Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Cameroon Travel Guide - Travel S Helper

Cameroon

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Cameroon, formally the Republic of Cameroon (French: République du Cameroun), is a nation in West Africa. It is bounded to the west by Nigeria, to the northeast by Chad, to the east by the Central African Republic, and to the south by Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and the Republic of the Congo. Cameroon’s coastline is located on the Bight of Bonny, which is part of the Gulf of Guinea and the Atlantic Ocean.

Cameroon is home to around 1738 distinct language groups. The official languages are French and English. Because of its geological and cultural variety, the nation is frequently described to as “Africa in miniature.” Beaches, deserts, mountains, rainforests, and savannas are among the natural characteristics. Mount Cameroon in the country’s southwest region has the highest peak at about 4,100 metres (13,500 ft), and the major cities in terms of population are Douala on the Wouri river, its commercial hub and primary seaport, Yaoundé, its political capital, and Garoua.

The newly unified nation joined the Commonwealth of Nations following independence, despite the fact that the great majority of its territory had previously been a German colony and, after World War I, a French mandate. The country is well-known for its indigenous musical genres, notably makossa and bikutsi, as well as its renowned national football team.

The Sao civilization near Lake Chad and the Baka hunter-gatherers in the southeastern jungle were early residents of the region. In the 15th century, Portuguese explorers reached the shore and called the place Rio dos Camares (Shrimp River), which became Cameroon in English. In the nineteenth century, Fulani troops created the Adamawa Emirate in the north, and different ethnic groups in the west and northwest built powerful chiefdoms and fondoms. In 1884, Cameroon became a German colony known as Kamerun.

Following World War I, the region was partitioned between League of Nations mandates for France and the United Kingdom. The political group Union des Populations du Cameroun (UPC) supported independence but was proscribed by France in the 1950s. It fought against French and UPC militants until 1971. The French-administered section of Cameroon gained independence in 1960 as the Republic of Cameroon, led by President Ahmadou Ahidjo. In 1961, it joined with the southern portion of British Cameroons to establish the Federal Republic of Cameroon. In 1972, the country was renamed the United Republic of Cameroon, and in 1984, it was renamed the Republic of Cameroon.

Cameroon has a relatively high level of political and social stability. Agriculture, roads, trains, and big petroleum and wood businesses have all benefited from this. Nonetheless, many Cameroonians live in poverty as subsistence farmers. Paul Biya, Cameroon’s authoritarian ruler since 1982, and his Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement party wield absolute power. Cameroon’s English-speaking territories have become more estranged from the government, and leaders from those areas have campaigned for further decentralization and even independence (for example, the Southern Cameroons National Council) of the former British-governed territory.

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Cameroon - Info Card

Population

26,545,864

Currency

Central African CFA franc (XAF)

Time zone

UTC+1 (WAT)

Area

475,442 km2 (183,569 sq mi)

Calling code

+237

Official language

French - English

Cameroon - Introduction

Demographics

Cameroon’s population was 20,030,362 in 2011. The average life expectancy is 53.69 years (52.89 years for males and 54.52 years for females).

The population of Cameroon is nearly equally split between urban and rural inhabitants. The largest metropolitan areas, the western highlands, and the northeastern plain have the greatest population density. The biggest cities are Douala, Yaoundé, and Garoua. The Adamawa Plateau, the southeastern Bénoué depression, and the majority of the South Cameroon Plateau, on the other hand, are sparsely inhabited.

The fertility rate in Cameroon in 2004 was 5.0, according to the official website.

People seeking work are migrating from the overpopulated western highlands and the undeveloped north to the coastal plantation zone and metropolitan centers. Smaller migrations are taking place as people look for work in lumber mills and plantations in the south and east. Although the national sex ratio is well balanced, these out-migrants are mostly male, resulting in imbalanced ratios in certain areas.

