A unique geographical formation, right in the heart of Bakosi land; The Kupe Muanenguba twin lakes are indeed a breath-taking tourist attraction located in the Kupe Muanenguba Division of the Southwest Region of Cameroon. Its views are described by many as beautiful, thrilling, and sometimes enchanting!
The Kupe Muanenguba twin lakes referred to as the male and female lakes are a pair of crater lakes on mount Manenguba precisely in Bangem in the Kupe Muanenguba division. Known as calderas, these lakes take the rise from two large volcanic craters which erupted on the mountain several years back.
The Male and the Female Lakes
The female lake named “Kwankwalang” is bluish in colour and is uniquely shaped like the African map. The male Lake is deep green in colour – a unique resemblance to the traditional soup of the Bakossi people called “Nsabengen”. Three small streams feed the male lake. With no visible streams feeding the female lake with water, many locals believe the female lake is being fed by the male lake by some means. The male and female lakes are separated by a slope and one can easily climb over from one lake to another.
Behind the twin lakes and rising some 2041 metres above sea level, is the peak of Mount Kupe Manenguba. This summit still holds the pillar planted by the Germans to mark the peak of the mountain. This area holds a forest very rich with Prunus Africana. Prunus Africana is known for its medicinal properties and is used to cure many ailments and is even believed to cure prostate cancer. The two lakes collectively form the water catchment for mungo and for Kupe Muanenguba divisions.
The Twin Lakes, the Bakossi People, their powers and origins
Bakossi folklore holds that the patriarch of the Bakossi people “Ngoe” and his wife “Sumediang” both came from these great lakes and subsequently settled in the small village of Muekan somewhere beyond Muaka. Aside from being the source of origin of the Bakossi people, the natives who are known for their extraordinary spiritual powers equally believe the lakes to be the source of these powers. Ngoe and Suemediang are also believed to be the founding fathers of the Bakundu people.
The Mbororo Settlers of Kupe Muanenguba
The twin Lakes region is also home to Fulani settlers who find the lush vegetation around this area most ideal for their grazing animals. Their cattle follow narrow footpaths down the lake to drink water. Nowadays with the construction of cattle enclosures around the Mbororo settlement, by the Cameroon government, fewer cattle now come close to the lake.
As of 2017, the Mbororos constituted a community of over 500 persons. Principally cattle rearers, the Mbororos are believed to have settled in this area some 67 years ago as migrants from Garoua long before Cameroon’s Independence.
The ancestors of the Mbororo people were mainly cattle rearers who engaged in little or no farming activities. Present-day Mbororos however, are more sedentary, engaging in the cultivation of carrot, maize, garlic, onion, tomatoes and potatoes. Horse riding, dancing and especially the traditional architecture of the Mbororos are huge tourist attractions around the twin lakes.
Myth and Mysteries
Local legend holds that anything that is thrown into the male lake never reaches waters! Unlike the female lake where fishing and other activities are carried out, the male lake is dreaded, landlocked and no one dares visit but traditional priests who occasionally visit the waters for appeasement sacrifices!