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Word Count: 393
The coast of present-day Cameroon was explored late in the 15th century by the Portuguese who named the estuary to the south of Cameroon Mountain Rio das Cameres river of prawns Merchants established trading stations along the coast in the 17th century buying slaves ivory and rubber Other European groups soon started grouping there exploring inland and setting up villages Cameroon sits in the middle of Lake Chad Nigeria Central African Republic and The Republic of Congo The country has a total area of 475442 sq km 183569 sq mi with Yaound as the capital and Douala as the largest city Cameroon has four distinct geographical regions In the south is a coastal plain a region of dense equatorial rain forests In the center is the Adamawa Plateau a region with rising peaks reaching about 1370 m about 4500 ft above sea level In the far north the savanna slopes into the marshlands around Lake Chad The west is an area of high forested mountains and also holds Cameroon Mountain 4095 m13435 ft the highest peak in western Africa and also an active volcano This region also holds some of the most fertile soil in the entire country Cameroon has mostly a tropical climate because its very near the equator being very humid in the south but dry in the northern part of the country The economy of Cameroon is primarily based on agricultural demands however a small amount of gold and natural gas is mined there The majority of the population are farmers working in small towns or villages The most dominate crops raised in Cameroon are cacao coffee tobacco cotton and bananas Other commercial crops include rubber palm products and sugarcane In 1998 there were an estimated 15029433 people living in the country It contains about 200 different ethnic groups who speak 24 major languages About 25 percent of the countrys population practice religions that are ones traditional to Cameroon 22 percent of
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