Rhumsiki is located in the Mandara Mountains 55km (34 mi) from Mokolo and is located 3km (2 mi) from the border with Michika LGA, Adamawa State, Nigeria. The village is similar to many others in northern Cameroon.
The inhabitants members of the Kapsiki ethnic group live in small houses built from local stone and topped with thatched roofs, these homes are scattered throughout the village and surrounding valley. Nevertheless, Rhumsiki is one of Cameroon’s most popular tourist attractions and “the most touristic place in northern Cameroon”.
The attraction is the surrounding scenery. Gwanfogbe, et al., describe it as “remarkable”, Lonely Planet as “striking”, Rough Guides as “breathtaking” and Bradt Guides as an “almost lunar landscape”. Writer and explorer André Gide wrote that Rhumsiki’s surroundings are “one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world.”
The spectacular effect is created by surrounding volcanic plugs (the remnants of long-dormant volcanoes), basalt outcroppings and the Mandara Mountains. The largest (and most photographed) of these rocks is Kapsiki Peak, a plug standing 1,224 m (4,016 ft) tall.
Rhumsiki has adapted to the flow of tourists. Children in the village act as tour guides, showing visitors several pre-arranged attractions. Among these are craftspeople such as blacksmiths, potters, spinners, weavers, native dancers, the féticheur and a fortune-teller who predicts the future based on a crab’s manipulation of pieces of wood.
Rhumsiki is now a standard item on most tourist itineraries, Fact of which the travel literature disapproves. Rough Guides describes Rhumsiki as “overrun” and “tainted by organized tourism” and Lonely Planet calls it “something of a tourist trap. The standard guided tour of the village leads The Rough Guide to doubt its authenticity. “The appeal of the visit is largely to get a taste of the ‘real’ Cameroon and the built-in flaw is that the more people come, the more distorted and unreal life in the village becomes.
Rhumsiki Crab Sorcerer
The Rhumsiki ‘plug’ is very obviously phallic and both traditionally (barren women making sacrifices at its foot) and in the modern world (selling the hotel as a honeymoon destination) this has been one of the main features of Rhumsiki.
Local legend has it that Rhumsiki was settled by indigenous Animist Kirdi peoples who escaped the Muslim advances of the Fulani peoples in the 18th century and sought refuge in rugged country and wilderness.
Since then, the Kirdi people have ever lived in Rhumsiki and have supported agriculture practiced beliefs of Animism and weaved the rock formations of the Mandara Mountains in the fabric of their beliefs.
Visit Rhumsiki Peak with Luxecam Tours