The message below is from Djomo Eric who is currently mapping in Cameroon with Dennis Anye. They are both biologists who have undertaken the task of visiting those parks in Cameroon which can be mapped.
Eric came down to South Africa for training earlier this month and he and I mapped almost the whole of the Pilanseberg National Park in about 24 hours as a training exercise!
Eric and Dennis have been on the road for over a week, doing as much hiking as driving because that is the nature of most Cameroonian reserves. It has not been easy and is reminder of how ward we will have to work throughout West Africa. They have got some great data so far but things have got a bit sticky recently! Sorry no pictures, they are all still in the field. Anyway, I’ll let Eric speak for himself….
how are you doing today? Hope fine.
We are now back in Buea to do the Mount Cameroon National Park and the Bakossi Hills. It was quite difficult for us in Bayang Mbo as the rains have all entry into the sanctuary impossible. We were told researchers only go there during the dry season as a river with no bridge inside the sanctuary over flows its banks during the rainy season making entry impossible. We at least did some mapping of the entry and research head quarters as well as the road that leads to the sanctuary.
In Takamanda National Park, it was even worse. First, it is a new park that was created in 2008 and has no infrastructure, no camps and no gate as most of the parks in these forest areas. Then the villagers living around and inside the park have become very hostile. They told us the government promised them roads, schools, health centers, etc when they took their farm lands to make the park but they have not seen anything ever since and would not allow anybody to move into the park. Even WCS that has been working in the park has been expelled and have not been able to move in for six months now. When i was about to take a photo of the entry sign board, they arrested me saying i have come to steal their property for the white man and we had to pay a fine of 2000frs cfa in order for them to let me go.
We did contact some guys who work for the ministry and they promised to give us the information we want on Bayang Mbo, Takamanda and Korup. For Korup we already have a good map with a lot of details but no GPS coordinates. We hope to get them here in Buea as they promised. File 20100819 is for Korup National Park; 20100821 & Rough GPS coordinates from Conservator are for Bayang Mbo and 20100822 for Takamanda.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Have a nice day.