Yes! The World Author's Bio
Letters to Editor

Cameroun: Un Paradis Ecotouristique
Les Elephants

Cameroon Såtory
Grand Tour Edition
Photo Gallery
Tour Agenda

Eco Paradise
Botanical Garden
Cameroon Air
Cameroon Map
Dining, Cuisine
Fashion Shows
Festivals, Events
Hotels, Resorts
Wildlife Parks

Great Botanical Gardens of Africa
by Jerry W. Bird

During the ATA Eco Cultural Tour of Cameroon in West Central Africa, we were captivated by the Limbe Botanical Gardens, whose trees and shrubs contain many of the health giving and curative products known to mankind. Here is what Cameroon's Ministry of Tourism has to say:. "Created in 1892 by German horticulturists to acclimatize economic and medicinal plants such as quinine, coffee, rubber, cocoa and banana, the botanic garden in Limbe also serves as a training center for Cameroonians in the field of agriculture, horticulture and forestry. Today, it has become the greatest tourist attraction in the South West Province after Mount Cameroon. It is also an international research center in the area of biodiversity. A tourist attraction center known as "jungle village" has been developed in the garden. Here, popular cultural activities take place during certain events or simply for the pleasure of tourists.”

Great gardens are potentially everywhere, which is why "America in Bloom," is leading the way in beautification projects. While visiting "Globe 98," at Vancouver's Trade and Convention, I was impressed by the "Canada in Bloom” display. Good news travels fast, and today, both Canada and America in Bloom have become examples for the world. I have been suggesting someone should launch "Africa in Bloom,” a project which would blossom thanks to the continent's varied climatic conditions and the diversity of growth. Speaking of parks and gardens in Africa and around the world, our editors work closely with Louis D'Amore of Peace Through Tourism , one of whose activities is establishing Peace Parks.

Limbe Cameroon  is another of very interesting towns in the Cameroon countryside. It is a typical agricultural town with a number of rubber plantations and many other plantations dealing in the different cash crops.

Likewise the town is filled with several agro-processing industries thus attracting a host of job hunting youth from all parts of the country. Limbe  has boasts as the petroleum capital of Cameroon with a refinery  (Societe nationale de rafinage; SONARA) located here. These and many other industrial activities have led to the growth of Limbe from being a small town like Bamenda to a more important industrial town in south western Cameroon.

Attractions - The towering slopes of Mount Cameroonmake the background of Limbe, while the sea coast is remarkable for the cool weather, fishing and Cameroon holidays. It is a very clean town with several attractive beaches, a good climate and several historical sites.

Formerly called Victoria from the early British times of 1858, Lime boasts a long history of both colonization and Christianity. This small town before it came to be called Limbe was founded by british missionary Alfred Saker in 1858 but later in May 1886, it was handover to the Germans who at the time ruled Cameroon as their colony.

The people of Cameroon in Limbe are welcoming and friendly. The language used here includes French, English and several indigenous languages such as Bakweri.

A popular tourist attraction of the town is the Limbe Wildlife Centre and  Limbe Botanical garden with a diversity of fauna and flora species as well as a jungle village at its centre; all serving as major tourist attractions in the town.

The Limbe Wildlife Centre (LWC), a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation project situated in the South West Region of Cameroon, was started in 1993 by the Pandrillus Foundation, a conservation NGO, and the Government of Cameroon.

Limbe wildlife centre is home to several species of animals such as 15 Gorillas, 50 endangered vellerousus chimpanzees, drills, madrills and Preus monkeys. You will also find different species of birds and flora.

Other interesting sights in the town include the Bismarck tower, the museum, the cement factory at Bota and  Limbe stadium among others.

Getting there.  Limbe is only 70 kilometers from Douala. It is connected by train from Douala while the Limbe Port is not only for commercial purpose but also connects Cameroon to other west Africa countries.

Limbe Botanical Gardens in Cameroon
Several routes have been mapped out to enable tourists to visit the garden such as

- the coastal trail, which enables tourists to have a good view of the western part of the garden ;

- the biodiversity trail, which enables the tourist to get a picture of the biodiversity found in the garden ;

- the Bota adventure trail, where big trees and some wild animals can be seen;

- the riverside trail, where trees and creepers more than 100 years old etc. are found.

ADDRESS: Limbe Botanic Garden
P.O Box 437, Limbe, Cameroon
Tel. (237) 333 26 20
Tel / Fax : (237) 343 18 76/343 18 72
E-mail :

Kirstenbosch and South Africa's National Botanical Garden
One attraction we vowed to revisit soon and for much more time is Kirstenbosch in Cape Town. We visited the impressive greenhouses and strolled along the aromatic Braille Trail, which was designed to give pleasure to blind folks, but also those with normal vision. The focus and purpose is to experience unique textures and smells. Experts say that South Africa's Cape area is home to the greatest diversity of plants in the world per sq. m, and most are found nowhere else on earth. It is one of the most impressive garden spots of its kind on the continent and highly recommended by this magazine and website.

Entebbe Botanical Gardens, Uganda
Entebbe is home of the Entebbe Wildlife Educational Center, which is a showplace for the animals of Uganda, especially chimpanzees and exotic bird as well as the Entebbe Botanical Gardens, which are a tropical paradise of Ugandan plant life. The Botanical Gardens were laid out in 1898 by Mr. Whyte, who was the first curator. Visitors will discover several interesting, unusual tree and shrubs, as well as a variety of bird species.

