Grand Tour of
Cameroon Edition
Advertise Now!

ATA 29th Congress
Delegate Photos
ATA Flashback

Aigle Voyages
Bus Club Tours
Cameroon Air
Cameroon Tours
and Safaris

Dining, Cuisine
Hotels, Resorts
Ebene Voyages
Yaounde Hilton

Cameroun: Un
Paradis Ecotouristique
Les Elephants

Africa in One Country
by Jerry W. Bird

Africa Travel Association's Prestige Magazine to publish a "GRAND TOUR "OF CAMEROON" edition, with year-round, long-term worldwide distribution!

"If you dance, you vibrate - and he who vibrates lives."
Popular quotation.

Mount Cameroon, West Africa's highest peak, stands like a giant sentinel, gazing out over the Gulf of Guinea on Africa's Atlantic Coast. Among it's legendary names is "Throne of Thunder," a fitting tribute to the powerful gods that are said to inhabit the mountain's inner core. Our group of travel agents and journalists approached the 'throne' shortly after one of its frequent volcanic eruptions, and the ribbons of cooled lava resembled grey frosting oozing from an enormous layer cake. The lava beds are evident from the main highway to Kribi and a hiking trail winds up and over them. The warning signs advised us to pay respect and to tread gently in this eco- sensitive area. Mount Cameroon's rugged peak is the crown jewel of a chain of volcanic mountains that are strung like a giant pearl necklace along the Cameroon Nigeria border. The range stretches from here all the way to the northern plains of Maroua, gateway to Waza National Park - and that's just part of the "Grand Tour of Cameroon, Africa in One Country" a prestige edition of Africa Travel Magazine making its debut in fall 2004.

Cameroon's Minister of Tourism , Hon. Pierre Helé, puts "ecology first" in his country's efforts to win an important share of the tourist trade from North America and other markets. Each February the popular ' Course of Hope.' attracts aspiring climbers to the area and we're told that, while the ascent is challenging, it's not dangerous or overly strenuous. Many other sights would amaze and impress us that day and in the week to follow. Speaking personally, this trip was by far the most complete tour of any ATA- African host country I had experienced to date. At its conclusion most travelers in our group were tired - and somewhat bedazzled - yet I enjoyed a feeling of solid accomplishment. As a result I will never forget Cameroon and always hunger for more.

Road to economic success
This progressive country is already high on the preferred list in terms of business travel. Scan the financial pages, or dig a little deeper in the Internet, and you'll see what I mean - the country is rich with potential in terms of agriculture, forestry, marine life, minerals and natural resources. And a word to the wise, "Where business goes, tourism flows" - and vice versa. Europeans discovered long ago what most North Americans have yet to learn - that Cameroon is a Tourism Mecca in the raw. Ministry officials such as our tour leader Ebenezer Elimbi (below) agree with with the popular expression that their land is Africa in One country." In other words Cameroon is a little bit of everything, or as my Grade 9 Spanish textbook said in its title, "de todo un poco."



Cruising the West Central African Countryside
Our escorted bus trip through the hills, plains, valleys and coastline of Cameroon was quite similar to taking a small ship cruise or a personal rail tour. Why?- it provided whistle stops, combined with extended visits, photo opportunities and overnight moorings.

Ports of call on this 'amazing land cruise' from Yaounde and Douala, included Edea, Kribi, Limbe, Buea, Bafang, Bandjoun, Bafoussam, Bamenda, Bangangte, Bafia, Bafut, Foumban, Bafia, Maroua, Pouss, Mokolo, Rhumsiki, Mora and Waza National Game Park. Sounds like a heavy duty schedule - right? Well, the surprising thing was the fact that in spite of all the cities, towns and villages mentioned, nothing was the same. In other words, when they say "Africa in One country" they mean exactly that, as we discovered in a way that you could never do by flying . Whether the roads were smooth and broad or rough and dusty, there was always something new and interesting to look forward to.

Doors of Hospitality in Cameroon
Our overnight stays on the North-South tour were at Yaounde - Kribi - Douala - Limbe - Bamenda - Maroua and Waza, and while the accommodation was varied I would recommend all the hotels selected to our tour operator friends.


Editor's Comment: The tour, hosted by Tourism Minister Hon. Pierre Helé and his team, was so extensive, I will cover it in continuing installments during the year. Our travels in Cameroon will eventually be compiled in a book that will help future travelers from North America enjoy this fascinating country to the fullest. More chapters will be added in 2003 when Muguette Goufrani, Robert Eilets and I hope to return to Cameroon.

