Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
Just arrived in Cameroon after my holidays in France; I went to the western part of the country for business purposes. Driving along the way (the same road that you will have to drive for the Manengouba’s twin lakes), I passed a crossroad and a sign showing the way to “Ekom-Nkam Waterfalls.” That rang a bell to me. I went there several times and at different periods of the year (rainy and dry seasons). After recalling those memories and the place’s magnificence, I told myself: “I have to write something about the scenery down there!”. Here it is!
How to find the waterfalls
The name Ekom-Nkam comes from the river on which the waterfalls are located: the Nkam River. The watercourse also gave its name to two departments in Cameroon: the Nkam (Littoral region) and Haut-Nkam (West region).
Located around 9km from the main road connecting Douala to the Bamileke Country (Bafoussam, Dschang, Bangangte, etc.), you reach the waterfalls by an easy trail. When I write this post, you do not need a 4×4 to reach the parking spot (here is a link to access the destination in Google Maps directly).
Parking the car there is safe, but be careful not to let anything valuable be visible. It is not guarded. The place deserves to be visited, but it is not highly touristic, so it has not attracted pickpockets yet.
After walking for a few hundred meters, you will arrive at a crossroad with two signs, one leading to the upper part of the falls, the other for their feet, where you will fully appreciate the 80m (262 feet) high fall. In both cases, be careful if you visit the site during the rainy season. The path may be very slippery.
I will stop here with the description of the place; otherwise, it may break the effect of surprise. In any case, Ekom-Nkam waterfalls are a must-see in Cameroon. I strongly recommend them to you.
Once the car is parked, you must buy a ticket to access the site (around 3000XAF for foreigners, a bit less if you are Cameroonian). Please also notice that you will have to pay a supplement if you want to take photographs (+500XAF) or fly the drone (+25000XAF). Keep in mind that these prices are only valid at the time I am writing those lines (January 2023).
People from the village may also ask you if you need a guide. It is not mandatory, but it is always good if you want some out-of-the-books information. And on the same occasion, it develops local tourism, which is always generous. Those guides may share anecdotes about the tree where the famous movie Greystock: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes was shot before its release in 1984.
The best season to visit the waterfalls
There is no particular season to visit the Ekom-Nkam falls. However, each season has its has its pros and cons.
During the rainy season, the flow of the Nkam river increases considerably and in an imposing way. It is impossible to get to the foot of the waterfall as the level at the foot has increased so much.
Also it would be best if you took a suit that insulates you from the water drops and good shoes that will prevent you from slipping during the descent to the nearest.
In the dry season, swimming in the small lake formed by the fall at its foot is possible. Also, there is less risk of skidding during the descent.
The main drawback is that the falls are much less majestic than during the rainy season.
In any case, these waterfalls are a must-see when you come to Cameroon. So, do not hesitate to take your camera, drone, or video camera to immortalize this moment in this magical place.
If you like the waterfalls landscapes, you can visit the Lobe waterfalls located in the Kribi beach resort.