|Title:||the national park|
|Location:||N 2°27'246/E 15°25'267, cameroon|
in the morning we went to GTZ, a german development organisation, to get information about the road into congo. we knew that there were roads going south from yokaduma but they were not indicated on our maps. the people from the GTZ were very helpful and even radioed the policestations in the south to find the best solution. then they told us about a nearby national park where it's possible to see gorillas and many other animals. this sounded great and as the park was on the way to congo we decided to go and have a look.
the weather was fantastic and i was happy because the road was dry again. we saw several pygmae villages on the way where pot-bellied children were running up to the side of the road, watching us with a mix of fear and curiousity. we had the feeling of being swallowed by the jungle as the vegetation was getting more and more dense.
todays first checkpoint was a good one. the officer almost stood attention when he saw my passport: "oh, le croix rouge! allez-y. bonne chance!" it's funny how many people percieve the white cross of the swiss flag as a red cross and making up theire own conclusions.
the next checkpoint was not that easy. one man was sitting in front of a make-shift office, typing on a pre-colonial typrwriter, while the other one stepped into the road showing off his rifle. this guy wanted money! it took us considerable time to explain that tourism is not a paid profession and that we were not financed by our governments. dissappointed at the stingyness of our governments he finally let us go.
we found the campsite of the national park. it was a nice, if a bit run-down compound with several big tents in the middle of the forrest. there seemed to be no one in charge and we couldn't find out what the cost of a two days tour into the forrest would be. we were also told that the actual park was another 50 kilometer awaya and that we would have to pay for the diesel to get there. from the guestbook we received very mixed oppinions about the park and, considering all the facts, we told the rangers that we would wait with a desicion until tomorrow morning