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Lake Barombi Mbo, Cameroon

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Cameroon, Camerún, Kumba

Lake Barombi Mbo is a lake near Kumba in the Southwest Region of Cameroon. It is located in the Cameroon volcanic chain, and is the largest volcanic lake in this region. It is one of the oldest radiocarbon-dated lakes in Africa, with the youngest lava flow in it being about 1 Million years old. On old colonial maps the area was known as Elephant Lake, but the elephants living in the area were extirpated due to ivory trading.

Until now, 15 species of fishes have been recorded from the lake. Among others, this includes Labeobarbus batesii, a member of the Fundulopanchax mirabilis group, and the endemic catfish Clarias maclareni. Perhaps most noteworthy are the 11 species of cichlids that are endemic to the lake:

  • Konia spp.
  • Stomatepia pindu
  • Myaka myaka
  • Pungu maclareni
  • Sarotherodon caroli
  • Sarotherodon caroli linnellii
  • Sarotherodon caroli lohbergeri
  • Sarotherodon caroli steinbachi

In addition, the species of the lake are in danger since the gases that the volcano emits (CO2) and the contamination by the humans.

Submitted by
Nico Luchoro
Approved by
Ad Konings & Anton Lamboj
GPS
4.6666999, 9.3999996
Geographical region
Central Africa
Drainage Basin
Lake Barombi Mbo
River catchment
Water body type
Lake
Water body name
Barombi Mbo
Water body part
Open water
Water body course
Water body: tributary of
Tributary name

Videos above and below water

Water Chemistry

Water information

Water type
Fresh water
Water color
Black water
Water transparency
Medium
Concentration of sediments
Medium
Water temperature
24-28 °C
Water flow/curent
Slow

Chemical parameters

pH
7.0
Conductivity
0.674
GH
6 mg/l
KH
2 mg/l
Dissolved Oxygen

Substrate in nature

Sand
Beige
Pebble/Gravel
Beige
Stone
Grey
Stone form
Irregular
Silt/Mud
Beige
Leaves
Adundant
Driftwood
Many
Submerged terrestrial vegetation
Yes

Aquatic Biotope

Date of collecting
Collecting area
Water depth
0,2m
Air temperature
32 °C
Sunlight

Environment

Environment
Affected by human activity
Affected by human activity
Pollution
Pollution
Advanced
Surrounding area

We find the crater of a flooded volcano where a lake is formed. Being a volcanic area, the vegetation is very abundant due to the rich soil. We also find a lot of fauna of birds, mammals and reptiles.

Underwater landscape

Underwater we find a large amount of leaves, wood and sediments which leaves water with tannins and somewhat cloudy.

Fish:

  • Stomatepia pindu (Cichlidae)
  • Sarotherodon caroli (Cichlidae)
  • Fundulopanchax mirabilis (Nothobranchiidae)
  • Myaka myaka (Cichlidae)

Aquatic plant:

  • Potamogeton octandrus (Potamogetonaceae)
  • Najas pectinata (Hydrocharitaceae)
Threats to ecology

As it is a sacred lake for the tribe that lives near it, they are trying to preserve endemic species and avoid overfishing.

Riparian zone

Trees near the aquatic habitat
Many -

Comment by the expert

Ad Konings: Very good.

Anton Lamboj: Could be a bit better, in Stomatepia just one species is listed, in Konia just sp. (even when total species number of cichlids in the lake is correct).