Douala is the largest city in Cameroon and its economic capital. It is home to Central Africa’s largest port. The city and its surrounding area had an estimated population of 5,768,400 in 2015. It sits on the estuary of Wouri River.
Wednesday, 1st March 2023
Tony stood outside the Cathedral of Saint Peter and Paul in Bonadibong, Douala. This Roman Catholic cathedral was completed in 1936. It is painted white and incorporates plain columns and domes.
Tony stood in front of a life-sized sculpture of Jesus Christ on the cross near to the Cathedral.
Tony stood in the shaded and leafy courtyard of Espace Doual’art. Doual’art is an arts centre and non-profit cultural organisation which was established in 1991. The current building opened in 1995 in a former cinema. The centre mostly produces and displays contemporary art by Cameroonian artists.
Another shot of Tony outside Espace Doual’art.
Tony by a large Espace Doual’art sign displayed on a wall outside the arts centre. There is a flower bed planted with succulent plants in front of the sign.
Tony inside Espace Doual’art talking to the guide. Artworks can be partially seen on the wall behind. They appear to depict abstract natural scenes.
Tony touching a sack cloth t-shirt or gown with writing in French on the front. It is part of an art installation. The lady guide is explaining what the words mean.
Again the guide describing the art installation to Tony. The installation includes cardboard tubes with large bar codes attached.
Tony talking to the guide. Various artworks can be seen around the room including paintings on a wall and a phallic sculpture.
Tony in another room at Espace Doual’art which has red walls with writing on. The writing is mostly indistinct in the photo, although the words ‘Must Survive’ can be read.
View from inside a vehicle passing along a busy main road in Douala. The road is lined with mostly single storey buildings housing shops and other businesses.
Another view of the main road full of cars and mopeds.
Traffic going round the Deido Roundabout with a large metal artwork in the centre. Known as La Nouvelle Liberté, the sculpture depicts a human or robot-like figure, which is standing on one leg and has one arm aloft holding a sphere. The sculpture is made from scrap metal, stands at 12 metres tall and weighs 5 tons. It was created by Joseph-Francis Sumégné in 1996.
Tony stood on the pavement next to the busy Deido Roundabout with the distinctive La Nouvelle Liberté sculpture visible behind.
Tony in the foreground with the Deido Roundabout jammed with traffic behind. The top of the La Nouvelle Liberté sculpture can be seen behind a bus.
Tony stood outside the Mukanda Palace. This distinctive building was built in 1990 according to Wikipedia. It incorporates a mix of styles including traditional Cameroonian. Parts of the building resemble a pagoda with layers of overhanging roofs.
Tony sat on the wall outside the Mukanda Palace. A statue of Prince Dika Akwa Nya Bonambella and a sculpture of a lion are among the objects visible in the grounds of the palace behind.
Again Tony outside the Mukanda Palace with the statue of Prince Dika Akwa Nya Bonambella in the background. Prince Dika Akwa Nya Bonambella is a Cameroonian anthropologist and politician.
Tony in front of the chain link topped wall outside the Mukanda Palace.
Friday, 3rd March 2023
Tony stood at the entrance desk at Douala Maritime Museum. The desk has a decorative wooden ship’s wheel attached to the front.
Douala Maritime Museum (Musée Maritime de Douala) opened in 1986 with the purpose of exhibiting the maritime history of Cameroon. The current building opened it 2013 and covers 600 square metres over three floors. The exterior is designed to resemble the stern of a ship.
A manikin of a local man with Tony alongside holding his hand. The man is wearing a mixture of modern and traditional dress including a shirt, a woven hat and a shell necklace. There are photos and maps on the wall in the background.
Tony touching a hand-made wooden drum. The drum is quite small with a zigzag pattern decorating the sides. It stands on wooden legs and is topped with some sort of animal hide.
Tony feeling a small model of a dugout canoe sat on a table. The model contains about 25 rowers holding oars, most of them are sitting in pairs.
A close-up view of the wooden dugout canoe model. The small rowers are painted in red, yellow and green dress.
