Travel to Cameroon – Episode 483

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Travel to Cameroon - Amateur Traveler Episode 483

transcript

Hear about travel to Cameroon as the Amateur Traveler talks to Francis Tapon and Rejoice Mubarak from TheUnseenAfrica.com about Rejoices’ native country and Francis’ recent trip to this West African country on his quest to explore every country in Africa.

“It has been described, and I think rightfully so, as a mini Africa. It has a lot of elements that you find all over Africa in one country the size of California and that is the number one reason I think you want to go. It has, on one hand, the deserts that you find in the Sahara. Rejoice comes from the extreme north near Chad and that’s a very desert like portion. It’s very muslim as well. And then you have the tallest mountain in the region, it’s about 4000 m which is about 13,500 feet or so. It’s a very tall mountain and it sometimes even gets snow at the top. It also has the sea. And it has a Christian culture. It has a French culture and an English culture all rolled up into one. If you going to history they actually had a section of it that was controlled by the British and the rest of it, most of it, was controlled by the French. So as a result today the southwest part of Cameroon is anglophone and the rest is French speaking. What I love about Cameron is that you have all these different type of ecosystems. You’ve got a bit of the jungle. You’ve got to dry savanna. You’ve got the desert. You’ve got the coast. And it’s relatively safe. Currently, here in the middle of 2015, the extreme north where Rejoice is from is still a red zone, i.e. heavily discouraged. I spent 4 months there and I can validate that.”

Francis is trying to spend at least a month in every African country (all 54 of them) on a trip that has stretched now to what looks like 5 years.

This episode lays out an itinerary that starts in Duoala, which is the biggest city. “Duoala is one of the least attractive places in the entire country, a lot of sprawl, a lot of people, horrible traffic, some pollution, not terrible because it’s right on the sea. The thing that really hits you over the head hard is the weather, it’s extremely hot and humid 24/7. there are some places that have air conditioning but even in Duoala they have power cuts. It’s certainly worth spending a day or two there. I would say the only thing that maybe worthwhile is go by the coastline there are places that sell fish right on the coast. You have a nice view. It’s quiet. You get away from the city a little bit and you can have fish it’s just been caught and they fry it right there for you and it’s pretty cheap, for less than five dollars you can have a pretty full meal.”

Next go along the coast to Limbe. “It’s a nice seaside town and nearby Limbe, which is what makes it so interesting and fun, is Mount Cameroon which is that 4000 m mountain. That is a fantastic climb. Anyone who goes to Cameroon should take advantage of having such a massive mountain which is right next to the sea, but it’s not an easy hike. They usually recommend 3 days. Expect high winds and cold temperatures which is an incredible contrast from Limbe.”

We stop next at the beachside town of Kribi. Frances doesn’t recommend going to Cameroon just for the beach scene but it’s nice. From there you enter the anglophone region at Bamenda. “I get the sense that people in Bamenda are really into education and studying.” You’ve got these rolling hills. Nearby you’ve got “Death Mountain” which is the tallest mountain in Nigeria. It is about 2,700 m. It’s right on the border with Nigeria. It’s a lot safer than approaching the mountain from the Nigerian side.

We end in the capital of Yaoundé. Francis says “what I like about him room is that most cities in Africa are really unattractive. They have no pretty monuments, poor design, hyper congested, polluted, trash in the streets, their hot, they’re criminal (says the guy who extended his African trip from 3 to 5 years because he loves it). There are several exceptions and one of them is the capital of Cameroon which is called Yaoundé. It is not as hot as Duoala because it is sitting at 3000 feet. It is a smaller city.” Francis enjoyed the national museum which is a good museum (by African standards) and the buildings and monuments. “The train system is also cool. The French did layout some train tracks and the Cameroonians did a good job of maintaining them.”

We also talk some about the north of Cameroon but recommend waiting to visit that part of the country until the security improves.

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Show Notes

The Unseen Africa
Cameroon
Mount Cameroon
Douala
Limbe
Kribi
Bamenda
Climbing the “Mountain of Death”
Health Info for Travelers to Cameroon
Yaoundé
National Museum of Yaoundé
Waza National Park
The True Size of Africa
SteriPEN
Camelbak All Clear Water Bottle

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Travel to Cameroon - Amateur Traveler Episode 483

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by Chris Christensen

I am the host of the Amateur Traveler. The Amateur Traveler is an online travel show that focuses primarily on travel destinations and what are the best places to travel to. It includes both a weekly audio podcast, a video podcast, and a blog.



9 Responses to “Travel to Cameroon – Episode 483”

David

Says:

We Africans are usually very sensitive when non-Africans talk about our continent and dare to criticise it. Most Westerners come to Africa with their stereotypes firmly cemented – and either views us as “the smiling native”, “the noble savage” or “the corrupt basketcase”. However, I really enjoyed listening to Francis; his love for Africa was obvious, and earned him the right to be critical when the situation called for it.

He’s not made me want to visit Cameroon (and I’m from Nigeria!), but I’ve really, really enjoyed listening to this episode.

chris2x

Says:

David, thanks, I am glad that came through

Tamara Copeland

Says:

I was overwhelmingly dismayed by the constant derogatory remarks made about Africa by the host Francis and by his patronizing manner with Rejoice, the country’s native. In the many, many shows that I have listened to this was the only episode that I actually felt so strongly about that I had to write. Please do not use Francis again. He is offensive.

chris2x

Says:

not sure I will promise that, yours is the only negative comment I have received so far

Janet

Says:

I kind of agree with Tamara here. It’s fine for Francis to make critical remarks on Africa but he could have taken a more respectful tone. Also, he was very patronizing (from a Western viewpoint) with Rejoice and that came through painfully clear. That being said, I don’t think it’s our place to judge their relationship and I did learn a lot about Africa so the episode did satisfy the purpose of delivering information.

jon hanzen

Says:

Four years I have been listening to Amateur Traveler, and haven’t missed more than a couple of episodes. This episode, hands down, is not only the most entertaining but informative and considerate. Bringing the real Africa to light is a meaningful public issue and helps to end the cultural ignorance of us all (that would be in the privileged developed countries.) I learned a lot from this interview and it has given me some confidence and motivation to one day visit Africa. Thanks for your diligence in continuing to improve your Podcasts Chris. It is really beginning to shine!

chris2x

Says:

Thanks Jon, it is my hope that presenting a country through the eyes of someone who loves it, but presenting it warts and all, will inspire and prepare people to visit

Rejoice mubarak

Says:

Dear Tamara and Janet,

I can understand that you think that Francis was patronizing me, but I 
promise you that he does not. English is my fifth language. I speak 
Fulani, Hausa, Kanuri, and French better than English. When your weak in 
a language, people often speak to you like you are a child because 
simple words and commands are easy to understand. It is simple and 
direct. No patronizing (I had to look up the definition).

I agree with David, the Nigerian who commented. Francis knows Africa 
well. Africa has serious problems. Africa deserves criticism. And it’s 
better to say things directly than to lie and pretend everything is nice 
and perfect. Francis is not a diplomat. He speaks the truth. He says the 
wonderful things about my country and the bad things. He says it just 
like it is. The truth cannot be offensive. That is reality. I’m sorry if 
you don’t like to hear reality.

Rejoice Mubarak

Gordon

Says:

People will always find things offensive and that’s the truth. am glad their comments got posted, Tamara and Janet. Thanks for your honesty, I hope my comment gets posted this time too and isn’t censored.

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