CAMEROON TRAVEL GUIDE
Leave your set notions behind when you visit Cameroon, for here you’ll meet people who come from as many as 130 ethnic groups. That truly doesn’t matter because their joie de vivre unites them all.
Often called "mini Africa", Cameroon’s topography spans deserts, tropical forests, savanna grasslands and active volcanoes. Bring extra cash for souvenirs - the markets showcase artisans at work, selling some of the best crafts in Africa.
CAMEROON QUICK FACTS
Currency: communaute financiere africaine franc (XAF)
Area: 475,440 km²
Population: 25,22 million (2018)
Language: 4 major African language groups, English & French official
Religion:indigenous beliefs 40%, Christian 40%, Muslim 20%
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CAMEROON PUBLIC HOLIDAYS
- 11 February, Youth Day
- 1 May, Labor Day
- 20 May, National Day
- 15 August, Assumption
- 25 December, Christmas
Also, Good Friday, Ascension, Eid al-Fitr, and Eid al-Adha.
FESTIVALS IN CAMEROON
BEST TIME TO VISIT CAMEROON
The best time to visit Cameroon depends on your preferences and the activities you plan to engage in during your trip.
Generally, the best time to visit Cameroon is during the dry season, which runs from November to February. During this time, the weather is generally sunny, dry and cooler, making it ideal for outdoor activities and wildlife viewing.
However, if you're interested in hiking or climbing Mount Cameroon, the best time to visit is during the dry season from November to February, or during the transitional periods between the dry and rainy seasons in March-April and September-October.
If you're interested in attending cultural events and festivals, plan your visit around the months of December to April, as this is when many of the major festivals take place.
Keep in mind that Cameroon is a diverse country with various climatic zones, and weather patterns can vary significantly depending on the region. So, it's always a good idea to check the weather conditions and events in the specific region you plan to visit before finalizing your travel plans.
CAMEROON WEATHER SYNOPSIS
Cameroon has one main rainy reason that lasts from May-November when the West African Monsoon brings moist air over the country from the Atlantic Ocean. The peak rainy months correspond with the lowest average temperatures of the year. The Southern Plateaus experience two shorter rainy seasons during May-June and October-November. Cameroon’s dry season lasts from December-April and corresponds with the highest average temperatures of the year during the latter part of the season in the months of February-April. The southern part of the country is characterised as humid and equatorial with temperatures ranging from 20-25°C (depending on altitude) and the wettest regions receiving more than 400 mm of rainfall per month. Northern Cameroon (north of 6°) is semi-arid and dry with temperatures ranging from 25-30°C. This portion of the country receives less than 100 mm of rainfall per month.
CAMEROON TOURIST SEASONS
Most destinations have different times of the year when they’re more or less popular with tourists.
Off Peak Season
SPORT & ACTIVITIES
SNOW SPORT IN CAMEROON
HIKING & CYCLING IN CAMEROON
Cameroon receives a lot of rain from May to October. The best time for outdoor activities is from November to February when it is driest and the temperatures are mildest. March to May can become very hot with the odd rain showers.
BEACH OPTIONS IN CAMEROON
There are some beautiful white sand beaches located along the southwest coast of Cameroon. Although it's always hot, the dry months from November to April are best for beaches.
SURFING IN CAMEROON
The surf in Cameroon can be described as fun but not epic! Although not a prime surf destination, you can find good beach breaks at the following spots: Kribi, Seme Beach Limbe, Tsaben Beach & Lonely Left for more experienced riders.
KITESURF IN CAMEROON
You can kite and windsurf at Kribi, Cameroon but the launching zone is very small and the choppy waves make it a kitesurfing spot for intermediate to expert riders only.
For more details on kite surfing in Cameroon expand this section!
HEALTH RISKS IN CAMEROON
Be aware of possible health risks in
Yellow fever - The yellow fever virus is found in tropical and subtropical areas of Africa and South America. The virus is spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no medicine to treat or cure an infection. To prevent getting sick from yellow fever, use insect repellent, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants, and get vaccinated.
Zika Virus - Zika is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. These mosquitoes bite during the day and night. Zika can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus. Infection during pregnancy can cause certain birth defects. There is no vaccine or medicine for Zika.
Malaria - Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease caused by a parasite that commonly infects a certain type of mosquito which feeds on humans. People who get malaria are typically very sick with high fevers, shaking chills, and flu-like illness. Although malaria can be a deadly disease, illness and death from malaria can usually be prevented.
Dengue - Dengue is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. These mosquitoes bite during the day and night. About one in four people infected with dengue will get sick. For people who get sick with dengue, symptoms can be mild or severe.
CAMEROON TRAVEL COSTS
The cost of traveling to Cameroon depends on various factors such as the duration of your stay, the type of accommodation you choose, the mode of transportation, the activities you plan to engage in, and your personal spending habits.
Here is a breakdown of some of the major expenses you can expect when traveling to Cameroon:
- Accommodation: The cost of accommodation in Cameroon varies depending on the region and the type of accommodation you choose. You can find budget guesthouses and hostels starting at around $10 to $20 per night, while mid-range hotels can cost between $30 to $80 per night. High-end luxury hotels can cost upwards of $100 per night.
