Bamenda is a city in Cameroon.
Bamenda, also known as Abakwa or Mankon Town, has ties to the Tikar people and then was colonized by the Germans in 1916 before being passed onto the French and English. Since it is an English speaking locality, many locals consider themselves to be Ambazonians. Ambazonia is a self declared state to the north-west of Cameroon, officially the Federal Republic of Ambazonia. Bamenda is the birthplace of The Southern Cameroons National Council (SCNC), which is a part of that movement. It can still be a little edgy, so be careful that you don't end up in the middle of a mob or something. Also in this city though you'll find the Bamenda University of Science and Technology and some hilly backdrops.
There is an airport in Bamenda servicing charter flights but no daily scheduled flights. There are highways to Douala and Yaoundé, where major airports are located. The roads are good, but with some big pot holes. By road, it takes around 6 hours from Douala by car and 8 by bus.
- 1 [dead link] Mankon Museum. Art and cultural museum describing the rich history of the Mankon fondom, a traditional kingdom. The museum is located in the former royal palace.
- 2 Nkwen Fon's Palace. 8AM-5:30PM daily. A new cultural heritage museum and venue space.
A popular itinerary is to do the "Bamenda Ring Road" that involves traveling north to see the Bafut Palace in Bafut followed by the Menchum Waterfalls near Wum, then taking in the volcanically active Lake Nyos where many died in a gaseous release in 1987 and on to the Kings Palace in Misaje. From here, one continues on to see the crater lake, Lake Oku, and biodiverse second-highest Cameroonian peak, Mount Kilum Ijim, and then completes the route by seeing the palace museum in Babungo, pottery in Bamessing, and Sabga Hills en route back to Bamenda. This is likely a multi-day excursion since it is ~465 kilometers, with potentially unimproved road conditions at times, but it allows one to experience Cameroonian landscapes and kingdoms in detail.
- 1 Bamenda Main Market (Marché central de Bamenda), ☏ . 8AM-5PM closed Su. Bamenda's main market. Noisy and congested, with lots of stalls: may require a strong constitution.
- 2 Nkwen Market (Marché Nkwen). 6AM-5:30PM, closed Su. Just like Bamenda's main market. Not too sanitary.
- 1 New Century Restaurant (near Bamenda's main market). 8AM-7PM daily.
There are a few hotels in Bamenda. The largest being the faded Ayaba Hotel. There are various other commercial places that may be better options.
- 1 Ayaba Hotel (Eastern side of town), ☏ . This is the biggest hotel in Bamenda. When it was built, it would have been very smart, but now is looking well worn. Expect peeling paint, cold water and furniture that is falling apart. Rooms do have air conditioners. Wireless internet is available in reception. There is a swimming pool, but the water does not look too clean.
- 2 Hotel Mondial.
- 3 Pelican Hotel Bamenda, Ntarikon Bamenda (200 mtres from Ntarikon Market on Wum Road), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com. Lodging, restaurant, bar. Budget.
- 4 Top Star Hotel, Cow Street. Restaurant, close to busy road.
- 5 Blue Pear Hotel, Bamenda, S bend mile, 3 nkwen (off of N11), ☏ .
- 6 Mawa Hotel, Mile 6 Nkwen (on northeast edge of town), ☏ . Multi-floor hotel with a bar, pool, and wifi. Pool may not be that clean. ~$56.
- 7 Admiralty Serviced Apartments, off New Road GRA, ☏ . Probably the newest place to stay in Bamenda, with a bar and clean quarters and dining area.
English and French language broadcasts can be heard from BBC World Service on 95.7MHz and RFI on 105.8MHz.