BAMENDA RING ROAD 4-DAY TOUR
Come and see one of the main touristic highlights in Cameroon: the Ring Road. This circle road runs along the Northwest Highlands, also called “Grassfields”, with bright green and yellow valleys, sharp mountains, dense forests, tall grass, small villages and some white waterfalls. Culturally you will find along this road, one of the greatest concentrations of traditional chiefdoms in Cameroon. Maybe you will be even one of the lucky persons who can meet a chief in his stunning palace. A little detour from the Ring Road will bring you to Foumban: Cameroons capital of arts and home to the Royal Palace of a traditional monarchy. RUDEC/Cameroon Tourist welcome you on this unforgettable trip!
Day 1: Belo - Lake Nyos - Nkambe
On the first day the journey begins in Belo around 7am towards the direction of Nkambe, passing Njinikom, Fundong, Bum and Missaje. After an approximately 3-hour trip, you will finally reach the real Ring Road and one of the major points of interest along this part of the road: a volcanic crater lake which was site of a carbon dioxide leakage in 1986 and led to the asphyxiation of 2000 people. Today the Cameroonian government has installed a prevention system to reduce the content of carbon dioxide in the lake and it is no longer dangerous to go there. On the contrary, the calm atmosphere, the bright blue water touching shaped cliffs and small fishing boats make it one of the most idyllic places along the whole trip.
After a lunch break at the lake, this journey continues on the Ring Road towards East and the next major town Nkambe. As this is, regarding the quality, one of the worst parts of the Ring Road, this journey takes several hours. The payoffs for this bumpy part are small traditional villages, beautiful views from mountains on the green valleys, wild rivers and white waterfalls as well as some small forests and a big variety in flora and fauna.
In the late afternoon, the day journey ends in Nkambe: the major town on this part of the Ring Road situated at a high altitude and therefore quite a chilly place. After checking into the hotel, experience some local dishes in a small Chop Shop restaurant before rounding off the day with a cool drink in one of the bars in town or the hotel.
Day 2: Nkambe - Kumbo - Foumban
After having a small breakfast the journey on the Ring Road continues early in the morning in order to reach Kumbo around Noon. On the road to Kumbo you will see small villages surrounded by hills, farms and the tea plantations in Ndu. Just like Nkambe, Kumbo is a cool place situated 2000m above the sea level and can be counted as the largest town on the Ring Road. It’s also the base for one of the most important and major traditional kingdoms: the Banso. In Kumbo you are going to see the Palace of this kingdom and maybe you will also have the chance to meet the actual chief. Here you will learn about traditions concerning the kingdom, the historical background, architecture and customs and traditions.
After a small lunch in Kumbo, the journey on the Ring Road continues until the next major town Jakiri. From Jakiri the driver will leave the Ring Road and continue to Foumban, in the West Province. This road is definitely one of the most beautiful roads in this area, passing along the spectacular Mbam Massif, palm tree plantations and striking villages. Along this road you will also notice the Islamic influence.
In the late afternoon you will reach the final destination for the day: Foumban. This city is a mixture between North and West Africa and where Islam and Christianity meet. Moreover the city has the reputation of being the national art capital. After checking into the hotel, the driver will drop you in the city centre of Foumban where you will visit the museum of the Royal Palace. Here you will learn more about the traditional kingdom of the Bamoun people and especially about the work of the 16th sultan Ibrahim Nyoa. He once developed his own alphabet, Shumon, and his own religion which is a combination of Christian, Islamic and animist beliefs. Until today, the influences of this sultan as well as the current ruler are still important for the city and the people.
To complete this exciting day, you can enjoy a nice traditional meal as well as a cold drink in a small restaurant.
Day 3: Foumban - Bamessing - Savanna Botanic Gardens
Before heading back towards the Ring Road, there will be a stop to visit the “Village des Artisans” in Foumban. It’s a long street with several workshops for wood carvings, blacksmith crafts and leatherwork. Here you can find some nice souvenirs and occasionally even some unique pieces.
Afterwards the journey continues on a small road back to Ndop, the next major town on the Ring Road. On this part of the journey you will pass Lake Bamendjing. It is a wide lake with a big variety of flora and fauna around it and can definitely be considered as one of the biggest lakes in the area.
After getting back to the Ring Road the trip will lead towards Bamessing: one of the most famous places in the country for pottery. In a guided tour you will learn more about the process of pottery, from digging the clay to firing the finished articles. There is also a little boutique, where you can obtain some souvenirs.
Before arriving at Savanna Botanic Garden the last stop will be the Sabga Hill. From the top, you have a wonderful view over the whole area, with hills, valleys and some waterfalls. The journey ends for this day at the Savanna Botanic Gardens. After visiting the garden, the garden’s guesthouse will also be your accommodation for this night.
Day 4: Savanna Botanic Garden - Bafut - Metchum Falls - Belo/Bamenda
The first stop on the last day will be Bafut where you can visit one of the largest fondoms in the North-West Region. The Makon palace is also one of the best preserved palaces and home to the traditional Achum: one of the oldest buildings in the whole of Central Africa. A very well documented museum and a guided tour will give you more information on the kingdom, the traditional clothes and masks, the war with the German people during the colonization and historical as well as actual customs and traditions.
Afterwards the journey will continue on the Ring Road in direction Wum. Right before arriving at the town, you will see one of the biggest falls in the whole area: the Menchum Falls. With a height of 150 meters, these are one of the most impressive waterfalls in the North West Province. On this idyllic site you can enjoy the beautiful scenery while having a little lunch break. Afterwards the driver will head back to the ending point of the journey: Belo! (or optionally also Bamenda).
Please note that most of the parts of the Ring Road are not paved and for most of the time it is pretty bumpy. Please also note that the North-West and the West Province often face power and water outages, even in most of the accommodations, and that it might happen that you will not have fresh water. Moreover the touristic infrastructure such as accommodations, transport, restaurants and the documentation of touristic sites is still mostly poorly developed and can’t reach western tourism standard. RUDEC/Cameroon Tourist just wants to make you aware of this situation before coming to Cameroon. If you have further questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact us. There is also the possibility to modify the trip according to your personal wishes. We will be happy about any inquiries and hope to see you soon in Belo!
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