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Cameroon

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Hilton Yaounde
Hilton Yaounde - dream vacation

Boulevard Du 20 Mai, Yaounde

Ibis Douala
Ibis Douala - dream vacation

Rue Pierre Loti, Bonanjo, Douala

Hotel Akwa Palace
Hotel Akwa Palace - dream vacation

920, Boulevard de la Liberte, Douala

Merina Hotel
Merina Hotel - dream vacation

Av El Ahmadou Ahidjo, Bp 14304, Yaounde

Les Gites De Kribi
Les Gites De Kribi - dream vacation

Route des Chutes de la Lobe, Kribi

Hotel La Falaise Yaounde
Hotel La Falaise Yaounde - dream vacation

Avenue Marechal Foch Warda, Yaounde

Cameroon (French: Cameroun) is in Central Africa. It borders Nigeria to the west, Chad to the northeast, the Central African Republic to the east and Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and the Republic of the Congo to the south.

While Cameroon is not the largest country in Africa, in some ways it's as large as Africa itself. Known as "Africa in Miniature" it features French- and English-speaking portions, Muslim- and Christian-dominated regions, the tallest mountain in Central Africa and terrain that includes rain forest, desert plains, mountains and high plateau.

Regions

Cities

  • Yaoundé (French-speaking)
  • Bafoussam (French-speaking)
  • Bamenda (English-speaking)
  • Buea (English-speaking)
  • Douala — the largest city and main centre of trade in Cameroon. (French-speaking)
  • Garoua (French-speaking)
  • Limbe (English-speaking)
  • Ngaoundere (French-speaking)

Other destinations

  • Dja Faunal Reserve is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
  • Korup National Park
  • Mt. Cameroon, the highest mountain in West Africa
  • Ngoketunjia in the North West Province is a bastion of culture and tradition
  • Lake Oku (Inside the Ring Road)
  • Oku Village
  • Kumbo (English speaking)
  • Tado Dairy Co-op
  • Waza National Park, is a UNESCO biosphere reserve, located in the Far North region of Cameroon.
  • Don i tison - a former German military post located on a peak near Bafia

Understand

Cameroon is a diverse and multi-ethnic country. Western tourism is rare, though most of the country's tourists do come from Europe (predominantly Belgium).

History

The territory of present day Cameroon was first settled during the Neolithic period. Portuguese sailors reached the coast in 1472. Over the following few centuries, European interests regularised trade with the coastal peoples, and Christian missionaries pushed inland. In the early 19th century, Modibo Adama led Fulani soldiers on a jihad in the north against non-Muslim and partially Muslim peoples and established the Adamawa Emirate. Settled peoples who fled the Fulani caused a major redistribution of population.

The German Empire claimed the territory as the colony of Kamerun in 1884 and began a steady push inland. With the defeat of Germany in World War I, Kamerun became a League of Nations mandate territory and was split into French Cameroun and British Cameroons in 1919. The French carefully integrated the economy of Cameroun with that of France and improved the infrastructure with capital investments, skilled workers, and continued forced labour.

The British administered their territory from neighbouring Nigeria. Natives complained that this made them a neglected "colony of a colony". The League of Nations mandates were converted into United Nations Trusteeships in 1946, and the question of independence became a pressing issue in French Cameroun. France outlawed the most radical political party, the Union des Populations du Cameroun (UPC), on 13 July 1955. This prompted a long guerrilla war. In British Cameroons, the question was whether to reunify with French Cameroun or join Nigeria.

On 1 January 1960, French Cameroun gained independence from France under President Ahmadou Ahidjo, and on 1 October 1961, the formerly British Northern Cameroons became a part of Nigeria, while the formerly British Southern Cameroons united with its neighbour to form the Federal Republic of Cameroon.

Climate

Varies with terrain, from tropical along the coast to semiarid and hot in the north. If you are going during the summer, plan on lots of rain every day. It might be cold up in the mountains, especially at nights.

Holidays

1 January: New Year's Day & also Independence Day

11 February: Youth Day

1 May: Labour Day

20 May: National Day

15 August: Assumption

1 October: Unification Day

25 December: Christmas Day

Get in

Most people will need a visa except citizens of Mali, Chad, Central African Republic and Nigeria, and it is very advisable to obtain it before arriving.