Marriage is practiced in both monogamous and polygamous forms, and the typical Cameroonian family is big and extended. Women care to the house in the north, while males herd cattle or work as farmers. Men supply meat and cultivate cash crops in the south, while women provide the family’s food. Cameroonian culture, like other civilizations, is male-dominated, and violence and discrimination against women are widespread.

Estimates place Cameroon’s population at between 230 and 282 distinct ethnic and linguistic groupings. The Adamawa Plateau divides them into northern and southern halves. The northern peoples include Sudanese tribes that reside in the central highlands and northern lowlands, as well as Fulani who live across northern Cameroon. Near Lake Chad, a small group of Shuwa Arabs reside. Southern Cameroon is home to Bantu and Semi-Bantu language speakers. Bantu-speaking tribes dwell along the coast and in the equatorial zones, whereas Semi-Bantu language speakers live in the Western grasslands. Approximately 5,000 Gyele and Baka Pygmy peoples reside in tiny roadside villages or wander the southeastern and coastal jungles. Nigerians are the most numerous foreign nationalities.

Religion

Cameroon has a high degree of religious variety and freedom. Christianity is the main religion, practiced by about two-thirds of the population, while Islam is a substantial minority faith, practiced by roughly one-fifth of the population. Furthermore, traditional religions are practiced by a large number of people. Muslims are more prevalent in the north, while Christians are more concentrated in the south and west, although both religions are practiced across the nation. Both groups are well-represented in large cities. Sunnis (including Wahhabis), Shias, Ahmadis, Sufis, and non-denominational Muslims make up Cameroon’s Muslim population.

People in the North-West and South-West provinces are mostly Protestant, whereas the French-speaking areas of the south and west are predominantly Catholic. Southern ethnic groups mostly adhere to Christian or traditional African animist beliefs, or a hybrid of the two. The majority of people believe in witchcraft, and the government forbids such activities. Mob violence against suspected witches is common. Boko Haram, an Islamist terrorist organization, has been reported to be active in North Cameroon.

The regionally prominent Fulani ethnic group is mainly Muslim in the northern areas, although the total population is pretty equally split between Muslims, Christians, and adherents of indigenous religious beliefs (called Kirdi (“pagan”) by the Fulani). The West Region’s Bamum ethnic group is mostly Muslim. Native traditional religions are practiced in rural areas across the country, but they are rarely practiced publicly in cities, in part because many indigenous religious groups are intrinsically local in nature.

Geography

Cameroon is the world’s 53rd-largest nation, with 475,442 square kilometers (183,569 square miles). It is somewhat bigger than Sweden and about the size of Papua New Guinea. The nation lies in Central and West Africa, on the Bight of Bonny, which is part of the Gulf of Guinea and the Atlantic Ocean. Cameroon is located between latitudes 1° and 13° North and longitudes 8° and 17° East.

Cameroon is referred to in tourist literature as “Africa in miniature” because it has all of the continent’s main climates and flora, including the coast, desert, highlands, rainforest, and savanna. Nigeria and the Atlantic Ocean border the nation 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.

Cameroon is split into five main geographic zones defined by significant physical, climatic, and vegetal characteristics. The coastal plain stretches inland from the Gulf of Guinea for 15 to 150 kilometers (9 to 93 miles) and has an average elevation of 90 meters (295 ft). This belt is heavily wooded and contains some of the wettest locations on Earth, as part of the Cross-Sanaga-Bioko coastal forests. It is very hot and humid, with a short dry season.

The South Cameroon Plateau rises from the coastal plain to a height of 650 meters on average (2,133 ft).

This area is dominated by equatorial rainforest, which is less humid than the coast due to its alternating of rainy and dry seasons. This region is a component of the Atlantic Equatorial coastal forests ecoregion.

