Cameroon Note/Cameroon Country information
Visitors from most countries, including UK, EU and US visitors require a visa for entering Cameroon. You will need a letter of invitation to obtain your visa – in order that we may make arrangements for this, you will need to send us a scanned copy of your passport at the time of booking.
Visa regulations can frequently change and this is particularly the case with Cameroon. Therefore we recommend that you check with your nearest embassy for the most up to date details.
A departure tax of CFA 10,000 is currently payable when flying out of Cameroon.
As with travel to most parts of Africa, we strongly recommend that you contact your doctor’s surgery or a specialist travel clinic for up-to-date information, advice and the necessary vaccinations. For a visit of less than one month, almost certainly you will be advised to have immunisations against the following: Diphtheria and Tetanus, Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Meningitis. Vaccination against yellow fever is a compulsory requirement for entry into Cameroon, and you must bring your certificate with you. This may or may not be checked when you enter the country, but we strongly advise that you do not risk being denied entry.
The policy should cover the whole time that you are away.
Your policy may also have:
Common travel insurance policy exclusions
Always check the conditions and exclusions of your policy:
You must take reasonable care of your possessions or your policy will not cover you.
The local currency in Cameroon is the CFA. For current exchange rates visit www.xe.com. The CFA is rarely obtainable outside of Central Africa, and so it is best to bring currency in Euros. It is possible to exchange US dollars and less so, sterling, but it is far more difficult to do so and we do not recommend that you bring them.
Where currency can be exchanged
It is a simple procedure to change money in banks in Cameroon, although best done in larger cities such as Douala and Yaoundé. In smaller towns it may not be possible. It is also often possible to change money at hotels. Your guide will be able to give further advice on this. €50 notes will be easier to change than smaller denominations.
Credit cards and travelers cheques
Cashing travelers’ cheques can be very difficult in Cameroon, if not impossible. If you do choose to bring them you should only bring Euro travelers’ cheques. Cameroon does have ATMs in larger towns, but these are often unreliable. Credit cards are not widely accepted.
Best time to go
Generally speaking, the best time to visit Cameroon is between November and March, when the temperature will be hot, but not uncomfortably so. Cameroon’s rainy season is from May to November and travel can be difficult during this time.
A number of different languages are spoken in Cameroon. Its official languages are French and English – the areas in which these are spoken roughly correspond to the old colonial divisions in the country. Other languages spoken include Arabic (in the far north), Fulfulde and Bamileke, but there are almost three hundred different languages spoken within the country.
Both Islam and Christianity are prevalent in Cameroon. However there are also strong animist traditions and you will find that these are often woven in with other beliefs, as well as being practiced solely by many groups.
Food and drink
Cameroon’s cuisine is a product of its geographical diversity, and is largely made up of regional staples such as yams, plantains and cassava mashed and fried into different forms. Chicken and fish dishes are also fairly ubiquitous, and a good street snack is brochettes – skewered pieces of meat cooked over a barbecue. Peanut sauces are a frequent accompaniment to meals. Fruit is inexpensive and widely available. In hotels the selection will often include variations of European dishes. On our group tour to Cameroon dinners are included. You should budget around €10 for a lunch – sometimes it may be more and sometimes less.
If you have any special dietary requirements you must notify us at the time of booking. While we will make every effort to cater for you, we cannot guarantee that this will be possible.
Our tour in Cameroon uses private minibuses.
Travelling in the destinations that we visit requires a good deal of understanding that often standards simply won’t be as they are at home. While we aim to make your trip as comfortable as possible, please be aware that we are often visiting remote or less developed regions that may have little infrastructure. While we aim to make your trip run as smoothly as possible there may be times when we need to ask for your patience while we rectify any problems.
What to take with you
First Aid Kit
The first thing on your list should be a first aid kit. Whilst there is no undue cause for alarm, travellers are best advised to travel well-prepared: adequately immunized, with sufficient supplies of prescription drugs, along with a medical kit.
Cameroon is quite warm and so light clothes are generally a good idea. You should ensure that you bring warmer clothes for evenings in the north. Please remember that Cameroon has a large Moslem population and conservative attitudes towards dress, and so women should bear this in mind and ensure that clothing is appropriate, especially at any religious sites. You should also bring a hat to protect yourself from the strong sun. While on game drives you should wear natural, neutral colours – bright colours can make you stand out, meaning that you’re less likely to spot wildlife.
