A short drive from Bamenda is the residential compound of one of the local fons (chiefs) and his several dozen wives. I used the excellent but rather expensive rental care service operating out of the Ayaba Hotel, but it is also possible to take a taxi. The tour is not expensive and includes an extremely interesting museum. One of the fons' wives evidently has the franchise on offering tours. She was gracious and knowledgeable, but had "no change" (see my Cameroon tip on this topic). There are some souveniers for sale as well. Well worth the time and money.
If you would like to explore the countryside, do some trekking or go horse riding then head to the village of Belo (45 mins taxi from Bamenda). Visit the Berudep Visitors Centre and Tourist Information to get details on walks and treks. Berudep are a non profit organisation with a focus on developing eco tourism.
A must see in the centre of Bamenda is 'Fanta Benji - Arts Prophet'. He is a Rasta artist doing beautiful abstract oil painings. Ask him to explain the stories behind some of his work and you could be there for a while!
Situated 45 mins shared taxi ride from Bamenda in the North West province is the picturesque highland village of Belo 3 Corners. Although not mentioned in any guidebooks yet this beautiful village is the access point to a secret paradise for the outdoor enthusiast. The vast opportunity for trekking, mountain biking, camping, birdwatching, and walking is superb. Add to this the Unique cultures of the Kom tribe and the Fulani herdsmen, juju death celebration dances and christian accapellas, the opportunities off the beaten track are still as yet largely undiscovered.
Trek up into the mountains around Fundong and meet a family from the Fulani tribe.
Walk through the village and meet the friends and relatives (there are many!!)
Walk for water with the children.
Stop at the local market and buy some fresh fruit.
Walk to the waterfalls and caves.
Ride horses and milk cows.
Pound fufu-corn for dinner.
Talk and roast corn round a fire pit.
Share dinner with the family and listen to stories from long ago.
Sleep in the traditional Mud brick house with a real Fulani family.......
The simple life is an experience few of us know.........but for me turned out to be the best.
Have an audience with the Fon - King of the Kom tribe. It's a 2 hour trek from Fundong up to the Impenatrable palace sitting in the clouds overlooking the kingdom of Kom.
You need to arrange the visit with BERUDEP in Belo or Fundong and buy a bottle of wine as a 'gift' to send to the Fon in advance to see if he will accept your wish for an audience. You will also have to take with you a gift of money in an envelope to present to him when you arrive (the amount is up to you). After this you will be invited to stay in the kings court and watch the proceedings of traditional cases, tribal matters, disputes as well as enjoy lunch, beer, wine, fanta or whatever other gifts the Fon has been given that day.