Tony stood in front of a model of a historic three-masted galleon on a table. Galleons were multi-decked heavy square-rigged sailing ships of the 15th to early 18th centuries used for war or commerce especially by the Spanish.
Tony next to a model of a 19th century steamship. It is displayed under protective glass on a platform.
Tony by a photo of King Dika Mpondo Akwa, who was chief or king of the Duala people (Akwa lineage). The photo is dated 1878-1916, which are the years he was King. Dika Mpondo Akwa died in 1916, while in exile in the town of Campo, having been sent there by the French colonial authorities.
Tony alongside a photo of Chief Betote Akwa (1930-1974). He was another King of the Duala people. Betote Akwa was part of the Akwa lineage: there are other Duala lineages with different Paramount Chief or Kings. This is part of an exhibition about traditional institutions and their destruction in the colonial era.
Tony at the side of another photo of a tribal king. This one is labelled in French ‘Majeste Mpondo Akwen Roi du Vieux Cameroun’ (Majesty Mpondo Akwen, King of Old Cameroon). He was King from 1852 to 1878 according to a label on the photo.
Tony feeling the butt end of two old-fashioned muskets. Muskets are guns with a long barrel which are loaded by inserting the projectile and propellant directly into the muzzle or firing end of the gun.
Tony feeling an old ship’s cannon resting on a wooden frame. It is a small cannon, less than one metre long.
Tony holding the wooden oar of a traditional dugout canoe in Douala Maritime Museum.
Another shot of Tony trying out the dugout canoe’s paddle.
Tony holding the paddle over the top of the dugout canoe with the end of the paddle almost breaking the glass on a fish tank, which is full of lovely fish!
Tony playing a tune on a slit drum (or slot gong). He is using drum sticks to hit a small hollowed-out log. This is a traditional percussion instrument in Cameroon and several other African countries.
Tony holding the wooden drum sticks over the slit drum. The drum is stood on a trestle.
Tony stood next to a life-sized model of a lady wearing a colourful traditional Cameroonian outfit. She is carrying a woven basket on her head.
Tony turning the wheel in a mock-up of a ship’s bridge in the Douala Maritime Museum. He is stood next to a model of the ship’s captain dressed in formal uniform.
Tony steering the wheel on the model ship’s bridge. Various dials, buttons and navigation equipment can be seen in front. The age of the equipment on display appears to vary with some historic and some modern.
Tony stood next to the Captain in the wheelhouse with his right arm around the Captain. Thank goodness it’s only a model – the blind leading the blind!
Another view of Tony stood by the ship’s captain manikin. In front is a chadburn, a device used to control a ship’s speed by sending messages to the engine room. It has a lever that can be set to various speeds from stop to full speed.
Tony feeling a yellow and blue vertically striped flag. This is an international maritime signal flag. This one can be used to indicate the letter G or the message “I require a pilot.” Another flag alongside is diagonally half yellow and half red. This one indicates the letter O or the message “Man overboard!”.
Tony touching a life jacket.
Tony feeling the epaulettes that sailors wear on their uniforms. They are fastened in rows on a large board.
Tony stood by a print of the Cameroonian Navy emblem. It is yellow and black with two crossed swords beneath an anchor and rope. There are also the words ‘Honour and Loyalty’ in English and French.
Tony stood next to a white life raft, which can be thrown from a ship in an emergency. It is made by French company Zodiac. This is part of a display about maritime rescue equipment.
Tony holding a torch while stood by the Zodiac life raft.
Tony feeling protective clothing and equipment kept in case there is a fire on ship. Items in view include a metal helmet, fire hose and a fire extinguisher.
Tony stood near an embarkation ladder, which is also called a Jacobs Ladder. It is made from rope with wooden steps.
Tony feeling the controls found on the bridge of a merchant ship.
Another view of Tony at the ship’s control panel.
Closer view of the ship’s bridge control panel. There are lots of buttons and dials as well as a big lever, probably to control the ship’s speed.
Tony trying to lift a bundle of heavy braided rope off the floor in the museum.
