Cameroon is a quintessentially African country. It offers everything that one would want to discover in the African continent, from the rainforest around the Dja reserve to desert around the Sahel zone near Maroua. It is home to the highest peak of West Africa, the Mt Cameroon volcano. It boosts of some bustling cities like Yaoundé, Douala and Kumbo found in between and beckoning beaches like Kribi and Limbe beaches.
It is also home to one of the oldest peoples of Africa, the Pygmies in the grand south and the Fulani herdsmen in the grand north. Muslims, Christians, as well as pagans and traditional practitioners cohabit without tension. Its plethora indigenous languages, cultures, traditions and swaggering landscapes is accountable for the peace and stability the country has enjoyed over the years.
There are many national parks throughout the country worth exploring, as they all differ in scenery and fauna, although some reserves in the south of the country such as the Boumba-Bek and Douala-Edea are not easily accessible.
Population of Cameroon: 25 million
Languages in Cameroon: English and French, plus many local African languages including Bamiléké, Fulfude, Fulani, Beti, Fang, Douala, Issu, lamso, kom, ejagam, banyangi, metat and Ewondo etc. There are also very good interpreter and translators in German, Spanish and Chineese.
Office Opening Hours: Public service offices opened from 7.30am to 3.30pm from Monday to Friday, banks opened from 7.30am to 3pm, from Monday to Friday though some banks open on Saturdays from 7.30am to 12:00pm. Shops and other private institutions remain open until 6pm, from Monday to Saturday.
Time in Cameroon: GMT+1
Communication: The telephone network in Cameroon is fairly good. She has four mobile phone operating companies. International dialling code is 237. The local phone number is 9 digits.
Voltage: 220V or 50Hz AC
Currency / Exchange: Until now, Cameroon uses the Franc CFA; Central African franc. ATMs cards can be used most of the major banks in the bigger cities. Credit cards and travellers’ cheques are only accepted at upmarket i.e. high-class or expensive hotels and restaurants. The CFA Franc has a fixed exchange rate with the Euro i.e. 1 Euro = 656 F CFA.
When to visit Cameroon: All year round but November to February are the driest months throughout Cameroon. Harmattan winds blowing from the Sahara Desert reduce visibility during the dry season in the three northern regions.
International airports: Nsimalen International Airport (NSI), Douala International Airport (DLA) and Maroua International Airport (MRA).
Transportation: Domestic flights are available but are comparatively expensive and remains the safest means of transport. Buses and trains linked Inter-Urban communities while commercial motorbikes and township taxis, identified by their yellow colours assure circulations within the cities.
Customs: Tourists benefit from the temporary import exemption system for the following personal use items: jewels which weigh less than 500g, clothes and linens, cats and dogs, two small cameras, a small cine-camera, a portable television and a radio, a portable video-tape recorder, a pair of eye glasses, small camping and sports equipment, toiletries, baby carriages, three litres of wine, one litre of spirits; 500g of tobacco or 400 sticks of cigarettes or 125 sticks of cigars.
Photography: You can take photos freely all over Cameroon, except for presidential palaces, airfields, military zones and installations, security and military personnel and situations liable to harm the customs and good reputation of the country. It is advisable to ask before taking pictures of people.
Accommodation: It ranges from home residents, church mission’s hostels to hotels and furnished apartments. There are camping sites in parks and forest reserves although some hotels and church missions allow camping on their grounds.
Food: Both African and European dishes are served in the major hotels and restaurants in the cities on command.
Drink: Beer is the drink of choice, although soft drinks, mineral water and other alcoholic drinks such as wine and whisky are available in the cities.
Health: An international vaccination certificate against yellow fever is required. Malaria prophylaxis is recommended.
Safety: Like all big cities in the world, the rates of crimes such as mugging and scams is high, so always stay closer to your guide and open your eyes. Police regularly check for ID, so always walk with your passport or its certified copy, as well as the yellow fever vaccination certificate in order not to be embarrassed.
Entry Formalities : You need a passport that is valid for at least 6 months from the date of departure for Cameroon and an entry visa. The visa can be obtained from your local Cameroonian Embassy or High Commission or Consulate. If there is no diplomatic representation in your country of origin, then contact us here in Cameroon at Nicetrip as soon as you can, and we will help you make the necessary arrangements to obtain it upon arrival.