Cameroon has often been called “Africa in miniature” for how much it mirrors the continent’s diversity. That’s especially true from an ecological standpoint. Like its mother continent, Cameroon boasts a coastline, mountains, savanna, desert and tropical rainforests. Though just larger than Sweden in terms of geographic size, this Central African nation hosts roughly 90 percent of all the ecosystem types found in Africa.
Tanzania is known for its wildlife tourism, but in reality, 91 percent of tourism arrivals in the country head to northern Tanzania. The southern swath of Tanzania, with its fertile soils and temperate weather, is prime agriculture country.
Since stepping into the role of African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) president in January 2016, Kaddu Sebunya has met with heads of state and regional bodies in Africa to advocate for sustainable development that takes the continent’s natural riches—its wildlife and wild lands—into account.
Though they live next to Tanzania’s largest national park, residents in the villages surrounding Ruaha National Park see no benefits from the presence of wildlife, particularly carnivores.
In the remote protected areas of Central Africa, danger has a name: Lord’s Resistance Army, Janjaweed, Séléka, take your pick. “When we started working in Cameroon’s Faro National Park, we lost four village guards almost immediately due to conflict,” recalls Jef Dupain, African Wildlife Foundation’s (AWF’s) technical director for West and Central Africa.