Bakossi Forest Reserve

Created by Prime Ministerial Decree N° 2007/1459/PM of 28 November 2007, the Bakossi National Park covers a surface area of 29,320 ha, and straddles 3 sub-divisions (Bangem, Tombel and Nguti) of the Kupe-Muanenguba Division, South West Region. It is the only National Park in the Cameroon Highlands Forests Ecoregion.

Bakossi National Park was created to protect plant diversity and watersheds. Its highest peak, the Muandelengoh (1895 m), stands towering near the Muandelengoh, Ndun, and Mualong villages south of the Mbwe valley, and is very noticeable from Bangem. The park holds a high floral and faunal biodiversity, with a high rate of endemism. The sacred forests and groves belonging to the local people but situated in the National Park have significantly higher plant species diversity than the nearby Mount Cameroon.

Bakossi is a unique hotspot for many primate species, including the Drill (Mandrillus leucophaeus), one of the most endangered primate species in the world and the Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes). Other primates include Preuss’s red colobus, Red-eared guenon, Preuss’s guenon, Putty-nosed monkey, Mona monkey and other important mammals like Blue duikers, Red river hog, Red-fronted duiker, Black-fronted duikers, Sitatunga, and Long tail pangolin.

Economic importance

The Bakossi forests support an abundance of small streams, cascading waterfalls and deep pools. The Mungo River takes it rise from the west of the park before flowing southwards into the coast of Douala. Along the way, thousands of people far beyond the Bakossi forests depend on the river for their livelihoods through activities such as fishing, sand extraction, and logs and food transportation.

One peculiarity of the river is that it keeps the same volume of water with its unique brown colour as it flows silently southwards to empty into the Atlantic Ocean. Part of the River is currently being channeled through a pipeline to serve an important population of Douala that has been having water problems for over a decade. Of the five crater lakes found in the Bakossi landscape, two—Bermin   and Edib—lie very close to the Bakossi National Park.

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