Zwinkels Mountain Lodge Belo
ZWINKELS MOUNTAIN LODGE IN THE BELO MOUNTAINS
Overwhelming nature and stunning biodiversity are but a few of the factors that make Cameroon an attractive holiday destination. By virtue of being somewhat off the beaten track, Cameroon offers an authentic African experience unmatched by more popular African destinations. Cameroon’s North-West Region is among the most authentic and spectacular regions anywhere in Africa. Its landscape varies between rolling hills and rugged mountains, whilst traditional tribal and feudal societies remain in existence to the present day. Not to be missed is the famous Ring Road, an old German military road that cuts through some of the most spectacular natural scenery of Cameroon.
A few years ago, Zwinkels Tours commenced construction of the Zwinkels Mountain Lodge, aiming to provide lodging to tourists longing to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life in the city. The camp is located at a mere 50 kilometers (31 miles) from Bamenda in the tiny village of Aboh, near Lake Oku in the Belo subdivision. Zwinkels Mountain Lodge has been built to facilitate easy access to Lake Oku with its beautiful untouched nature and wildlife. Another option open to our customers would be trekking in the Mbingo Hills and get acquainted with the daily life of the inhabitants. From Bamenda the is road is leading to Belo and Fundong, the regional capital with 20.000 inhabitants, and the seat is of the King (Fon) of Kom . The palace of the Fon is in Laikom, high in the mountains. The town Belo is situated before Fundong and just outside Belo there is a small road leading into the hills with clear indication “Zwinkels Mountain Lodge”.
The lodge is constructed for tourists and for people, who like Cameroonian nature and traditional life. From there tourists can easily trek to Lake Oku and enjoy the beautiful surroundings and the unspoilt nature and animals. Zwinkels Tours Cameroon can offer the guests of the lodge to do also hiking in the Mbingo hills, where they can see the daily life in the local peaceful villages or take a ride on one of the horses of the local Fulani’s.
Bookings and Payments
The Management of the Zwinkels Mountain Lodge is executed by Zwinkels Tours Cameroon (ZTC), an official Travel Company, that is focussing on growing and promoting sustainable tourism in Cameroon. The bookings and administrative processing of your stay in the lodge is always done by ZTC and like all other international Hotels, Guest Houses and Lodges, ZTC demands at the moment of booking a bungalow or boukarou an advance payment of one or two nights while upon arrival the remaining part of the stay must be paid. Invoicing of breakfast, lunches and dinners as well as drinks will be done on the departure date through an after-calculation.
COST OF OVERNIGHTS:
BUNGALOW THREE PERSONS: FCFA 40.000.— per night (EUR 61.–)
BUNGALOW TWO PERSONS: FCFA 37.000.—- per night (EUR 56.-)
BUNGALOW ONE PERSON: FCFA 27.000.— per night (EUR 41.–)
CITY TAX: FCFA 500 per night ( EUR 1)
- twin room (2 separate beds)
- en suite hot water shower and toilet
BOUKAROU PER PERSON: FCFA 24.000.— per night (EUR 36,–)
BOUKAROU TWO PERSON: FCFA 27.000 ( EUR 41)
- twin room (2 separate bunk beds or double beds
- Hot shower and toilet in the toilet building
TENT: FCFA 15.000 per person per night (EUR 23)
- Hot shower/toilet in the toilet building
- Rental of tent
- Rental of matrasses and pillow
- Rental of bed sheets and covers
The prices are including 2 hours of electricity (18.30 hours – 20.30 hours:
Cost for food in the Zwinkels Mountain Lodge per person:
- Breakfast : FCFA 5.500 (EUR 7,60)
- Lunch : FCFA 7.000 (EUR 10,70)
- Dinner : FCFA 12.500 (EUR 23,00)
- 25% discount for children below 12 years
- 50% discount for children below 8 years
FOR DETAILED INFORMATION ON OUR FOOD POLICY SEE ZWINKELS GUEST HOUSE BAMENDA
Trekking with a guide: FCFA 5.000 per person FCFA 5.000 guide per day
Horse riding with the Fulani’s: FCFA 30.000 per day FCFA 5.000 guide per day FCFA 3.000 groom per day
AN EXAMPLE OF A THREE DAYS TREKKING PROGRAMME IN THE BELO MOUNTAINS AROUND THE “ZWINKELS MOUNTAIN LODGE” IN THE ABOH VILLAGE.
Early breakfast at the Zwinkels Mountain Lodge in the Aboh village. Departure for lake Oku through the Ijim/Kilum Mountain forest reserve, which harbours a great variety of tree species and birds, especially the famous, colourful Bannerman’s Touraco, whose sound has been imitated by the villagers in one of the instruments used in their traditional music, called the “Njang”.
The red feather from ths bird is used to differentiate titled men, by sticking it on the typical caps of the Tikar chiefdoms in the North West Province. Guide and Camp Head Zwinkels Mountain Lodge Lake Oku the trek continues on a hilly landscape with a radiant panorama of the spectacular green hills and valleys, farm lands with food crops like maize, beans, potatoes, pumpkin etc. portraying the occupation of the people, which is farming.