- Transportation: Transportation costs in Cameroon vary depending on the mode of transportation you choose. Public transportation such as buses and shared taxis are the cheapest option, with fares starting at around $1. Private taxis and car rentals are more expensive, with fares starting at around $15 per day for car rentals.
- Food: You can find local street food for as low as $1 per meal, while restaurant meals can cost between $5 to $20 per meal. If you choose to cook your meals, groceries can cost around $30 to $50 per week.
- Activities: The cost of activities in Cameroon varies depending on the type of activity you plan to engage in. Entrance fees to national parks and museums can cost around $5 to $10, while guided tours can cost upwards of $50.
Overall, you can expect to spend around $30 to $50 per day for budget travel in Cameroon, while mid-range travel can cost upwards of $80 per day. Keep in mind that these are general estimates, and your actual expenses will depend on your personal preferences and travel style.
CAMEROON TRAVEL TIPS
Here are some travel tips for Cameroon:
- Get vaccinated: Make sure to get vaccinated for yellow fever and other recommended vaccines before traveling to Cameroon. Consult with your doctor or a travel health clinic for specific recommendations.
- Dress conservatively: Cameroon is a conservative country, and it's important to dress appropriately, especially in rural areas and when visiting religious sites. Avoid wearing revealing clothing and opt for modest, conservative outfits.
- Respect local customs: Cameroon has many diverse ethnic groups, each with their own unique customs and traditions. Be respectful of local customs and traditions, especially when visiting rural areas.
- Learn some French: French is one of the official languages in Cameroon, so it's a good idea to learn some basic French phrases before traveling to the country. This can help you communicate with locals and make your trip more enjoyable.
- Be cautious with street food: While street food is a great way to experience local cuisine, it's important to be cautious with what you eat. Make sure the food is freshly prepared and cooked thoroughly to avoid foodborne illnesses.
- Negotiate prices: Haggling is common in Cameroon, especially in markets and when using taxis. Don't be afraid to negotiate prices to get a fair deal.
- Take precautions against theft: Petty crime is a concern in Cameroon, especially in urban areas. Keep your valuables secure and avoid displaying expensive items such as jewelry or cameras in public.
- Use common sense: As with any travel destination, it's important to use common sense and take precautions to ensure your safety. Be aware of your surroundings, avoid traveling alone at night, and follow the advice of locals and authorities.
SIGHTS & HIGHLIGHTS OF CAMEROON
Cameroon is divided into ten regions, each with its own unique culture, natural attractions, and highlights. Here are the main regions of Cameroon and some of their highlights:
- Adamawa Region: Located in the northern part of Cameroon, Adamawa is known for its diverse ethnic groups, including the Fulani, Tikar, and Bata. Highlights include the scenic Benoue National Park, the Mora rock formations, and the traditional architecture of the Tikar people.
- Centre Region: The Centre Region is home to Cameroon's capital city, Yaoundé. Other highlights include the National Museum of Yaoundé, the Mefou National Park, and the Nkolandom Tea Estate.
- East Region: The East Region is known for its rainforests, wildlife, and natural attractions. Highlights include the Dja Faunal Reserve, one of Africa's largest rainforest reserves, and the Lobe Waterfalls.
- Far North Region: The Far North Region is located in the northern part of Cameroon, and is known for its Sahelian landscapes, cultural diversity, and wildlife. Highlights include the Waza National Park, the Mandara Mountains, and the Kapsiki Peak.
- Littoral Region: The Littoral Region is home to Cameroon's largest city, Douala. Other highlights include the Limbe Botanic Garden, the Bimbia Slave Trade Port, and the Wouri River.
- North Region: The North Region is known for its traditional cultures, including the Kirdi, Matakam, and Moundang people. Highlights include the Rhumsiki Peak, the Kola Gorges, and the Mayo Rey Rice Fields.
- Northwest Region: The Northwest Region is known for its highlands, waterfalls, and cultural attractions. Highlights include the Bamenda Ring Road, the Wum Rock Paintings, and the Ndawara Tea Estate.
- South Region: The South Region is known for its natural attractions, including the Campo Ma'an National Park and the Lobéké National Park. Other highlights include the Limbe Wildlife Centre and the Mount Cameroon trek.
- Southwest Region: The Southwest Region is known for its scenic coastline, colonial architecture, and cultural attractions. Highlights include the Victoria Seaport, the Buea Mountain Resort, and the Kumba Market.
- West Region: The West Region is known for its highlands, waterfalls, and cultural attractions. Highlights include the Bafut Palace, the Menchum Falls, and the Foumban Royal Palace.
These are just a few of the highlights of each region of Cameroon, and there is much more to discover and explore in this diverse and fascinating country.
Cameroon is a diverse and vibrant country with a rich cultural heritage and stunning natural beauty. Here are some of the best things to see and do when visiting Cameroon:
- Visit the Waza National Park: This national park is located in the Far North Region and is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including elephants, lions, giraffes, and antelopes.
