Cynthia CHIN & Whitney AMEI 16.12.2021
In this article on places to visit in Limbe, you will get to know Limbe a town in the South West Region of Cameroon with rich touristic sites and culture. Let us dive into the 7 places you must visit if you plan to have a pleasant stay in Limbe.
- Where is Limbe and how do I get there?
- Languages that are spoken in Limbe and cultural activities.
- Limbe Beaches
- Limbe Wildlife Centre
- Limbe Botanic Garden
- The Old German Lighthouse
- The Bimbia Slave Trade Village
- Bota Island
- ALCEF Riviera Amusement Park
Where is Limbe and how do I get there?
Limbe is a coastal city located in the Southwest Region of Cameroon at an elevation of 150m, around 70km west of Douala, the largest city of Cameroon. Limbe is a colourful city renowned for its black sandy beaches and nightlife catered by numerous modern clubs, restaurants and cafes.
Victoria was the former name of Limbe and the city adopted its current name in the year 1982. The economy of Limbe is concentrated on its oil industry and in recent years, fishery and tourism have also been part of the city’s economy. The geographical coordinates of Limbe are 4ﹾ01’N 9 ﹾ13E.
The closest international Airport to Limbe is the Douala International Airport which is located around 70km away from Limbe. From Douala, you can take a bus or taxi to reach Limbe. Buses are operated regularly between Limbe and Douala and for more comfortable travel, one can rent a car from the local travel agency. Limbe is a viable tourist destination in Cameroon, has many tourist attractions in the areas of culture, food, shopping, wildlife, beaches among others.
Languages that are spoken in Limbe and cultural activities.
Bimbia or Isubu is the primary dialect spoken by the Limbe people alongside English, Pidgin English and French languages. Tourists visiting Limbe can speak either French or English with locals. There are many restaurants and shops, spread out all around the city, mainly at the beachside.
Every year the Limbe City Council organizes the Limbe Festival of Arts and Culture. This event which is popularly known as the Limbe FESTAC was introduced in 2014. Some of the activities during this event include a caravan, fashion parade, election of Miss FESTAC, exhibition, canoe race, traditional dances, display of traditional dishes, etc. FESTAC often attracts visitors from all corners of the country and overseas. During this event, the culture of Cameroon, as well as neighbouring African countries, is displayed.
Cameroon has an extensive coastline and can boast of many beaches, which serve as good touristic sites, camping sites, picnics, hiking, and surfing including other fun activities. Beaches are the highlights of Limbe, receiving a large number of water sports lovers, especially western tourists, during the summer months. Limbe is also popular for seafood restaurants located on the beaches with large menus of local and international crunchy and crispy delicacies. Some of the beaches in Limbe include Down Beach, Hotel Seme Beach, Boucareau, Beach house Botaland, Musango Beach Hotel, Atlantic beach Hotel, Mile 6, Etisah, Tsabe etc. These beaches are definitely one of the places you need to visit in Limbe.
Limbe Wildlife Centre
The Limbe Wildlife Centre is a highly-respected sanctuary for chimpanzees, gorillas and other primates, with an extensive local outreach and education program. Their dedicated teams currently care for more than 140 animals that have been confiscated from the pet trade, many of which are bush meat orphans – babies whose families have been killed for food.
The Wildlife Centre provides a long-term solution for confiscated wildlife. Working with the local and international community, Limbe aims to secure the survival of the endangered species of Cameroon. Where possible, confiscated animals are released back into the wild but for many species such as apes, finding suitable habitat, free of threat but with room for new populations to be introduced, is challenging. The centre’s dedicated team currently cares for more than 360 animals. This is one of the places to visit in Limbe.
Limbe Botanic Garden
The Limbe Botanic Garden is a great escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, the garden houses, the historical Conference Centre, war graves and a wide range of native plant species.
The Limbe Botanic Garden was founded by a group of Germans under the Directorship of Paul Preus in 1892. It served as a trial and acclimatization centre for the introduction of exotic crop species such as coffee, cocoa, rubber, oil palm, banana, teak and sugar-cane for distribution within “Kamerun” and other German colonies. The Limbe Botanic Garden is said to be one of the most important tropical botanic gardens in the world. To complement the work in Limbe, experimental plots for high elevation species such as tea were established in Buea. The Garden possessed a herbarium, laboratories, classrooms, a museum and a library and staff accommodation.
