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Yaounde Travel Guide - Travel S Helper

Yaounde

travel guide

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 is located in the heart of the country, at a height of around 750 meters (2,500 feet) above sea level.

Yaoundé is the country’s political power center.

The majority of the population is Francophone (that is, they speak French), although many (particularly the younger generation) also know English.

Yaoundé has a tropical wet and dry climate with year-round consistent temperatures.

However, temperatures are not as scorching as one would anticipate for a city so close to the equator, owing to the altitude.

Yaoundé has a long wet season that lasts for 10 months, from February to November.

The administrative structure of the civil service and diplomatic services account for the majority of Yaoundé’s economy. Yaounde has a greater level of life and security than the rest of Cameroon as a result of these prominent central buildings.

Tobacco, dairy products, beer, clay, glass items, and timber are all major businesses in Yaoundé. It’s also a coffee, cocoa, copra, sugar cane, and rubber distribution center for the area.

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Yaounde | Introduction

Yaoundé – Info Card

The tourism sector is considered the cornerstone of the economy and is an excellent source of jobs, hard currency and economic growth. During 2010, Jordan has been visited more than 8 million tourists. The outcome was revenues from tourism of $3.4 billion, out of which $4.4 billion comprised medical tourists. Most of the tourists who come to Jordan come from European and Arab countries. The tourism sector in Jordan is severely affected by the regional turbulence. The recent impact on the tourism sector was caused by the Arab Spring, which deterred tourists from all over the region. Jordan recorded a 70% decline in the number of tourists between 2010 and 2015.

Jordan is home to approximately 100,000 archaeological and tourist attractions, figures provided by the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities. Among the well-preserved historic landmarks are Petra and Jerash, which is Jordan’s most popular tourist attraction and an icon of the kingdom. Jordan is part of the Holy Land and has several biblical attractions that attract the activities of pilgrims. These include biblical sites: Al-Maghtas, in which Jesus has been baptized by John the Baptist, Mount Nebo, Umm ar-Rasas, Madaba and Machaerus. The Islamic heritage sites include the shrines of the Prophet Muhammad’s companions including Abd Allah ibn Rawahah, Zayd ibn Harithah and Muadh ibn Jabal. Ajlun Chateau, which was built by the Ayyubid Islamic king Saladin in the 12th century A.D. during his war with the Crusaders, is also a popular tourist attraction.

Modern entertainment and recreation in urban areas, mainly in Amman, also attracts tourists. In recent years, the nightlife in Amman, Aqaba and Irbid has developed with an increasing number of bars, discos and nightclubs. However, most nightclubs have a limit of unaccompanied men. Alcohol is common in tourist restaurants, liquor stores, and even some supermarkets. Valleys such as Wadi Mujib and hiking trails in different parts of the country attract adventurers. In addition, seaside recreation is available at several international resorts on the shores of Aqaba and the Dead Sea.

Since the 1970s, Jordan became a leading medical tourist destination in the Middle East. A study conducted by the Jordanian Association of Private Hospitals revealed that 250,000 patients from 102 countries were treated in Jordan in 2010, compared to 190,000 in 2007, representing a turnover of more than one billion dollars. According to the World Bank, Jordan is the leading medical tourism destination in the region and the fifth largest in the world. The majority of patients come from Yemen, Libya and Syria due to the ongoing civil war in these countries. Jordanian doctors and medical staff have gained experience in treating war patients after years of receiving such cases from various conflict zones in the region. Jordan is also a hub for natural treatments in the Ma’in Hot Springs and the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea is often referred to as a “natural spa”. It contains 10 times more salt than the average ocean, making it impossible to submerge. The high concentration of salt in the Dead Sea has proven to be therapeutic for many skin diseases. The uniqueness of this lake attracts many Jordanian and foreign vacationers, which has stimulated investment in the region’s hotel sector.

How To Travel To Yaounde

Get In - By Plain

Daily flights depart from Brussels and Paris. While the majority of planes land in Douala, these flights routinely carry on to Yaounde without passengers disembarking. Alternatively, one might alight at Douala and go to Yaounde by one of the various bus or rail routes (a 3-4 hour ride). Domestic carriers provide frequent flights between Douala and Yaoundé.