There any many types of visa: airport transit visa for airport transit; visitor visa for visiting friends and family in Cameroon; business visas for work-relating activity in Cameroon; tourist visa for tourism purposes; student visa for studying abroad and learning at the universities; employment visa for taking up work in Cameroon; and permanent residence visa, which is issued if you a marry a Cameroonian.

What you will need to get the visa:

For all visas:

  • A yellow fever vaccination certificate, regardless of what country you're from. You must also show this to the authorities at the airport once arriving in Cameroon.
  • The application form and 2 passport-size photographs.
  • The application fee (ex: In March 2011, this was US$141 for citizens of all countries except the visa waiver countries mentioned above).
  • Your passport with at least six months remaining before expiration.

Then, depending on whether you are requesting a Visitor Visa or a Tourist Visa, you will need:

For a Visitor Visa:

  • A letter of invitation (for a visitor's visa) and a reservation confirmation from your hotel (for a tourist's visa). If you need a visitor visa, the person you're visiting must create the letter invitation, and get it approved and stamped by the local authorities before sending it to you. The letter must state that you have a place to stay during your trip (e.g. the home of your hosts). If you're staying in a hotel, a hotel reservation will suffice.

For a Tourist Visa:

  • A consular letter from your bank stating your current balance. It must be signed by the bank for it to be valid.
  • A reservation confirmation from your hotel.

Check the Cameroon Embassy website in your country of residence (or closest) for more up-to-date information. Map of embassies and other diplomatic missions of Cameroon

By plane

Cameroon can be reached via:

  • Paris (Air France and Camair-Co)
  • Brussels (Brussels Airlines)
  • Lagos (Virgin Nigeria and Bellview Airlines)
  • Nairobi (Kenya Airways)
  • Amsterdam (KLM Royal Dutch Airlines)
  • Casablanca (Royal Air Maroc)
  • Addis Ababa (Ethiopian Airlines)
  • Istanbul (Turkish Airlines)

Sometimes airport staff, or just hangers on, try to help with the luggage in order to get extra euros/dollars from travellers. They'll ask for around FCFA 1,000.

By train

By car

By bus

By boat

It is probably possible to travel by boat from the island of Bioko(Equatorial Guinea).

Get around

By plane

Camair-Co is currently operating as a national carrier and on domestic flights.

By train

Rail services operated by Camrail, run from the capital, Yaoundé, to the port city of Douala and the northern city of Ngaoundéré. While bus service is quicker and more reliable to Douala, the overnight train is the best mode of ground transport to the north. Check for current schedules and pricing.

By bus

Between the major cities you can get a ride on modern, comfortable buses, sometimes with air conditioning. Away from the larger centres you will most likely end up on the ever present Toyota bush taxis. These are slightly elongated Toyota minivans that can hold up to 20 people (or more if necessary) along with their luggage piled up on top. Safety can be a concern with dangerous roads, overworked/drunk/hungover drivers and poorly maintained vehicles the norm. However, other than extending your stay an extra day or two in bad weather your options are limited.

Buses rarely leave at a set time. Instead, they wait until they are full and then depart. For buses later in the day, sometimes they never fill up. When this happens, the operator will normally set you up with a bush taxi to take you to your destination. If you do not want to take the bush taxi and are persistent enough, the operator will normally refund your money. The point is that you should leave plenty of time to get to your destination, because sometimes the wait will take hours and you are never guaranteed a departure.

By car

Rental cars are available although very expensive. As paved roads are rare away from the major cities of the west and northwest areas of the country, a 4 x 4 is a necessity when travelling to the east or central areas of Cameroon. The roads in the north are paved between cities and even the dirt roads tend to be in decent condition due to the lack of rain.

You can hire a private car and have its driver take you to places of your choice. Expect to pay around USD60 per day to the driver and foot the gas bill. The driver will also expect you to provide food and accommodation. But you can bargain.

These days, due to bad roads and congestion, motorcycles are a common form of transportation. The driver can take you wherever you want and they can be the only alternative to remote villages that do not have paved roads.

Talk

French and the Commonwealth version of English are the official languages in Cameroon although there are over 276 recognized languages in Cameroon.

The areas bordering Nigeria are anglophone although in many areas pidgin English is more common. The rest of the country is predominantly francophone although almost all areas will also have local languages.

