cameroon part 2 – the national parc of boubandjiba


Africa is a place of longing and as such surely addictive. After a memorable journey through Mali we then made Cameroon the center of our interest. This country does unite all the landscapes to be found in Africa. Deserts, mountains, prairie, savanna, grassland, rainforest and coastline. Furthermore, it is home to countless ethnic groups who are as different as the swaths of land in which they live.


the national parc of  boubandjiba 


On our way to Boubandjiba we have to deal with a flat tire. Our companions are skilful and swift. Whilst they are on the lookout for a replacement, we spend some moments on the porch of the „Le Petit Coin de Plaisir“ watching as the local street life goes by. In his calmness, Michael takes his time to watch his subjects passing by.


clock we find ourselves in front of the Boubandjba Park. The game drive starts. Gazelles, ourebi, bubale, eland, a few chimpanzees and wild boar accompany our drive. Seeing how these animals behave we get the impression that it is time for new blood. Two hours later, having driven trough this wonderful landscape, we reach the lodge. We enjoy the view towards the river, which passes below the patio, giving the perfect atmosphere for a night with a clear sky. Some stars already greet us.

During the next few days Mai Bour is going to delight us with her French inspired kitchen. At night, temperatures drop to about 15 degrees celsius, ideal for a good nights sleep without air-conditioning. Sounds of the African night bring us closer towards a morning of discovery. For it is only hours later that we witness lion trails in front of our bungalow, giving a hint at the events which gave birth to this most enjoyable of nights.


The Boubandjba national park was once home to a population of 350 elephants until 2012 when an „army“ of 150 Sudanese poachers crossed the Chadian border, directly invading the park and killing 200 elephants of all age groups. Weapons used were automatic machine-guns and bazookas. Whole elephant families were round up and subsequently butchered. On horses and camels- the ivory is usually transported back to Chad and later shipped towards China for further processing.

Left behind are traumatised herds of elephants, wild animals in a state of shock. and Paul Bour, the foreman of the lodge, is speechless once again. But it is due to him, the initiator of countless petitions to all sorts of public boards, that there are military units, specially trained in fighting poaching and charged with guarding the park`s frontiers.


It doesn’t come as a surprise that most of the talk at the nightly table is characterized, not only by the many experiences of the day, but especially by the consequences of this animal massacre.

Our enthusiasm for this beautiful, fertile and rich country is once again salted by acts of human ignorance and politics. In a 2010 edition of the National Geographic magazine Bryan Christy  published a report about the ways of poached ivory in Africa.


Last but not least, I want to add one of Mai‘s tasty peanut recipes:

Boil the peeled peanuts 3 minutes in ample salted water. Then brew the peanuts for 2 minutes without boiling. Teem the water and dry the nuts for one day by sunlight. True, there is rarely one day of constant sunshine in our parallel. So just dry them in the oven – 50 degree celsius. But it won‘t be the same. The next day, gently roast the peanuts without any fat.

german version