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GENERAL INFORMATION


Seasons & best time to travel

The best months for travel to Cameroon are January through April, when temperatures are moderate and the climate is dry. Luckily for you, the lowest airfares can also be found during that time. Be mindful of your terrain. Often, the mountains and plateaus can register a significant drop in temperature or a change in weather, while the coast is often warmer and more humid.

The north has rains from April/May to September/October. The hottest months are March to May, when temperatures can soar to 40°C, although it’s a dry heat. The south has a humid, equatorial climate, with rain scattered throughout the year. The main wet season there is June to October, with light rain from March to June. Throughout Cameroon, November to February are the driest months. The worst months to visit are July to October, when it’s raining almost everywhere, and many roads are impassable.


Air links

There are three major airports in Cameroon: Douala International Airport (DLA), Nsimalen International Airport (NSI), and Yaounde International Airport (YAO). The one you are most likely to use is the Doula International Airport, as it is located in the economic capital of the country and is the busiest in the nation. Domestically, there is regular daily service between Douala, Yaounde, and other smaller towns.

Among the international carriers are British Airways, Delta, KLM, Northwest, Lufthansa, and United Airlines. Most flights arrive via Europe or other major African cities.


Main airlines

  • Cameroon Airlines Corporation (Camair-Co): five weekly flights from Paris
  • Air France : One daily flight from Paris
  • SN Brussels : Two weekly flights from Brussels
  • Swiss : Two weekly flights from Geneva


For inter-regional links in Africa : Camair-Co, Gabon Airlines, Air Ivoire, Kenya Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Royal Air Maroc, Afriqiyah Airways, Bellview Airlines et Toumai Air Tchad.

Entry requirements

A tourist visa is required for your admission into the country. It is delivered by the nearest diplomatic or consulate representations of Cameroon. The validity is for 30 days non-renewable, with several entries and exit. A visa could be delivered at the landing airport to visitors coming from countries where Cameroon has no diplomatic representation and also to tourists on package tours.

The following documents are required;

  •     A valid passport
  •     A return ticket
  •     An international certificate of vaccination (against yellow fever)
  •     2 identity photos (front view)
  •     A proof of residence or a booking
  •     A visa form collected at the consulate or embassy or sent by post on demand, filled and signed

 

Customs

According to the rule of temporary imports, tourists are entitled to carry the following items if only reserved for their personal use: jewels under 500 grams, personal clothes, cats and dogs (subject to sanitary services), mobile phones, two cameras with 10 films each, a mini-camera with 10 rolls, one television and one radio sets, one video recorder, binoculars, camping and sports items, toiletries, a pram, three litres of wine, one litre of alcohol or aperitif, 500 grams of tobacco OR 400 cigarettes OR 125 cigars.

An importation license is required for hunting arms and munitions. The exportation of animal products must be authorized by the administration in charge of environmental protection. To export art objects and other materials (wood, iron, etc) you must contact the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mines and Craft. (www.ccima.net)

Airport stamp

An airport stamp is required on departure. It cost 10 000 CFA francs for international flights and 500 CFA francs for domestic ones.

Health

The risks to health whilst travelling will vary between individuals and many issues need to be taken into account, e.g. activities abroad, length of stay and general health of the traveller. It is recommended that you consult with your General Practitioner or Practice Nurse 6-8 weeks in advance of travel.

Recommended immunizations include yellow fever (required), hepatitis A and B, typhoid, and meningitis. Plan to pack antimalarial medications, insect repellent, and loose, long-sleeved clothing to protect yourself from mosquito bites.

Cameroon is equipped with medical infrastructures of very high standards, such as the reference hospital of Douala and Yaounde, but also has a good sanitary cover on the whole territory.

It is always advisable to take out travel insurance before heading to Cameroon on holiday because you don't want to be footing a hefty bill if you should need urgent medical treatment while you're away.

 

Currency and exchange

The official currency of Cameroon is the Communauté Financière Africaine franc (CFA). The foreign currencies commonly accepted are Euro and US dollar.

1000 CFA is equivalent to roughly 2.10 US Dollars and 1.52 Euros (subject to frequent change). Only banks, international hotels and some tourist agencies are allowed to change money.

Cash is king in Cameroon, especially in remote regions where it’s the only way to pay, although major credit and debit cards are accepted in some airports and larger hotels. Banks regularly refuse to change travellers cheques, and charge around 5% commission when they do.

Most towns now have at least one ATM, always tied to the Visa network.  If you get stuck, Western Union has branches throughout Cameroon for international money transfers.

 

Domestic Transport

Cameroon’s train system, CamRail, travels from Douala to Yaounde, Yaounde to Ngaoundere (we recommend this route as a great way to travel between the northern region and the southern), Douala to Kumba, and more. You may travel by minibus or bush taxi from Yaoundé and Douala to most neighbouring countries unless a particular border is closed. Once you get to the border, you might have to change buses, so check schedules before traveling.

Cabs are common in most cities; cab sharing is often encouraged as a way to save money, but be alert and aware if you decide to travel with strangers. There are differnt types of taxis with different prices:

The urban taxi: picks you up for 175 CFA Franc (several people in the same car)

The taxi on the fare: takes you from one point to another in the city after bargaining for the price (in general 1 500 CFA francs per hour).

The airport taxi: it cost 2 500 CFA Francs during the day and 5 000 CFA francs after 6 pm.

A taxi can also be hired for the day without sharing for about 100 US Dollars.


Catering

In Cameroon you will find foods from all corners of the world. Whether you want to sample the delights of Cameroonian cuisine such as fresh bush captures, fruits and curries or if you prefer sticking to some more well-known international favourites such as burgers, pizzas and spring rolls, every gourmet demand is guaranteed to be satisfied.


Official languages

Cameroon is a bilingual country with two official languages: French and English. Several native languages are spoken as well.

 

Religion

The most prevalent religions in Cameroon are Christianity, Islam, and indigenous faiths.

Electricity

Cameroon is electrified by 220 volts and the plugs in use fit the European standards. However a torch is always useful.

Telephone code

The international dialling code for Cameroon is +237

Hours and time zones

Time zone: GMT 1

Administration offices are open Monday to Friday, from 7:30 am to 3:30 pm. Shops are usually open until 6 pm even on Saturdays.

Photos

It is authorised to film public buildings except presidential palaces, aerodromes, official members of security and defence, and any other actions that could damage customs and the good reputation of the country. The Ministry of Communication would deliver a ‘’special pass’’ for official ceremonies and private reporting. It is necessary to get the consent of people before photographing or reporting on them.

Clothes and equipment

It is advised to carry light clothes (canvas, cotton, linen), sun glasses, a hat, some useful woollens for fresh evenings, and perhaps a raincoat.