See

Visit the Limbe Botanic Garden, Benedictine Museum of Mont Febe, National Museum of Yaounde and the Kribi. These are famous attractions in the city of Yaounde, meant for tourists.

Do

Buy

Money

The currency of the country is the Central African CFA franc, denoted FCFA (ISO currency code: XAF). It's also used by five other Central African countries. It is interchangeable at par with the West African CFA franc (XOF), which is used by six countries. Both currencies are fixed at a rate of 1 euro = 655.957 CFA francs.

ATMs

Master Card and Visa ATM withdrawals are possible in many banks - for example, SGBC - which can be found in most major cities. All Ecobank ATMs in Cameroon have cash withdrawal with Master Cards and Visa cards.

Shopping

Some good ways to spend your money include local handicrafts in Marche de Fleurs (Douala - Bonapriso quarter) and on fresh fish and prawns in Youppe village close to Douala (early morning).

Unless you are in stores and restaurants, you must bargain for everything. Demand 20-50% of the first price requested.

Eat

There are plenty of good restaurants:

  • Bonapriso quarter: Sorento, Bistrot Latin, Peche Mignon, Oriental Garden (Chinese), Alladin (Lebanese), Paradise (nice English bar), Piccolla Venezia (Italian), Ovalie (classy, expensive), Le Bouchon Lyonaise (French), Le BOJ (French), Le Cabanon
  • Bonanjo quarter: Chez Wou (Chinese), La Cigalle
  • Akwa quarter: Le Senat (great jazz in the evening), White House (local), Mediterrannee (Greek, good pizzas), La Fourchette (French), Le Foyer du Marin aka German Seamen's Club (German)
  • by the waterfront: Le Mangrove (fresh fish & prawns), Le Dernier Comptoire Colonial (last sclaves trading post)

If you are on a very low budget, try Chez Kali in Bonapriso (towards the Energy Club - fitness). Safe food at very low price. Mont Febe, Hilton Hotel and hotel le depute in Yaounde, Atlantic Beach Hotel, Mirama hotel, Guest House hotel and Park hotel in Limbe, 3813 in Tiko, Miss Bright in Buea and Meridien hotel Douala.

Signature dishes

  • Ndole - often considered the national dish
  • Mielie meal
  • Bobolo

Drink

Always check “best before” when buying a bottle - some drinks are way out of date.

Avoid drinking tap water, even in restaurants. Bottled water can be found most anywhere at reasonable prices. Expect to pay FCFA 400 for 1.5 L in the major cities, more in more remote areas.

Coca-Cola is available everywhere. For something different try one of the flavourful TOP sodas. They are much sweeter than most European or North American sodas but they are very tasty.

Cameroon is rich with choice when it comes to good beer due to its past as a German and later French colony. Bottled Guinness can be found everywhere although in the heat, try one of the excellent lighter beers such as Castel, Beaufort, Mützig, Isenbeck, Satzenbrau or 33. These are inexpensive and excellent in the heat. Castel Milk Stout is an excellent choice for those who like darker beer. Outside of the cities you will sometimes be hard pressed to find them chilled (due to a lack of electricity).

Sleep

Hotels in the major cities will range from FCFA 6,000 to FCFA 50,000. Clean and safe rooms can usually be found for under CAF 11,000.

In more rural areas prices vary wildly depending on demand and local economy. It is not uncommon to find comfortable accommodations for FCFA 2,000-3,000 per night.

Camping

Unless you are with a guide on a trek it is not recommended that you camp due to security concerns.

Work

Stay safe

Violence is rare, but just be smart about wearing any jewellery or anything else that would make you stand apart from the rest. Take a taxi after dark if you're unsure of the area.

Be aware that Boko Haram, a Nigerian jihadist group, operates with other Islamists and Salafists in the north of Cameroon and they have kidnapped Europeans, Canadians, Americans and other westerners there. Boko Haram is a jihadist group and may implement very harsh forms of sharia law including amputation for theft. Church-goers should not proselytize to Muslims, form in groups which are too large due to suicide bombings, and alcohol consumption should not be done in public. They usually travel on motorbikes and pick-up trucks and more recently have linked up with the Islamic State in an effort to cement a worldwide caliphate. An offshoot linked to takfirism, the Ansar Muslimeen fi Biladi Sudan which translates as "Protection of Muslims in Black Lands", also carries out attacks and harsh punishments.

