Limbe, Cameroon

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Coordinates: 4°01′N 9°13′E / 4.017°N 9.217°E / 4.017; 9.217



A tourist area in Limbe
A tourist area in Limbe
Town of Friendship
Limbe is located in Cameroon
Location in Cameroon
Coordinates: 4°01′N 9°13′E / 4.017°N 9.217°E / 4.017; 9.217
CountryFlag of Cameroon.svg Cameroon
150 m (490 ft)
 • Total84,223 (Census)

Limbe (known as Victoria from 1858 to 1982) is a seaside city in the South-West Region of Cameroon. Limbe was founded in 1858 on the southern slopes of Mount Cameroon by the British missionary Alfred Saker. At the 2005 Census, the population was 84,223.

Etymology of the name Limbe[edit]

The name Limbe originates from the Mokpwe word "L'imbama". Mokpwe is the language spoken by the Bakweri people, who are indigenous to this area. In Mokpwe, one says "Ah imbami" (He/She is strong). Limbe means the river that grows stronger as it flows, gains strength from tributaries as it heads to the sea. There is a Bakweri proverb which states "morzo ah mende mo mwiti wondenga teh am'engama.", The river that flows by itself is weak and crooked. Limbe is the physical personification of that proverb.


1908 painting by R. Hellgrewe of the town when it was known as Victoria

Victoria was founded by the British missionary Alfred Saker of the Baptist Missionary Society of London in June 1858. Due to this treaty, initially Victoria and its vicinity was not part of the new German colony Kamerun and remained under British administration. On May 7, 1886 Great Britain and Germany agreed to exchange Victoria and its vicinity for German rights at the Forcados River in Nigeria and St. Lucia, KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. On March 28, 1887 Victoria and its vicinity were handed over to the German administration. At the same time Swiss Presbyterian missionaries bought the land from the Baptist Missionary Society in 1887.

Victoria became British again in 1915. In 1982 Victoria was renamed "Limbe" by Ahmadou Ahidjo.

Limbe was recently acknowledged by the Cameroonian government for its role played in the trade of slaves. The current site (Bimbia) is being restored for tourists, who would like to understand how slaves made their way from far distances to the coastal city.


The Southwest Province's official language is English, although French is spoken due to the city's geographic proximity to Douala, where the official language is French. Most of the population speaks Cameroonian Pidgin English. The native language of the region is Bimbia or Isubu.

Main sights[edit]

Traditional fishing boats on the beach.

Limbe is located on a bay against the backdrop of a major mountain range. Black sand beaches make Limbe one of two coastal towns (Kribi being the other) that are popular among Western tourists. Attractions include the Limbe Wildlife Centre and Limbe Botanical Gardens. The Germans left a Bismarck tower in the vicinity of Limbe. It is the home to the Bakweri people.

The coastline with Bioko in the background.


Limbe was served by a terminal station of a 600 mm (1 ft 11 58 in) gauge plantation railway from Soppo, near Buea, of the West African Planting Society Victoria.[1]


Limbe is the center of Cameroon's oil industry. Other important industries are fishery and tourism. The Port of Limbe is one of four commercial ports in Cameroon.[2]


In 2008, Limbe became the site of a cement works. The city is also host to the head office (located at Bota, Limbe) of one of Cameroon's largest companies known as the Cameroon Development Corporation (CDC). The head office is at Bota, Limbe. Limbe has the only oil refinery company SONARA. Bundes Construction is also the largest civil engineering company. Limbe also has a non-operational natural sea port. Limbe, along with the rest of Cameroon, Central African Republic, and Chad, rely on all import / export activities through the port of Douala, the economic capital of Cameroon. Limbe, which is a viable tourist destination in Cameroon,[citation needed] has a number of tourist attractions such as the Limbe Wildlife Center, the Limbe Botanic Garden, and an extensive and almost unique dark sand public and private beaches. There are several small inns and motels, including the LK Hotel, Musango Beach Hotel, Atlantic Beach, Guest House, Park and Mirama, Trinity, Savoy Palms, and First International Inn (Fini). These accommodate both business and tourist guests.[citation needed] Amongst these, the LK Hotel is situated above a view (mile 4) of the Atlantic Ocean, a vantage point from which to view the sunsets that envelop the Atlantic Ocean, mount Cameroon and the Malabo Islands.[tone]


Limbe is a sport loving city especially football which is the most loved and supported sport discipline in the nation. The city is home to a number of football clubs such as Njala Quan Sports academy (NQSA) founded by Mr Henry Njala quan, Victoria United ( Commonly known as OPOPO), and Best Stars Academy just to name a few. The construction of the Limbe Stadium in Limbe is planned, financed by the state-owned Chinese company, the Exim Bank of China. [3]


Limbe City Council organizes an annual Festival of Arts and Culture. This event is popularly known as Limbe FESTAC and has been taking place annually since 2014. Activities during this event includes: a caravan to launch the event, fashion parade, election of Miss FESTAC, exhibition, canoe race, traditional dances, display of traditional dishes, etc. It attracts visitors from all corners of the country and even from abroad. Culture from Cameroon as well as neighboring African countries are displayed.

Twin towns – sister cities[edit]

Limbe is twinned with:

See also[edit]

Monument celebrating 150 years of Limbe.


  1. ^[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ WikiLeaks: cablegate, cable 2010-02-18 (ID: 10YAOUNDE95) China's Growing Presence in Cameroon

External links[edit]

Media related to Limbe at Wikimedia Commons