Get In - By train

Camrail operates passenger services. There are many daily trips from Douala, and the travel takes 3:45 hours on the spanking new Intercity trains. Daily, an overnight train with couchettes and sleeping carriages departs from Ngaoundéré. Additionally, there are slower services that may be less expensive but are not advised for travelers.

Get In - By bus

If you’re traveling from Douala, it’s well worth it to upgrade to the ‘prestige’ service. If just for the seatbelts, it’s worth the premium, but bring a jumper in case they ramp up the air conditioning. The Douala-Yaoundé trunk road is very crowded, with several official and unofficial check stations, and should be avoided at night, when accidents are particularly prevalent.

How To Get Around In Yaounde

There are city buses, however their routes are restricted.

The best option is to use a shared cab. They will slow down for you, but you should still flag and beep to indicate affirmative. Unless you’re traveling a great distance or are not going far, you may phone “cent francs” and your destination. In certain instances, you may be asked how much “paye combian?” you intend to paid. Simply mention 300 francs (in French…) and you should be good. Additionally, you may say “depot” if you want the cab all to yourself. This will cost you extra, perhaps about 1000 francs; bargain in advance. Additionally, you may hire by the hour for around 2500 or 3000 francs per hour. Negotiate in advance and pay no more than 3000.

If a taxi does not stop for you, it is most likely because it is being driven by someone who has rented the whole vehicle. Taxis are typically limited to four passengers, however some drivers may accommodate up to six (four in the back, two in the front). Trust your own judgment when boarding a cab with suspicious-looking individuals. The motorist should have a valid driver’s license visible in the rear-view mirror; you may verify that the picture matches.

Motos (motorcycle taxis) are also available. Avoid using them; they are very harmful.

Prices in Yaoundé

MARKET / SUPERMARKET

Milk 1 liter $ 1.95
Tomatoes 1 kg $ 0.85
Cheese 0.5 kg $ 7.00
Apples 1 kg $ 11.00
Oranges 1 kg $ 2.40
Beer (domestic) 0.5 l $ 1.20
Bottle of Wine 1 bottle $ 7.60
Coca-Cola 2 liters $ 2.25
Bread 1 piece $ 0.55
Water 1.5 l $ 1.25

RESTAURANTS

Dinner (Low-range) for 2 $ 15.00
Dinner (Mid-range) for 2 $ 38.00
Dinner (High-range) for 2 $ 52.00
Mac Meal or similar 1 meal $ 2.55
Water 0.33 l $ 1.85
Cappuccino 1 cup $ 2.90
Beer (Imported) 0.33 l $ 4.00
Beer (domestic) 0.5 l $ 1.35
Coca-Cola 0.33 l $ 1.35
Coctail drink 1 drink $ 10.00

ENTERTAINMENT

Cinema 2 tickets $ 10.00
Gym 1 month $ 20.00
Men’s Haircut 1 haircut $ 10.00
Theatar 2 tickets $
Mobile (prepaid) 1 min. $ 0.17
Pack of Marlboro 1 pack $ 1.30

PERSONAL CARE

Antibiotics 1 pack $ 8.00
Tampons 32 pieces $ 3.20
Deodorant 50 ml. $ 7.00
Shampoo 400 ml. $
Toilet paper 4 rolls $ 2.05
Toothpaste 1 tube $ 2.40

TRANSPORTATION

Gasoline 1 liter $ 1.20
Taxi Start $ 1.00
Taxi 1 km $ 0.80
Local Transport 1 ticket $ 1.00

CLOTHES / SHOES

Jeans (Levis 501 or similar) 1 $..
Dress summer (Zara, H&M….) 1 $ 35.00
Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas…) 1 $ 55.00
Leather shoes 1 $ 67.00

Sights & Landmarks In Yaounde

The city is not very tourist-friendly, although some interesting attractions include the Mvog Betsi zoo (primates and lions, plus a children’s playground), the Mokolo market (quite large and in-your-face), Mont Febe, and maybe the swimming pools of some of the hotels.

