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Cameroon

Cameroon has a notable territorial variety: in fact, it goes from the central-southern plateau, which constitutes a good part of the territory, to the plains and rare northern hills, in the long part wedged between Nigeria and Chad, to the mountain ranges that separate these two areas and from the east they head towards the Atlantic Ocean with a south-west orientation, and finally a flat coastal strip, at most a hundred kilometers wide.

 

The mountain range (Adamaoua), which stretches from the border with Nigeria to the north-western extremity of the Central African Republic, in some cases exceeds two thousand meters in height, but the highest peak in Cameroon is isolated from the latter and is located very close to the Atlantic Ocean, where it stands majestically on the flat land below: it is the Monte Camerun (4,095 m.), a volcano still active. The coastal development is about 400 kilometers, with a rather regular coast to the south, which instead becomes more indented to the northwest, with peninsulas, gulfs and islands, covered by mongovie, separated by a dense network of canals.

Cameroon has a well-developed hydrographic network, with most of the waterways heading towards the Atlantic Ocean, excluding those of the north and those of the south-eastern part of the country, which belong to the Congo basin; Sanaga (600 km), which flows into the central plateau and flows into the Gulf of Guinea, is the most important river in the Cameroon. In the territory there are several small lakes, mostly of volcanic origin; the only large natural lake basin was Lake Chad (25.300 Km² in 1963), located at the northern end of the country, shared with Nigeria, Niger and Chad, but due to both climate change and excessive agricultural exploitation it is reduced to just 1,350 Km², minimally within the Cameroonian borders; then there are some artificial basins, which arose in the last decades following the construction of dams for energy purposes.

 

The climate is quite varied, given that in the northernmost part of the country it is semi-arid, while it becomes tropical going south and entering the plateau, until it has monsoon-equatorial characteristics in the southern areas and along the coast, with precipitation very abundant, except for a short winter season, and which decrease as you move inwards and especially towards the far north, where the wet season is much shorter; the temperatures, generally quite high, undergo seasonal variations of only a handful of degrees in tropical and equatorial areas, while this gap increases in the north.

 

Cameroon consists of 10 semi-autonomous regions and has an urbanization rate of 54%; unlike most of the African countries, the capital Yaoundé (3,205,000 inhabitants) is not the only large city present, since on the coast rises Douala (3,060,000 inhabitants), slightly less populous. Garoua (545,000 inhab.), Bamenda (440,000 inhab.) And Maroua (415,000 inhab.) The other main centers. For centuries a country of encounter between the Bantu and Sudanese populations, Cameroon boasts a very varied ethnic composition, without any group being so major, Fang (20%), Mileke (18%) and Duala (15%) the three most numerous ; the Catholic religion is professed by 32.5% of the inhabitants, the Protestants are 30.5% and the Muslims 19%, while 10% practice traditional animist rites.