Highwaymen and other bandits also operate in some parts, particularly the north.

Legal issues

Many laws in Cameroon are not the same as in 'Western' countries. Homosexuality is illegal, and can result in prison sentences.

Identification

Legally, you must carry identification on you at all times. Normally this will be your passport. Other options include:

  1. getting a copy of your passport (front pages and visa pages) legalised at a police station (FCFA 1,000); or if you are staying for a longer amount of time
  2. a resident card (go to the local frontier police station), this should be less than FCFA 5,000 for everything (2013, according to a sign that could be old, in a police station). Don't pay a 'fixer' or anyone else to help you. Simply go when there isn't a long queue and talk to the person about getting a card. You'll need your passport and copies and other documentation.

Photography

Photographing sensitive areas is forbidden. This includes military places, and apparently embassies and diplomatic residences. If in doubt, it might be best to not take that picture, rather than risk having a soldier or policeman delete all your pictures, or confiscate your camera.

Stay healthy

Yellow Fever certificates are required for travel to Cameroon.

Malaria is common, especially in the central and southern parts of the country. The risk is much lower in the mountains of the Northwest Province and the arid areas on the Extreme North. Prophylactics are recommended because of the severity of some strains of malaria in the country.

Other tropical diseases are also common, including dysentery, bilharzia, hepatitis, and giardia occur. There are occasional outbreaks of cholera in Yaounde and Douala, but rarely affect travellers.

There are several good quality hospitals in the country. Most are located in Douala or Yaounde, but Kumbo has two very good private hospitals as well.

Respect

It is disrespectful to shake hands with your left hand. Use only your right. If you have something in your right hand or your right hand is dirty or wet, it is polite to extend your wrist for the person to shake with his right hand. Should both of your right hands be occupied, it is polite to touch wrists.

Connect

To make local and international calls you need to buy a pre-paid SIM card. Check if your cell phone has a compatible GSM standard (Africa/Europe) - if not, in addition to a SIM card you probably need to buy a new phone. "MTN" and "Orange" are two major telephone companies in Cameroon.

It had been possible to find Internet access all over the place, but the speed was often slow. In 2017, all Internet access has been shut down in the largely-anglophone western portion of the country; a move made for political reasons which has cost the local economy millions of dollars.

National post service is considered to be unreliable.

Hear about travel to Cameroon as the Amateur Traveler talks to Francis Tapon and Rejoice Mubarak from TheUnseenAfrica.com about Rejoices' native country and Francis' recent trip to this West African country on his quest to explore every country in Africa.

 

Cameroon (Bradt Travel Guide)

Ben West

With ancient chiefdoms tucked between terraced fields and volcanic mountains, Mount Cameroon―Africa's highest peak, the impressive Waza National Park with its herds of elephants, and the coast's sleepy palm-fringed beaches, Cameroon has no shortage of attractions, yet it somehow fails to be a tourist haunt. The only full-length, English-language guide, this book contains essential information on nature, culture, and staying healthy plus practical details like getting around and accommodation options in the city and countryside. It includes details of wildlife and bird sites, ancient tribal kingdoms, colorful trading towns, 'pygmy' hunting camps, and even where to see the endangered lowland gorilla.

Cameroon 1:1,500,000 and Gabon 1:950,000 Travel Map (International Travel Maps)

ITM Canada

Cameroun, or Cameroon in French, is one of the most interesting countries in West Africa to visit. The far north has lava outcrops and unusual villages, the center is excellent agricultural land, and the south is steamy tropical forest. This indexed map is being combined with a separate map of the country of Gabon on the reverse side. Places of interest, parks, campsites, airports, rail and ferry routes are highlighted. Brief geography and history descriptions are given of the country and also Lake Nyos, YaoundeBafoussam, Kumba, Korup National Park, Bamenda, Mt. Cameroon, Douala, Foumban, Kribi's beaches, LimbeMaroua and Waza National Park are also described. Colored tinting shows elevation in meters. Includes inset maps of Yaounde and Douala. Legend in English.