Government offices, a few hotels, and the major market are located in the city center. With the majority of properties owned by Cameroonians, the Bastos neighborhood is home to international embassies and the expatriate European population (drawn mainly from the diplomatic corps). The presidential mansion and complex are located in Etoudi.

Food & Restaurants In Yaounde

Bakeries

Bakeries are sometimes the only establishments operating on holidays. Le Moulin de France, right off the main strip near Casino in the centre, is a nice (but not inexpensive) establishment.

Budget

There are street vendors everywhere, but a wonderful area to visit is Nlongkak. There is some diversity here, as well as lots of locations to grab a drink. A dish of beans should cost between 200 and 500 CFA, an omelet should cost approximately 500 (or 1000 if served with chips), and a meal of spaghetti should cost around 500. Prices might vary significantly based on the vendor’s honesty.

For many things, street sellers’ prices should be quite consistent. Three or four bananas or a grilled corn (maize) cob, for example, should cost 100 CFA in any city.

“Saint Tropez” is a fantastic restaurant in Bastos; dinners cost between 2000 and 2500 euros, depending on the menu. The drinks are inexpensive. If you’re coming from the city center, take the first left after the huge T-junction (down which you’ll find the Meuomi Palace Hotel).

Mid-range

  • Istanbul, a Turkish restaurant in Bastos, costs between 2000 and 5000 pesos. There is no alcohol, but there is excellent cuisine.
  • Some of Bastos’ Chinese eateries provide excellent value for money.

Splurge

In the Churchill Avenue neighborhood, there are a few eateries to choose from, including:

  • Maison de Coree – Korean, just off Churchill Avenue, there are signs
  • A Mediterranean restaurant that specializes on Moroccan and Spanish cuisine.
  • An African restaurant
  • Cafe Yaoundé, Hippodrome. Pricey (~10 000 for your meal) food. It seems to be geared for expats, with an emphasis on European food. Patio sitting in a verdant garden area creates a pleasant environment.

There are also various spots in Bastos where you can:

  • Burnea Vista – The restaurant is generally pretty quiet, but the cuisine is excellent. European design.
  • Salsa – European style
  • Chez Whou – Apparently one of a chain, Chinese food.

Shopping In Yaounde

If you need CFA, there are many ATMs located around the city, as well as one at the Hilton in the heart of Yaounde. The Hilton is the only location that accepts MasterCard ATMs. If feasible, you should travel with another kind of card (e.g. Visa). Additionally, there are several persons who will change money on the street, such as at the airport, outside the Hilton, and at the Casino grocery. On the street, money changers may be identified by the way they rub their thumb and middle finger together in your direction (not a rude gesture, just a sign). They take Euros in general, although some may also accept USD. Know the exchange rate before you go in case you need to negotiate, but the group of individuals who change money outside the Casino will offer you a fair rate without negotiating (650 CFA per Euro, vs. a 656 CFA per Euro official rate).

Supermarkets

There are many supermarkets in the area. The most visible in the central business district is Casino (a huge French grocery chain) next to the Notre Dame cathedral, where you can purchase typical European brand-name groceries. Additionally, “Niki” may be found in a variety of locations (including the Mfoundi area near the centre). Another choice is Dovv in Bastos, which has a slew of European brand names (though at the cheaper end of the scale).

Stay Safe & Healthy In Yaounde

Taxi sharing may be dangerous, even for Cameroonian citizens, as you risk having your phone and wallet stolen. It is advised that you use a private cab that has been recommended to you by your hotel or a friend.

Be cautious of pickpockets, who are prevalent. Take caution with your luggage, wallet, and other valuables at marketplaces (especially Marché Mokolo and Marché Central) and other areas with a high concentration of people (including at nights when out drinking). Keep your hands close to your pockets and be prepared to seize an individual if you suspect they stole your phone, wallet, or handbag. Photographing sensitive places is strictly prohibited. This seems to contain military installations, as well as embassies and ambassador homes. If in doubt, it may be prudent to refrain from taking the photograph rather than risk having a military or police officer erase all your photos or seize your camera.

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