Ngaoundéré, Cameroon

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Ngaoundéré, Cameroon

Region: Adamawa

Geographic Coordinates: 7.316700, 13.583300
Temperature Range: 17.0°C to 34.0°C (63°F to 93°F)
Climate: Seasonal.
Population: 189800
Language: French

Ngaoundéré is a city situated in the Adamawa region of Cameroon, Serving as the capital and one of the largest cities in the country. The city is renowned for its unique blend of cultures, Influenced by both Islamic and traditional African cultures. The history of Ngaoundéré dates back to pre-colonial times when it was a crucial trading center for commodities such as salt, Livestock, And textiles.

Presently, Ngaoundéré remains an essential economic hub for the region with agriculture, Commerce, And tourism driving its economy. One of the most remarkable tourist attractions in Ngaoundéré is its traditional palace constructed in 1897 by Lamido Njoya who ruled over Bamoun people at that time. The palace boasts intricate carvings and decorations reflecting both Islamic and traditional African styles. Lake Tison is another popular attraction where visitors can relax or engage in water sports activities like fishing or boating.

Moreover, Tourists can explore nearby wildlife reserves such as Faro National Park to see various species of animals including elephants, Lions among others. Ngaoundéré also features a vibrant market scene where visitors can purchase locally made crafts like baskets or fabrics while immersing themselves into local culture through engaging with locals who are always willing to share stories about their traditions.

Food enthusiasts will enjoy exploring local cuisine which includes dishes like koki beans – mashed black-eyed peas wrapped in banana leaves – or ndolé – a dish made with bitter leaves cooked with fish or meat flavored with peanuts sauce served alongside plantains or rice. but not leastly are Ngaoundere’s people who are welcoming and friendly towards visitors ensuring they have an enjoyable stay while experiencing everything this beautiful city has to offer.

Important Landmarks

  1. Lamido Grand Mosque is the largest mosque in Ngaoundéré and a significant landmark in the city.
  2. Benoue National Park is situated just outside of Ngaoundéré and offers visitors a chance to see a variety of wildlife, including elephants, lions, and monkeys.
  3. Mokolo Market is one of the largest markets in Cameroon and provides visitors with an opportunity to experience local culture while purchasing souvenirs.
  4. Fumban Palace Museum showcases traditional Cameroonian art and artifacts from the Bamoun people.
  5. Dang Lake is a scenic lake that offers opportunities for fishing, boating, and hiking around its shores.
  6. Mount Nlonako provides stunning views of the surrounding landscape and is located just outside of Ngaoundéré.
  7. The Railway Station was built during colonial times and serves as an important historical landmark in Ngaoundéré.
  8. The Royal Palace at Rey Bouba was once home to one of Cameroon’s most powerful kings but now operates as a museum open for visitors located about 50 km from Ngaoundéré.

Primary Industries

  1. Agriculture
    • Cotton
    • Maize
    • Sorghum
    • Millet
    • Groundnuts
    • Beans
  2. Livestock farming
    • Cattle rearing
  3. Transport
    • Railway station
  4. Commerce
    • Textiles
    • Foodstuffs
    • Electronics
  5. Education
    • Schools
    • Tertiary institutions (e.g. University of Ngaoundéré)
  6. Tourism
    • Lamido’s Palace Museum
    • Other tourist attractions
  7. Health care services
    • Hospitals
    • Other medical facilities

Noteable History

  1. Ngaoundéré was once the capital of the Fulani Empire, a powerful Islamic state that ruled much of West Africa in the 19th century.
  2. Ahmadou Ahidjo served as Cameroon’s first president from 1960 to 1982 and was born in Ngaoundéré where he attended school before studying law in France.
  3. During the colonial period, Ngaoundéré was part of German Cameroon which lasted from 1884 to World War I.
  4. After Germany’s defeat in World War I, Cameroon became a League of Nations mandate under French administration.
  5. The Bamiléké Rebellion broke out among the Bamiléké people in western Cameroon against French colonial rule and spread to other parts of the country, including Ngaoundéré.
  6. Located on the Adamawa Plateau, Ngaoundéré is known for its unique geography and biodiversity.
  7. Traditional rulers continue to play an important role in local governance and culture in many areas of Cameroon including Ngaoundéré today.
  8. A railway line was built through Ngaoundéré connecting it with other parts of Cameroon and neighboring countries like Chad and Nigeria during early 20th century railway construction efforts.
  9. Agriculture and livestock farming are important economic activities due to fertile land and favorable climate for crops like maize, millet, sorghum as well as cattle rearing.
  10. The University of Ndjamena (Cameroon) has a campus located in Ngaoundéré after being established by President Paul Biya on October 14th, 1993 following an agreement between Chad & Cameroun governments.