Cameroon Travel Adventure

Paul J. Hamel

Cameroon Travel Adventure was written by a former Peace Corps volunteer, who after 47 years, returned to Cameroon in 2013, to see how the country has changed. This book includes information on preparing for a trip, what to expect to find upon arrival, and a detailed travel log with hundreds of photos of Yaounde, Bafia, BafoussamBamenda, Foumban, and Kribi. This book also serves as a guide for the newcomer covering important facts about ground transportation, safety, taking photos, language, luggage, telephones, health, hotels, money, eating & drinking, clothing, shopping. It book includes a short overview of the major changes that Cameroon has gone through over the last few decades. Topics range from the advances in communication, expansion of the availability of electricity, education, health care, roads, religion, clean water, sanitation, and government /politics.

Travels in West Africa (Congo Francais, Corisco, and Cameroons)

Mary H. Kingsley

This collection of literature attempts to compile many of the classic works that have stood the test of time and offer them at a reduced, affordable price, in an attractive volume so that everyone can enjoy them.

City Maps Yaounde Cameroon

James McFee

City Maps Yaounde Cameroon is an easy to use small pocket book filled with all you need for your stay in the big city. Attractions, pubs, bars, restaurants, museums, convenience stores, clothing stores, shopping centers, marketplaces, police, emergency facilities and the list goes on and on. This collection of maps is up to date with the latest developments of the city. This city map is a must if you wish to enjoy the city without internet connection.

The Congo and the Cameroons (Penguin Great Journeys)

Mary Kingsley

Contemptuous of Europe's 'civilising mission' in Africa, Mary Kingsley's (1862-1900) extraordinary journeys through tropical west Africa are a remarkable record, both of a world which has vanished and of a writer and explorer of immense bravery, wit and humanity. Paddling through mangrove swamps, fending off crocodiles, climbing Mount Cameroon, Kingsley is both admirable and funny.

Great Journeys allows readers to travel both around the planet and back through the centuries – but also back into ideas and worlds frightening, ruthless and cruel in different ways from our own. Few reading experiences can begin to match that of engaging with writers who saw astounding things: Great civilisations, walls of ice, violent and implacable jungles, deserts and mountains, multitudes of birds and flowers new to science. Reading these books is to see the world afresh, to rediscover a time when many cultures were quite strange to each other, where legends and stories were treated as facts and in which so much was still to be discovered.

Cameroon with Egbert

Dervla Murphy

Cameroon with Egbert tells the story of a journey through the remote areas of Cameroon undertaken by indomitable author Dervla Murphy and her daughter Rachel, accompanied by an endearing horse named Egbert. During the course of their wanderings they are frequently mistaken for husband and wife, forcing Dervla to bare her chest to prove her femininity; they continually get lost, are obliged to eat repulsive local delicacies; are arrested, fall ill, are baked by the sun and soaked by tropical storms and, disastrously, lose Egbert. The two women's charm, wit and sense of adventure shine through all these setbacks, which would have daunted lesser travellers. They eventually leave this laid-back, peaceful country with great reluctance, having been 'enspelled' by its beauty and the friendliness of the Cameroonians. 'Anyone who has read a book by this author will want to read another. She brings to Cameroon all the sympathy, wit and perception that we have come to expect from her.' Sunday Telegraph This is vintage Murphy' Irish Independent 'This is the very stuff of travel' Irish Times

Swedish Ventures in Cameroon, 1883-1923: Trade and Travel, People and Politics (Cameroon Studies)

Shirley Ardener

The 1880s were a critical time in Cameroon. A German warship arrived in the Douala estuary and proclaimed Cameroon a protectorate. At that time, two Swedes, Knutson and Waldau, were living on the upper slopes of the Cameroon Mountain. Very little is known about their activities. One, Knutson, wrote a long memoir of his time in Cameroon (1883-1895) which is published here for the first time. It gives fascinating insights into everyday life in Cameroon and into the multifaceted relationships among the various Europeans, and between them and the Africans, at the end of the 19th century; we learn about the Swedes' quarrels first with the Germans and later with the British, over land purchases, thus revealing the origins of long on-going disputes over Bakweri lands. We are given vivid descriptions of Bakweri notables and their, and the Europeans', cultural practices, a rare eye-witness account of the sasswood witchcraft ordeal, and learn about Knutson's friendships with slaves. Together with appended contemporary correspondence, legal opinions, and early (translated) texts, this memoir must be considered as a unique and invaluable primary source for the pre-colonial history of Cameroon.

Exercise a high degree of caution; see also regional advisories.

