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Seattle's Sister City – Limbe, Cameroon

Limbe: 4.0225° N, 9.1954° E                                                      Map by

The Atlantic port city of Limbe, on the southwest coast of the Republic of Cameroon (West/Central Africa), has a population of 84,000. Limbe is located on a beautiful bay against the backdrop of a major mountain range. Cameroon is world famous for its tea and agriculture production, and Limbe is the center of its palm oil industryOther important industries are fishery and tourism. The Port of Limbe is one of four commercial ports in Cameroon.


Limbe was founded in 1858 by Alfred Saker, an English missionary. The land had effectively been sold to Saker by King William of Bimbia. Known first as Victoria for more than 120 years, in 1982 the city was rechristened Limbe, the name of a river that flows through the city (a local corruption of Limburg, a German engineer who built the first bridge over the river). The stamp of British influence in this region of Cameroon remains—with English commonly spoken, and also a fondness for tea and Guinness ale. 


The center of Limbe forms a labyrinth of streets and alleys around lively Church Street. Other than the churches which give its name, the street is flanked by restaurants, bars, and small hotels. Out of the center, on the seafront, is the historic quarter of Limbe, with hundred-year-old buildings filled today with various governmental departments and monuments.


Spread out all around Limbe are palm groves (from which oil or palm wine are produced), rubber plantations, and banana plantations, owned by the powerful Cameroon Development Corporation, the largest employer in the country after the government. Its concerns use every last parcel of cultivatable land, from the slopes of Mount Cameroon all the way to the sea. The volcanic soil, heat, and humidity in the region are particularly advantageous for this type of cultivation. Palm groves form a thick curtain of vegetation behind which hide the waters of the Gulf of Guinee.

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