Limbe Botanic Garden
The Limbe Botanic Garden was founded by a group of Germans under the Directorship of Paul Preus in 1892. It served as a trials and acclimatisation centre for the introduction of exotic crop species such as coffee, cocoa, rubber, oil palm, banana, teak and sugar-cane for distribution within "Kamerun" and other German colonies. In its heyday the Limbe Botanic Garden was said to be one of the most important tropical botanic gardens in the world. To complement the work in Limbe, experimental plots for high elevation species such as tea (Camellia sinensis) were established in Buea. The Garden possessed a herbarium, laboratories, classrooms, a museum, a library and staff accommodation. The British took over the responsibility for the Garden in 1920, advised by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and it was managed by a Kew-trained Superintendent. The British departed in 1932 and the garden was directly managed by Cameroonian personnel until 1958. With the independence of West Cameroon in 1961, the curation of the Garden was taken over by the Government. Despite the efforts of many people, the Garden declined during this period. In 1988, a British-Cameroonian partnership was initiated through a Memorandum of Understanding which led to the renovation and development of the Garden. With redefined boundaries the Garden now covers an area of about 48 hectares. The role of the Limbe Botanic Garden has changed from an agricultural one to one of conservation, education, science, tourism and recreation, to meet the needs of today.
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