The decision to travel is your responsibility. You are also responsible for your personal safety abroad. The Government of Canada takes the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provides credible and timely information in its Travel Advice. In the event of a crisis situation that requires evacuation, the Government of Canada’s policy is to provide safe transportation to the closest safe location. The Government of Canada will assist you in leaving a country or a region as a last resort, when all means of commercial or personal transportation have been exhausted. This service is provided on a cost-recovery basis. Onward travel is at your personal expense. Situations vary from one location to another, and there may be constraints on government resources that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide assistance, particularly in countries or regions where the potential for violent conflict or political instability is high.

The Far North region (see Advisory)

The growing presence of Nigerian-based extremist groups has resulted in an increase of kidnappings and banditry in this region.  Foreign nationals were kidnapped in 2013.

The areas bordering Nigeria, Chad and the Central African Republic (see Advisory)

A state of emergency is in effect in the Nigerian states of Borno and Adamawa, which border northwest Cameroon. Instability in these provinces could spill over into Cameroon.

Carjacking, assaults, kidnappings and other forms of armed banditry occur in these areas. Security risks have increased along the border with Nigeria as a result of the situation in Mali, which has prompted terrorist groups in the region to declare their intention to increase attacks and kidnappings targeting Westerners.

The Bakassi Peninsula (see Advisory)

Various forms of banditry have been reported in this area due to its isolated location. The risk of social tensions may increase as the end of the Green Tree Agreement approaches (August 2013).

Crime

Violent assault and robbery are on the rise in the Melong area, especially against foreign tourists. Hiking around the region is strongly discouraged. Avoid staying at the hotels in the Mount Manengouba and Twin Lakes areas.

Violent crime is on the rise, particularly in Yaoundé and Douala. Armed burglaries and attacks are common in urban centres, in tourist areas in the north, and on rural highways. Do not resist robberies as perpetrators may use violence. Violent assaults on taxi passengers can occur.

Petty theft is prevalent and occurs on trains, buses and taxis. The Hilton and Mont Fébé hotels offer a shuttle service from Nsimalen Airport to downtown Yaoundé. You should use this service or arrange to be met, especially after dark. Avoid isolated and poorer areas of Yaoundé, in particular la Briquetterie, Mokolo, and Mvog-Ada. Avoid travelling alone or after dark. Do not show signs of affluence.

Fraud

Cases of attempted fraud are frequently reported in Cameroon. See our Overseas Fraud page for more information on scams abroad.

Demonstrations

You should avoid large crowds and political demonstrations, and exercise caution at all times. Contact the High Commission of Canada in Yaoundé for the latest security information.

Piracy

Pirate attacks occur in coastal waters and, in some cases, farther out at sea. Mariners should take appropriate precautions. For additional information, consult the Live Piracy Report published by the International Maritime Bureau.

Road travel

Major roads are in good condition but others are damaged and unsafe. Reckless driving, use of poorly maintained vehicles and lack of respect for traffic laws are common. Keep windows closed and doors locked at all times. Avoid driving after dark in rural areas and on the main road between Yaoundé and Douala. The presence of livestock and pedestrians on the roadway, and the lack of road and traffic signs pose hazards. Local police roadblocks are erected throughout the country, and you may be expected to make payments. Ask the officer to provide a ticket with a description of the violation(s). This ticket can be paid at a local court or at a police station.

Particular attention should be paid when travelling on roads in the Far North region near the Nigerian border. These regions, especially between Garoua and Kousseri in the Northern regions, are notorious for armed highway bandits, or "coupeurs de routes". Four-wheel-drive vehicles are targeted.

In the event of an accident, you should, if possible, go to the next police station or to the High Commission of Canada in Yaoundé or to the Consulate of Canada in Douala to get assistance.

If travelling overland, carry sufficient supplies of water, food and fuel, as well as a reliable means of communication, such as a satellite or cellular telephone.

It is difficult to depart Cameroon via the land borders with Gabon and the Central African Republic due to poor road conditions, particularly during the rainy season. The border with Equatorial Guinea is frequently closed. You are advised to contact local authorities for the most current information.

You should always carry your driving permit and your vehicle's registration documents.

Public transportation

Buses link Yaoundé to DoualaBafoussamBamenda, Foumban and Dschang. Trains run daily between Yaoundé and the cities of N'Gaoundéré and Douala. Regular flights connect Yaoundé, DoualaMarouaGaroua, N'Gaoundéré and several other cities.

