The Republic of Cameroon is a state in Central Africa. It borders Nigeria, Chad, the Central African republic, Gabon, the Republic of the Congo, and Equatorial Guinea. On the south-west, it is washed by the Atlantic Ocean. The capital city is Yaounde.
On the south, the climate is wet equatorial but on the north, the climate is dry sub-equatorial. The stifling heat lasts here all the year round and it decreases only from November to February. This is the best time for visiting Cameroon.
English and French are the official languages but not all local people can speak them well. The majority of the population speak a combination of English, French and some local dialect (there are about 300 dialects in Cameroon). This makes it difficult to communicate with people. The Christianity (the Catholics and Protestants) is the main religion as well as the Sunni Islam. In the villages, people practice paganism.
Cameroon attracts the tourists, mainly, with its amazing nature. About 6% of the territory are occupied with the national parks and bioreserves. The most popular park among the tourists is the Waza National Park. All the travelers stop in the city of Garoua while they are traveling to one of the four protected areas which surround the city.
Beach tourism is better developed on the Atlantic coast. The best resorts are situated near Grand Batanga and Kribi.
The climbers can try their hand at climbing the Pic de Mindif. It is not high but extremely difficult for climbing.
Many tourists like to visit the villages Mora, Pitoa, Turu, and Udzhila.
There are no direct flights to Cameroon from CIS countries but one can fly to Douala and Yaounde from many European and African countries. Air France offers the most convenient route with a stop in Paris.
Though the network of railway lines is quite extensive in Cameroon, there is no international passenger transportation. Roads link Cameroon with all the neighbouring countries but hardly any tourist will bear a trip in a public African bus, so it is better to travel by car with an air-conditioner.
Cameroon has a visa-free regime only for certain African countries, so EU and CIS citizens have to obtain a visa to travel to this country.
The Russians and people from neighbouring countries usually submit the documents for a visa to the Embassy of Cameroon. Those who are going to have a big African trip can get a visa in one of the Cameroon neighbouring countries.
It usually takes 3 working days to get a visa.
There are no restrictions concerning the transfer of foreign or national currency. However, all the cash must be declared.
The tourists can bring in Cameroon the following things duty-free:
- some alcohol and tobacco;
- food, clothes and perfume for personal use;
- one photo and video camera, audio gadget per person.
It is prohibited to import poisonous and chemical substances.
The tourists are not allowed to export:
- elephants’ tusks and goods made of them;
- skins of rare animals;
- pets without a permit.
The national cuisine of Cameroon absorbed cooking traditions of many peoples of this country and was greatly influenced by the Portuguese, British, French and other cuisines. The staple food in Cameroon is seafood, fruits, and vegetables. The Cameroons always generously flavour their dishes with spices.
The tourists should try such meat dishes as a beef stew with peanuts and pork stew.
The major poultry dish is Tikatse (chicken with peanut sauce).
People in Cameroon like soups very much and they have a lot of them. The most popular are Fufu (a thick mutton soup), Afang and Efo (traditional soups with local vegetables).
Being in Cameroon, do not miss a chance to visit a fish restaurant. Even the pickiest people will be delighted by prawn dishes. By the way, the country got its name from the Portuguese word which means a prawn. We recommend trying Ndole (a fish stew with nuts and bitter herbs).
The Cameroons eat a lot of vegetable and fruit salads. Besides usual for the Europeans food, the locals also use bananas, cassava, sweet potato, figs, coconut, paw paw, and pineapples. A very popular side dish is couscous.
For a dessert, the Cameroons usually serve fruit salads with sweet sauces and fruit pastry. In this country, you will have a chance to try delicate cakes from sweet potatoes.
The Cameroons drink a lot of coffee and cacao and these products are important export items. Fruit juices gained great popularity among the locals.
Palm juice is used to prepare local home brew.
The official currency in Cameroon is Central African Franc (XAF). There are bank notes from 500 to 10.000 XAF and 1 to 500 XAF coins.
Almost everywhere the tourists can pay with Euros and US dollars. However, if you prefer local currency you can exchange the money at banks and the airport.
The tourists can pay with credit cards in the hotels in large cities and in the offices of airlines. In other places, cards are not accepted and the ATMs are generally a rare thing.
The tourists can cash travellers’ checks at banks in large cities. In small towns the checks are useless.
Details of interest
Sightseeing in Cameroon
In Cameroon, there are two sites inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
- The Dja Fauna Reserve is a huge equatorial forest untouched by civilisation. It is known for its biological diversity.
- The Sangha Trinational is a reserve which occupies the territory of Cameroon, the Republic of the Congo and the Central African Republic. This is a tropical forest and a habitat for many endemics and rare species of flora and fauna.
Being in Cameroon, you should not miss a chance to visit other interesting places.
- The Mount Cameroon Volcano is an active volcano and the highest peak in the country.
- The National Park Waza is the most visited park in Cameroon. There are a lot of African animals.
- The Korup National Park is also famous for its diverse animal world.
- In the National Museum of Yaounde, the tourists can learn a lot about the history of the country.
- The Bandjoun Palace is a residence of the rule of one of the Cameroon ethnic group.
- The Djingliya Crafts Center close to the city of Mokolo is a popular place where one can buy unusual souvenirs.
- The waterfalls on the Lobe river near Kribi is a picturesque estuary where the river flows into the ocean. Not far from this place, there are popular beaches.
- Mud huts in the settlements Maga and Pouss is one of the best places to take a selfie in Cameroon.
- The ethnographic museum in Maroua has a collection of unique historical artefacts.
- An amazing landscape in Rhumsiki is an area on the north of the country with many hills and isolated hills (buttes).
Souvenirs in Cameroon
In Cameroon, the tourists usually buy:
- calabash gourds;
- pottery and clay crafts;
- woven baskets;
- stone and leather jewellery;
- wooden figurines, masks, pipes and dishware.