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  • Nikki Brown

7 Facts You May Not Know About Cameroon

Cameroon is a fascinating country with a rich history and cultural heritage, but it's often one that we hear very little about. Having gone through the division between French and British colonial empires, Cameroon has developed into an extremely diverse place. Located between Central and West Africa, Cameroon is now a country which is largely in poverty; however, its turbulent history, and stunning landscapes make it a truly remarkable place. 

We've collected some interesting facts about Cameroon which prove there is more to it than meets the eye. We hope that they help you to learn a little more about this incredible country and the people within it.

Its nickname is Africa in Miniature

Due to its diverse landscapes, Cameroon is often referred to as "Africa in miniature". This fascinating country offers all of the terrains and climates found in the continent in one place; rain forest, desert, swamp, savannah and more. Unlike many other African countries, it has sandy beaches, mountains and a whole host of fascinating species which almost make Cameroon feel like a small continent in itself. Plus, its wide history involving the British, French, Germans and Cameroonian natives makes it diverse from a human perspective, too with many different cultural influences.

Cameroon has more than 1,500 species of butterfly

Reports say that Cameroon has 1593 butterfly species in total. 110 of which are native and can only be found in the country. In fact, Cameroon is home to more than a quarter of all butterfly species found in Africa, which as you can imagine is a large number of species. These colourful insects thrive in the rainforests and different terrains that the country offers, showing how nature can thrive in the West African Country. The Lebialem Highlands of south-west Cameroon, in particular, is a butterfly hotspot, with the largest, most beautiful and rare species found there.

Cameroon is great at football

Cameroon is a great footballing nation. Cameroonians joke that babies are born playing football there, it truly is a passion for many. Their national team, the Indomitable Lions, have qualified for FIFA competitions six times, which is more than any other African team. In 1990, Cameroon became the first African country to reach the quarter-final of the FIFA World Cup. To this day, the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon remain one of the African greatest football teams and one of Cameroon's most proud assets.

Cameroon is largely self-sufficient 

Three-quarters of Cameroonians live on and work their own land, farming to provide for their own families before making an income. In a country which is largely in poverty, many children have to help families to farm to provide food. In total Cameroon provides a ground-breaking 90% of its own food rather than relying on imports, making it incredibly self-sufficient. This is why Cameroon is more economically stable than many of the other countries on the African continent. Although expanding their farms isn't easy, many families find they can work to get by. However, the growing impact of climate change could impact their food supply in the future, causing concerns across the nation. 

Cameroon's biggest exports are bananas, cotton, oil-seeds, cocoa, and coffee

You may already know that Cameroon is renowned for its coffee, but its other biggest exports are cotton, bananas, tea, oilseeds, and cocoa. The country is known for having some of the most fertile lands in the world, making agriculture a huge part of its economy and ensuring that its crops are of the highest quality. Cameroon is one of the world's largest producers of coffee and produces around 130,000 tons per year. It is also the 6th largest producer of cocoa beans in the world and made an estimated $600 million from cocoa exports in 2010 alone. 

It has 230 spoken languages in addition to French and English

Cameroon's official languages are French and English due to the country's past. However, over 230 other languages are spoken in the region. Rural Cameroon is still home to many tribes which have their own dialects and have spread throughout the country, echoing how diverse it really is. In one day, the average Cameroonian can expect to speak in up to six different languages. 

One of the wettest countries on earth

This may surprise you considering its African location, but Cameroon receives plenty of rainfall every year. It is actually one of the wettest places globally with Debundscha in Cameroon taking the crown as the sixth wettest place on the earth. Cameroon has a long raining season and short dry season because of its proximity to the equator. Plus, with the sheer size of Mount Cameroon rain clouds are restricted from going elsewhere.

So there you have it from football to farming, Cameroon is an incredibly diverse nation with so much to offer. We hope that these facts have not only helped you to learn a little bit more about Cameroon but encouraged you to research some more about this truly remarkable country from its geography to its turbulent past. 

If you'd like to keep up to date with our activity and learn about the work we're doing in Cameroon, make sure you're following us on social media.

Also, if you'd like to learn more about how you can help Children in Cameroon break out of the poverty cycle and access education, take a look at our sponsorship page.

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