Consult our Transportation FAQ in order to verify if national airlines meet safety standards.

General safety information

Carefully evaluate the security risks before deciding to travel to any location in Cameroon. Monitor news reports, and follow the advice of local authorities.

Stay informed of the security situation in the region in which you are travelling, and ensure that your hotel is safe.

You should carry certified copies of identification and travel documents at all times and keep originals in a safe place, such as a hotel safe. Tourist facilities are limited. Avoid shopping on the street. If possible, have a guide or buy from established shops.

Energy supply is poorly managed and power outages occur all over the country. Inadvertent power cuts are a daily occurrence and may last over eight hours. You are advised to turn off your electrical appliances before leaving your place of residence. Domestic gas may also be in short supply, especially during holiday periods such as December and January.

Health

Related Travel Health Notices
Consult a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you travel.
Vaccines

Routine Vaccines

Be sure that your routine vaccines are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.

Vaccines to Consider

You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health provider about which ones are right for you.

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread by contaminated food or water. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.

Influenza

Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or through personal contact with unwashed hands. Get the flu shot.

Measles

Measles occurs worldwide but is a common disease in developing countries, particularly in parts of Africa and Asia. Measles is a highly contagious disease. Be sure your vaccination against measles is up-to-date regardless of the travel destination.
 

Meningitis

This country is in the African Meningitis Belt, an area where there are many cases of meningococcal disease. Meningococcal disease (meningitis) is a serious and sometimes fatal infection of the tissue around the brain and the spinal cord. Travellers who may be at high risk should consider getting vaccinated. High-risk travellers include those living or working with the local population (e.g., health care workers), those travelling to crowded areas or taking part in large gatherings, or those travelling for a longer period of time.

Polio

There is a risk of polio in this country. Be sure that your vaccination against polio is up-to-date.

Rabies

Rabies is a disease that attacks the central nervous system spread to humans through a bite, scratch or lick from a rabid animal. Vaccination should be considered for travellers going to areas where rabies exists and who have a high risk of exposure (i.e., close contact with animals, occupational risk, and children).

Typhoid

Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among travellers going to rural areas, visiting friends and relatives, or with weakened immune systems. Travellers visiting regions with typhoid risk, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should consider getting vaccinated.

Yellow Fever Vaccination

Yellow fever is a disease caused by the bite of an infected mosquito.

Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.

* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Risk
  • There is a risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
  • Proof of yellow fever vaccination is required for travellers from all countries.
Recommendation
  • Vaccination is recommended.
  • Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care provider.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites.
Food/Water

Food and Water-borne Diseases

Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.

In some areas in Central Africa, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in Central Africa. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!

Cholera

There have been cases of cholera reported in this country in the last year. Cholera is a bacterial disease that typically causes diarrhea. In severe cases it can lead to dehydration and even death.

Most travellers are generally at low risk. Humanitarian workers and those visiting areas with limited access to safe food and water are at higher risk. Practise safe food and water precautions. Travellers at high risk should get vaccinated.

Schistosomiasis

Schistosomiasis is caused by blood flukes (tiny worms) spread to humans through contaminated water. The eggs of the worms can cause stomach illnesses like diarrhea and cramps or urinary problems. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Avoid swimming in contaminated water. There is no vaccine available for schistosomiasis.

Travellers' diarrhea
  • Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
  • Risk of developing travellers’ diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
  • The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.

Insects

Insects and Illness

In some areas in Central Africa, certain insects carry and spread diseases like African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), chikungunya, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, dengue fever, leishmaniasis, lymphatic filariasis, malaria, onchocerciasis, Rift Valley feverWest Nile virus and yellow fever.

Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.

Onchoceriasis

Onchocerciasis (river blindness) is an eye and skin disease caused by a parasite spread through the bite of an infected female blackfly.  Onchocerciasis often leads to blindness if left untreated. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Protect yourself from blackfly bites, which are most common during the daytime and close to running water. There is no vaccine available for onchocerciasis although drug treatments exist.


