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.
Afrikanische 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 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. Floet Gilou has a photo of the church, another photo is available, and Google has a fuzzy satellite view. Located on the north side of the Kienké River in Kribi. Site open, church presumably open. ARLHS CAM-007; Admiralty D4134.1; NGA 25240.

Southwest Region Lighthouses
Cap Nachtigal (1)
1904. Inactive for many years. 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 Google 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 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. Accessible only by boat. Site open; tower also open. ARLHS CAM-006.
Cap Nachtigal (3)
Date unknown (station established 1904). Active; focal plane 44 m (144 ft); white light, 1 s off, 1 s on. 13 m (43 ft) masonry tower, painted white. No photo available. The light was "repaired" in 2008. Located on the point of the cape, about 10 km (6 mi) south of Limbé. Accessible only by boat. Site open; tower status unknown. ARLHS CAM-002; Admiralty D4000; NGA 25100.
Cap Debundscha (Debundja) (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 Google's very distant satellite view has no detail in this area. 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 Debundscha 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). 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.

1904 Cap Debundscha Light, Debundscha, February 2013
contributed photo copyright Ulrich Poggensee; used by permission

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: South: Equatorial Guinea | West: Nigeria

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Posted September 23, 2005. Checked and revised November 15, 2014. Lighthouses: 6. Site copyright 2014 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.