Primary Source
Imperialism | Colonial Policy


Atlas of Germany's Colonies and Illustrated Yearbook, edited by P. Sprigade and M. Moisel, 1914, Kamerun
Kamerun  (p.21)

History : The flag was hoisted in July 1884 under the guidance of Nachtigall, as in the case of Togo; he is buried in the protectorate, on the Jossplatte in Duala. Unrest among the natives provoked by British intrigues had to be suppressed by the "Olga" and "Bismarck". We penetrated relatively late into the hinterland; Lt. Col. Pavel reached Lake Chad in 1902, where the British and French were already present. In central and southern Kamerun, repeatedly expeditions were necessary to subdue unruly tribes; in these the Schutztruppe officers Langheld, Dominick, Zimmermann and others distinguished themselves.

Size : Altkamerun 495,000 square km (equal to the Reich without the province od Silesia). All of Kamerun 790,000 square km, i.e. almost 1.5 times the area of the Deutsches Reich. The border to British Nigeria is not yet final; the border to French Equatorial Africa has been slightly altered in 1906 and 1908 and considerably altered by the agreement of 1911. The territorial gain amounts to an estimated 250,000 square km. The controversy with Spain (Muni territory, Spanish Guinea) is yet unsolved.

Population : The white population numbered in 1903 : 710, 1904 : 826, 1905 : 896, 1906 : 1010, 1907 : 1128. 1908 : 1127, 1909 : 1284, 1910 : 1455, 1911 : 1537, of whom 1359 Germans and 178 women; 1912 already 1871, of whom 1643 Germans and 230 adult women. A census of the coloured population has taken place only in a few districts, mainly for taxation purpose. The total figure given is 4,150,000. - Main native tribes of the hitherto explored regions : in the regions adjacent to Lake Chad the Haussah, a trading people, and the cattle breeding Fullah. Further to the south the grassland tribes of Adamaua, which developed under Fullah rule, most notably the Bata, Tikar, Beia and Wute. Closer to the coast in the northwest and west down to the southern border the Bafut and Bali, Banjang, Bakundu and Ngolo, Bamboko, Bakwiri, Duala, Batanga and Mabea and finally the Bule (Fang). These also live in the newly gained territories. The area between the coastal and grassland tribes, roughly the middle valley of the Sanaga and Njong, is settled by Bakoko tribes; further in the east follow the Jaunde, Bane and 
Jengone, all of which are related to the Bule which settle almost the entire south. Along the banks of the rivers Dscha, Bumba and Ssanga live the Janguma, Njem, Ndsimu, Bomome and Maka. The Ngumba on the Lokundje are also to be mentioned, relatives of the Njem and Maka. Counted or carefully estimated were the following tribes or districts : Duala 77,000, Victoria 12,000, Buea 11,300, Ossidinge 34,000, Kribi 33,000, Jaunde 209,000, Rio-del-Rey 19,000, Johann-Albrechtshohe 60,000, Banjo 38,000, Bamenda 270,000, Ebolowa 100,000, Lomie 31,000, Jabassi 180,000, Bare 20,000, Dume 11,300, Dschang 187,000, Edea 97,000, Jukaduma 15,000, Garua 530,000, Kusseri 280,000 heads.

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. In general, the protectorate's surface rises in terrasses in earterly/northeasterly direction (Adamawa Mountains up to 3,000 m, Nguakeli). In Deutsch-Bornu the Mandara Mountains. 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, according to recent examination, is navigable (between Widimenge and Abong-Mbang) with the Nkele; finally the smaller not navigable tributaries : Lokundje, Kribi and Kampo. Into the Kongo feed the Ssanga with Ngoko (or Dscha) and Kadei, as well as the even more water bringing Ubangi. Adamawa is crossed by the navigable Benue, the largest tributary of the Niger, an important traffic route to the sea (Niger Navigation Act of 1885). Less important are the Cross River, the mouth of which is in Nigeria. The Schari feeding into Lake Chad with it's tributary, the Logone, are navigable over a long distance and are used by the French to supply their posts located there.

