Color Skins


Boyo, Bui, Menchum, Momo...

The North West Region

The Bamenda Highlands
of the Republic of Cameroon.

Administratively known as the North West Region, is also known as the Bamenda Grass fields, the Western High Plateau or the Western Highlands. This Region is the third most populated in Cameroon, according to the official results of the 2005 National Census. It has one major metropolitan city, Bamenda, with several other smaller towns such as Wum, Kumbo, Mbengwi, Ndop, Nkambe and Fundong. BUCREP (2010) indicates that the Region saw an increase in its population from approximately 1.2 million in 1987 to an estimated 1.8 million in 2010. Thus, the population density of 99.12 people per square kilometre is higher than the national average of 22.6; the Regional Urban Growth Rate of 7.95% higher than the national average of 5.6%; while the rural growth rate of 1.16% is equal to the national rate.

Bordered to the southwest by the South West Region, to the south by the West Region, to the east by the Adamawa Region, and to the north by the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the North West Region has many ethnic groups, including immigrants from other Regions and countries.

Like other Regions in Cameroon, the North West is made up of administrative Divisions: Boyo, Bui, Donga-Mantung, Menchum, Mezam, Momo and Ngokentunjia. Each Division is further sub-divided, making a total of thirty-one Sub Divisions in the North West Region. The basic unit of local government is the Council, and there are thirty-two Councils in the Region, one City Council and a Regional Assembly, made of a House of Divisional Representatives and a House of Chiefs.

Natural and Cultural Potential of the North West Region.

The North West Region combines a rich cultural diversity and splendid natural beauty. The geologically and geomorphological high volcanic mountains offer a pleasant climate and stunning scenery. With a very rich cultural diversity, there are interesting museums (Mankon, Babungo and Akum) and Fons’ Palaces (Nkwen, Bali, Kumbo, Kom, Bafut, the latter designated as a World Heritage Site of international repute). Some of the major cultural festivals are those of Bali, Bafut, Aghem, Kumbo and the Fulani horse race at Tobin in Kumbo.

There are nine protected nature reserves, with rare species like the Cross-River Gorilla (Momo Division), the Nigeria Cameroonian Chimpanzee (Mezam and Boyo Divisions) and lots of endangered, red list bird species, of which six are completely endemic to the Region.

The Kimbi-Fungom National Park, which is soon to be nominated as a Category I National Park (IUNC), spans some 150,000 ha, with various sites like the Python Gayama Cave, the waterfall in the Katsina River, and the old German Cable Bridge at Nkang Kwep Akum over the Katsina, passing through a narrow and spectacular gorge.

Waterfalls abound in the Region, notably Menchum, Abbi, Chimney; as well as a hot spring (Itiako) and as many as 35 volcanic crater lakes, especially Awing, Wum, Nyos, Atoe, Ashion, Ilum, Kuk and Benakuma, all spread across the different Divisions of the Region.


North West Region

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