Cameroon. Sights of Cameroon. Where to stay and eat
Aside from temporary security advisories, there are no restrictions on travel to Cameroon. Currently, there is a warning to travelers in the northern part of the country because of the threat of terrorism and kidnapping . This is especially true for the border areas with Nigeria, Chad and the Central African Republic. The rest of the country is considered free of such threats. Travelling here is not tiresome thanks to a good tourist infrastructure, although there are no strictly marked permanent routes. For a real tourist who avoids the beaten track, it is a challenge worth taking when visiting the country.
Time and weather
Time and weather
The average day here is almost thirteen hours . Throughout the year, because of its proximity to the equator, there is not much difference in the length of the day in Cameroon, although the days seem longer in June. In Cameroon’s capital, Yuanda, dawns at 5:40 and dusk at 6:50; and in December at 5:50 and 6:30 respectively. As for temperatures, they do not vary much throughout the year in the south. Usually the temperature of the mercury column is about 30 ° C both during the day and at night. In contrast, the north of Cameroon experiences more severe extremes, especially during the dry season, when temperatures can exceed 40° C during the day and drop below 20° C at night. Because of the rainy season, the best time to visit Cameroon is considered early winter .
Documents in Cameroon
Documents in Cameroon
When planning a trip to Cameroon, you should have a passport that is valid for at least six months. You should apply for your visa before arriving abroad or at the airport. Unfortunately, it is not possible to do this in Poland. This is why you have to apply for a visa at the embassy of Cameroon in Berlin or Moscow. However, if for some reason it is not possible to obtain it before or if you have decided to visit the country only during your trip you can try your luck at the border, though it does not guarantee anything.
Currency, banks, ATMs
Currencies, banks, ATMs
The basic currency in Cameroon is the Central African Franc (FCFA) with the international symbol XAF . The exchange rate of the FCFA against the euro is fixed and officially is about 650 FCFA per euro . The currency can easily be exchanged at banks, which is fast but you should make sure in advance that no commission is charged for the transaction. The ATM network in Cameroon is functioning well. They can be found in both large and medium-sized cities such as Kribi, Maroua and Berthois .
As for communication, every African country has its own rules. You do not need to be too serious about the schedule, you do not need to be tied to the clock, do not think that the places of departure will always be the same. Road transport is well developed in Cameroon, although the quality of service leaves much to be desired. The main means of intercity travel is a shuttle bus. In Cameroon there are specialized travel agencies (travel agencies). They specialize in specific destinations and depart from special terminals, so the “gare routiere”, typical of other West African countries, almost nonexistent in Cameroon. Agencies offering travel to a particular destination are often located in the same area. The ticket is purchased at the window before departure, and the driver waits for a full complement of passengers. The best agencies sell exactly as many tickets as there are seats. Cheaper agencies count seats “African-style”-as many as will fit. When luggage begins to be loaded onto the roof , there are not enough tickets left, and then they begin to be distributed one by one. Usually a person pays extra for luggage, only for a backpack on the roof he can pay nothing. Cabs are ordinary cars whose owners moonlight by carrying passengers. Locals call them clando. They are not legal, but they are much cheaper. They are also very uncomfortable, because a normal passenger car is usually packed with four people in the back and two next to the driver. They have no official departure point and are usually found next to a petrol station. In fact, the big buses only run on good roads between the big cities. Between Douala and Yaoundé they can even be luxury buses with air conditioning. That said, such a vehicle usually looks better on the outside than on the inside. Buses usually leave on time, but only the most expensive companies take this seriously and offer pre-sale tickets; others leave on the day of departure. Generally these buses are not crowded and passengers here travel quickly and comfortably. Cameroon Railways has three railroads. The most practical connection is from Ngaoundere to Yaoundé . The other two are Yaoundé-Duala and Douala-Kumba. Details of the rail service are included in the individual city descriptions. Current schedules and prices can be viewed at the official camrail .net website . Yaoundé and Douala have direct flights through major European airports and major African cities . The cities of Ngaoundere, Maroua and Garoua have regular domestic flights.
Where to stay and eat
Where to stay and eat
Inexpensive hotels in Cameroon stand out compared to other similar places in West Africa. There are about 3,000 of them, they come in different categories and can be found in all the cities where tourists can go. They range from 5 star hotels, simple hotels and beachfront guest houses, to hostels and campsites. Most of them are in close proximity to popular tourist attractions. Most hotels are at a decent level: there are sanitary facilities, water in showers, electricity around the clock, which is not often. On the other hand, rooms in small hotels of lower category are rarely equipped with mosquito nets, so it is worth taking them with you, especially because of the risk of malaria. Almost always when checking into a hotel passport details of visitors are recorded. Cameroon is full of small kiosks and cozy wooden cafes with bamboo roofs and wooden tables. In the cafe you can eat buns with butter, covered with Cameroon chocolate (Chococam), enjoy great coffee made from selected beans, hand-roasted by local farmers. For dinner you can enjoy grilled fish, chicken and roast beef. As a side dish you can eat, for example, roasted corn . On the road the most common snacks are kebabs , dumplings with vegetable stuffing or boiled eggs .
