Cameroon is often referred to as "Africa in miniature" because in many ways it is a microcosm of the continent: It has mountains, volcanic highlands, coastal plains, jungle rivers, rain forest and savanna. Its jagged boundaries, drawn up arbitrarily by German colonizers during the 19th century, enclose more than 150 different ethnic groups, scattered around five distinct geographical regions. In recent years, corruption and poverty have prevented the country from taking advantage of its natural resources. Yet while Cameroon reflects much of what Africa has to offer, it's a bit too rough around the edges to be a good introduction to the continent. For adventurous, experienced African travelers, however, it offers a remarkable range of attractions.

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