Climate : The average annual temperature is about 25 degrees Celsius along the coast; 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 regionand show not insignificant changes from year to year. The main rainy season is mostly from May to October. The coastal region near Mt. Kamerun has one of the world's highest amounts of annual precipitation. 1906-1907 in Duala 3,800 mm rain within a period of 12 months. The climate is unhealthy, particularly in the forested areas, in the higher altitudes on northern Kamerun considerably better.

Flora : Coast and Mt. Kamerun densely overgrown by the jungle. Mostly valuable timber. Further : mangrove, palm trees, pandanas, capoc trees, breadfruit, mango. Natural rubber trees frequent, also in Neukamerun. 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. Kamerun does not have a wildlife as rich as that of Deutsch-Ostafrika and Deutsch-Südwestafrika. (p.22)

[physical education of coloured students]

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 and possibly coal fields. The exploration of Kamerun's mineral deposits is yet far behind.

Trade and Transportation : Export of rubber, palm kernels, palm oil, cocoa, ivory, timber; less important of cola nuts, njabi nuts, kopal, cattle; under development tobacco and cotton. Imported are manufactured goods, victualia, alcoholic beverages, money, salt, timber, wooden tools, iron, iron tools, glassware, tobacco, powder, weapons etc. Value of imports and exports see tables on pp.12 and 13.

Traffic : Navigation : The Kamerun ports and roadsteads have been frequented in 1907 by 474 steamers with a total tonnage of 1,270,000 tons, 1908 : 421 steamers / 1,316,000 tons, 1909 : 383 steamers / 1,035,000 tons, 1910 : 385 steamers / 1,291,000 tons, 1911 : 397 steamers / 1,497,000 tons, of which under German flag 242 steamers with 1,126,000 register tons. 1912 : 604 ships with 1,733,000 register tons. 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 (160 km) since 1906 under construction, opened in 1910. Approved and since 1908 under construction the Line Duala-Edea-Mbalmajo, on the Njong river (293 km); the construction has to deal with difficult terrain. Early in 1914 it was completed until Bidjoka station, 153 km; it will reach the Njong in 1916.

Post and Telegraph Services : by the end of 1913 : 46 post offices, 24 of which offer telegraph services, 22 offer local telephone services. 1,162 km telegraph lines overland; 1912 : 1,526,300 letters, 83,416 postal money orders amounting to a total sum of 16,591,507 Mark; 40,987 parcels, 257,800 newspaper issues, 109,931 telegrams, 470,335 telephone calls. Postal delivery (Germany-Kamerun) : three to four times a month. Time for delivery Berlin-Duala 20 to 30 days. Telegram fee 3,65 Mark per word. In addition a radio telegraph station in Duala.

Education : government school for coloured students in Duala, Victoria, Jaunde and Garua, in 1912 in total 833 students. Further the missions of various confessions operate many schools. All follow a curriculum set up by the government; they instruct c. 45,000 coloured students.

Administration : seat of the governor (at this time Dr. Ebermaier) is Buea. The protectorate is divided in 28 districts : Duala, Viktoria, Rio-del-Rey, Johann-Albrechtshohe, Ossidinge, Dschang, Bare, Jabassi, Edea, Kribi, Muni, Ebolowa, Jaunde, Banjo, Dume, Lomie, Jukaduma, Unter-Ssanga, Bamenda, Wolo-Ntem, Iwindo, Mittel-Ssanga-Lobaje, Ober-Ssanga-Uham, Ober-Logone, Bamum, Ngaundere, Garua, Deutsche Tschadseelander (seat Mora).

Schutztruppe : 175 white officers; mainly dustributed over in 12 companies. 1,550 coloureds (numbers of 1913). Police troops standing under the command of German military officers are allocated to various police stations.

Source: Deutscher Kolonial-Atlas mit Jahrbuch, (Atlas German Colonies, with Yearbook), edited by P. Sprigade und M. Moisel. Berlin 1914, p.21f

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