The Baka pygmies of Cameroon are a unique and ancient indigenous group of people who have lived in the forests for thousands of years. With an estimated population of around 40,000 individuals, they are the largest pygmy group in the region, with smaller ethnic groups such as the Bagyely, Medzam, and Bakola numbering only a few thousand people.
The Baka pygmies share a common culture and way of life, which primarily centers around the exploitation of the forest environment through hunting, fishing, gathering, and harvesting honey. They also construct traditional huts known as moungoulous, which are covered in foliage and provide protection from the elements. They also have a rich knowledge of the medicinal properties of plants, using bark, roots, and plant fibers for therapeutic purposes. They have an animist belief system, worshipping the spirit of the forest (Kirdi) and the protective totem of their community (Ejengi).
Due to the lack of educational opportunities, the majority of the Baka pygmies are not literate. However, they learn about the forest from a young age and actively participate in the daily activities of the camp, such as gathering, fishing, and small hunting using traps. In the evenings, families come together for collective games, songs, and dances around campfires.
Traditional Baka Pygmy village
One memorable moment of the « The Baka Pygmies In The Dja Reserve Of Cameroon tour » would be visiting a traditional Baka Pygmy village within the reserve. This experience offers a unique glimpse into the traditional way of life of the Baka people, who have lived in harmony with the forest for centuries. Visitors can expect to see the Baka’s thatched-roof homes, observe their daily activities such as hunting and gathering, and learn about their rich cultural heritage and customs.
The Dja Reserve
Another memorable moment would be going on a guided hike through the Dja Reserve, one of the most biodiverse areas in Cameroon. The reserve is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna, including elephants, gorillas, chimpanzees, and over 300 bird species. During the hike, visitors will have the opportunity to see some of these magnificent animals in their natural habitat, as well as learn about the conservation efforts that are in place to protect them. Along the way, visitors will also have the chance to explore the diverse ecosystems of the reserve, including rainforests, savannahs, and wetlands. Guides will point out medicinal plants, different fruit trees and also explain the importance of conservation of the diverse ecosystem.
Upon arrival at Yaounde Nsimalen airport, your guide will be there to welcome you and arrange for a private airport transfer to take you to the city of Yaounde, which is located 30km away from the airport. The transfer may take anywhere from 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on traffic conditions. After checking into your hotel, you will have a briefing with your guide and spend the night in Yaounde.