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“VOLCANIC SPIRIT ”
Review of Mount Cameroon

Mount Cameroon
Ranked #7 of 73 things to do in Cameroon
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Owner description: Mount Cameroon is the highest mountain in center and west African 4095m this mountain is made up of vocalno rocks, forest and Animals sweetable for tourism. Mount Cameroon also has a Queen call Sarah Etonge she is refer to as the Queen of Mount Cameroon because she has won the annual mount Cameroon race of hope for 7 times. And she is also the founder of this organization aims at promote and sustain ecotourism on mount Cameroon Region. Visit the mountain of greatness with the queen she knows the the mountain BEST.
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

We hiked the Mount Cameroon with the Volcanic Spirit Company, this was super cool with awesome potters and guides, who actually encouraged & motivated us to overcome the 4days trip in 3days Seeing some elephants through the elephant track was super interesting too. I personally suggest Volcanic Spirit on any tour in Cameroon.

1  Thank Epie J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"lava fields"
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"national park"
in 4 reviews
"eco tour"
in 2 reviews
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"mount"
in 20 reviews
"hut"
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"hike"
in 13 reviews
"peter"
in 9 reviews
"walters"
in 7 reviews
"rocks"
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1 - 5 of 47 reviews

Reviewed 5 weeks ago

CONS:

We chose a 3 days hiking trip (as a couple) in January 2017. Everything was set by email a week before the hike (food arrangements, equipements that we wanted to rent, trails that we wanted to do, hours of arrival, hours for filling the papers, and even hours that the manager promise us we should be hiking on the mountain). When we arrived the first morning, nothing was prepared. Litterally nothing. Two women’s in the office had to go trough the tents (that we’re obviously broken!), the mattress and sleeping bags. We also had to repeat all the info that I gave before on the email… So at 11am we where not even hiking yet. Stil troubleshooting and trying to understand all that confusion in the office. Food was not ready (but they said they we’re taking charge of it…!?!?) so they sent us in taxi to a local store. You know, those local store where you find chocolat, candy and greenish nuclear liquid… nothing really consisting to hike a 4100m mountain, haha! In the end, the morning was really exhausting and yet, we were not even climbing the mountain. The people in the office clearly have never walked in the mountain, probably not even to the first hut. They don’t know time and distance of walk between huts, they don’t know what equipment and food is required. We’ve asked them a week before the hike ‘’what kind of weather we should be expecting on the last stretch of the hike’’, which they answered ‘’it will be good weather…..’’ ……..!!!

PROS:

Our guide Robinson was an absolute Saint! The best! He had walked and run trough the mountain since 20 years…. he knows it by heart. Really funny guy with awesome experience and stories. He knows everything that you need to know to do this hike… He should be running that office haha! Our 2 porters, Zach and Martin we’re as awesome as Robinson! Always there to check on us and help us with different steps of the mountain. So don’t get us wrong… the morning experience at the office was incredibly bad. Like we never had before. This as nothing to do with the professionalism and enthusiasm of the guide and the porters. We had a crazy good time on the mountain, a real life experience. In the end, there is plenty of other way to climb the mountain by dealing directly with guides and porters.. just look out on google and you’ll find!

Thank Gregory F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 October 2017

I climbed the mountain at the start of September when the weather is still cold and rainy. I knew the risk going into the climb that the weather may prevent me from reaching the summit but chose to attempt anyway.
I did a two day trek and on the second day the weather was too poor to reach the summit so we had to turn back and go down. I'm still glad I attempted as the experience was unreal, the views amazing and Buma Peter provided an excellent service with quality food.

1  Thank Harri S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 September 2017 via mobile

My friend and I managed to climb to the summit of Mt.Cameroon, which is as high as 4,090m!!!!

We didn't have any experience of climbing mountains before, but could achieve the summit with the help of very supportive local guide, Buma Peter from Ecotour guides Cameroon.

Climbing Mt.Cameroon was really really hard for us, but we enjoyed great view from above the clouds, and a variety of landscape passed by such as rain forest and grasslands.
We also enjoyed camping in hut.

On the 3rd day, we reached the summit, feeling so great of achieving 4,090m!!!

As Aug was rainy season, sometimes it was raining, but not all the time.
And because of low season, there were few people, which was really good!

I'll definitely go back there again someday!!

1  Thank Sayaka A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 9 May 2017

1. Mt. Cameroon, also known as Fako or Mongo ma Lobo is an active volcano which last erupted in 2000. It is located in Cameroon National Park in southwest Cameroon, near the town of Buea. At 4095 meters (13,510 feet), it is the highest mountain in western Africa. It is a beautiful mountain to climb as you pass through numerous different “ecological zones”, including farmland, tropical rainforest, savannah, and volcanic landscape on your way to the summit. And the views from the summit are spectacular. On a clear day you can see Buea, Limbe, the Atlantic Ocean, and at times, the island of Bioko!

2. Trail head – There are numerous trails to the summit of Mt. Cameroon. The most popular is the Guinness Trail, which is used for the annual race to the summit. This is the trail that I climbed and this review is on the Guinness Trail. The trail head starts at Old Bicec, near the town of Buea. Buea is the regional capital of Southwestern Cameroon and has all of the amenities (hotels, food markets, etc.) that you need before and after your hike.

3. Trail distance – 12.7 km (8 miles) one way to the summit

4. Elevation – The elevation at the trail head is 3330 ft. The summit is 13,510 ft, for an elevation gain of 10,180 vt. ft. There are no ups and downs on this trail. It is straight up to the summit.

