Cameroon’s Natures Allure

The African country of Cameroon is situated on the continent’s western coastline in Central Africa. It enjoys a unique location in the crux of Africa, where the mainland bulges out towards the west and north. Surrounded by Nigeria, Chad, Congo and other significant African countries, Cameroon enjoys a diversity and natural abundance that is truly unique.

Image of Cameroon sunset.
Cameroon sunset.

Its position on the equator means that Cameroon is home to equatorial rain forests that thrive on the hot, humid conditions. Although under serious environmental threat, these rain forests are home to a wide array of different plants, animals and even people. The Pygmies are a small race of people that can be found living in these forests. They live in rural villages, cultivating and surviving off the land and its produce. In many areas, the Pygmy civilisations live in close contact with forest elephants, apes and exotic vegetation. Some tour operators include a night of camping in a local Pygmy village as part of their tour itinerary.

The Western Lowland Gorilla remains a mysterious creature as it shies away from human contact. If tourists manage to spot one of these during their visit to a Cameroonian rain forest, they are assured of an impressive memory for the tales of their holiday. Chimpanzees and other gorilla species populate the trees and dense foliage, as do a variety of birds, insects, snakes and mammals. Nki, Boumba Bek and Lobeke are some of the proposed reserves that are designed to protect and nurture the valuable rain forests of Central Africa. Human interference in the form of industrialisation, logging, poaching and pollution present enormous dangers to these natural wonders.

Image of a Cameroon Beach.
Cameroon Beach.

Apart from the rain forests, Cameroon also boasts gorgeous seaside villages that boast a definite Cameroon Beach nostalgic charm. Limbe is one such village, the majority of whose residents speak English. The Limbe Wildlife Centre is a rescue and rehabilitation project that caters to a variety of harmed and endangered species. These include the western Lowland Gorilla, Drill Monkey, Vellerosus Chimpanzee and various species of birds and reptiles. The Limbe Wildlife Centre is not only aimed at presenting these animals to the international travellers, it also focuses on exposing and educating the locals about the value of their natural environment and the importance of caring for it. This town is also home to the Limbe Botanical Gardens, which make a fantastic day trip.

The Korup National Park is situated in the south-western province of the country and stretches for almost 1300 square kilometres. It comprises one of the continent’s oldest rain forests and is abundant in plant- and animal life that guarantee a once-in-a-lifetime perspective. There are 161 species of mammal alone, and the range of butterflies has made this a popular tourist destination for years.

Douala is Cameroon’s largest city. As such, it is a great destination for tourists from all over the world to get a taste of the local arts, customs and culture. It provides a sample of the diversity of this nation, the curiosity and welcoming spirit of its people. Cameroon is truly unique, and invites visitors to witness what sets it apart as a world-class destination.

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Effects Of Climatic And Environmental Changes On Ancient African Civilisations

Hundreds of thousands of years ago, the entire planet earth looked very different to what modern man experiences today. Continents were not yet divided, and the vegetation and animals were different. Significantly, the climate was also vastly different to what it is today. Climate plays an integral role in determining the plants and animal that live in a certain areas, as well as how habitable a place is for human beings.

In fact, even the theory of the evolution of man was dependent largely on the climatic influences on our ancient ancestors. It is hypothesised that the ancient versions of man were forced to walk upright, lose body hair and develop their coordination for survival in a changing environment. New skills also needed to be learned as farming techniques and living habits had to be adapted.

Ancient Africa experienced major vacillations between mega-droughts and Ice Ages, although these fluctuations occurred over thousands and thousands of years. As humans continued to develop and evolve through these phases, they needed to make major adaptations, not only to their ways of life, but also to their personal body structure. Prior to 135 000 years ago, the whole of Africa was lush and fertile, with a tropical climate. Then, the most intense mega-drought ever to occur hit the continent in the period referred to as the early part of the Late Pleistocene epoch. This is believed to have led to the migration of most of our human ancestors into other areas that were more habitable and fertile. Lake Malawi has been used by scientists as a rain gauge to ascertain water levels in ancient times. Research has shown that, during this mega-drought, the lake’s level dropped at least 1968 feet, or 600 metres! Evolutionists claim that this severe lack of water not only pushed ancient man from the area, it also forced aquatic animals (such as fish) to develop the facilities to be able to survive on dry land, thus evolving into land animals.

As people flocked out of the continent, only a very small proportion of this specific generation remained. Humankind as we know it is widely believed to have come from these few remaining on the continent, who evolved significantly and in response to the climatic changes.

These conditions continued until about 70 000 years ago, when the climate was again characterised by wetter conditions. These led to the growth and renewal of fresh vegetation, as well as an increased water supply to the region. More people were in the area during this time of abundance, and the population grew. This increase in numbers eventually led to migrations due to space limitations and the ownership of land.

Then, about 20 000 years ago, an Ice Age overcame the entire earth. This meant that the planet underwent a long-term period of cold temperatures over most of its surface. In places like North America and Eurasia, giant ice sheets covered enormous proportions of the land, making it impossible to farm and, sometimes, even live in these areas. This final Ice Age lasted for about 9 500 years. It forced most of the populations to migrate to the highlands, where they would be relatively protected from the ice sheets. Again, these civilisations had to adapt their farming methods, and change their diet, social habits, clothing and migratory patterns. This forced an evolution to a certain extent. Body hair was necessary to keep people warm, their skin lightened due to a lack of the harsh rays of the sun that they experienced during the mega-droughts, etc…

When this Ice Age came to an end 10 500 years ago, areas like the Sahara were left fertile and healthy. This made it and the other areas like it the ideal spots in which to settle as ancient man began to descend from the highlands. Animals and plants thrived in this environment, which made it very desirable in the eyes of mankind. The abundance of food, water and sunshine again changed the habits and physical structures of our earliest forefathers.

These conditions lasted for some time, but the Sahara in particular continued to experience fluctuations between humid and dry conditions. These eventually left the entire area unable to yield crops or sustain life for any extended period of time. Today, it remains a large stretch of desert. Then, approximately 2500 years ago, the group of people who had made their home in the Sahara began to follow the direction of the Nile River, which held promise of a rich water supply. The arid conditions of the Sahara and its surrounds continue to the present day.

Africa has, since prehistoric times, proven to be a place of fascination, life and evolution. Changes in the climate were often dramatic, and these were, to a great extent, responsible for determining the ancient civilisations that inhabited this vast continent. It is no wonder that many researchers and scientists maintain that Africa is the Cradle of Mankind, and research continues to yield fascinating evidence of this theory.