Green Airports for Africa?
At the Globe '98 Conference, several thousand highly charged individuals from 50 nations pooled their ideas. Hearing of our network of air gateways as distribution points for Air Highways magazines, Globe's Dr. Rashmi Mayur, Ph.D. invited me to speak on "The Green Airport: Agora of the Future" at a World Ecological Conference in India. Dr. Mayur says our true goal should be not just Ecotourism, but Eco-Travel. "Today's airport must be a true part of the community... a people place... an agora. Many of the large international airports are the exact opposite; unfriendly, claustrophobic, intimidating, expensive, noisy, wasteful and inconvenient," says Dr. Mayur. Airports should be the epitome of user friendliness... each being a gateway to trade and tourism. First impressions count... you may never get a second chance. One of my airport manager friends worked with a local businessman to create a golf course next to the runway. That's one example in a thousand of potential ideas. The Editor

America in Bloom
America in Bloom is a national beautification program committed to fostering civic pride, environmental responsibility and beautification through community participation and the challenge of a friendly competition between participating communities across the country. Rewards and recognition for floral displays, landscapes, turf and open spaces, urban forestry, community involvement, heritage conservation, environmental awareness and tidiness are awarded after judges' evaluations are completed.

The city of Chicago and the Chicago Park District will host this year's America In Bloom (AIB) Symposium and Awards Program September 18-20 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago on the Riverwalk. Known internationally for its greening and beautification efforts, Chicago was the grand winner of AIB's largest population category last year. Judges visited the communities this summer and the winners will be announced at the awards banquet, which will be the grand finale of this year's program in Chicago. Nearly 40 communities are participating in the second edition of AIB. Last year's winners are participating in international In Bloom programs.

By Dr. Leonard Perry, Extension Greenhouse and Nursery Crops Specialist, University of Vermont

A memorial garden provides a long-lasting tribute to a loved one who has passed away, as well as offers a place for the survivors to remember and to heal. The garden can be as small as a single tree or perennial plant or as large as an oversized flower bed or garden with many different flowers, ornamental grasses, and even shrubs and trees, depending on available space.

When selecting plants for a memorial garden, consider the favorite flowers of the individual you are honoring. Did that person love daisies or lilacs? Prefer peonies or poppies? Did he or she have a favorite season such as spring, making a bulb garden of daffodils, tulips, and other spring bloomers the perfect tribute?

Or think about the fragrances or colors that evoke fond memories. Perhaps the scent of lavender or roses reminds you of that person. Another possibility is to include plants that have the same name as your friend or loved one, such as black-eyed susan (rudbeckia), veronica, or sweet William.

If red was his or her favorite color, consider planting a garden consisting primarily of red hues with a single accent color such as silver. For example, you could plant a mixed bed of red impatiens, geraniums, and verbena edged with silvery dusty miller, lamb's ear, or one of the silver-leaved varieties of artemisia.

You also could select plants that have specific meanings, such as forget-me-nots (memories), rosemary (remembrance), poppies (rest or eternal sleep), yellow tulips (friendship), or pink carnations (I'll never forget you). If the memorial is for a baby or young child, plant daisies for innocence or white lilies for purity. Or use varieties such as baby's breath (gypsophila) or 'Sweet Dreams' coreopsis rosea.

Plant sweetheart roses to remember a spouse. Or if your memorial garden is a single tree, plant an oak for strength or a yew for immortality. Just keep in mind that these can get quite large and need adequate space if they are to last and remain there over the years.

If commemorating a war hero or veteran, plant a red, white, and blue garden, including varieties such as red poppies and daylilies, white phlox and peonies, and blue Jacob's ladder (polemonium) and Siberian irises. There are very few true blue flowers, so you may need to substitute dark purple varieties, perhaps some of the delphiniums or campanulas for blue.

Or choose plants with inspirational names like the 'Patriot' hosta, 'Peace' rose, 'Freedom' alstroemeria, and 'Over in Gloryland' Siberian iris. Other popular choices are gentle shepherd daylily, remember me hosta, or guardian angel hosta.

When planting your memorial garden, you will probably want to include a mix of

varieties, as well as keep rules of proportion in mind--taller plants in the back, smaller ones in the front, for example. What makes it a memorial garden though is that it's planted from the heart. Don't worry whether your planting fits rules of design or will be appreciated by others. Do what is most meaningful for you.

Include appropriate statuary and hardware. If memorializing someone who loved cats, why not include a small cat statue? For a bird lover, add a birdbath to attract backyard songbirds. If the person was known for a great sense of humor, buy or make a garden whimsy or two as a remembrance.

Add a bench for visitors to sit and reflect or a water feature, such as a fountain or water garden, to create a soothing, comforting environment. Or put in an arbor or trellis, training honeysuckle, ivies, and other climbing vines to cover the structure to create a quiet, secluded spot for contemplation and remembering.

Where you locate your garden will depend on where you have adequate space and/or the type of plant--sun lovers or shade lovers--you want to include. Or you could choose a quiet, private spot or one with a favorite view or

Meaning to the deceased.

When choosing a site, keep in mind that for a successful garden you need to select the right plants to fit the soil, sun, and other growing conditions. Full-sun plants such as peonies will not do well in a shady spot. Siberian irises don't mind wet feet while varieties that need a well-drained soil will struggle to survive in wet areas.

If you live in an apartment, or don't have a backyard, you can still create a memorial. Tie a colorful ribbon around a pot of rosemary and keep it by your desk. For a deck or patio, fill a special container with a few choice perennials that you can move indoors to over winter when the weather turns cold. Or check with your local town officials to see if you can have a tree planted at a park or near a town landmark or building in memory of your loved one.

It doesn't matter what you plant, where you locate the garden, or what form, size, and shape it takes, what's most important is that you create the garden that is most meaningful to you. Involve your family and friends, and let the planning, planting, and caring for the garden be part of the healing process not just for you, but also for others