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Bakassi Cameroon: Where Beauty Meets Controversy on Africa’s Coast

Bakassi, Cameroon, is a location that calls with its unique blend of natural beauty, cultural richness, and deep history. It is located on the scenic Gulf of Guinea on the west coast of Africa. The territorial disputes that have drawn the world’s attention to this coastal enclave also serve as a monument to the strength of its people and the riches that await those who dare to explore its unspoiled landscape.

On this tour of Bakassi, we’ll learn about its location, history, and culture while also touching on current initiatives to protect the area’s natural resources and foster eco-friendly growth. Come along as we reveal the intriguing history of Bakassi, where the appeal of Africa’s coast meets the complexity of its past and the promises of its future.

Cameroonians place a high value on this region because of the wealth of animals and other natural resources it provides. Since 1994, Cameroon and Nigeria have been at odds over who should legally own the peninsula. In 2002, the International Court of Justice sided with Cameroon. The court’s decision effectively made the territory a part of Cameroon.

Bakassi Cameroon


The Dominating Tribes of Bakassi:

Bakassi’s reputation for cultural richness and diversity derives from the influence of its many diverse ethnic communities. there are three major dominating tribes at bakasi tey include;

Ilaje from Ondo State, Nigeria:

The Ilaje are a Nigerian people who live along the coast of Ondo State, namely in the Ilaje Local Government Area. Their coastal environment is an integral part of their distinctive culture, history, and way of life. The Ilaje people have made major contributions to Ondo State and Nigeria’s cultural, economic, and political life.

A good deal of the Ilaje population speaks the Ilaje language, a Yoruba dialect. Their proximity to the Atlantic Ocean has produced their distinctive culture, which is a fusion of Yoruba beliefs and practices with coastal influences. Traditional art forms such as music, dance, and oral storytelling are vital to keeping their history alive.

The Ilaje live by the coast, therefore fishing and boatbuilding are two of their main sources of income. Because of their expertise as fisherman and extensive understanding of the marine environment, they are able to provide for their communities mostly through fishing. The Ilaje also hold boat-building in high regard, and their canoes are renowned for their quality. The Ilaje people is one of the major ethnic group in Bakassi Cameroon.

The Ibibio

An ethnic group known as the Ibibio lives in the southeast of Nigeria, which includes sections of the states of Akwa Ibom, Cross River, and the Bakassi Peninsula. They are one of the largest ethnic groups in Nigeria’s Niger Delta and have a vibrant cultural history.

The language, cultural values, and practices of the Ibibio people define their unique cultural identity. They have a lengthy history of developed cultures, conventional forms of government, and a distinctive worldview.

The unique cultural history of the Ibibio people includes music, dancing, storytelling, and artistic arts. Colorful masquerades, traditional garb, and unusual musical instruments like the ekwe, a wooden slit drum, are frequently used in their artistic presentations. Ibibio cultural festivities would not be complete without traditional dances.

Given its proximity to the Niger Delta and the Atlantic Ocean, the Ibibio people have traditionally worked in agriculture and fishing. They do subsistence farming, growing plantains, cassava, and yams. With access to abundant fishing areas on the Bakassi Peninsula, fishing continues to be a key source of livelihood.

Many Ibibio people have moved to cities in recent years, especially Calabar and Uyo, in search of work and educational possibilities. Additionally, they have started to take an active role in Nigeria’s political and economic life. The Ibibio ethnic groups also form vast population in Bakassi Cameroon

The Cameroonian

There are people from many different Cameroonian ethnic and linguistic groups living in Bakassi. The population of Bakassi exhibits the cultural and racial diversity that Cameroon is renowned for.
Similar to the Nigerian population, many Cameroonian residents in the region relied heavily on fishing as a source of income before Bakassi was transferred. For food and economic activity, the Gulf of Guinea’s productive fishing grounds were essential.

Following the ICJ decision, the Bakassi Peninsula has been placed under the direct control of the Cameroonian government. This covered government, law enforcement, and the management of civic affairs.

To uphold security and impose its rule in the area, Cameroon had military soldiers stationed in Bakassi. These forces may specifically refer to parts of the army, navy, and perhaps paramilitary groups in Cameroon.

The main purposes of the Cameroonian military’s presence in Bakassi were to protect the border area and guarantee adherence to the ICJ judgment. This presence served to uphold law and order in the region and prevent any potential border problems.