Out of the Kom village into the forest around Lake Oku one can see Indian bamboos, giant tropical trees with bee hives hanging in the branches, and indication of bee farming. The dark green lake can be seen from this point surrounded by thick ever green forest as well as part of the 3011m high Mt Oku. At the shore, one is welcomed by little ducks, believed to be the gods of the lake, fleeing to the middle of the lake. This lake is on the boundary between Kom and Oku village and is greatly exploited by the Oku villagers. Like other Africans, ancestral worship is held in high esteem in their tradition, the Oku Fon and the villagers use this lake annually for sacrificial rituals as they believe their ancestors reside in the lake. Water from this lake is believed to be medicinal as well as the herbs growing near the shore. They are usually picked by traditional doctors.
The shore is a good spot for a picnic lunch. Return to Zwinkels Mountain Lodge for for dinner and overnight.
Breakfast at Zwinkels Mountain Lodge. You can choose from today’s options:
- Horse riding around the village of Fundong. The local Fulani will serve as your groom and guide.
- Visit to the compound of the father of the Fon in the Aboh village, introduction to the history of the Kom dynasty Walk around the Aboh village, visiting local families and getting acquainted with everyday life in an African village.
- Visit one of the local bars (why not?) joining the people in drinking the locally brewed beer from corn, called “nkang” Return to Zwinkels Mountain Lodge after the day’s activities. After dinner a local dance will be organized around a camp fire. Dinner and overnight.
Early breakfast at Zwinkels Mountain Lodge. The quiet surroundings at Zwinkels Mountain Lodge Departure for Mbingo by car to the starting point of the trek, which will lead us through the highly captivating mountainous scenery with numerous waterfalls and caves hidden in the hills. At the starting point is a spectacular view of the Mbingo Baptist hospital built by missionaries in 1957. The fairly steep climb begins and progresses along with a view of the radiant hills with wonderful shapes, flowers like the red flag bush, the sound of birds chipping, little streams, cattle and Fulani “Borroro” settlements with their very friendly people. Picnic lunch at one of the Fulani settlements. Visit to the 25m high water fall along the way as the path descends into the Kom village settlement full of compounds with hectares of Robusta coffee which is the main cash crop of the village. Most compounds have more than one house, signifying the number of wives in each compound. You now come to the main road. Here your transport is waiting for the drive back to Zwinkels Mountain Lodge. Dinner and overnight.
Breakfast at the Zwinkels Mountain Lodge. Departure for trek in the hills north east of the camp. The trek progresses through the Kom (Aboh) village settlement with friendly people and through farm lands with food crops like corn, beans, potatoes, cocoyams and plantain trees. Out of the village settlements we go into the hills passing through grazing land (sheep and goats). Beneath the green hills a fairly steep climb begins up to the slope of the hills with an over view of Zwinkels Mountain Lodge and the Mbingo hills. On the hilltop a small part of the Ndawara Tea Estate can be seen in the distance, and a waterfall from lake Oku. Walk on the hill to a spot considered by most villagers as the “witches land”. The hill itself is covered with very low grass but just on this particular spot the grass has grown high and thick. Because the people do not understand why at the same place some grass is short and some has grown high, this spot has been considered a place visited by witches. The villagers, apart from traditional doctors, dread this place, and consider anyone that goes there as having mystical powers. A nice picnic lunch could be taken on this particular spot while you rest and breathe the fresh air from the hills and also feast your eyes on the beautiful landscape around it. The trek continues with the descend back to the Zwinkels Mountain Lodge. Dinner and overnight in the lodge.
Early breakfast at Zwinkels Mountain Lodge and departure by car to St Bede’s college in Ashing village where the trek begins. As you climb along, view the dynamic scenery that gets more and more beautiful as one climbs higher. Gradually, we walk out of Ashing village and arrive now in the Fuli village settlement where you find at the bottom of the hill different pits from which stones are being dug. These stones are nicely parked beside the road and sold to be used for construction of houses. Further along on the slope of the hill you come across a small hut. The hut was built by a German missionary and in front are small benches where he teaches the Bible to the villagers every Sunday afternoon. Around this hut farming is carried out and food crop cultivation is done like in all other Kom villages. This Fuli hill is a historical place for the Catholic Christians in the village. On the hill top a wooden cross has been planted, which represents the place where Jesus Christ was crucified. It is built with stones from the stone pits and on two sides two iron poles are signifying where the two criminals were crucified alongside Christ on Mt Calvary. Commonly it is called Mt Calvary. Once a year in the month of April during lent season in the Catholic Church, Christians climb this hill in remembrance of the suffering and crucifixion of Jesus Christ. From this point one can have a wide view of Njinikom village which is the home of a Famous Cameroonian politician called Ngam Jua. View the St Bede’s college and Belo town. Return to where the trek started and return by car to Zwinkels Mountain Lodge. Dinner and overnight at the lodge.