Museums and Things To See

  1. Lamido Grand Mosque is a historic mosque in Ngaoundéré that dates back to the 19th century.
  2. Musée des Civilisations showcases the culture and history of the various ethnic groups in Cameroon.
  3. Gare de Ngaoundéré is considered one of the most beautiful train stations in Africa, with its colonial architecture and lush gardens.
  4. Centre Culturel Franco-Camerounais hosts art exhibitions, concerts, and other events promoting Cameroonian culture.
  5. Mont Mbapit offers stunning views of Ngaoundéré and the surrounding landscape.
  6. Palais des Rois Bamoun is home to the Bamoun king and serves as a symbol of traditional authority in Cameroon.
  7. Parc National de Bouba Ndjida, located just outside Ngaoundéré, offers visitors a chance to see wildlife such as elephants, lions, and giraffes in their natural habitat.
  8. Marché Central de Ngaoundéré is a bustling hub of activity where visitors can buy local crafts, food items, and clothing.
  9. La Colline du Vautour (Vulture Hill) is a scenic hill that offers panoramic views over the cityscape below.
  10. Lac Tison Waterfall is a picturesque waterfall located about 30km from Ngaoundere.

Sports Teams

  • Cameroon is widely recognized for its fervor for football.
  • The country boasts a national football team that has participated in numerous World Cup tournaments and emerged victorious in the Africa Cup of Nations on five occasions.
  • Besides, basketball is also gaining popularity in Cameroon, with the national basketball team participating in international competitions.
  • Regarding Ngaoundéré, there might be local teams that play various sports such as football, basketball, volleyball and handball at an amateur or semi-professional level.
  • However, due to limited resources and lack of infrastructure for organized sports programs in many parts of Cameroon outside major cities like Yaoundé and Douala, there may not be any well-known or established professional teams based solely in Ngaoundéré.

  • Cultural Events

    1. Ngondo Festival: This is a traditional festival celebrated by the people of Ngaoundéré to honor their ancestors and ask for their blessings.
    2. Fête de la Musique: This is an annual event held in June, where musicians from different parts of Cameroon come together to showcase their talent.
    3. International Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC): This is a biennial cultural event that brings together artists, performers, and cultural enthusiasts from all over the world to celebrate diversity and promote cultural exchange.
    4. Ngaoundéré Cultural Week: This is an annual week-long celebration that showcases the rich culture and traditions of the people of Ngaoundéré through various activities such as dance performances, traditional games, food fairs, and more.
    5. National Youth Day: This is a national holiday celebrated on February 11th each year to honor the youth of Cameroon. In Ngaoundéré, there are usually parades, sports competitions, and other activities organized to mark this day.
    6. Eid al-Fitr: As a predominantly Muslim city, Eid al-Fitr is an important religious festival celebrated in Ngaoundéré at the end of Ramadan with prayers at mosques followed by feasts with family and friends.
    7. Christmas Celebration: Although not as widely celebrated as in other parts of Cameroon due to its Muslim majority population; Christians still celebrate Christmas with church services followed by family gatherings or meals out at restaurants or hotels offering special menus for Christmas Day lunch or dinner.
    8. Grand Magal de Touba: Celebrated every year on October 18th by Mourides Muslims; it’s one Africa’s largest religious festivals attracting millions who travel from across West Africa including Cameroonians who make up some partisans attending this grandiose event which takes place in Touba Senegal but also has significant impact on neighbouring countries like Cameroon including those living around Ngaounderé region.


    • Ndolé: a dish made from bitter leaves, peanuts, and meat or fish.
    • Koki: a steamed bean pudding made from black-eyed peas or cowpeas.
    • Suya: grilled skewered meat seasoned with spices and served with onions and tomatoes.
    • Poulet DG: a chicken dish cooked in tomato sauce with plantains and vegetables.
    • Maafe: a peanut stew made with meat or fish, vegetables, and spices.

    Some popular restaurants in Ngaoundéré that serve these dishes include:

    1. Le Relais de la Haute Sanaga
    2. Chez Mama
    3. Le Bistro du Chef
    4. Restaurant Mami Wata
    5. La Terrasse de l’Hôtel de Ville

    Parks and Recreation

    1. Parc National de Bouba Ndjida: This national park is located near Ngaoundéré and offers opportunities for hiking, wildlife viewing, and birdwatching.
    2. Lac Tison: This scenic lake is a popular spot for fishing, boating, and picnicking.
    3. Jardin Botanique de Ngaoundéré: This botanical garden features a variety of plant species from the region and offers guided tours.
    4. Centre Culturel Français: This cultural center hosts events such as concerts, film screenings, and art exhibitions.
    5. Stade Roumdé Adjia: This stadium is home to local soccer matches and other sporting events.
    6. Piscine Municipale de Ngaoundéré: This public swimming pool is open to visitors during the summer months.
    7. Parcours Vita: This outdoor fitness trail offers exercise equipment along a scenic walking path in the city.
    8. Marché Central de Ngaoundéré: The central market in town is a bustling hub of activity where visitors can purchase local goods such as produce, textiles, and crafts.


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