Lighthouses of Cameroon
It's Cameroon in English, Cameroun in French, Kamerun in
German. Located at the "hinge" of Africa's west coast, southeast
of Nigeria, the country was originally a German colony. French and British
troops captured it quickly at the start of World War I in 1914, and after
the war the colony was divided between the two allies. The northern coast,
including Capes Debundscha and Nachtigal, fell in the British zone and
the southern coast, including Kribi, in the French. In 1960 the people
of the coastal region of British Cameroon voted to join with French Cameroun
to form the present nation.
Douala is the major port, along with Kribi, the terminus for an oil pipeline from Chad. The National Port Authority is presumably responsible for maintaining navigational aids.
ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS
World List of Lights. Admiralty
numbers are from volume D of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog
Signals. U.S. NGA List numbers are from Publication 113.
- General Sources
- Lighthouses in Cameroon
- Photos by various photographers available from Wikimedia.
- World of Lighthouses - Cameroon
- Photos by various photographers available from Lightphotos.net.
- Online List of Lights - Cameroon
- Photos by various photographers posted by Alexander Trabas.
Leuchttürme auf historischen Postkarten
- Historic postcard views posted by Klaus Huelse.
Kribi Range Front Light, Kribi, March 2008
Panoramio Creative Commons photo by urskalberer
- South Region Lighthouses
- * Kribi
Range Front (Margaret Point)
- 1906. Active; focal plane 18 m (59 ft); three white flashes every 12 s.
15 m (49 ft) cylindrical masonry tower with lantern and gallery. Tower painted
white, lantern and gallery red. In addition to the photo at the top of this
page, Heather Talbot has a closeup photo,
Naëlle le Moal has a 2012 closeup, Lightphotos.net has a photo, Wikimedia has a photo, Huelse has a historic postcard
view as well as a more recent postcard
view, and Google has a street view and a satellite
view. The small keeper's cottage seen in the historic view has disappeared.
Kribi is a beach resort (popular with surfers) at the mouth of the Kienké
River in southern Cameroon. The lighthouse is easily accessible from the beach.
Located on the south side of the entrance to the river. Site open, tower closed.
ARLHS CAM-003; Admiralty D4134; NGA 25236.
- * Kribi Range Rear
- 1906. Active; focal plane 30 m (98 ft); continuous green light visible only
on the range line. Light mounted on the square steeple of the village church.
A 2017 photo of the church and another photo are available, and Google has a fuzzy satellite view. Located on the south side of the Kienké
River in Kribi. Site open, church presumably open. ARLHS CAM-007; Admiralty
D4134.1; NGA 25240.
Southwest Region Lighthouses
- 1904. Active (?); focal plane 44
m (144 ft); white light, 1 s off, 1 s on. 13 m (43 ft) stone structure: two
cylindrical towers joined by an arch to form a monumental gate, with
a lantern atop one of the towers. Huelse has a historic postcard
view, and Bing has a satellite view. This remarkable monument to German
colonial energy was built in 1901 and the lantern was added three
years later. It may have been in service for only a short time, since
a 1916 coast pilot and a 1919 light list describe a framework tower
on the cape. However, Torsten Steinberg, who visited the tower in
September 2004, reported it had been out of service for about 40 years.
It may be the light was erroneously listed as a framework tower, or
it may be that the 1904 lantern was reactivated for some length of
time after 1919. In any case, more information is needed. Steinberg
also reported that the tower cannot be reached by land. The light was reportedly "repaired"
in 2008, so it may be active. The cape was
named for Gustav Nachtigal, who founded the German colony of Kamerun
in 1884. Located on the point of the cape, about 10 km (6 mi) south
of Limbé. Note: ARLHS lists both old (CAM-006) and new (CAM-002) lighthouses, but from the satellite view it appears unlikely that there is a new tower on the cape. Accessible only by boat. Site open; tower status
ARLHS CAM-006; Admiralty D4000; NGA 25100.
- Cap Debundja (Debundscha) (1)
- 1904. Apparently reactivated in 2008 after being inactive since sometime around 1970; focal plane 41 m
(134 ft); white flash every 5 s; a red flash is shown over a sector
to the northwest. Approx. 13 m (43 ft)
round cylindrical concrete tower with gallery; the lantern has been replaced by a radar antenna.
Lighthouse painted with red and white horizontal bands. Ulrich Poggensee's photo is at right, but Bing has only an indistinct satellite view of this station. Construction of the lighthouse began in 1902. The lighthouse has been restored recently; it was abandoned and in poor condition in Roland Boula's 2009 photo. Cap Debundscha is the toe of Mount Cameroon,
a 4095 m (13400 ft) active volcano that is the dominant feature of
the northern coast of Cameroon. The nearby town of Debundja is the
wettest place in Africa, as winds blowing up the mountain slope bring
heavy rains totaling over 10 m (400 in) per year. Located on the
cape, about 25 km (15 mi) west of Limbé (formerly Victoria).
Probably accessible only by boat. Site and tower open if you can get to it. ARLHS CAM-005; Admiralty D3990; NGA 25084.
- Cap Debundscha (Debundja) (2) (?)
- Around 1970 (station established 1904). Inactive at least since 2008. 26 m (85 ft) square skeletal tower with lantern
and gallery. Lighthouse painted white. No photo available. It is not clear whether this tower survives. Located
on the cape, about 25 km (15 mi) west of Limbé (formerly Victoria).
Site status unknown. ARLHS CAM-001.
Information available on lost lighthouses:
(1911-?), north of Cap Debundscha. No additional information is available. ARLHS CAM-004.
1904 Cap Debundscha Light, Debundscha, February 2013
contributed photo copyright Ulrich Poggensee; used by permission
Notable faux lighthouses:
Adjoining pages: South: Equatorial Guinea | West:
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Posted September 23, 2005. Checked and revised October 17, 2018.
Lighthouses: 5. Site copyright 2018 Russ Rowlett and the University of North
Carolina at Chapel Hill.