- Visit the royal Nguon Festival, which only happens every two years
- Explore Cameroon's highlands, forests and coastline
- Spend time with the iconic Baka people, deep with the Central African rainforest
- Spot rescued Central African chimpanzees on the islands of Pongo Songo
This trip successfully departed in December 2018. We are currently in the process of arranging a second edition, set to depart in December 2020. We can also arrange similar tailor-made trips at various times of year. Please enquire for more details.
Explore this remarkable and diverse country. Spend time at the heart of one of Africa’s last feudal kingdoms, experiencing the centuries-old Nguon Festival. Head deep into the forest to meet Baka hunter-gathers, before spotting rescued primates and experiencing Cameroonian beach life at Kribi.
Begin in Douala, meeting your guide, Bamileke - a specialist in western Cameroonian culture - before journeying north through Cameroon’s highlands and into the Bamoun Kingdom. Here, witness the 546th edition of the remarkable Nguon Festival. This royal event is of huge importance to the region and celebrates the cultures and traditions of the Bamoun people, lasting several days.
Spend two full days immersed in the festival, witnessing the festivities and learning about Bamoun culture. Admire the frenetic dances, the elaborate costumes and the age-old rituals that are all part of this mesmerising cultural celebration.
Afterwards, head south and east, leaving the more temperate highlands behind for the lowland rainforests near the Dja Reserve. Here, meet the iconic Baka people, whose traditional hunter-gathering way of life survives. Camp beside a remote Baka community and spend time exploring the forest - their home, larder and medicine cabinet - in their company. Learn how they survive in the forest, hear about their battle with modernity and listen to their unique polyphonic melodies around the campfire.
From here, retrace your steps back to Yaounde. Visit the Mefou Primate Sanctuary, which is funded by Ape Action Africa and provides a refuge for rescued animals, including western lowland gorillas, chimpanzees, drills and mandrills. Continue west past German colonial towns, founded by missionaries, and take to the river by motorised pirogue, heading deep into this remote coastal region. On the Sanaga River, discover the Pongo Songo Primate Sanctuary, where rescued chimpanzees inhabit islands in the centre of the river, before arriving at the beautiful beaches of Kribi.
Finish in Kribi and have time to visit a nearby village, Lobe. Chat with the local fishermen, who are from the Batanga tribe, and discover the beautiful Lobe Falls, before heading back to Douala.
ACCOMPANIED BY ONE OF OUR TEAM
As with our other Pioneering Group Tours, this trip will be accompanied by one of the Steppes’ team. This not only means that a friendly face will be there at all times – willing to help out and deal with any issues that might arise – but it also gives us the chance to explore a destination that is just as new for us as it is for you.
This trip will be joined by Chris Johnston, one of Steppes's Africa Travel Experts. He has visited Cameroon previously, but he has only explored the north of the country, not visiting the areas on this trip.
HOW MUCH TRAVELLING IS THERE?
There is a reasonable amount of driving, as this trip combines the highlands of western Cameroon with the forests close to Equatorial Guinea. However, most travelling days are broken up, with stops en route, and the roads will generally be tarred.
WHY AREN’T ALL MEALS INCLUDED?
This is unusual, but the nature of the trip means that a lot of the meals will be eaten at local restaurants, rather than at hotels. Therefore, most lunches and dinners are not included, as this will allow for greater flexibility and freedom on the ground.
HOW FIT DO I NEED TO BE?
Although this trip will be tiring because of the amount of travelling, the walking involved is relatively unchallenging, both during the Nguon Festival and elsewhere. However, the walks through the forest with the Baka may last a couple of hours, so being reasonably fit is recommended.
WHAT IS THE ACCOMMODATION LIKE?
The emphasis is on cleanliness and comfort, rather than style, choosing the best available option in each location. The camping with the Baka will be quite basic, but this is only for two nights and it is the only option when visiting this remote park.
WHAT WILL THE WEATHER BE LIKE?
December is one of the driest months in Cameroon, so the weather should be relatively good. However, still expect it to be warm and humid, given Cameroon’s equatorial location. In the highlands, the temperatures will generally be lower and the air less humid, whilst the opposite can be expected in the rainforest.
For a detailed itinerary or to book your place on this tour, please contact us.