Mt Cameroon Summit- Craters and Elephants
Hike to the Summit of Mt Cameroon through its craters to the Elephant zone and relax at Limbe black sand beach.
Mt Cameroon (4095m) is the highest mountain in West African and second highest in Africa after Mt Kilimanjaro, it is an active volcano and recently erupted in the months of March 1999 and May 2000. The 1999 craters are located near Mann’s spring camp and the May 2000 eruption craters are located near Hut 3. The Mt Cameroon National park covers a surface area of 58.178ha. Mt Cameroon has a variety of flora and fauna but this potentials were been being threaten by illegal hunting and lumbering before the creation of the park, medicinal plants like the “prunus Africana” which is exported abroad and process for the treatment of diseases like cancer where uncontrollably exploited by locals and some companies. Some endanger wildlife species include the Elephant, Drills, Chimpanzee, Monkey etc.
Before the creation of this park the Elephants for some time now has being protected by the local “Bakweri tribe” who are the indigenes of Mt Cameroon reason being that they have a great attachment with the elephants because their culture is centered this animal. Their major cultural event the Elephant dance ”malee dance” draws a lot of tourist who witness this event grouping villages from the slopes of Mt Cameroon and its held between the months of November to April each year, each village has to host the event. Tourists are mostly attracted by the “Njoku masquerades” or the “elephants”, there are many masquerades and you shall be amaze when you see them. I shall not go details on this because its secret but I saw explain while on tour.
The famous Guinness Mt Cameroon International Race which is an annual event held every month of February draws a lot of international runners and media. Runners have to run from Molyko town in Buea to Upper Farms through to the forest to Hut 1, the savanna, Hut 2, 3 to the Summit and back to town using the same trail. With this tour you shall have the opportunity to hike Mt Cameroon through the Guinness Race track to the Summit coming across the May 2000 eruption crater; we descend to Mann’s spring camp walking on black lava sand, the cooled lava from the violent 1982 eruption. We shall pass through the elephant area at the lake where the usually bath and drink during the dry season, we end the tour with some relaxation at the Limbe beach at a comfortable beach hotel for tourist sitting at the beach.
Limbe also known as Victoria is an OPEC city founded by British Alfred Saker in 1858. It’s a seaside resort for tourist due to its beautiful beach, night life, attractions and climate. It seats at the foot of Mt Cameroon and host the Cameroon Development Cooperation (CDC) which is the second employer in the country after the government, the Cameroon Oil refinery (SONARA) is also located here. Major touristic attractions are the Limbe Botanic gardens, Limbe Wildlife Center, lava site at Bakingili village, Down beach fish market etc. Limbe is a most visit for all tourists who visit Cameroon.
Day 1; Arrival and reception in Buea and you will be transfer to your Hotel in Buea, a good hotel for tourist with warm and cold water, From the Hotel we shall discover the town of Buea in 3 hours, the capital town of the South West region. Buea was the German colonial capital for Kamerun between 1901 and 1919, also its Regional capital for the South West Region of Cameroon. We shall visit Upper farms were we see the Bismarck fountain, the Re-unification monument of Cameroon, view of the South West Governors office and the palace of the German colonial Governor Jesko Von Puttkamer which is today official residence in this region for the President of Cameroon. There are a lot of German buildings in Buea. We shall leave for the Buea town market so we can buy some of the food, fruits and snacks together, you shall experience the real life inside the market. From the market we shall return to the Hotel and then leave for the Tole tea estate in the outskirts’ of Buea, we return to the hotel and prepare for the trip.
Day 2; I will pick at the hotel at 7.00AM, we drive to Upper farms (1000m) were we start the hike through the forest to Hut 1(1840m) to the savannah Hut (approx 2340m) in a bright day from the savannah you can have a beautiful view of the towns of Buea, Tiko, Limbe , parts of Douala and at time Equatorial Guinea and even the Atlantic Ocean. From here we hike to Hut 2(2870m) where the night is spent. You can visit a nearby cave and the view here at night is wonderful. We prepare Supper (spaghetti’s and tomato sauce), we make fire and share some ideas, discussing before its time for sleeping.( Upper farms to Hut 2 is about 7.4km).
Day 3; after breakfast, we hike to hut 3 (3770m) where we stop for a lunch break, while leaving for the summit we shall come across the crater of the May 2000 eruption. At the summit(4095m) we take some pictures and descend on the other side of the mountain to Camp2 (approx 3420m) this entire track is made of volcanic black sand from the summit. From Camp2 to Camp 1 we shall walk mainly on the cooled lava of the violent 1982 lava flow. From Camp 1 (approx 3240m) we move to Elf(2935m) which is an area with communication antennas owned by some shipping companies, internet and mobile telephone providers and the Cameroonian military, this area is the only with an Aerodrome. The impressive March 1999 eruption craters are few hundred meters away, after some pictures at the craters we descend for Mann’s spring camp (2440m). What a wonderful place to camp were the forest starts and the savanna ends, so we camp within the woods but see the savanna close. Distance from the summit is about 14 km.
Day 4; as early as 7.00AM we leave Mann’s spring to the Elephant opening, we shall trek pass the lake which the elephants bath and drink during the dry seasons so there is a possibility of spotting wild forest elephants, After crossing this area we camp at neither Drinking Garri camp, Plante-Cam Camp or Bamboo camp the choice shall be made upon studding the situation of the forest i.e. the elephants.
Day 5; At 7.00AM after our breakfast we leave our camp site for the Bakingili village West Coast of Limbe just at the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. We take a taxi to a beach hotel which sites at the shores of the ocean with your rooms close right at the beach.
Day 6; At 9.00AM I will pick you up at the hotel we leave for the Bakingili lava site, you shall see the end point of the flow near Mann’s spring, it’s just at the road site, from here we take a taxi to the center of town where we shall visit the Limbe Botanic gardens and the Zoological center to see rescued primates and other animals. We leave her for down beach fish market to see how fisher men duck their boats and do trading; we shall relax at the beach for Lunch (a bottle of drink each and roasted fish at the shores). At about 2.00PM we leave for the hotel were the tour ends.
Included; Guide, porters, entry fees to the Mt Cameroon national park, camping tents (2 persons per cent and some tents take 3 and 4 persons), hotel rooms in Buea for day 1(2 persons per room), rooms at Limbe beach for day 5(2 persons per room), transportation for tourist, guide and porters in and around Buea, Limbe and for the porters back to Buea from Limbe, 8 bottle of mineral water each (12 liters), food on the Mountain(supper day 2,3,3 breakfast day 3,4,5 lunch day 2,3,4) lunch at Limbe beach day 6, cooking utensils, cooks, entry fees at the Bakingili lava site, Limbe Botanic gardens and the Zoological center, toll gates, excursion fees for Buea day 1, fruits on Mt Cameroon.
Excluded; some snacks you personal, extra cost in hotels like food and drinks in Buea and Limbe, sleeping bags and mats, You need hiking boots, torch lights, bag packs, warm cloths, caps and sucks.
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