- Explore the Dja Faunal Reserve: This rainforest reserve in the East Region is home to a range of endangered species, including chimpanzees, gorillas, and forest elephants.
- Trek Mount Cameroon: This active volcano is the highest mountain in West Africa and offers spectacular views and challenging trekking routes.
- Visit the Bamenda Highlands: This region in the Northwest is known for its stunning scenery, including the Ring Road, a 367km loop through the highlands.
- Discover the cultural heritage of Cameroon: There are many cultural attractions in Cameroon, including the Royal Palace of Foumban, the Bafut Palace, and the Kribi Fishing Village.
- Experience traditional music and dance: Cameroon is known for its vibrant music and dance traditions, including makossa, bikutsi, and assiko.
- Sample local cuisine: Cameroon's cuisine is diverse and flavorful, with dishes such as ndole, poulet DG, and ndambe. Be sure to try some of the local street food as well!
- Relax on the beaches: Cameroon has several beautiful beaches, including Limbe Beach and Kribi Beach, which offer opportunities for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports.
- Visit the Limbe Botanic Garden: This botanical garden in the Southwest Region is home to a range of exotic plants, including orchids, palms, and bamboos.
- Shop at the markets: Cameroon's markets are colorful and lively, offering a range of goods such as traditional textiles, handicrafts, and fresh produce.
- Attend a football match: Football is hugely popular in Cameroon, and attending a match is a great way to experience the country's passion for the sport.
- Visit the Chutes de la Lobé: This waterfall in the South Region is one of the few waterfalls in the world that flows directly into the sea.
- Explore the Maroua Market: This colorful market in the Far North Region offers a range of goods, including spices, textiles, and jewelry.
- Take a boat ride on Lake Nyos: This volcanic lake in the Northwest Region is known for its deadly carbon dioxide gas, but it is safe to explore by boat.
- Learn about Cameroon's colonial history: There are several historical sites in Cameroon that offer insights into the country's colonial past, including the German-built train station in Edea and the colonial architecture in Yaoundé.
WHAT TO EAT IN CAMEROON
Cameroon has a diverse and flavorful cuisine, influenced by its many ethnic groups and cultural traditions. Here are some popular dishes to try when visiting Cameroon:
- Ndole: This is a popular dish in the western region of Cameroon and is made with bitter leaf, peanuts, and meat or fish.
- Poulet DG: This dish is made with chicken, plantains, and vegetables such as bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes, and is a favorite in the coastal regions of Cameroon.
- Achu and Yellow Soup: This is a dish from the North West region of Cameroon made with boiled cocoyams and served with a soup made from palm oil, meat, and spices.
- Ndolé soup: This soup is made with a mix of vegetables and bitter leaf, and typically includes crayfish, smoked fish, and beef or chicken.
- Koki beans: This is a popular dish made with mashed beans, spices, and palm oil, typically served with a side of plantains or cassava.
- Mbongo Tchobi: This is a spicy dish made with fish or meat, onions, tomatoes, and a variety of spices, including black pepper and hot chili pepper.
- Grilled fish: Cameroon has a long coastline, and fresh fish is a popular dish in the coastal regions. Grilled fish is often served with a side of vegetables or plantains.
- Suya: This is a popular street food in Cameroon, made with skewered beef or chicken marinated in a spicy peanut sauce.
- Plantains: Plantains are a staple food in Cameroon and are often served as a side dish with meat or fish.
- Puff-puff: This is a popular snack in Cameroon made with flour, yeast, sugar, and spices, and fried until golden brown. It is often served with a sweet or spicy dipping sauce.
LGBTQ IN CAMEROON
WHERE TO STAY IN CAMEROON
When visiting Cameroon for the first time, it is recommended to stay in areas that are well-developed for tourism and offer easy access to popular attractions. Here are some suggestions for places to stay in Cameroon:
- Yaoundé: Yaoundé is the capital city of Cameroon and is home to many hotels and guesthouses that cater to tourists. It is also centrally located, making it a convenient base for exploring the country.
- Douala: Douala is the largest city in Cameroon and is located on the coast. It is known for its vibrant nightlife and has many accommodation options, from budget hostels to luxury hotels.
- Limbe: Limbe is a coastal town in the Southwest Region of Cameroon and is known for its beautiful beaches and relaxed atmosphere. It has several accommodation options, including guesthouses, resorts, and hotels.
- Bafoussam: Bafoussam is the largest city in the West Region of Cameroon and is located in the highlands. It is a popular base for exploring the region and has several accommodation options, including budget hotels and guesthouses.
- Bamenda: Bamenda is the capital of the Northwest Region and is located in the highlands. It has several accommodation options, including budget hostels and hotels, and is a convenient base for exploring the region.
- Kribi: Kribi is a coastal town in the South Region of Cameroon and is known for its beautiful beaches and waterfalls. It has several accommodation options, including guesthouses, resorts, and hotels.
When choosing a place to stay in Cameroon, it is important to consider your budget, preferred type of accommodation, and proximity to attractions and transportation. It is also recommended to book your accommodation in advance, especially during peak travel seasons.
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