The Cameroon range is an uneven series of mountains, hills, and plateaus that stretches from Mount Cameroon on the coast—highest Cameroon’s point at 4,095 meters (13,435 feet)—almost to Lake Chad at Cameroon’s northern boundary at 13°05’N. Although rainfall is considerable, the climate in this area is moderate, especially on the Western High Plateau. Its soils are among the most productive in Cameroon, particularly near Mount Cameroon. Crater lakes have formed as a result of volcanism in this area. One of them, Lake Nyos, belched carbon dioxide on August 21, 1986, killing between 1,700 and 2,000 people. The World Wildlife Fund has designated this area as the Cameroonian Highlands forests ecoregion.

The southern plateau rises to the grassy, steep Adamawa Plateau in the north. This feature extends from the western mountain range and serves as a barrier between the country’s north and south. It has an average height of 1,100 meters (3,609 feet) with temperatures ranging from 22 °C (71.6 °F) to 25 °C (77 °F), with significant rains between April and October, peaking in July and August. The northern lowland area stretches from the Adamawa River’s border to Lake Chad, with an average elevation of 300 to 350 meters (984 to 1,148 ft). Its vegetation is characterized by savanna brush and grass. This is an arid area with little rain and high average temperatures.

Cameroon has four drainage patterns. The major rivers in the south include the Ntem, Nyong, Sanaga, and Wouri. These run straight into the Gulf of Guinea from the southwest or west. The Dja and Kadéï drain southeastward into the Congo River. The Bénoué River flows north and west across northern Cameroon before emptying into the Niger. The Logone empties into Lake Chad, which Cameroon shares with three neighboring nations.

Things To Know Before Traveling To Cameroon

Language

Although both English and French are official languages, French is by far the more widely spoken (more than 80 percent ). The original colonisers’ language, German, has since been replaced by French and English. Pidgin Cameroonian The language franca in the previously British-controlled regions is English. Since the mid-1970s, a combination of English, French, and Pidgin known as FrancAnglais has been gaining popularity in metropolitan areas. Bilingualism in English and French is encouraged by the government, and official government papers are written in both languages. Cameroon’s bilingualism program has resulted in six of the country’s eight universities becoming fully multilingual.

There are about 250 additional languages spoken by roughly 20 million Cameroonians in addition to the colonial languages. Cameroon is regarded as one of the world’s most linguistically varied nations as a result of this.

Internet, Comunication

A pre-paid SIM card is required to make local and international calls. Check to see whether your mobile phone supports the GSM standard (Africa/Europe); if not, you’ll need to purchase a new phone in addition to a SIM card. Cameroon’s two main telephone providers are “MTN” and “Orange.”

There is Internet connection available almost everywhere, although the speed may be sluggish.

The national postal service is regarded as unreliable.

Respect

Shaking hands with your left hand is considered impolite. Only use your right hand. It is courteous to extend your wrist for the individual to shake his right hand if you have anything in your right hand or if your right hand is filthy or damp. It is courteous to touch wrists if both of your right hands are engaged.

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

How To Travel To Cameroon

Get In – By plane

Cameroon may be accessed through the following routes:

  • Paris (Air France)
  • 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)

Airport personnel, or just hangers-on, may attempt to assist with baggage in order to get more euros/dollars from passengers. They’ll want about XAF1,000.

How To Travel Around Cameroon

Get Around – By plane

Camair-Co is presently flying domestically and as a national airline.

Get Around – By train

Camrail, operates rail services from Yaoundé, the capital, to Douala, the maritime city, and Ngaoundéré, the northern metropolis. While bus travel to Douala is faster and more dependable, the best method of ground transportation to the north is the sleeper train. Check the schedules and prices for the most up-to-date information.

Get Around – By bus

You may travel between large cities in contemporary, comfortable buses, some of which have air conditioning. Away from the bigger cities, you’ll almost certainly wind yourself in one of the ubiquitous Toyota bush taxis. These are somewhat longer Toyota minivans that can accommodate up to 20 passengers (or more if required) and their baggage. With hazardous roads, overworked/drunk/hungover drivers, and badly maintained cars, safety may be a problem. However, if the weather is poor, your choices are restricted to staying an additional day or two.