H.E. Pierre Hele

Ebenezer Elimbi

Jean Npombo

Boniface Piga

Editor's Comment: In addition to the Hon. Minister Hele, we thank our tour supervisors Ebenezer Elimbi, Jean Npombo and Boniface Piga. They were great companions throughout my 30 days in the country. Our travels in Cameroon will eventually be compiled in a book that will help future travelers from North America enjoy this fascinating country to the fullest. It was a month we will treasure forever, and even as time passes, the images and voices of Cameroon have not faded one iota - they've become even more vivid in the theater of my mind. What I truly love about the many Cameroonians whom I've come to know - is that to a person, they "Accentuate the Positive."

Jerry W. Bird is President of ATA Canada Chapter, Editor and Publisher of Africa Travel Magazine, and Webmaster for the ATA site He is also Publisher of Air Highways Magazine, Journal of Open Skies and voice of aviation, tourism and transportation worldwide. His career began with the Edmonton Journal Daily Newspaper, and expanded into the full spectrum of media - radio, television, magazines and Internet. He has won international awards for creativity in audio visual and print production.

Sucess of Africa Travel Association's 29th International Marketing Congress, in Cameroon sets stage for long range promotion

Cameroon's Tourism Minister Hon. Pierre Hélé uses "Africa in One Country," to describe his ecotourism paradise on the Atlantic Coast. What makes Cameroon such a hot item for today's North American travel buyers and business travelers? It's safe and friendly for starters. What's more, it's a shoppers'delight, with a favorable exchange rate for U.S. dollars. Are substantial oil reserves, improved agriculture and forestry management, political stability and religious tolerance setting an Africawide example? How much will tourism benefit from this bounty and wise stewardship? Several hundred industry executives , government officials and investors discussed these and other topics at the Africa Travel Association 29th International Congress. Event headquarters was the Sawa Hotel in Douala, Cameroon's major port and largest city. Several carriers, including SN Brussels and Cameroon Airlines, offer value-added packages for ATA members.

Cameroon Delegation the the USA, March 2004. Africa Travel Association hosted sessions in Washington, DC, Los Angeles, CA, Atlanta, GA and New York, NY, includes:
• Madame Marthe Angeline Minja, Secretary General, Ministry of Tourism (Head of Delegation)
• Mr. Daniel Mukete, Inspector Ministry of Tourism
• Mr. Bernard Fosso, Ministry of the Environment and Forest
• Mr. John Atagwa, Ministry of Commercial and Industrial Development.
• Mr. Pierre Rajaonarivony, Director General Hotel Sawa
• Mr. Georges Sangang Simo, Director General Aigle Voyages
• Ms. Marie Julie Monkam Nitcheu, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Programming and Regional Development.
• Ms. Francoise Kameni LeLe, President ATA Cameroon and Director General, Cameroon Travel Center

Council of Tourism Ministers of Africa
The CTMA opened the Congress agenda, followed by the annual ATA Chapter Presidents Forum. "Doing Business Together" sessions include roundtable meetings between U.S. and Cameroon tour operators, organizers and ground operators. "How to market to the U.S. Consumer" is a key topic on the marketing agenda.

Host Country Activities: On Host Country Day, ATA delegates visited banana, tea and rubber plantations near Mount Cameroon, strolled through the world famous Limbe Botanical Gardens. Limbe's Seme Beach Hotel hosted a luncheon, and a festive "homecoming" dinner

All agreed that "Africa in One country" was no stretch - you can sample the best of many lands and cultures. Here's what one seasoned traveler had to say, "Value for the dollar is a big attraction. We stayed almost month through the pre Christmas season, and though our bank account was starting to thin out, the prices for goods and services allowed us to stretch the trip much longer than normal

About Cameroon: Located on the West coast of Africa,Cameroon (population 15,000,00) is bordered by Nigeria, Gabon, Chad, Central African Republic, Congo and Equatorial Guinea. While there are over 200 tribal groups, the main languages of commerce are French and English. Much of the architecture remains from the country's days as a German colony. Cameroon's Atlantic Ocean coastline extends 400 km, offering long stretches of beach. The varied climate ranges from tropical rain forest to open Savannah, with high mountain ranges on the North West border. Throughout Cameroon there are areas of thermal springs for those who like an outdoor health spa retreat. As they say, "A little bit of everything."

Waza National Park. Visitors can observe elephant, giraffe, ostrich, antelope, gazelle and lion - and a variety of birds. Lions are best observed during April.

Photo Credits: ATA Archives / Robert Eilets/ Muguettte Goufrani