Terrain shapes and bedrock
According to Countryaah, Cameroon is for the most part a highland with the exception of the coastal plains within the Atlantic coast and the area in the far north by Lake Chad. To the south, a plateau with an average height of less than 300 m above sea level extends from the southern border to the Sanaga River. In the central part of Cameroon, a region where the land surface gradually rises to the north extends to about 2,000 m above sea level. with the Adamaoua Massif as the highest. To the north of this highland, a plain descends to the Chad Creek at about 240 m above sea level. Only the Mandara Mountains form an elevation here. A fourth topographic region consists of the mountains within the coastline to the north, where the Bamboutes Mountains rise 2,740 m above sea level. and the volcanically active Cameroon mountain reaches 4,070 m above sea level.
The bedrock consists in the interior of granite, gneiss and crystalline slate, while the coastal belt is built up of Mesozoic and Tertiary sedimentary rocks. A northeast – southwest, approximately 100 km wide zone is limited by faults on both sides and forms a burial pit. Here, reductions and elevations have taken place, and in this way, basaltic volcanic rocks have filled the area from the innermost part of the Gulf of Guinea to the northeast. Cameroon soil moons are mostly of a leached, lateritic type. The main river is Sanaga, which flows into the Atlantic.
All of Cameroon has a tropical climate with annual average temperatures from 23 °C to 28 °C, depending on the altitude.
The rainy season on the coast lasts from April to November and gives about 3,800 mm/year. In the interior, about 1,500 mm falls during two rainy periods, May – June and October – November, while the rainiest period in the north falls in June – September and produces 400 mm of rain. Rainiest are the western highlands, which receive 10,000 mm / year in May – October.
The flora is rich; it probably includes more than 8,000 species. At the northern estuaries are mangroves, dominated by the genus Rhizoʹphora. In the lowlands and closest to the coast, the natural vegetation is constantly green rain forest of various types. Characteristic trees are Gilbertiodeʹndron species and Cynomeʹtra haʹnkei et al. pea plants, Sacogloʹttis gaboneʹnsis (the Houmiriaceae family) and Lophiʹra alaʹta (the family and nana plants). At the beaches and at times flooded, the palm tree Raʹphia viniʹfera and the genus Uaʹpaca(family turf plants) common. In a broad transition zone between rainforest and savanna, in areas with dry periods, there are more or less deciduous forests. Here are Ceʹltis species (family of almond plants) and afara (Terminaʹlia supeʹrba; family of white mangrove plants) important. Among herbs are marked stripe plants and ginger plants.
The northern half of the country is dominated by savannah. The tree saw is built up of grass species, especially of Andropogon and related families. Important trees are monkey bread trees, Bosweʹllia species (the family incense tree) and Prosoʹpis africaʹna (and other acacia relatives in the pea family). Palm trees grow on humid savannahs, like the Phoenix [fe: ʹ-] reclinaʹta. Gallery forests follow the larger rivers with species of the genus Uaʹpaca, Viʹtex (the family of verba plants) and screw palms. The dry savannah in the north has sparse, spiny bushes and small trees, such as Balaniʹtes aegyptiʹaca (family of thistle plants), ZiʹziphusSpecies (family of fallow plants) and acacias (Acaʹcia aʹlbida are very common and widespread).
In the Chad Lake basin with periodic floods, there are belts of leaf reed and papyrus. In the Cameroon Mountains and some other significantly lower mountains, there are mountain forests, now often displaced by cultivations, with e.g. St. John’s wort, the spiny Macaraʹnga occidentaʹlis (family of thorns) and in sheltered locations tree worms like Maraʹttia and Cyaʹthea. Around 2,000 meters above sea level. there is moist cloud forest rich in vines and epiphytes, i.e. lichens. At the top of the Cameroon mountain is treeless afroalpine vegetation, similar to that in East Africa.
The species richness is large and varies according to the vegetation type. There are 22 species of primates and as many species of antelopes.
In the rainforest area, i.e. gorilla, chimpanzee, drill, mandrill, several species of colobus monkeys and monkeys, further diving antelopes, hippopotamus, rhino birds, kingfishers, turacos, chameleons, frogs (many species of western tree frogs) and a large variety of insects, including ants.
In the savannah areas there are many species of antelopes, Anubis baba (Paʹpio anuʹbis), African elephant, lion, leopard, hyenas, jackals, African buffalo, giraffe, mouse birds, weavers, African lungfish and a great wealth of grasshoppers and termites.
In 2011, Cameroon had twelve national parks, mainly in the savannah areas, as well as several large fauna reserves, also in rainforest areas. In 2011, the total area under some form of nature protection was approximately 10% of Cameroon’s total land area.