Cameroon’s geographical position together with the diversity of habitats makes it uniquely varied, accounting for over 900 species of birds recorded in the country. From the sahel in the extreme north of Cameroon to the forests of the southern mountains, we are presenting below the variety of habitats and the variety of birds found.
The Waza national park, south of Lake Chad offers the best introduction to the birds of sub-sahel zone. The park is a landscape of acacia savana and grasslands dotted with imposing inselbergs. Birding in Waza can be truly spectacular and the possibilities include the following: Red-necked Buzzard, Black Scrub-Robin, Chestnut-bellied Starling, Red-pate Cisticola, Lavender Waxbill, African Swallow-tailed, Kite, Sudan Golden Sparrow, thousands of doves, weavers and queleas, Ostriches, Arabian bustard,quail plover, swallow-tailed kite, bee-eaters, Fox Kestrel, Pygmy sunbird, Sennar Penduline-tit, River Prinia, Herons, etc. Waza is also home to large mammals such as elephant, lions, giraffe, red-fronted Gazelle, Patas monkey, Warthog, etc.
Another national park of great importance in the north of the country is the Benoué national park. This area is rich in Stone Partridge, Red-throated bee-eater, Violet Turaco, Adamawa Turtle dove, Red-winged Gray Warbler, Grey-headed olive-back, the remarkable Crocodile bird, etc. The Benoué park is also home to large mammals such as the hippopotamus which abound. Further south at the Ngaoundaba ranch near Ngaoundéré, the highlights are Oriole Warbler, white-collared Starling, the Brown-chested Lapwig, thrush Babbler and the threatened Bamenda Apalis. The following birds too are to be seen: African Golden Oriole, White-breasted and Red-shouldered cuckoo-shrikes, Square-tailed Drongo, Schlegel’s francolin, Double-toothed Barbet, African Black Duck, Blue-breasted Kingfisher, Red-headed Lovebird, Temminck’s Courser, Gray Kestrel, Sun Lark, Olive-bellied, Yellow-crowned Bishop, Marsh Widowbird, Gray-heade Oliveback, and many others.
The three highland areas in the southwestern corner of Cameroon offer the rare endemics. These are the Bamenda highlands, the Kupe and Bakossi mountains and Mount Cameroon. The Bamenda highlands are home to several endemic birds including the rare and endangered Bannermans Turaco, Bannermans Weaver, and Banded Wattle-eye, Mountain Robin-Chat, Cameroon greenbul. On the Kupe Mountains, you will search for the Serle’s (Mt.Kupe) and Green Beasted Bushrikes, Green Longtail, White-throated Mountain Babbler, and Ursula’s Sunbird. Mount Cameroon is the highest mountain in the whole of West and Central Africa. This mountain offers wonderful forest birds including the Mount Cameroon Francolin, Cameroon–pigeon, Mountain sawing, White-tailed Warbler and the Cameroon Sunbird.
The Korup National Park is a remarkable and the oldest primary forest in Africa. It contains a wealth of bird, animal and plant life unequaled in West Africa. This park has excellent trails which are reached after crossing the suspension bridge which was opened and crossed by Prince Charles of England. This park is home to the Grey-necked Rockfowl or Picathartes which attracts birders from all corners of the world. With the help of local guides and camping in the forest, this bird crowns the birding trip to the region. Other highlights in the Korup park are Forbe’s Plover, Black Dwarf, White-crested hornbills, Black-casqued, Yellow casqued, Red-billed Dwarf, Blue throated Roller, Blue Cuckoo-shrike, forest Robin, gray’s, Red-vented, Woodhouse Antpecker and Rachel’s malimbes.
We suggest the following duration of stay to enable the birdwatcher reap maximum benefits from his Cameroon tour:
- Waza national park: 2 days
- Benoué national park: 2 days
- Ngaoundaba ranch: 2 days
- Bamenda highlands: 3 days
- Mt. Kupe ans Bakossi Mts: 4 days
- Mt. Cameroon: 2 days
- Korup National park: 4 days.
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