Cameroon and the Bight of Bonny has completely captured my imagination now that I’ve been turned-on to it’s beauty and bounty. Most unique of countries that has been called the “Hinge” of West Africa and I’m sure it’s been called allot of things, since it was once a prized colony.
Cameroon has the most diverse geography of any country in Africa and often referred to as an Africa inside of Africa because it goes from lush coastal river lowland jungle, all the way up to high dry savanna. Plus, awesome beaches and of course then theirs that Bight of Bonny.
Cameroon, country lying at the junction of western and central Africa. Its ethnically diverse population is among the most urban in western Africa. The capital is Yaoundé, located in the south-central part of the country.
Bight of Biafra, also called Bight of Bonny, bay of the Atlantic Ocean on the western coast of Africa, extending east, then south, for 370 miles (600 km) from the Nun outlet of the Niger River (Nigeria) to Cape Lopez (Gabon). The innermost bay of the Gulf of Guinea, it is bounded by southeastern Nigeria, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, and northwestern Gabon and receives portions of the Niger and Ogooué river discharges and also the Cross, Sanaga, and many other rivers.
Within the Bight of Biafra are several islands, the largest of which is Bioko, belonging to Equatorial Guinea. Major ports on the bay are Malabo (on Bioko), Port Harcourt and Calabar (Nigeria), Douala (Cameroon), Bata (Equatorial Guinea), and Libreville and Port-Gentil (Gabon).
Between the 16th and the 19th century the Bight of Biafra was the scene of extensive slave-dealing operations, based mainly on the ports of Brass, Bonny, Opobo, and Old Calabar (now Calabar) in Nigeria. By the 1830s the palm oil trade had surpassed slave trading, and it has maintained its importance. Petroleum, discovered in the late 1950s in the Niger River delta, is a major economic resource.
The country’s name is derived from Rio dos Camarões (“River of Prawns”)—the name given to the Wouri River estuary by Portuguese explorers of the 15th and 16th centuries. Camarões was also used to designate the river’s neighbouring mountains. Until the late 19th century, English usage confined the term “the Cameroons” to the mountains, while the estuary was called the Cameroons River or, locally, the Bay. In 1884 the Germans extended the word Kamerun to their entire protectorate, which largely corresponded to the present state.
Cameroon Photo credit: [phil h] on Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC-ND
No comments yet.