It’s worth noting that buses seldom depart on schedule. Instead, they wait until they are completely full before leaving. Buses that go later in the day don’t always fill up. When this occurs, the operator will usually arrange for you to be picked up by a bush taxi and taken to your destination. If you refuse to take the bush taxi and insist long enough, the driver will usually return your money. The idea is that you should allow plenty of time to arrive to your destination since the wait may take hours and you never know when you will be able to board.

Get Around – By car

Rental vehicles are available, but they are prohibitively costly. Because paved roads are few outside of the country’s main towns in the west and northwest, a 4 x 4 is required for travel to the country’s east and center regions. Because of the absence of rain, the roads in the north are paved between cities, and even the dirt roads are in good shape.

You may rent a private vehicle and have the driver transport you to your desired location. Expect to pay the driver approximately USD60 per day plus the cost of petrol. You will also be expected to provide food and lodging for the driver. You may, however, haggle.

Motorcycles are a popular mode of transportation these days owing to poor roads and congestion. The driver can transport you anywhere you choose, and in isolated areas without paved roads, they may be the only option.

Visa & Passport Requirements for Cameroon

Except for residents of Mali, Chad, the Central African Republic, and Nigeria, the majority of visitors will need a visa, which should be obtained before to arrival.

There are several types of visas available, including airport transit visas, visitor visas for visiting friends and family in Cameroon, business visas for work-related activity in Cameroon, tourist visas for tourism purposes, student visas for studying abroad and learning at universities, employment visas for taking up work in Cameroon, and permanent residence visas, which are issued if you marry a Cameroonian.

To get a visa, you will need the following documents:

For all visas:

  • Regardless of where you are from, you must have a yellow fever vaccination certificate. When you arrive in Cameroon, you must also present this to the authorities at the airport.
  • The application form as well as two passport-size photos are required.
  • The application cost (US$141 for nationals of all countries except those with visa waivers).
  • Your passport must have at least six months left on it before it expires.

Then, depending on whether you’re applying for a Visitor Visa or a Tourist Visa, you’ll require the following documents:

For a Visitor Visa:

For a visitor’s visa, a letter of invitation is required, as is a hotel reservation confirmation (for a tourist visa). If you need a visitor visa, the person you are visiting must write a letter of invitation and have it authorized and stamped by local officials before delivering it to you. You must mention in the letter that you have a place to stay throughout your journey (e.g. the home of your hosts). A hotel reservation will suffice if you’re staying in one.

For a Tourist Visa:

  • Your bank’s consular letter showing your current balance. For it to be legitimate, it must be signed by the bank.
  • Your hotel’s confirmation of your reservation.

For the most up-to-date information, go to the Cameroon Embassy website in your home country (or the nearest one). Cameroon’s embassies and other diplomatic posts are shown on this map.Map of embassies and other diplomatic missions of Cameroon.

Destinations in Cameroon

Cities in Cameroon

  • 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 in Cameroon

  • 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

Food & Drinks in Cameroon

Food in Cameroon

There are many excellent eateries in the area:

  • 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)

Try Chez Kali in Bonapriso if you’re on a tight budget (towards the Energy Club – fitness). Food that is both safe and affordable. Yaounde’s Mont Febe, Hilton Hotel, and Hotel Le Deputy, Limbe’s Atlantic Beach Hotel, Mirama Hotel, Guest House Hotel, and Park Hotel, Tiko’s 3813, Buea’s Miss Bright, and Douala’s Meridien Hotel.

Drinks in Cameroon

When purchasing a bottle, always check the “best before” date; certain beverages are out of date.

Even at restaurants, avoid drinking tap water. At a reasonable price, bottled water may be obtained almost everywhere. In larger cities, 1.5 L will set you around XAF400, with more in more distant regions.

Coca-Cola is widely accessible. Try one of the flavorful TOP sodas for something new. They’re a lot sweeter than most European or North American sodas, but they’re still delicious.

