8 Interesting Facts About Cameroon

Traditional African dance at the Babungo Kingdom in Cameroon. Editorial credit: akturer / Shutterstock.com
Traditional African dance at the Babungo Kingdom in Cameroon. Editorial credit: akturer / Shutterstock.com

Cameroon is a Central African country that is sometimes identified as West African due to its strategic location at the crossroads between Central and West Africa. The country is home to nearly 20 million people. Cameroon has abundant natural and cultural wealth that makes it a place worth visiting. It has spectacular landscapes ranging from mountains and rainforests to deserts and sea coasts. These landscapes provide a wide range of habitats to support rich biodiversity. Cameroon is also a multicultural country with hundreds of ethnic groups calling it their home. Here are some of the most fascinating facts related to Cameroon.

8. Nearly 250 Languages Are Spoken In Cameroon

More than 250 languages are spoken in Cameroon. Thus, Cameroon is considered one of the world's most linguistically diverse countries. Most of these languages are indigenous African languages spoken by the diverse tribes of the country. English and French, both foreign languages, are, however, the official languages in Cameroon, a legacy of the country's colonial past. Camfranglais, a mixture of English, French, and Pidgin is spoken across the major urban centers of Cameroon.

7. Cameroon Is Nicknamed Africa In Miniature

The incredible geological and cultural diversity of Cameroon earned it the nickname of "Africa In Miniature." The country has beaches, mountains, savannas, rainforests, and even deserts. These varied landscapes of Cameroon hold great potential to attract tourists in large numbers. Cameroon is also culturally diverse as it hosts hundreds of ethnic groups each with their unique set of customs and traditions.

6. The 1986 Lake Nyos Disaster Happened In Cameroon

The calm brown water of Lake Nyos, infamous for CO2 eruption with many deaths.

Lake Nyos is a crater lake in Cameroon's Northwest Region. It is a deep lake on an inactive volcano with a pocket of magma beneath it. Carbon dioxide from the magma continuously leaks into the water making the water acidic due to the formation of carbonic acid. It is this property of the lake that makes it deadly. In 1986, Lake Nyos exploded all of a sudden releasing a massive cloud of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The gas suffocated 1,746 people and thousands of livestock in the towns and villages near the lake. It was the first large-scale asphyxiation caused by a natural event. Today, the lake continues to pose threat to nearby settlements as a second massive explosion of the lake cannot be ruled out.

5. Cameroon Is One Of The World's Most Dangerous Countries

Terrorism, kidnapping, and armed banditry are common crimes in some parts of Cameroon, especially the Far North region and the Bakassi peninsula region, and near the border areas. Violent crime in other parts of the country also demands that tourists exercise caution while traveling there. Thus, Cameroon is often included in the list of the world's most dangerous countries.

4. Cameroon Is A Star Of African Football

Football dominates the sports scene in Cameroon. The country has a large number of amateur football clubs as well as professional teams. The country's national team is one of Africa's most successful ones. It performed well in the 1982 and 1990 FIFA World Cups. Cameroon also won the African Cup of Nations titles five times. In 2000 Olympics, the country grabbed the gold medal in this sport.

3. Mount Cameroon In Cameroon Is An Active Volcano

View of Mount Cameroon mountain with green forest during sunset.

Mount Cameroon is located close to the Gulf of Guinea in Cameroon. It is the has the most frequent eruptions of any volcano in West Africa. It is also sub-Saharan West and Central Africa's highest points. It has Africa's fourth most prominent peak.

2. Cameroon Has One Of The World's Wettest Places

The Debundscha village is located in Cameroon's south-western Region at the foot of Mount Cameroon facing the Atlantic Ocean. It is one of the world's five wettest places and receives an annual rainfall of around 405.5 in. Debundscha is very close to the equator that accounts for its long wet season. It is also sandwiched between the Atlantic coast and the tall Mount Cameroon. The rain-bearing winds that are blocked by the mountain from crossing over to the other side and most of the rain falls on Debundscha village at the foot of the mountain.

1. The World's Largest Frog Species Is Found In Cameroon

The Goliath frog or Onraua goliath is the world's largest living frog. It is found only in Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea. These frogs can grow as large as 33 cm from snout to vent, and they can weigh around 3.25 kg. The tadpoles of this frog are herbivorous and feed on only one plant, the Dicraeia warmingii that grows in the water near rapids and waterfall. The highly specific diet of this frog makes it vulnerable to habitat loss. Adults of this species feed on insects, spiders, small frogs, young snakes, baby turtles, etc. Unfortunately, the Goliath frog is threatened with extinction and is an endangered species.


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