). The local Cameroonian food is also very tasty, especially that of the fertile West region (tubers, pulses, fruit ...). The country abounds in avocado, citrus, pineapples, papayas and mangoes. Seafood (shrimp, prawns, lobsters) and fresh fish abound in the south, Kribi region. There are many restaurants in the big towns and cities, with good service.

Photography in Cameroon
Avoid photographing military or police controls. Better not to photograph official buildings and ask permission to take pictures of people or their houses.