Top 10 attractions in Cameroon
As an ethnically rich country, Cameroon has absorbed a variety of African traditions as well as European traits. Pristine nature, contrasting landscapes and a unique mystical flair make this land incredibly tempting for tourists.
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Who goes to Cameroon and why
Well-developed resorts of this country and a suitable climate will allow young and family tourists to enjoy the sandy beaches and palm shores.
Fans of the exotic and antiquities will love the museums and markets in major cities, where you can get acquainted with the culture and history of African peoples.
Nature of the African continent is represented in national and zoological parks in Cameroon, and everyone interested in the wonders and beauty of the world can satisfy their interest.
Every tourist can try national cuisine, which includes: rice, seafood, and juicy fruits. European influences can be seen in the familiar French bread and Italian spaghetti.
Parks and attractions
Waza National Park
In the northern part of Cameroon, not far from Lake Chad, lies the most famous and easily accessible reserve in Africa. A large part of its territory is occupied by savannahs, where lions, elephants, giraffes, ostriches and other representatives of African fauna live. Photography is allowed in the park, which would be an ideal bonus to an exotic trip.
Ja and Benue Reserves
The unspoiled nature of the Jha Reserve is famous for its tiered rainforests with giant trees, which have become the habitat of numerous species of monkeys: baboons, gorillas, chimpanzees, galagos. An indigenous people of Cameroon, the Pygmies, live in the Djá Reserve.
Benue National Park is the only salvation in times of drought for hippos, whose breeding is given special attention here. Rare plants such as the 5-meter-high elephant grass and prickly thyme can be found in Benue.
Cameroon’s 4,095-meter icon is the active volcano of the same name, which is considered the country’s main attraction. At the foot of the sacred mountain there are tropical forests and alpine meadows, and the locals grow Cameroonian tea here.
Hikers are encouraged to take a hike up the mountain and the Cameroonians hold an annual speedboat competition to scale the summit.
This relict lake is located on the territory of four countries: Cameroon, Nigeria, the Republic of Chad and Niger. The size of the body of water is unstable and changes as a result of changing weather conditions. The water in the lake is salty only at the depths, while it is fresh on the surface. And since the two layers do not mix, both humans and animals drink it safely.
Crocodiles and hippos live in Lake Chad, and buffalo, rhinos, elephants and other African animals inhabit the shores. Equally striking is the variety of birds, among which are seasonal guests: flamingos and pelicans.
Resorts in Cameroon
This seaside resort town is located at the foot of the Cameroon Volcano on the coast of the Gulf of Guinea. Volcanic beaches with black sand and mineral springs await tourists here.
The local zoo, which contains all kinds of primates of Cameroon, and a botanical garden with an exhaustive collection of Cameroon flowers and trees are the pride of Limbe. Traces of the colonial past can be seen in the preserved German buildings of the XVII-XIX centuries.
This Atlantic resort in the southern part of the country is considered the best in Central Africa: a white-sand palm beach and developed infrastructure will ensure the most comfortable stay for all tourists. Nearby there are many hotels and restaurants, and 7 kilometers from the city is a picturesque waterfall Lobe.
The city is considered the center of national art as it is rich in museums and souvenir stores. The most popular is the Royal Palace which displays ornaments of the Bamun people.
The Sultan’s Museum, with its extensive display of clothes, weapons, and masks, is also worth a visit, while the Museum of Fine Arts features traditional masks, statues, and musical instruments. The street that connects these two museums is crowded with artisans who offer unique handmade souvenirs.
City of Yaounde
Located on seven hills in the center of the country, the capital of Cameroon stands out for its elaborate urban space and architecture.
A must-see is the Benedictine Monastery, which houses the Cameroon Art Museum, dedicated to the life and livelihood of the country’s indigenous peoples. Here one can see a large collection of masks, clay and wooden figurines, utensils, jewelry.
Interesting are also the Palace of Antangana, the Cathedral of Notre-Dame-de-Victoire, the Basilica of Marie-René-de-Apothecre and the colorful districts of Mokola, Messa and Briketerie, where you can appreciate the national cuisine. The capital has a zoo, which is considered the best in Central Africa.
Maritime Museum in Douala
The Port City Museum preserves the historical and artistic heritage of Douala. The exhibition is divided into two parts: the first tells about the development of the shipping industry and its role in international trade, and from the second part visitors learn about other ports in Cameroon.
There are often temporary exhibitions on other topics, and souvenirs and books purchased in the special store are a reminder of your visit to the museum.
Market Center Artisinel
This is a modern shopping and craft district in the capital of Cameroon, where you can buy souvenirs for all tastes. Tourists are offered a wide range of masks, figurines, jewelry, utensils made of various materials – all made by the hands of local artists and craftsmen.
At the open market you can often find people selling magic potions that are in demand among locals.