Primary Source
Imperialism | Colonial Policy


Deutscher Kolonial-Atlas mit Jahrbuch (Atlas German Colonies, with Yearbook), edited by the German Colonial Society, 1918, Kamerun

Kamerun (p.14)

History : As in the case of Togo, the flag was hoisted in July 1884 by Nachtigall, who also 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.

Size : Altkamerun 495,000 square km (equal to the Reich without the province of 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 has been finally fixed; the same is the case with the border to French Equatorial Africa, which has been slightly altered in 1906 and 1908 and considerably altered by the agreement of 1911. The controversy with Spain (Muni territory, Spanish Guinea) is yet unsolved.

Population : The white population numbered in 1903 710, in 1904 826, in 1905 896, in 1906 1010, in 1907 1128, in 1908 1127, in 1909 1284, in 1910 1455, in 1911 1537 Europeans, among them 1359 Germans and 178 women, in 1912 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. 4,150,000 is given as the total population. - Main native tribes of the hitherto explored regions : in the Lake Chad and Benue areas the Muslim Haussah, a merchant people; the cattle herding Fullah (Fulbe), various Arab and many heathen peoples; further to the south the grassland tribes of Central Kamerun, 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, Bamum, Bamilleke, Banjang, Bakundu, Ngolo, Bamboko, Bakwiri, Duala, Bassa, Bakoko and Mabea, further to the east the Mfang tribes of the Bule, Ntum, Mwei, Jaunde, Bane, Mwele. Along the banks of the rivers Dscha, Bumba and Ssanga live the Bakota tribes of the Maka, Kaka, Badjue (Njem), Mensime, Ndsimu, Kunabembe, Mbimu and others; the Beia tribes Banganda and Ikassa on the Green Likuala, the Banda tribes Jangere, Babinga and Bomassa (on the Ssanga) and finally the Babangi tribes (between Ssanga and Green Likuala). Counted or carefully estimated were the following tribes or districts : Duala 77,000, Victoria 12,000, 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.). In general, the protectorate's surface rises in terrasses in earterly/northeasterly direction Ehilr in the south the highest areas do not exceed 1,000 m, to the north not too far from the coast, in the Bambuto and Bansso Mountains, altitudes of over 3,000 m are reached. To the north of Ngaundere the Kamerun plateau steeply declines by 600 to 800 m, then gradually to the Benue-Lake Chad Plain c. 300 m above sea level, interrupted by individual mountain chains (Mandara Mts., Ssar, Alantika, Shebshi). An imaginary line drawn from Bali along the mouth of the Mbam, Dume Station and Bania to Singa on the Ubangi 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, Wuri and Dibambu 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.

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 region. 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 (p.15). Debundja 10,000 mm, Victoria and Duala 4,200 mm rain per year. The climate is unhealthy, particularly in the forested areas, in the higher altitudes on northern Kamerun considerably better.

Flora : Coast and Mt. Kamerun densely forested. Mostly valuable timber. Further : mangrove, palm trees, pandanas, capoc trees, breadfruit, mango. Rich stands of natural rubber trees, 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 (buffalo and antilope). Kamerun does not have a wildlife as rich as that of Deutsch-Ostafrika and Deutsch-Südwestafrika.

Minerals : deposits of tin are known for years. Near Victoria not 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 Traffic : Export of caoutchouc, palm kernels, palm oil, cocoa, ivory, timber; less important are cola nuts, njabi nuts, copal, cattle; under development tobacco and cotton.
Imported are manufactured goods, victualia, alcoholic beverages, money, salt, timber, wooden tools, iron, iron tools, glassware, tobacco, powder and arms etc.

Transportation : 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, 1912 : 604 ships / 1,733,000 register tons.
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-Mvalmajo, on the Njong river (293 km); the construction has to deal with difficult terrain, and which, in 1914, was completed until Bidjoka, 153 km.
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, 103,931 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 telegraphic 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. In total 45,000 coloured students.

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

Source: Deutscher Kolonial-Atlas mit Jahrbuch, (Atlas German Colonies, with Yearbook), edited by P. Sprigade und M. Moisel, Surveys and retrospects by Dr. Karstedt. Berlin 1918, p.14f

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