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Bafoussam, situated in the Bamboutos Mountains, is the capital and largest city of the West Region of Cameroon. It is the third most financially significant city in Cameroon, after Yaoundé and Douala. The Urban Community of Bafoussam, a decentralized territorial collectivity, was established by the Presidential Decree N° 2008/022 of January 17, 2008, and comprises three communes: Bafoussam I (Bafoussam proper), Bafoussam II (Baleng), and Bafoussam III (Bamougoum).

At the 2008 Census, the city had an urban population of 347,517 inhabitants. Bafoussam is the centre of trade in the West Region, with people farming coffee, potatoes, maize, and beans. The city also houses a coffee processing facility and brewery. It is the primary city of the Bamiléké people and hosts the Bafoussam chief’s palace. Bafoussam consists of seven villages (Bamendzi, Banengo, Ndiangdam, Ndiangsouoh, Ndiangbou, Toukouop, Ngoueng, and Banengo city B) with 46 districts or sub-villages. The main neighbourhoods are Banengo, Djeleng, Famla (also known as Akwa), Kamkop, Quartier Eveché, Quartier Haussa, and Tamdja.

Bafoussam has two primary markets (Marché A and Marché B), numerous internet cafes, restaurants, and supermarkets, as well as a movie theatre. The nightlife in Bafoussam is mostly centred around the area called Akwa, which features several bars, stores, and a live music venue, along with vendors selling Soya (barbecued beef meat brochettes), Poisson braisé (barbecued fish), and other foods.

Bafoussam is the birthplace of football player Geremi and his 17 siblings, as well as his cousins Pierre Webó and Guy Kouemou.

Country  Cameroon
Regions West
Division Mifi
Settled 14th Century
Incorporated (Town) 1926
Incorporated (city) 2008
 • Government Delegate (Délégué du Gouvernement) Nzété Emmanuel
 • Communauté Urbaine 402 km2 (155 sq mi)
 • Urban
91 km2 (35 sq mi)
1,521 m (4,990 ft)
 • Communauté Urbaine 1,146,000 (estimate)
 • Density 2,865/km2 (7,420/sq mi)
 • Urban
600,000 (estimate)
 • Urban density 6,593/km2 (17,080/sq mi)
 • Metro
1,146,000 (estimate)
 • Major ethnic group
 • Religions
Bamileke Religion Christianity Islam
Time zone UTC+1 (West Africa Time)

History of Bafoussam

The Bafoussam people come from the Bamileke ethnic group, who are natives of the same region. The Bamileke are believed to be descendants of the Baladis, who left Egypt in the ninth century and arrived in the Tikar region in the twelfth century. They later split, with Yende founding the Bafoussam kingdom, his sister settling in the Banso area, and Ncharé founding the Bamoun kingdom.

The name “Bafoussam” originates from the Bafoussam dialect, where “Pe Foussan” means “people of…”. When Westerners arrived, they combined “Pe” and “Foussan” to make “Bafoussam”. However, another source claims that “Bafoussam” is a bad Western translation of “Fuh Sep”, which means “we earn more by selling in detail than wholesale”.

Bafoussam’s importance grew after a meeting between the colonial administrator of the Bamileke region and the monarch of Fu’sap in 1945, due to its location at the crossroads between British Southern Cameroons and French Cameroon. By 1950, it had become a cosmopolitan village and was designed by French architect Dufayard. It replaced Dschang as the capital of the West Region and became the economic hub of the region.


Bafoussam is a city situated in the foothills of the Banengo and Baleng hills. These hills are covered with savannah vegetation, and the city itself is built on stairs on the perimeters of various neighbourhoods. The city’s elevation is about 1500 meters above sea level, which contributes to its cool climate. The temperature in Bafoussam typically ranges from 15°C to 27°C, but due to climate change, it sometimes reaches 28°C during the dry season, which lasts from mid-November to mid-March. The rainy season, on the other hand, lasts eight months, from mid-March to mid-November.

Bafoussam’s climate is classified as tropical savanna climate (Aw) by the Köppen-Geiger climate classification system. However, its temperature is lower than other places with this classification due to its high elevation.

While the city is not particularly rich in natural rivers, the Mifi River flows along the southern part of the city and creates the fall of the Metche when it falls into a void. Other smaller streams like Megang, Nlom, and Vava also exist in the city. The fall of the Metche is a popular tourist attraction, as is Lake Baleng, a nearby crater lake.

Education in Bafoussam

Bafoussam has a number of high schools, including technical and vocational schools, as well as primary schools and kindergartens. However, the city has few tertiary institutions, so after graduation, many students go to other cities like Dschang, Yaounde, Douala, or Buea to attend university or other forms of tertiary institutions. It’s worth noting that in Cameroon, government/public high schools are called Lycées, while privately funded high schools are called Collèges.

Cameroon has two official languages, so it’s common to find schools that offer education solely in English or French, or both (known as bilingual high schools).

Some notable high schools in Bafoussam include Lycée Bilingue de Bafoussam (Government Bilingual High School Bafoussam), which is the best government/publicly funded high school in Bafoussam and the whole of the West Region of Cameroon. It’s known for providing quality education and high discipline. Every year, a handful of students from this school are admitted to prestigious tertiary institutions like the National Advanced School of Engineering (École nationale supérieure polytechnique de Yaoundé).

Other famous high schools in Bafoussam include Complexe Polytechnique Bilingue privé laïc TAMA (CoPoBiT) and College Martin Luther King.

Regarding tertiary education, most institutions in Bafoussam are affiliated with state universities like the University of Dschang or the University of Bamenda. Some of these institutions include Institut Supérieur de Bafoussam (ISB), Institut Catholique de Bafoussam, Université du Plateau ISAMET Bafoussam, and Université Royale de Bafoussam.

Recommended Hotels

If you are travelling to Bafoussam, then here are the best hotels you can check in;


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