BIRD WATCHING IN CAMEROON
Cameroon offers some of the best and most exciting birding in West and Central Africa. Cameroon boasts of more than 900 species of birds and a lot of them being endemic and near endemic. Cameroon bird habitats in Cameroon are mountain forests, savanna plateaus in the Mid North, Sahel in the Extreme North, the numerous forests and lakes.
In the far north, large concentrations of waterbirds such as White-faced Whistling Duck Dendrocygna viduata and Long-tailed Cormorant Phalacrocorax africanus can be found along with a great variety of raptors. Further south are the transition zones of the Adamawa plateau in the Mbam Djerem National Park and the lowland evergreen forests. In the western part of the country is the Cameroon Mountain Arc with the Afro-tropical mountain vegetation type. This is where the endemic species such as Mount Cameroon Francolin Francolinus camerunensis, Mount Kupé Bush-Shrike Telophorus kupeensis and Bannerman’s Turaco Tauraco bannermani can be found. There are also several freshwater systems such as River Sanaga and Nyong and a few lakes e.g. Lake Magba and Lake Maga where waterbirds such as cormorants, darters, storks and herons can be seen. The south-west of the country has a 350 km coastline with a marine ecosystem that provides a roosting ground for a host of migratory species.
Here below is a typical bird watching program which enables the bird watcher see the great species Cameroon has:
Day 1: Arrive Douala; airport assistance and transfer to the hotel; overnight.
Day 2: Bird around Douala and excursion to the Sanaga river near Edea to find the Gray Pratincole, Preuss’s Cliff swallows, Black kites, Senegalis Kingfisher, weavers and the African Skimmer. Return to Douala and overnight.
Day 3: Board Camair-co flight to Maroua in the Extreme North region of Cameroon; meet/greet by our local representative and drive to the Waza national park; On the way to the Waza national park, we can see the Rock Loving Cisticula, White Crown Cliff Chat, Red-tailed Lavender Waxbill, African Swallow-tailed Kites and others. There will be some afternoon birding in the park; Overnight at the Waza lodge.
Days 4 & 5: Birding in the Waza national park
The Waza national park is rich with the following species: the Short-toed Snake Eagle, Hoopoe, Abyssinian Roller, Little Green Bee-eater, Sahel Paradise Whydah, Helmeted Guineafowl, Bateleur, Wooly-Necked Stork, Namaqua Dove, Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse, Four-banded Sandgrouse, Black Scrub Robin, Viellot’s Barbet, Black-crowned Crane, River Prinia, and many more species.
Overnight at the Waza lodge.
View of the restaurant block of the Waza lodge
Day 6 : Drive to Mora for birding; overnight Maroua.
Day 7: Drive via Garoua to the Benoué national park; overnight
Days 8: Whole day birding at the Benoué national park; in this park, we can find species such as the Black-bellied Fire Finch, Senegal Parrot, Long-tailed Glossy Starling, Northern Carmine, Bustard, Violet Turaco, Egyptian Plover, Spur-Winged Lapwing, Adamawa Turtle Dove, White Crested, African Wattled Lapwing, Grasshopper Buzzard, Emins Shrike, and many other species. Overnight at Buffle Noir lodge.
Day 9: Drive to Ngaoundere; overnight Transcam hotel
Days 10 & 11: Excursions to Ngaoundaba ranch. The days are spent birding around the lake and the forest gallery. Birds that could be seen are the Spotted Thrush Babbler, Ross’s Turaco, Puvel’ Illadopsis, the Gray-winged Robin Chat, Schlegel’s Francolin the White-breasted cucoo-shrike, the Blue-breasted Kingfisher, Marsh Tchagra, Dybowski’s and Brown Twinspots.Oriole Warbler, while forest edge and marsh could produce Marsh Tchagra, Blue-breasted Kingfisher, and Dybowski’s and Brown Twinspots. In the open woodlands we’ll look for Schlegel’s Francolin and Brown-chested Lapwing, and we can also expect to find White-collared Starling, White-breasted Cuckoo-shrike, Western Violet-backed Sunbird, Black-necked Weaver, Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-Weaver, and Black-capped Babbler. Overnight at Ngaundaba ranch.
View of Ngaoundaba ranch
Day 12: Drive to Garoua to board flight to Yaoundé; overnight Somatel hotel.
Day 13: Birding around Yaoundé, especially Mount Kala; overnight
Day 14: Drive to Bamenda with birding stops en route; overnight at Ayaba hotel.
Day 15: Drive to Lake Awing for the Bannerman’s Turaco; overnight Ayaba hotel.
The Bannerman’s Turaco
Day 16: Drive to Nyassosso; overnight at the Women’s centre.
Days 17-19: Birding on the Kupe Mountains; overnights.
Day 20: Drive to Buea on the slopes of Mount Cameroon. Mt Cameroon (4,095 m) is the highest in Central and West Africa. This mountain, in the forests of its lower slopes, is habitat to endemics such as the Mount Cameroon Francolin and the Mountain Saw-wing.
Day 21: Drive to Limbe; birding at the Limbe botanic gardens; overnight.