The British took over the responsibility for the Garden in 1920, advised by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and it was managed by a Kew-trained Superintendent. The British departed in 1932 and the garden was directly managed by Cameroonian personnel until 1958. With the independence of West Cameroon in 1961, the Garden was taken over by the Government.
In 1988, a British-Cameroonian partnership was initiated through a Memorandum of Understanding which led to the renovation and development of the Garden. With redefined boundaries, the Garden now covers an area of about 48 hectares. The role of the Limbe Botanic Garden has changed from an agricultural one to one of conservation, education, science, tourism and recreation, to meet the needs of today.
The role of the Limbe Botanic Garden in Tourism and Recreation is that the Limbe Botanic Garden provides a peaceful escape from the nearby bustling city. With its thematic gardens, majestic trees and ideal setting, it stands beside Mount Cameroon and the country’s extensive national park system as one of the outstanding places of interest in the country. This is one of the places to visit in Limbe.
The Old German Lighthouse
A fascinating touristic site along the West Coast is the old German Lighthouse situated at Debundscha. The 148ft tall Lighthouse was built in 1903 and used by the Germans as a watchtower to guide any approaching ship. A 210-stair climb to the top gives you a magnificent mountain and sea view to remember for a lifetime.
The Bimbia Slave Trade Village
Bimbia is the first Cameroonian land to have welcomed the white men, who were missionaries, led by Alfred Saker the English Baptist Missionary. Due to the presence of these missionaries in the cultural heritage site, some colonies found it safe trading in the area like the Spanish, Portuguese who came to buy labourers (Slaves) for their plantations on nearby islands and also transported them via their ships to their various bases at Fernando Po, Sao Tome and Principe. Natives from Bimbia are mostly fishermen (men fish by night or early mornings) and farmers (women plant yams). Bimbia still bears the traces of slavery which was carried out there such as the heavy hand, neck, leg chains and other tools used for slave trade by these colonial masters, the areas marking the entry to the slave villages were named ‘the journey/doors of no return’, recalcitrant natives amongst the slaves were kept in Nichol’s island. This is one of the places to visit in Limbe.
Bota Island is the biggest Island in Limbe which was formerly known as Pirates Island, it was formerly inhabited by German masters like Dr Paul Preuss who settled in Cameroon controlling plantations and ruling southern Cameroon as of the 1890s in the interiors of the coastal region. Bota is the biggest of a group of islands called the Pirate islands.
ALCEF Riviera Amusement Park
The ALCEF Riviera amusement park offers both outdoor and indoor fun activities for adults and children alike. Situated right along the highway into Limbe, the park offers visitors over 2 hectares of nature, gardens, trees and flowers, ideal for outdoor relaxation. Adding to the mix is the state of the art swimming pools, football. volleyball and basketball courts for those who want to break a sweat. Of course, the food is delicious at the ALCEF Sea-Breeze Restaurant, and the picnic grounds are ideal for a private getaway. These and so much more place ALCEF Park at the centre of the fun, leisure and tourism in Limbe.
ALCEF Park offers a wide range of recreational activities designed to meet the needs of different age groups. The mix of outdoor and indoor activities and games provides a comfort zone for both those who love the feel of open-air and nature and those who love the calm and shield of indoor games. Kids can kick, splash and swing. Adults can swim, compete and share a drink. It is an all in one place. The perfect spot for a family getaway, for unique moments with your partners, and for unforgettable celebrations with your friends.
At ALCEF Park has an Olympic-size swimming pole with professional pool guards always ready to jump in, a restaurant that offers varied local and foreign dishes, a water ride zone where kids can swim and splash, relaxation gardens with exotic views where you can reconnect with nature and share great moments with your loved ones, a snack bar with chilled drinks and grilled food, a clubhouse with diverse indoor games such as billiards, table hockey, play station and lots more, a gym with diverse workout equipment to keep you fit, picnic grounds for resting, reading or bonding and divers games, swings and drives for kids. It is the one-stop shop for recreation and leisure in Limbe. This is one of the places to visit in Limbe.
Before you go!
Limbe is ‘The town of Friendship’. It is said that anyone who arrives at Limbe for the first time is warmly received by the indigenes of Limbe, which ignites the feeling of being at home thereby the identification of Limbe as the Town of Friendship. Limbe is not only an international tourist destination but a major petroleum and agricultural hub in Cameroon. Being a seaside city, Limbe has many hotels with the latest tourist favour facilities and services like spa, sauna, arrangement of vehicles and recreation activities.