Three very adventurous days in the North-West Region
ZWINKELS TOURS CAMEROON OFFERS:
A CHALLENGING THREE DAYS TREKKING IN CAMEROON OUT OF ZWINKELS MOUNTAIN LODGE IN
BELO MOUNTAINS TO AN ISOLATED AFRICAN VILLAGE
OFF THE BEATEN TRACK AND THE MBESSA CAVES
Mbessa is a village in Belo Sub Division, BOYO Division in the North West Region of Cameroon which shares boundaries with Oku, Ndin (Noni), Akeh, and Kom and is ruled by a 2nd class chief who is subject to the paramount Fon of Kom in Boyo Division. Mbessa is located at the hilly side of the western highlands of Cameroon and lies at about 2400m above sea level.
Nicolas, the sub-chief of Mbessa will receive you in the village and be your guide. He is also a bird watcher, can spot many bird species along the road and also indicates many tree species while you trek the road to Mbessa.
Between Mbessa and Kom is a thick forest with some wildlife and typical Fulani huts and settlements that attract few tourists. The state of the road from Kom to Mbessa via Belo is very bad and covers over 25km.
The people are involved in small craftwork. This concerns woodwork for masks, statues and equipment like stools. Baskets woven with grass are made and used for storing corn fufu (‘kel’). Masks are also made for Juju’s. Other carvings are made for decorations in churches, on doors and stools etc.
The traditional dress is the embroidered material made especially with white on black or with other colours typical for the North West Region. (Bikom Style) Others use the embroidered gowns with jumpers. Also very common is the typical wrapper and blouse that girls and women wear.
In Mbessa houses are constructed with typical mud blocks and grass rooftops or corrugated iron sheets. The difference with those of the Fulanis’ is that the Fulanis’ have traditional round huts, which are now being gradually replaced. A few of these round huts still exist in Afua. The main Fulani settlement at Ijim Mountain forest is a palace in itself and does not have this typical Fulani huts.
DAY 1. TREKKERS CAMP-MBESSA VILLAGE
This is a difficult trek with some steep climbing involved that takes about 6-7 hours. Early breakfast in Zwinkels Trekkers camp and departure with local guide to Mbessa. Pass through Anyajua village and some other villages. On the way you will meet women going to the farms and at the summit, halfway between Belo – Mbessa, you will enter the primary forest reserve which harbours numerous medicinal trees as well as plants for the treatment of stomach ache, malaria and headache. Pic nic lunch on the way. The famous Bannerman’s Turaco bird (whose feathers are very important to the locals) endemic to Cameroon lives here and can be spotted scratching in the ground. Also the yellow breasted burble bird, among other species, can be spotted in both the primary and secondary forest as you trek on. You will also cross many streams with clear, fresh water from the mountains when you descend to Mbessa Village. Arrival in Mbessa village, dinner and overnight and dinner with a local family. (on request Zwinkels Tours Cameroon can also supply overnight in tents).
DAY 2 MBESSA VILLAGE-CAVE-EBALAVING
After an early breakfast trek to the largest cave in the region. This is a sacred cave that can contain about 7000 people (all village members can go inside). The road to the cave narrows through farm fields and after a 3 hours trek you arrive at the cave. It is a secret cave where elites hide during inter-tribal wars. Visit the cave and see a beautiful huge rock formation and a nice rocky mountain. Dinner and overnight with a local family or tents.
Things to take along:
Trekking boots, flash light/torch
Snacks (dried fruit and/or nuts etc.)
Sleeping bag and mattress
Medicines if applicable including plasters
2 persons: EUR 245.—per person
4 persons: EUR 165.—per person