Due to its history as a German and subsequently French colony, Cameroon has a wide selection of excellent beer. Guinness is widely available in bottles, but in the summer, try one of the great lighter beers like Castel, Beaufort, Mützig, Isenbeck, Satzenbrau, or 33. These are cheap and work well in the heat. For those who like a darker beer, Castel Milk Stout is a great option. You’ll have a hard time finding them cooled outside of the cities (due to a lack of electricity).

Money & Shopping in Cameroon

Cameroon uses the Central African CFA franc (XAF). The Central African Republic, Chad, the Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, and Gabon all use it. While the CFA franc (XAF) and the Western African CFA franc (XOF) are technically distinct currencies, they are used interchangeably in all CFA franc (XAF & XOF)-using nations.

The French Treasury backs both CFA francs, which are linked to the euro at €1 = XAF655.957.

ATM’s

Many banks, such as SGBC, provide master card and Visa ATM withdrawals, and may be located in most major cities. Since 2014, all Ecobank ATMs in Cameroon have been able to accept cash withdrawals using Master and Visa cards.

Shopping

Local handicrafts at Marche de Fleurs (Douala – Bonapriso neighborhood) and fresh seafood and prawns in Youppe hamlet near Douala are two excellent ways to spend your money (early morning).

Unless you’re at a shop or a restaurant, you’ll have to haggle for everything. Demand a discount of 20% to 50% off the initial price.

Culture Of Cameroon

Music and dance

Cameroonian rituals, festivals, social gatherings, and storytelling all include music and dancing. Traditional dances are carefully structured and segregate men and women, or prohibit one sex from participating at all. Dances serve a variety of purposes, from sheer amusement to religious devotion. Music has always been passed down orally. A chorus of singers echoes a soloist in a typical performance.

Traditional instruments include dancers’ bells, clappers, drums and talking drums, flutes, horns, rattles, scrapers, stringed instruments, whistles, and xylophones; the precise mix varies by ethnic group and area. Some singers execute whole songs on their own, accompanied by a harp-like instrument.

Ambasse bey of the coast, assiko of the Bassa, mangambeu of the Bangangte, and tsamassi of the Bamileke are all popular music genres. Anglophone Cameroonian artists have been inspired by Nigerian music, and Prince Nico Mbarga’s highlife song “Sweet Mother” is the best-selling African single of all time.

Makossa and bikutsi are the most popular music genres. Makossa is a Douala-based band that combines folk, highlife, soul, and Congo music. In the 1970s and 1980s, artists like as Manu Dibango, Francis Bebey, Moni Bilé, and Petit-Pays popularized the style throughout the globe. The Ewondo created Bikutsi as a kind of battle music. Beginning in the 1940s, artists like Anne-Marie Nzié transformed it into a popular dance song, and singers like Mama Ohandja and Les Têtes Brulées popularized it worldwide in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s.

Cuisine

Although regional cuisine differs, a big, one-course evening meal is typical across the nation. Cocoyams, maize, cassava (manioc), millet, plantains, potatoes, rice, or yams are common ingredients, which are frequently crushed into dough-like fufu. This is accompanied with a sauce, soup, or stew consisting of greens, groundnuts, palm oil, or other components. Meat and fish are popular but pricey additions, with chicken often saved for rare occasions. Dishes are often spicy, seasoned with salt, red pepper sauce, and Maggi.

Although silverware is popular, food is typically handled with the right hand. Breakfast consists of bread and fruit leftovers with coffee or tea. Generally, wheat flour is used in a variety of morning dishes such as puff-puff (doughnuts), accra banana (made from bananas and flour), bean cakes, and many more. Snacks are popular, particularly in bigger cities where they may be purchased from street sellers.

Traditional lunchtime beverages include water, palm wine, and millet beer, but beer, soda, and wine have gained popularity. 33 Export beer, along with Castel, Amstel, and Guinness, is the official drink of the national soccer team and one of the most popular brands.