Footwear is a main priority on this tour. Comfortable walking shoes/boots are recommended, as well as a pair of sandals.
Your luggage should not exceed 22kgs (44lbs). One large suitcase/rucksack, and one small hand luggage rucksack is acceptable.
Suncream/sunblock is a must. Insect repellent, including a bite spray will also be useful to have. As our tour in Cameroon involves camping, a torch (flashlight) is essential.
You will need to bring a sleeping bag for our tours in Cameroon. You may also like to bring an inflatable pillow, as these are not provided. Sleeping mats however are provided.
This tour does not require any special degree of fitness but you will find it more enjoyable if you are reasonably fit.
Cultural and environmental guidelines
You may come across beggars while on tour. Every traveler has different perspectives on this and ultimately the choice is up to you. Many sources recommend that you watch to see if local people give, and then follow their lead with genuine beggars. We do not recommend giving money, sweets, pens etc to children as this can encourage a begging mentality and can lead to children choosing to beg rather than go to school.
On our tour to Cameroon we spend time in the village of Okpwa. If you would like to bring exercise books, pens and pencils these will be gratefully received by the local school.
Haggling is a way of life in Cameroon when making many purchases, especially with tourist souvenirs. Usually, but not always, the vendor will start with a price that is higher than they are prepared to accept, and the buyer is expected to haggle. There are no hard and fast rules with this – some vendors may initially quote a vastly overinflated price, others may start with a price close to the true value, while others may just present you with one price and not be prepared to discuss it. Although many tourists may feel uncomfortable with this, it’s important to remember that this is best entered into in a relaxed manner. Once you have agreed upon a price, it is extremely bad form to then not pay this. Please also bear in mind that a small amount of money to you can be a relatively large amount for the vendor, and that it is not necessarily best practice to ‘beat the vendor down’ to the lowest possible price. Remember that they also have a living to make.
You will be spending some time in environments that have very little trace of human presence or development on our tours in Cameroon. It is important to ensure that they stay this way. Please make sure that you take any rubbish back to the hotels with you where they can be properly disposed of – this includes cigarette butts as well.
Please do not buy any products made from endangered species – this is not sustainable and hastens the species’ decline.
We also advise against eating any bush meat – although this is fairly common in Cameroon, the hunting of wild animals for bush meat is responsible for large scale depletions of local populations.
You should always ask permission before taking anyone’s photograph and respect their decision if they say no. In more remote areas women and older people often do not want to be photographed. Some people may also ask for some money – sometimes a little, sometimes a lot – in return for a photo. Taking photos of military installations, state buildings, and airports can lead to problems with local authorities. If you are unsure about whether it is acceptable to take a photo, please ask your tour leader or guide.
Tipping is commonly recognized as a way of rewarding guides and drivers for good service. If you are happy with your guide and driver, please consider leaving a tip for them. If you are travelling on a group tour, a reasonable amount would be around £5 per day for the guide and £3 per day for the driver, between the group – this works out at around £110 for a 14 day tour, split between however many group members there are. If you are travelling on a private basis, then around £4 per day for the guide and £2 per day for the driver is reasonable.
Tipping is generally only common in the better restaurants, rather than the smaller street side ones.
Foreign Office Advice
We constantly monitor the advice posted by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). In particular we will always advise clients of any travel warnings. At present the FCO does not advise against travel to any of the places we visit on our tour. Please feel free to contact us should you have any specific concerns or would like to know in detail what measures are being taken to ensure visits remain trouble free and without incident.
Furthermore it is the clients’ responsibility to ensure that they hold full travel insurance which includes medical repatriation.
It should be noted that this information applies to British citizens. Other nationals are asked to check the current position of their respective government.
Public Holidays in Cameroon:
1 Jan New Year
11 Feb Youth Day
1 May Labour Day
20 May National Day
15 Aug Assumption
25 Dec Christmas Day
Other holidays such as those associated with Ramadan are Islamic holidays and as such follow the lunar calendar, varying year to year. Easter Good Friday and Monday also vary annually.
Dates are for guidance only and may vary year to year
Electrical supply is 220V/50 Hz and plugs have two round pins like most European countries.
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