Moreover, with a little adventurous spirit, the tourist can usually find very interesting and spell bounding tourist attraction. If only they would dare, this would be the case with the mini basin of Santa found in the high plateau in the Western Region of Cameroon.
Day 1: We start the first day from Douala the economic capital of Cameroon, whose main attraction, from our view point, is its numerous good and even very good hotels. A drive through the Moungo plain, where the attractions are rubber and banana plantations, along the way to Santchou, where there is a climb up the Santchou escarpment to Dschang. The winding road up the escarpment is quite picturesque, with rounded fields abounding to the top.
The stifling heat at the bottom of the escarpment gives way to a mild temperate climate at the top in Dschang. As well, the equatorial forest at the foot of the escarpment gives way to savannah grass field at the top. Over night could be in the Climate Centre de Dschang, with the architecture of the local tribe - the Bamilekies. A visit of the town in the afernoon is imperative as the local color is quite dynamic not to talk of the busting traditional market.
Day 2: We will visit - Santa, after a two hours drive across the high plateau with houses that have aluminum roofs with pointed tops, built in the form of pyramids. On arrival in Santa, what strikes us here is that it is virtually entirely surrounded by high mountains with the Bamboutos Mts 2780 meters to the Southwest and Mt Lefo 2550 meters to the Northeast both being the third and fourth respectively, highest mountain peaks in North, West and Central Africa only being surpassed in height by the Mt Cameroon 4900 m and Mr Oku 3010 meters also of Cameroon.
These mountains surrounding Santa, almost gives it a scintillating aspect, not to talk of the numerous (more than fifty) waterfalls, cascading down the mountain sides. However, visiting about two or three of these water falls can be quite interesting. Then a visit to the people of gods is fascinating, as this is a myriad of African temples or shrines each dedicated to an African divinity of the area. The mode of worship and its significance to the lifestyle of the people of the area would be well understood if the appropriate guide is at hand.
Visitors view the preparation of the local dish - Achu made by pounding boiled coco yam with a pestle in a traditional mortar and the plates for serving are banana leaves, previously warmed by fire to make them soft. The soup for this tasteful dish is made form decanting water from wood ash. Finally a visit to one of the numerous cave shrines is advisable as these caves are supposed to contain nature and family spirits that are worshiped by the people of the area. After this, a drive to Bamenda (20 km) and on arrival one has a breath taking view of the town from the top of an escarpment more than 700 meters high, then a drive downtown through a winding road to one of the numerous hotels for overnight.
Day 3: Next day a drive back to Santa but this time to a place about 10 km North of the sites visited the previous day - the beautiful Awing lake, entirely surrounded by trees endemic to the region, being on ecological niche to the famous Bannerman's touraco whose red feather is worn by the local populace us a sign to noble hood. After, a relaxation at the lake side, a trek up Mount Lefo, for those physically fit is recommended. On the way the trekker is to have wonderful sights of the surrounding countryside and at the top have a bird's eye view of the entire region up to more than 200 km, if visibility is adequate.
The decent, would be through another road via the Aku palace - a myriad of 14 hurts build entirely of grass and about 3 m high representing shrines dedicated to the divinities of oral history handed down through generations of more than 500 centuries of the traditions of one of the founding fathers of an ethnic grouping in the area. As well along the slopes are to be found Fulani nomadic cattle men with their style of housing, culture, customs and mode of living different from that of the farming Tikar tribes we have so far been visiting. Then a drive to Bamenda again for overnight.
Day 4: The next morning, a drive to Bafut palace to see how African Palaces are run and to acquire (arts and crafs) of the region. Then return to visit Bamenda town Which is famous for African arts and crafts. Afterwards, a drive to Bandjoun to visit the chief's palace and to spend the night.
Day 5: The next day, our return journey to douala while visiting the fruit, flower and art market on the way.
Also see tour packages in:
Africa Cameroon Local Culture Cultural Journey
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