CAMNARES was started by two Cameroon students, Armand Biko'o and Maliki Wardjomto, who earned their degrees recently in Nature Conservation at South Africa's Tshwane University through a Safari Club International initiative called Project Noah. On their return home, the two students had the pioneering idea to bring overseas hunters directly to local villages in Cameroon. No PHs or outfitters would be involved. Wages would be paid directly to village porters and trackers, and safari fees would go directly to the community.
Cameraman Wouter Pienaar and I decided to give this idea a test this past July by booking a hunt for bongo in the central Cameroon village of Kong. Suffice it to say, Piernaar and I quickly learned that hunting in the jungle is tough. It was doubly tough on our pilot chasse libre hunt because, unsur- prisingly, no one had done much in the way of developing the hunting area - like creating hunting roads, for example. That meant we had to hunt the old fashioned way, traveling on foot, cutting trails with machetes and camping out with a team of porters carrying equipment on their heads. Images of Stanley and Livingstone come to mind.
Fortunately, we had some modern technology that helped. Rather than tents, Pienaar and I had light and easy-to-set-up jungle hammocks. We also had light-weight stoves, fuel canisters, foldable chairs/tables, etc. with us, even though it turned out that the traditional African way of cooking over open fires and building furniture from cut sticks worked much better that what we had brought.
Our gear all organized, we simply set off on a long walk into the jungle a few days after we arrived.........(continued)