Local arts and crafts

Throughout the nation, traditional arts and crafts are practiced for economic, ornamental, and religious reasons. Woodcarvings and sculptures are particularly popular. The western highlands’ high-quality clay is ideal for pottery and ceramics. Basket weaving, beading, brass and bronze working, calabash carving and painting, embroidery, and leather working are some of the other crafts. Traditional housing designs make use of locally available materials and range from nomadic Mbororo’s temporary wood-and-leaf shelters to southern peoples’ rectangular mud-and-thatch houses. Buildings constructed of materials such as cement and tin are becoming more prevalent. Independent cultural groups (Doual’art, Africréa) and artist-run projects are primarily responsible for promoting contemporary art (Art Wash, Atelier Viking, ArtBakery).

History Of Cameroon

The area that is now Cameroon was originally inhabited during the Neolithic period. Groups such as the Baka have been around for the longest time (Pygmies). Bantu migrations into eastern, southern, and central Africa are thought to have begun here about 2,000 years ago. Near AD 500, the Sao civilization developed around Lake Chad, giving rise to the Kanem and its successor state, the Bornu Empire. In the west, kingdoms, fondoms, and chiefdoms emerged.

In 1472, Portuguese sailors arrived along the shore. They called the Wouri River Rio dos Camares (Shrimp River) for the abundance of the ghost shrimp Lepidophthalmus turneranus, which became Cameroon in English. Over the next several centuries, European interests established regular commerce with the coastal peoples, while Christian missionaries spread inland.

Modibo Adama led Fulani troops on a jihad in the north against non-Muslim and partly Muslim peoples in the early nineteenth century, establishing the Adamawa Emirate. The migration of settled peoples fleeing the Fulani resulted in a significant demographic shift. The northern region of Cameroon was a vital link in the Arab slave trading network.

Bamum script, also known as Shu Mom, is a writing system used by the Bamum people. Sultan Ibrahim Njoya gave them the script in 1896, and the Bamum Scripts and Archives Project teaches it in Cameroon. In 1884, the German Empire established Kamerun as a colony and started a gradual advance inland. They began efforts to develop the colony’s infrastructure, depending on a brutal forced labor system that was heavily criticized by the other colonial powers.

With Germany’s loss in World War I, Kamerun became a League of Nations mandate area, and in 1919 it was divided into French Cameroons and British Cameroons. France linked Cameroon’s economy with its own, improving infrastructure via capital investments and skilled labor, and reforming the forced labor system.

From neighboring Nigeria, the British controlled their area. Natives protested that they were being treated as a “colony of a colony.” Nigerian migrant laborers flocked to Southern Cameroons, thereby eliminating forced labor but infuriating local locals who felt overburdened. In 1946, the League of Nations mandates were transformed into UN Trusteeships, and the subject of independence became a serious issue in French Cameroon.

On July 13, 1955, France banned the most extreme political group in Cameroon, the Union des Populations du Cameroun (UPC). This resulted in a protracted guerrilla battle and the murder of the party’s head, Ruben Um Nyobé. The issue in the relatively tranquil British Cameroons was whether to reunify with French Cameroon or join Nigeria.

Independence (1960)

President Ahmadou Ahidjo led French Cameroon to independence from France on January 1, 1960. The previously British Southern Cameroons merged with French Cameroons on October 1, 1961, to create the Federal Republic of Cameroon. Ahidjo utilized the ongoing battle with the UPC to consolidate authority in the presidency, and he continued to do so even after the UPC was suppressed in 1971.

On September 1, 1966, his political party, the Cameroon National Union (CNU), became the only legal political party, and the federal form of governance was abolished in 1972 in favor of a United Republic of Cameroon, led from Yaoundé. Ahidjo followed a planned liberalism economic strategy, prioritizing cash crops and petroleum development. The government utilized oil money to establish a national cash reserve, compensate farmers, and fund large development projects; nevertheless, many efforts failed because Ahidjo chose incompetent friends to manage them.

