Cameroon Trip Report - March / April 2008 - Part 4 of 4

Subject: Cameroon Trip Report - March / April 2008 - Part 4 of 4
Date: Fri, 29 Aug 2008 17:59:31 +1000
CAMEROON – March / April 2008 - Part 4

Catching-up – the Sanaga River

Finally, we visited Edea on the Sanaga River.  This was a place that we 
missed on our published schedule when we late getting back from the north. 
 On the way, a small lagoon had Hartlaub’s Duck.

On the river near Edea, we had a good birding morning seeing Great Blue 
Turaco, White-thighed Hornbill, Bristle-nosed Barbet, Cassin’s Honeyguide, 
Grey and Swamp Greenbuls, Yellow-browed Camaroptera, Velvet-mantled Drongo 
and Black-throated Malimbe.  We also saw Northern Talapoin (a monkey) and 
Red-legged Sun Squirrel.

Finally, on a sandbank further down the river, we saw Grey Pratincole, 
White-fronted Plover and African Skimmer, an excellent way to finish our 

Then, on 16 April, we went back to Douala for a final dinner before the 
group dispersed and started heading home.


This was a pretty amazing trip.  There were quite a few very special 
birds, such as the Rockfowl, Quail-Plover, lots of great turacos, 
particularly Bannerman’s, and Egyptian Plover to mention a few.  We also 
saw quite a few rare birds like Adamawa Turtle-Dove, Bamenda Apalis, 
Cameroon Speirops.

I ended up with 452 species of birds for the whole trip, with 166 new 
ones, and an additional 20 species heard – a very satisfying return.  I 
also saw 30 species of mammal.

Cameroon is an extremely hard place to get around.  We thought the roads 
in the north were bad – until we got to the west, where they were much 
worse.  So, we spent quite a few long days travelling between sites.  It 
was also very hot in the north and very warm and humid in the west.  In 
Korup, for example, I spent the whole time either wet or just damp from my 
persperation that did not stop, even at night.  So, I am very glad to have 
visited Cameroon, but I don’t want to go back in a hurry.  I certainly 
wouldn’t want to live there. 

Cameroon is also a very dangerous place to be, health-wise.  As well as 
very dangerous malaria, it has a very long list of very dangerous 
diseases, like elephantiasis, sleeping sickness, leishmaniasis, river 
blindness, filariasis, dengue fever, bilharzia, meningitis and yellow 
fever to name a few.  I don’t know what type of diseases many of these 
are, but they prevented Cameroon from being colonised by Westerners for 
along time.  Attempts to colonise it usually ended in the deaths of the 
Westerners.  Therefore, it was best to try and ensure that one was well 
covered, both by clothes and insect repellent, and to try and minimise the 
opportunities to be bitten.

For me, the trip was a good success and well worth doing.  Much credit 
needs to go to our two Rockjumper guides, Richard and Fraser.  They were 
well informed about the bird sites and knew the birds and their calls 
well.  They were invariably cheery, helpful, attentive and concerned for 
our welfare.  The local ground agent, hired by Rockjumper to do the 
logistics, was also good.  JP travelled with us and was constantly 
monitoring the locals to make sure, for example, that proper meals were 
delivered on time, rooms were booked and suitable for us, travel plans 
were in place and people turned up on time, etc. 

A few times when things went awry, it was easy to see that, without his 
constant attention, so many things would go wrong that it might derail our 
trip.  It was a testament to the two guides and JP that this trip went 
exceptional well with no accidents and only minimal health problems.  I 
was extremely grateful to them and their helpers, as, I am sure, were my 
fellow birders.

Finally, I am very grateful for the company of my fellow birders on the 
trip.  They were good company and invariably cheerful under sometimes 
trying conditions.  They were all very good birders, who were very keen to 
see most things.  Even though the majority of them were a fair bit older 
than me, their stamina to the end was very impressive, sometimes putting 
me to shame.  It was a pleasure to be in such a group.


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