Primary Source
Imperialism | Colonial Policy


Atlas German Colonies, with Yearbook, edited by the German Colonial Society, 1908, Kamerun

Size : 495 600 square km (= Deutsches Reich). The border with the British neighbouring colony has been finally determined in 1905, the one with French Congo in 1906 to 1908.

Population : about 3500000 (?) inhabitants, among them 1903: 710, 1904 : 826, 1905 : 896, 1906 : 1010 Europeans, of whom 870 Germans and 123 women. Main indigenous tribes in the hitherto explored areas : In the North and Northeast the grassland tribes of Adamaua, under Fullah rule, of whom the Bata, Tikar, Baia and Wute are the best known. Closer to the coast down to the southern border follow the Bafut and Bali, Banjang, Bakundu and Ngolo, Bamboko, Bakwiri, Duala, Batanga and Mabea and finally the Bule (Fang). The region between coastal and grassland tribes, thus the middle valley of the Sanaga and Njong, is populated by Bakoko tribes, on which, futher east, follow the Jaunde, Bane and Jengone, which all are related with the Bule, which inhabit almost the entire south. In the river areas of the Dscha, Bumba and Ssanga the Janguma, Njem, Ndsimu, Bomome and Maka dwell. To be mentioned are further the Nguma on the Lokundje, tribal fellows of the Njem and Maka.

Morphology : The highest mountain range on the Atlantic rim is the range of Mt. Kamerun (4070 m.) which in northern direction blends into the Bakossi Mountains. etc. In general, the protectorate's surface rises in terrasses in earterly/northeasterly direction (Adamawa Mountains up to 3,000 m, Nguakeli in the south c. 1500 m). An imaginary line drawn from Bali along the mouth of the Mbam to the tributaries of the Ssanga roughly indicates the border of the continuous coastal jungle.

Rivers : (from north to south) : The Rio-del-Rey area with several tributaries, also the Kamerun river in which the Mungo, Dibambu and Wuri feed, both are vast estuaries covered by mangrove. The very important, but not navigable Sanaga with the Mbam; the Njong the upper stretch of which is navigable, with the Nkele; finally the smaller tributaries : Lokundje, Kribi and Campo. Adamawa is crossed by the navigable Benue, the largest tributary of the Niger, an important international traffic route to the sea (Niger Navigation Act of 1885). The Dscha with Bumba in the southeast resp. the Ssanga connect the area with the Congo navigation. The Schari feeding into Lake Chad and his tributary, the Logone, are navigable over wide stretches, and have been used by the French to supply their posts in the area.

Climate : The average annual temperature on the coast is c. 25 degrees centigrade; February with 27 degrees on average is the warmest, July with an average 23 degrees the coolest month. The rainy and dry seasons are different from region to region and show not insignificant changes from year to year. Main rainy season mostly May to October. The coastal region near Mt. Kamerun has one of the world's highest amounts of annual precipitation. The climate is unhealthy, particularly in the forested areas, in the higher elevated areas of northern Kamerun considerably better. (p.10)

Flora : Coast and Mt. Kamerun densely overgrown by the jungle. Mangrove, palm trees, pandanas, capoc trees, breadfruit, mango. Grassland up to the swamp vegetation at Lake Chad. Cultivated are cocoa, caoutchouk and oil palms.

Fauna : Rich entomology. The rivers, especially the Sanaga, are full of alligators. Rich avifauna (from the hummingbird to the hornbill). Among the mammals many species of apes (chimpansee and gorilla), predators (leopards), pachyderms (elephants, also near the coast) and artiads.

Minerals : deposits of tin are known for years. Near Victoria insignificant oil wells. In the district Ossidinge salt water sources, which indicate salt- and potassium deposits.

Trade and Transportation : Export products are palm kernels, palm oil, caoutchouc, cocoa, ivory, timber etc., Imported are manufactured goods, food, alcoholic beverages, materials, money, salt, lumber, wooden products, steel and steel products, glasswares, tobacco, rice, flour, powder and arms etc., Values of ex- and imports see table on page 4.

Transportation : Navigation : The Kamerun ports and roadsteads have been frequented in 1906 by 363 steamers with a total tonnage of 982,000 tons, 235 of which were German. Transfer ticket : Woermann Line Hamburg-Duala 1st class 600 Mark, 2nd class 450 Mark.
Railway Lines : short narrow gauge line Victoria-Soppo (43 km), line connecting Duala with the Manenguba Mountains (160 km) since 1906 under construction, opened in 1910. Approved the Line Duala-Edea-Widimenge, on the Njong river (293 km).
Post and Telegraph Services : by the end of 1907 : 30 post offices, 14 of which offer telegraph services, 14 offer local telephone services. 830 km telegraph lines overland, 337 km sea cable. 1906 : 539,900 letters, 24,537 postal money orders amounting to a total sum of 3,327,000 Mark; 15,626 parcels, 76,929 newspaper issues, 25,541 telegrams, 164,940 telephone calls. Postal delivery : three to four times a month. Time for delivery Berlin-Duala 19 to 24 days. Telegram fee 5.30 Mark per word.

District offices are located in Victoria, Duala, Edea and Kribi, Jaunde and Ossidinge; other administrative regions : Buea, Campo, Lolodorf, Jabassi, Johann-Albrechtshöhe. Rio del Rey, Akono-Linga, Dschang, Bamenda, Banjo, Joko, Ebolowa, Lomie, Dume-Station; residentures: Adamana with station in Garua and German Lake Chad region with station in Kusseri; seat of the government is Buea.

Other places where Europeans reside : on the coast Bibundi, Debundja, Bimbia, Bell, Joss, Akwa, Deidodorf, Malimba, Kl.-Batanga, Londji, Plantation, Gr.-Batanga; on the Mungo: Mundame; on the Sanaga: Lobetal, Marienberg; on the Njong: Widimenge, Dehane; on the Lokundje: Bipindi etc.

Schutztruppe : 1 commander, 39 officers, 11 medical doctors, 79 NCOs, about 1300 coloureds. (as of April 1907). Police troops placed under German military personnel are allocated to the individual stations.


Source: Deutscher Kolonial-Atlas mit Jahrbuch (Atlas German Colonies with Yearbook), edited by the Deutsche Kolonialgesellschaft (German Colonial Society). Berlin 1908, p.9f

GM (digitalisation) and AG (translation) 
posted on the web for psm-data; many thanks to

Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin / Preußischer Kulturbesitz 

Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz


Dokument in deutscher Sprache