Malaria

Malaria

  • There is a risk of malaria throughout the year in the whole country.
  • Malaria is a serious and occasionally fatal disease that is spread by mosquitoes. There is no vaccine against malaria.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites. This includes covering up, using insect repellent and staying in well-screened air-conditioned accommodations. You may also consider sleeping under an insecticide-treated bednet or pre-treating travel gear with insecticides.
  • See a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic, preferably six weeks before you travel to discuss the benefits of taking antimalarial medication and to determine which one to take.

Animals

Animals and Illness

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Certain infections found in Central Africa, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.


Person-to-Person

Person-to-Person Infections

Crowded conditions can increase your risk of certain illnesses. Remember to wash your hands often and practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette to avoid colds, the flu and other illnesses.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV are spread through blood and bodily fluids; practise safer sex.

HIV

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that attacks and impairs the immune system, resulting in a chronic, progressive illness known as AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). 

Practise safe sex while travelling, and don’t share needles, razors, or other objects which could transmit infection.

Remember that HIV can also be spread through the use of unsterile medical equipment during medical and dental procedures, tattooing, body piercing or acupuncture. Diseases can also be spread though blood transfusions and organ transplantation if the blood or organs are not screened for HIV or other blood-borne pathogens.

Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis is an infection caused by bacteria and usually affects the lungs.

For most travellers the risk of tuberculosis is low.

Travellers who may be at high risk while travelling in regions with risk of tuberculosis should discuss pre- and post-travel options with a health care provider.

High-risk travellers include those visiting or working in prisons, refugee camps, homeless shelters, or hospitals, or travellers visiting friends and relatives.


Medical services and facilities

Medical services and facilities

Even in large cities, medical facilities and supplies can be limited, and proper medical attention may not be provided by medical professionals. Medical evacuation to Europe may be necessary for cases of serious illness.

Keep in Mind...

The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.

Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.

You are subject to local laws. Consult our Arrest and Detention page for more information.

Penalties for use and possession of drugs are strict.

Homosexual activity is illegal. Suspects may be subject to a fine and a prison term.

Avoid taking photographs of airports, military sites, government buildings, and service people in uniform. Always ask permission before photographing individuals. An International Driving Permit is required for visits of up to one year in Cameroon. A Canadian licence alone is not acceptable. If you intend to drive in Cameroon for more than one year, you will require a Cameroonian driver's licence. To obtain a Cameroonian driver's licence from local authorities, you are required to present your Canadian driver's licence to the Delegation of Public Transport in your town of residence. The process usually takes only 24 hours.

Money

The currency is the African Financial Community CFA franc (or XAF bank code), which is also used in Chad, the Central African Republic, Congo, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. The West African CFA franc is not valid in Cameroon, and cannot be used or exchanged. The economy is cash-based.

Euros and U.S. dollars are accepted in major stores and hotels. Credit cards are rarely accepted outside major international hotels. VISA cash advance, money wire-transfer and automated banking machine (ABM) cash services are available at major banks. There are no American Express offices.

Money transfer out of Cameroon is regulated, and you must obtain authorization from the Ministry of Finance for any such transaction. Transferring funds through a bank is time-consuming, and charges are levied. Traveller's cheques can only be cashed at two major hotels in Yaoundé (the Hilton and Mont Fébé) and in banks. Due to forgeries and recent robberies, banks and hotels will cash traveller's cheques only if they are accompanied by the original purchase receipt. Whereas Canadian dollars are accepted in some financial institutions and exchange bureaus, Canadian-currency travellers’ cheques are generally not accepted.

 High-quality counterfeit new 10,000 CFA franc banknotes have been discovered in circulation in CFA franc zone countries. You should avoid offers of large amounts of banknotes in exchange for foreign currency from anyone other than a reputable exchange bureau.

Business travellers who wish to establish a presence in Cameroon should first employ the services of a local agent. Caution should be exercised when pursuing venture capital and licensing arrangements. Business people interested in opportunities in Cameroon are encouraged to contact the commercial section at the High Commission of Canada in Yaoundé for information.

Climate

The rainy season occurs from June to September in the north and from July to November in the south. Travel to certain rural areas may be difficult during these periods, as heavy rains and flash floods could make unpaved roads impassable. You should keep informed of regional weather forecasts and plan accordingly.

Cameroon has experienced volcanic activity over the past years. Mountaineers should consult with local authorities prior to ascending. You should be cautious around the Nyos and Monoum volcanic lakes because of periodical toxic fumes.