On November 4, 1982, Ahidjo resigned and handed over authority to his constitutional successor, Paul Biya. However, Ahidjo retained leadership of the CNU and attempted to rule the nation from behind the scenes until he was forced to retire by Biya and his supporters. Biya started his presidency by moving toward a more democratic governance, but a failed coup d’état pushed him back toward his predecessor’s leadership style.

The mid-1980s to late 1990s saw an economic catastrophe as a consequence of worldwide economic circumstances, drought, decreasing petroleum prices, and years of corruption, incompetence, and cronyism. Cameroon sought international assistance, reduced government expenditure, and privatized businesses. With the return of multi-party politics in December 1990, former British Southern Cameroons pressure groups demanded more autonomy, while the Southern Cameroons National Council pushed for full independence as the Republic of Ambazonia. Cameroon suffered its worst violence in 15 years in February 2008, when a transport union strike in Douala erupted into violent demonstrations in 31 local districts.

Following the abduction of the Chibok schoolgirls in May 2014, Cameroonian President Paul Biya and Chadian President Idriss Déby declared war on Boko Haram and sent soldiers to the Nigerian border.

Stay Safe & Healthy in Cameroon

Stay Safe in Cameroon

Violence is uncommon, so be cautious about wearing jewelry or anything else that might set you out from the crowd. If you are unfamiliar with the region, use a cab after dark.

Be warned that Boko Haram, a Nigerian jihadist organization, collaborates with other Islamists and Salafists in Cameroon’s north and has abducted Europeans, Canadians, Americans, and other foreigners. Boko Haram is a terrorist organization that may impose severe versions of Sharia law, such as amputation for stealing. Churchgoers should not proselytize to Muslims, should not gather in groups that are too big owing to suicide bombs, and should not consume alcohol in public. They often travel on motorcycles and pick-up trucks and have lately joined forces with the Islamic State in an attempt to establish a global caliphate. Ansar Muslimeen fi Biladi Sudan, which translates as “Protection of Muslims in Black Lands,” is another branch connected to takfirism that carries out assaults and severe penalties.

Highwaymen and other bandits may also be found in certain areas, especially in the north.

Many laws in Cameroon differ from those in ‘Western’ nations. Homosexuality is prohibited and may lead to jail time.

Identification

You are required by law to carry identification with you at all times. This is normally your passport. Other alternatives include:

  1. Obtaining a legalized duplicate of your passport (front and visa pages) from a police station (XAF1,000); or if you are staying for an extended period of time
  2. A residency card (visit your local border police station); the total cost should be less than XAF5,000 (2013, according to a sign that could be old, in a police station). Paying a ‘fixer’ or anybody else to assist you is not a good idea. Simply go when there isn’t a big line and ask about obtaining a card. You will need your passport, as well as copies and other documents.

Photography

Photographing sensitive places is strictly prohibited. This covers military installations, as well as, presumably, embassies and diplomatic homes. If in doubt, it may be better not to snap the photograph than to risk having a military or police officer erase all of your photos or seize your camera.

Stay Healthy in Cameroon

Travel to Cameroon requires a Yellow Fever certificate.

Malaria is prevalent, particularly in the country’s central and southern regions. The danger is considerably lower in the Northwest Province’s mountains and the dry regions of the Extreme North. Because of the severity of certain strains of malaria in the nation, prophylactics are advised.

Other tropical illnesses such as dysentery, bilharzia, hepatitis, and giardia are also prevalent. There are sporadic outbreaks of cholera in Yaounde and Douala, although they seldom impact visitors.

The nation has a number of high-quality hospitals. Most are in Douala or Yaounde, although Kumbo has two excellent private hospitals.

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Yaounde

Yaoundé is Cameroon’s capital and, after the coastal city of Douala, the country’s second-largest metropolis, with a population of around 2.5 million people. It...