The Mount Cameroon region of Africa is world renown for many reasons. It is one of the world’s most impressive active volcanoes, rising from sea level to its 4100m summit, and due in large part to this great elevational gradient it is an area of exceptional biodiversity. But just as importantly, Mount Cameroon is also known as a culturally rich area with much associated folklore.
One piece of local folklore revolves around a solitary tree that once grew high on the steep slopes of the mountain. It was a “mgbeli ya vako” or “magic tree”, and was locally named “éyeh ya teke muteh” after a hunter named Teke Muteh who first used the magic tree as his resting point. This Magic Tree was one of the most cherished and visited sites on the mountain. According to local legend, it was believed to be mystical because whenever the locals visited the mountain, they found it very difficult to get to the tree since it appeared that the tree was moving away from them as they moved towards it. To the locals, the tree was an important point for resting, just as it had been for Teke Muteh. Visitors had also used this point for resting and listening to local folklore and buying souvenirs.
Regrettably, some years back, some unknown persons vandalized and cut down this revered tree. Due to the historical and cultural significance of the site, Global Hand Cameroon in collaboration with the Mount Cameroon National Park Service saw reason to revive the legend by planting a symbolic tree where the Magic Tree once stood. This new Magic Tree will carry on the stories and traditions that are such an integral part of the park and the lives of the local people.