The Beauty of Bakassi Cameroon

Beautiful Shoreline and boats:

The beautiful coastline along the Gulf of Guinea is one of Bakassi Cameroon most eye-catching characteristics. There are beautiful coves and steep cliffs in this area, as well as large expanses of sandy beach. Relaxing, beachcombing, watching stunning sunsets over the Atlantic Ocean, and the view of the fishing boats are all possible on the spotless shores.

Mangroves Forest:

Extensive mangrove forests are found in Bakassi, adding to the region’s natural beauty and significance to the environment. Many species of fish, birds, and crabs rely on these verdant mangroves as their home.

Abundant marine life:

Bakassi’s coastal waters are rich in marine life, making it a popular destination for divers and anglers. Snapper, tilapia, and shrimp are just few of the fish that thrive in this area. It’s also a fantastic place to venture into fishing because they were bless abundantly by God with fishes.

Heritage, Cultural:

Bakassi Cameroon is a beautiful place in part because of the people who live there and their rich culture and traditions. Travelers can meet locals, participate in cultural activities, and gain insight into the region’s unique music, dance, and culture. Traditional rituals and celebrations shed light on the region’s diverse cultural history.

Distinctive Dishes:

The food of Bakassi Cameroon is influenced by the sea and the land. And as their are different ethnics groups in Bakassi, visitors are privilege to have access to diverse of foods and will enjoy the local cuisine, especially the grilled fish, seafood stews, smoke fish, smoke prawns and other delicacies.

Islands and waterways:

Bakassi’s many islands, provide excellent chances for adventure and leisure on the water. The region’s allure is enhanced by its extensive system of rivers and lagoons, which invite exploration by boat and offer the chance to enjoy magnificent cruises.

Challenges Facing Bakassi, and the Path to Resilience

The people of Bakassi have been tested by the many hardships they’ve faced for a long time. Coastal erosion, water shortages in the dry season, concerns with cultural diversity, and other problems are peculiar to this part of Cameroon. In this piece, we will examine these difficulties and the ways in which they may be overcome in order to better the lives of the people of Bakassi.

Erosion of the Coast:

Coastal erosion is a major problem for the people of Bakassi. The sea’s relentless force is slowly eroding the land, which is forcing people to relocate and endangering their livelihoods. Because of this problem, farmable land is being lost in addition to its effects on housing and infrastructure.


  • Seawalls and breakwaters, two common forms of coastal protection, can reduce erosion.
  • The shoreline can be stabilized and erosion reduced by reforestation initiatives.
  • Campaigns to raise public awareness and teach residents how to use land and fish resources sustainably can help in the long run.

A Scarcity of Potable Water:

During the dry season, it might be difficult for people living in Bakassi to find safe drinking water. The proximity of the area to the ocean and the increasing salt of local water sources both contribute to the severity of the situation.


  • Putting money into wells and water treatment plants is an investment in the availability of clean water.
  • During the dry season, water can be collected and stored using a rainwater harvesting system.
  • Less water will be wasted if residents are encouraged to adopt water-saving habits.

Diverse cultures and a lack of solidarity:

There are several different ethnic groups in Bakassi, and they all have their own traditions and rituals. While many see cultural diversity as an asset, it has also created difficulties in working together.


  • Facilitate community-wide events and educational programming that foster intercultural dialogue and understanding.
  • The best way to solve problems that affect people of different backgrounds is to form community councils or committees.
  • Promote events and programmes that bring people of different backgrounds together and honour their differences.

Financial Difficulties:

The aforementioned difficulties contribute to the economic troubles experienced by many Bakassi inhabitants. It can be difficult for families to break the cycle of poverty when resources like education and healthcare are few, and when farmland is lost to development.


  • Create courses that teach locals a trade so they can earn a living in other ways. to ensure that everyone has access to quality education and healthcare, we must invest in these areas.   
  • Foster startup companies and encourage individual initiative to strengthen the regional economy.

Bakassi Peninsula map

Below is the location of Bakassi Cameroon on the map

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Magnigold

    I know it to be a very nice place full of adventures there’s more to discover about it

    Thanks for the writing, enjoyed reading every single line.

  2. Magnigold

    Nice article
    I know bakasi to be a very fun filled place
    Full of adventures. And there’s more to discover in it

    Thanks for the piece

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