5. Hiking options –

A. 1 day summit and descent. This is possible, but only for the extremely experienced and fit hiker. This would be a 26 km (16 mile) hike with over 10,000 vt. ft. of ascent and descent in 1 day.

B. 2 day – Hike from the trail head to Hut 2 on day 1, climbing 7.4 km and 6,000 vt. ft. on day one. Camp at Hut 2. Wake up early (4-6 am) to summit in the morning, climbing 5.3 km (one way) and 4000 vt. ft. and then returning to Hut 2 for lunch and then descending to the trailhead. This is a good option for reasonably fit and experienced hikers.

C. 3 day – The same as above, only after descending to Hut 2 on day 2 spending another night there and descending to the trailhead on day 3. This is a good option for many people, and probably the best option for most people.

D. 4 day + – Climbing to Hut 2 on day 1. Summiting on day 2, but crossing over to the other side of the mountain to descend on a different trail to see the lava fields and hopefully wildlife (elephants, etc.).

6. Level of difficulty – You do not need any technical equipment (ropes, crampons, etc.) to climb this mountain. That being said, this is a reasonably hard hike. There are some long steep sections. The key here is to pace yourself correctly. If at any time you feel that the pace might be too fast, tell your guide and slow down. These steep sections can really hammer your legs if you try to go too fast. Again, both the two or three day options above are doable for most people in reasonably good hiking condition. If there is any doubt in your mind about which is the best for you, I would recommend choosing the three day option. Day 2 can be a long day if you choose to both summit and descend to the trailhead on the same day.

7. Guides – A guide is not required, but I highly recommend using one. I used Hady Guiding Service. Walters Chin is the director and he was able to provide great advice and answer many of my questions before I arrived. Walters handled all the logistics (permits, transport, supplies, etc.) and provided an English speaking guide and two porters. Hady also provided a tent, sleeping bag, camping equipment, food, etc. All good quality. All that I had to bring were my personal supplies, which simplified things greatly. The guide and porters were knowledgeable, hardworking, and had a great attitude. They were all a pleasure to climb with. Hady also provided roundtrip transport from my hotel in Limbe. Total cost was approximately $300 US and in my opinion was money well spent. In addition, Hady does a lot of work with the youth in this area. In fact, my guide and porters were trained by them. It was nice to know that a good portion of the money I had paid was staying in the community and helping local youth make a better life for themselves.

8. What to bring – As mentioned, if you hire Hady or a similar good quality guiding service, they will provide most of the camping/cooking equipment you will need. The list of additional things that you should consider bringing include:
1. Good hiking shoes – trail sneakers or boots
2. Raincoat
3. Jacket (mid-weight)
4. Gloves
5. Warm hat
6. Baseball (shade) hat
7. Sunglasses
8. Sunscreen
9. Torch
10. Book/iPod etc.
11. Camera
12. First aid kit
13. Day pack for you to carry
14. Snacks that you enjoy while on the trail
15. Insect repellant
16. Plastic bag to line the inside of your pack
17. Hiking poles

At the start of the hike you will probably be in shorts, at the summit you will be bundled up. Be prepared for heat, cold, rain, wind and everything in between. There is a huge difference in temperature, wind speed, etc. between elevations of 3000 and 13000 ft.

9. Weather/Season

A. December – Mid-March – Dry season – Usually the best time to climb
B. Mid-March – June – Shoulder season between dry and wet seasons. As the
season progresses, rains become heavier and last longer. Still ok to climb, but
be prepared for wet conditions.
C. July – September – Rainy season
D. October – November – Another shoulder season that continually gets drier as
December approaches

10. Trail Notes:

The trail starts at an elevation of 3300 ft in farmland. The climbing is easy. At about 3600 ft (after 20 mins) you enter the tropical rainforest. The trail is a single track dirt trail and continues at a moderate inclination. There are numerous birds, and flowers. This is a beautiful section of the trail and the climbing is still easy. You will arrive at Hut #1 at 6100 ft. after 2-2 ½ hrs.

At 6700 ft., after 3 – 3 ½ hrs of climbing, you will reach the savannah. There are mostly just grasses and bushes here with a few small trees. And you will be in the sun. At 7400 ft. you will reach the Intermediate Hut (between Huts # 1 and 2). The climbing after this hut is very rocky and steep and continues so for over 1000 vt. ft. This is the steepest section of the trail. After that, the incline moderates a bit until you reach Hut #2 at 9500 ft. You will probably set up camp here.

After Hut #2, the trail steepens again, although not quite as bad as the section after the Intermediate Hut. The steep trail continues all the way up to Hut #3 at 12,340 ft. After Hut #3, the trail becomes much easier. The angle is moderate and the footing becomes much better. It almost feels like a cinder path most of the way to the summit.

11. Trail Markers Elevation Distance

Trail head 3330 ft.
Hut #1 6070 ft.
Intermediate Hut 7400 ft.
Hut #2 9500 ft. 7.4 km (4.6 miles)
Hut #3 12340 ft.
Summit 13510 ft. 12.7 km (8 miles)

12. Hiking Time Estimates – Of course this is a difficult thing to say due to differences in weather conditions, pack weight, physical conditioning, how often you stop to take pictures, etc., but the guidelines below are good for most reasonably fit and experienced hikers.

Trail head to Hut #2 5-8 hrs
Hut #2 to summit 3-5 hrs
Summit to Hut #2 2-3 hrs
Hut #2 to trail head 2-4 hrs

13. Conclusion – Climbing Mt. Cameroon was one of the highlights of my time in Cameroon. A beautiful, challenging, and diverse trail, great comradery and spectacular views. I hope that you enjoy it as much as I did! Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.

3  Thank TMR1004
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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