Primary Sources
Imperialism | Colonial Policy


Atlas of Germany's Colonies and Illustrated Yearbook, edited by the German Colonial Society, 1908, Kamerun

Kamerun (p.13)

Size : 495 600 square km (= Deutsches Reich). The border with the British neighbouring colony has not yet been finally determined, the one with French Congo in 1906 to 1908.

Population : about 3500000 (?) inhabitants, among them 1903: 710, 1904 : 826, 1905 : 896, 1906 : 1010 , 1907 : 1128 Europeans, of whom 971 Germans and 141 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, Beia and Wute are the best known. Closer to the coast down to the southern border follow the Bafut and Bali, Banjang, Bakundu and Ngolo, (p.14) 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. The following tribes and districts have been counted : Duala 52.000, Victoria 7.200, Buea 10.000, Ossidinge 24.000, Kribi 34.000 men; estimated : Jaunde 57.000, Kampo 10.000, Rio-del-Rey 31.000, Johann Albrechtshohe 60.000, Joko 9.000, Banjo-Stadt 10.000, Ebolowa 180.000, Lomie 60.000, Jabassi 18.000, Dume 30.000, Dschang 9.000.

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.

Figure 5 : Caravan from Kamerun's interior

The very important, but not navigable Sanaga with the Mbam; the Njong the upper stretch of which is navigable according to newer research (between Widimenge and Abong-Mbang), with the Nkele; finally the smaller tributaries : Lokundje, Kribi and Kampo. Adamaua is crossed by the navigable Benue, the largest tributary of the Niger, an 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. The report year was unusually dry.

Flora : Coast and Mt. Kamerun densely overgrown by the jungle. Mostly valuable lumber. Further : Mangrove, palm trees, pandanas, capoc trees, breadfruit, mango. Grassland up to the swamp vegetation at Lake Chad. Cultivated are cocoa, caoutchouk and oil palms. (p.15)

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 (chimpanzee and gorilla), predators, pachyderms (elephants 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, cattle etc., Imported are manufactured goods, food, alcoholic beverages, 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 5-8.

Transportation : Navigation : The Kamerun ports and roadsteads have been frequented in 1907 by 474 steamers with a total tonnage of 1,270,000 tons, 281 of which were German. Transfer ticket : Woermann Line Hamburg-Duala 1st class 600 Mark, 2nd class 450 Mark.
Railway Lines : short narrow gauge line (private property) Victoria-Soppo (43 km), line connecting Duala with the Manenguba Mountains since 1906 under construction, opening of a partial stretch probably in 1909. Approved the Line Duala-Edea-Widimenge (293 km).
Post and Telegraph Services : by the end of 1907 : 30 post offices, 15 of which offer telegraph services, 14 offer local telephone services. 1907 : 861,000 letters, 28,700 postal money orders amounting to a total sum of 3,785,000 Mark; 20,000 parcels, 91,000 newspaper issues, 89,000 telegrams, 199,000 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.

Figure 5 : seats on the palaver ground in Ekoiland (Cross River Area)

Administration: seat of the governor (presently Dr. Seitz) is Buea. Presently the protectorate consists of 18 administrative districts, 10 of which are under civilian administration : Rio-del-Rey, Ossidinge, Johann-Albrechtshohe, Victoria, Buea, Duala, Jabassi, Edea, Jaunde, Kribi, 6 under military administration : Ebolowa, Lomie, Dume-Station, Dschang, Bamenda, Banjo and 2 residentures : Adamaua (Garua) and German Lake Chad territory (Kusseri).

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 P. Sprigade und M. Moisel, Yearbook and Remarks by Hubert Henoch. Berlin 1909, p.13ff.

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Dokument in deutscher Sprache