Tony touching ropes knotted on a board. They are displayed on the side wall of the model ship.
Tony examining a collection of ropes showing different knots used by sailors.
Tony feeling a wooden wall panel with a porthole above.
Tony outside Douala Maritime Museum. Although not clear in this photo, the building’s exterior is designed to resemble the stern of a ship.
Tony stood holding his cane next to a tree with a good view across the Wouri River estuary behind. He is enjoying the cool air on his body. The Wouri (also Vouri or Vuri) is considered the largest but not the longest river in Cameroon. The Wouri forms at the confluence of the rivers Nkam and Makombé, 20 miles (32 km) north-east of the city of Yabassi. It then flows about 99 miles (160 km) south-east to the Wouri estuary at Douala, the chief port and industrial city in the south-western part of Cameroon on the Gulf of Guinea.
Tony looking very happy sitting on a large boulder on the rocky shore of the estuary.
Again Tony relaxing on the boulder looking out over the Wouri River estuary in Douala.
Tony facing the river estuary with his local driver guide relaxing lying back on the rocks.
Tony with the Wouri River estuary in the background. The camera is pointed roughly south-west in the direction of the open ocean. The estuary mouth into the Gulf of Guinea is about 18 miles (30 km) away. The estuary is about 1.5 miles (2.4 km) wide here but can be seen opening out more in the distance. Garoua
Wednesday, 15th March 2023
Garoua is a city in the North Region of Cameroon located on the Benue River. The city had approximately 1,285,000 inhabitants in 2020.
Tony with Jude, his Cameroonian guide and driver, outside a mosque. The doorway to the colourful red, green and yellow painted mosque is in the background. Taken in Garoua on evening of 15 March.
Another view of Tony outside the mosque.
Looking across a wide tarmaced road with another mosque on the opposite side. The mosque is painted blue and white with a pair of domes on the roof. It has a minaret topped with a small crescent moon. Taken in Garoua. Lagdo town
Thursday, 16th March 2023
View of the natural sandy rocky landscape in Lagdo town. There is a small hill made up of rugged bare rock in the near distance with a few small trees and a house in the foreground.
Tony next to a sign by a road. The sign is in English and French and says ‘North Region, Benoue Division, Lagdo Subdivision, Lagdo Main Customs Office’. There is a stall selling food and drinks part visible behind the sign.
A mosque in Lagdo town. It is housed in a substantial rectangular black and cream painted building. It has a tall pitched olive green roof and there are minarets attached to two corners of the building.
View of Lake Lagdo from Lagdo town. A rocky island can be seen in the middle distance. In the foreground, there is a beach made up of sand and shingle. There are a few small boats moored on the shoreline as well as people bathing in the water. These local boats with a motor are used to take tourists around the lake to spot hippos and other nature.
Lake Lagdo, also known as Lagdo Reservoir, is a man made lake in Cameroon’s Northern Province. It covers 226 square miles (586 sq.km.). It was created between 1977 and 1982 by building a dam across the Benue River. The dam, located east of Lagdo town, is 308 metres long and 40 metres high.
On the edge of a sandy beach on Lake Lagdo. In front a driveway: a sign indicates it leads to Le Lagon Bleu. Le Lagon Bleu is a small resort located on the shore of the lake in Lagdo town.
View along the sandy shore of Lake Lagdo. In front a pair of stone huts overlooking the lake. The huts are round and open at the sides. They appear to be part of the Lagon Bleu resort. When the water level of the lake is higher, the land around the huts becomes a small island, accessed by a rickety looking wooden bridge.
Tony on the shore of Lake Lagdo. Behind a small motor boat attached to a wooden jetty.
Again Tony by Lake Lagdo with the small motor boat along side.
View along the shore of the lake. Tony in the foreground and a Cameroonian man, Jude, Tony’s guide, and Claudia, a Cameroonian woman from Garoua, friend of Jude, behind.
Tony in a local bus. Tony is in one of the back seats with the driver visible in the foreground. The two other passengers are Jude and Claudia.