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The Mysteries of the Lakes, Cameroon

18 Apr Posted by in Cameroon, Outdoors | 1 comment
The Mysteries of the Lakes, Cameroon

The touristic attraction to Cameroon lakes over many years has been phenomenal. People are attracted to their eerie appearance, and bizarre stories. Most of these lakes are found in the Northwest region in Cameroon, spread across different tribes. They are believed to harbour ancestors and spirits which are worshipped as gods. However, the entire experience in visiting the lake is completely fascinating.

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Lake Awing (The Lake that Travels)

Lake Awing is the most sacred place in the Northwest village Awing. The lake is exceptionally still during the day and glitters under a bright sunlight. Only certain areas are open for swimming but the lake is generally kept sacred for yearly sacrifices to the gods of the village.

Myths have it that the water travels at night and anyone passing by it at a certain hour in the night will see lighted houses in the place of the water. These houses are reputed to be the residence of the ancestral spirits. However, curiosity is not advised. The lake is easily accessible by road given that it is found in the heart of Awing, which is a village with car roads.

Lake Oku

Lake Oku is an extraordinary crater lake in the Northwest region, surrounded by lush forest. Many tourists hike there and back, or take a motorbike there and hike the return part of the trip. Some tourists may chose to swim in the lake, which is free. You will have to pass through the Fulani lands to get to the Oku area, where you will be marvelled by the magnificent scenery of the lake and crops growing in the region such as cocoyams, coffee and corn. Trekking uphill from Belo takes around 5 hours. If you choose to go by bike taxi the journey time is 1 – 1.5 hrs. Returning from the lake, the walk takes approximately 4 hours and takes you through the village of Anyajua.

Stories have it that this lake has supernatural and healing powers due to the spirits of the ancestors of the land. It is highly respected and kept clean regulary.

Nyos Lake, Cameroon

Nyos Lake, Cameroon
Image Credits: Jack Lockwood, USGS

Lake Nyos (The Angry Lake)

Lake Nyos is the reputedly the most disastrous lake in Cameroon, given its eruptive nature . It was when an active crater of an extinct volcano became filled with water. This lake is the most eerie lake one may ever see. It naturally looks angry as though it will erupt with its poisonous gases like it did some 2 decades ago. But that is what makes it attractive, given that most tourists are attracted to dangerous things. Just like the other lakes, Lake Nyos is believed to harbour some gods to whom sacrifices are made. Lake Nyos is located 200 miles Northwest of Yaoundé, the capital of Cameroon.

Twin Lakes Muanenguba

The twin lakes are located in the Southwest region of Cameroon. They are called the male lake (left) and the female lake(right). The male lake is accessed only by initiated men. It is still and dangerous. The female lake is more receptive. People go there to fish and swim, and others believe in its medicinal powers so they bottle some of its water and take home with them. The female lake is however reputed to kill people with evil intentions like witches and wizards who come around it.

Generally, if you ever desire to feel the supernatural forces reputed to exist and control things in Africa, you can visit Cameroon and get around the Lakes to feel the power emanating from the bowels of bodies of water surrounded by forests and land.

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  3. The Pygmies of East Cameroon
  1. Paul09-28-14

    I would like to know where is the location of Lake Awing. I am making a map of vulcanic lakes and have not found the coordinates. An aproximate location would be fine.

    Thank you.


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