Cameroon's northwest highlands bear the pretty name 'Grassfields', an appellation too pleasant to really capture the look of this landscape. These aren't gentle fields; they're green and yellow valleys, tall grass, red earth and sharp mountains. Clouds of mist rise, with the wood smoke and dung smoke that mark the villages speckled on this deceptively inviting – but hard and rugged – terrain.
The 367km Ring Road runs a circle around the Grassfields, and if it were in better shape it'd be one of Cameroon's great scenic drives. As it is, get your butt ready for some bumpy, red-earth roads. The pay-off? Mountains dolloped with lakes, cattle loping into the hills and one of the greatest concentrations of fondoms (traditional kingdoms) in Cameroon.
It's worth considering, too, the more manageable small Ring Road route, linking Bamenda, Bafut, Wum, Weh, Fundong, Belo and Bambui. This will take one to two days.