Buea, the seat of the University of Buea, is a small historic town located at the foot and eastern slopes of Mount Cameroon, the highest mountain in west and central Africa. It was the capital of German Kamerun during German colonial rule, capital of Southern Cameroons under British colonial rule, the capital of the Federated State of West Cameroon, and now regional capital of the South West Region.
Buea is a few minutes drive from the resort coastal town of Limbe with beautiful cliffs and beaches. A good network of roads links the Buea to major neighbouring towns, including Douala, Limbe, Tiko, and Kumba. International visitors can arrive by bus or car from Douala, home of the nearest international airport. The ride from Douala airport takes about one hour. There are also a number of boat services from nearby countries to the towns of Tiko and Limbe, both about 20 minutes drive from Buea.
Buea has great cultural and sporting events, the most renown being the Mount Cameroon Race of Hope which invoves ascending and descending the 4,070 metre high Mount Cameroon every February. The town has beautiful hotels, shopping centers and restaurants at affordable prices.
The location of Buea at the foot of Mount Cameroon, and the proximity of the town to the Atlantic coast of Cameroon, result is a humid climate. Upper elevations of the town tend to be cool and cloudy, while lower elevations tend to be much warmer and less humid. As in most of the rest of Cameroon, Buea experiences dry and wet seasons. The dry season runs from November to February and the rainy season from March to October. Rainfall in Buea is on average much more than the rest the country. During the rainy season, the town experiences extended periods of drizzle and fog which sometimes last for weeks, and sometimes heavy downpours which tend to last for not more than a few hours. The average temperature is mild, between 23 and 25°C.
Agriculture is the major industry in Buea, but recently, education has become one of the major activities the town is known for, with a large number of primary, secondary, and tertiary educational institutions. Most notable of the tertiary institutions is the University of Buea, the only public anglophone university of Cameroon.
Much of the agriculture is in the form of small-scale farming of food crops and fruits that supply not only the local market, but also neigbouring countries like Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. Two main companies are engaged in industrial cultivation: the Cameroon Development Coorporation (CDC), which grows and processes tea in Tole, and Del Monte, which grows and packages bananas for export in the Molyko and Ekona areas.
The original inhabitants of Buea are the Bakweri people. However, the presence of the University of Buea and the position of Buea as a regional capital have led to a significant influx of people from other ethnic ethnic groups. In recent years, this influx has led to a building boom in the town, especially in the immediate vicinity of the universtiy. This building frenzy has fortunately, not affected the handful of beautiful, colonial era buildings, most notable of which is the Presidential Lodge, which used to be the residence of the German colonial governor.