Cameroon is located in Central Africa. Neighboring countries are Nigeria, Chad, the Central African Republic, the Republic of Congo, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. Before Europeans conquered territories in Africa as colonies, most tribes were independent. Only the northern area was connected to the neighboring areas of northern Nigeria and Chad. These areas formed the Islamic state of Kanem-Bornu. In the south, missionaries began to spread the Christian faith (e.g. Alfred Saker, later Heinrich Bohner).

In 1884, the German Empire concluded a protection agreement with the King of the Dualas (Manga Bell) and thus forestalled a planned seizure by Great Britain. Therefore, this colony was called the “German Protected Area of Cameroon.” The German Reich laid claim to the entire hinterland and enforced it militarily. A termination of the protection agreement was prevented by a treason trial and ended with the execution of Manga Bell, although many representatives of the Christian churches protested against it or at least demanded leniency. During the German colonial period, railway construction began, a functioning administration was established and plantations were established. During the First World War there were fierce battles between the numerically inferior German-Cameroonian troops and the British and French colonial troops until the German colony surrendered in 1916.

After World War I, Cameroon was divided, with Britain taking over just a strip along the border with Nigeria and France taking over everything else. French rule was much more repressive than German rule.

During the Second World War, French-Cameroonian troops were also deployed alongside the Allies against the Axis powers and their vassals (Vichy France).

Cameroon gained independence from France in 1960. In 1961 part of the British-administered area returned to Cameroon (north-west and south-west). The first president was Ahidjo. President Biya (*1933) has been in power since 1982. The economy is concentrated in Douala and Yaounde.



Cameroon is administratively divided into regions: Littoral, South, Centre, Sudouest-Southwestern Province, Nordouest-Nortwestern Province, Ouest, Amdamaoua, Nord, Extrème Nord, Est. The 1 Bakassi Peninsula was ceded from Nigeria to Cameroon in 2008 after long-standing border disputes.

Adamaoua is a region well suited for mountaineering.

Cameroon's coast
Region with beaches.

Northern Cameroon
Religiously mixed region in the north.

Northwest Highlands
English-speaking region, currently in a state of war (as of 2023).

Southern Cameroon
Region with the capital Yaounde and the main entry point for tourists.



Big cities
1 Yaounde – capital
2 Douala

3 Bamenda
4 Bertoua
5 Foumban
Bafia, Bafoussam, Bamenda, Bandjoun, Bellabo, Bertoua, Boumnyebel, Mt. Cameroon, Ebolowa, Edéa, Dschang, Garoua, Kribi, Mt. Cameroon, Maroua, Ngaoundéré, Nkongsamba, Sangmélima.


Other destinations

Mandara Mountains (Monts Mandara) in northern Cameroon near the border with Nigeria.
In Bafoussam, especially the Chefferie, that is, the impressive palace of the pre-colonial king that was converted into a museum. The city is easily accessible from Douala and Yaundé, although the Gare routière is just outside on the N4. To Foumban about an hour, to Yaoundé in three and Douala in five hours.
The Chefferie de Bandjoun is a little less impressive. Residence of the traditional king of the Bamiléké. The town is also located on the main roads to the two large cities.
Near the small town of Nyanon, a good hundred kilometers from Yaoundé, there is a 1500 m high mountain where the Ngog Lituba cave is located at 800 m. It is sacred to the Elog-Mpo'o, Bassa and Douala tribesmen because their creation myths locate the origins of Africans here.


Limbé, Buea and Mount Cameroon

It is one of the wettest areas in the world; the annual rainfall, often in the form of drizzle lasting for days, varies between 6350 and 8900 mm. The coastal village of Debunsha receives over ten liters of rain per year.

Buea, near the coast, was the official residence of the German governor since 1901. The university town, in the vicinity of which tea is planted, is now in the Anglophone part of Cameroon. The CTE Tea plantation can be visited,[3] although written reservations are requested.

The town can be reached with the Morango buses at the Mile 17 Motorpark. There are at least eight accommodations in the mid-price segment.
The Chariot Hotel is also home to the Spyce Night Club.
At the Executive Hotel Bakweri Town Road, there seem to be regular problems with the electricity and water supply - for 10,000 CFA (2018) you can't expect too much in Africa. Right on the corner is the Str33tmob nightclub. You can camp at the Presbyterian Mission.

The national park administration, where you can buy a permit and the start of the climb up the mountain at 1100 meters, is next to the old post office.

Mount Cameroon (4,095 m; “Kamerunberg,” formerly “Albertspitze”) is a still active volcano. The area was protected as a national park in 2009. The lower elevations are a buffer zone to the farms. There were eight major eruptions in the 20th century alone. Impatiens etindensis, and I. grandisepala, are only plants found here in an area where, thanks to volcanic activity, little else grows.

Although the climb is possible in a one-day forced march if you start at 4:30 a.m., three to four day tours to the mountain are usually offered in Buea, with a guide and porters the cost in 2015 is 75,000-400,000 CFA. The season is mid-January to May. Hut 1 can be reached in three hours. The actual climb begins from Hut 2 at 2800 m. It can be reached on foot in six hours or by car along a dirt road. The actual climb is considered strenuous. Hut 3 is almost an hour below the summit. Many tours lead down through the “elephant forest,” even though these animals are rarely seen. There are bamboo forests on the lower slopes.
Since 1973, a brewery has sponsored a 38 km run up the mountain. Several hundred participants are fighting for 10 million CFA prize money. Around 5,000 visitors come during the event, which is held in January or February.

Toxic gases can escape from the crater lakes Lac Nyos and Monoum.

In Limbé, the eastern part of the town is still called Victoria, there is a rough beach. The town's naval barracks and oil refinery do not affect water quality. There are a number of mid-range accommodation options, as well as the luxurious Musango Beach Hotel. Self-drivers camp directly on the beach.
Not far from the botanical garden, which is worth seeing, is the Limbé Wildlife Center. Around 250 primates are being prepared for release into the wild here, and attempts are also being made to preserve the population of the African gray parrot (Psittacus erithacus). Between the two complexes is the post office and the Costal Beach Annex with pool, which costs 15,000 CFA (2018).
The bus stop is at Mile 4 in the Bonadikombo district.

To the north is Seme Beach (Bight of Bonny; on the coastal road from Limbé around the Cameroon Mountain. The end of the N3 is at Idenau).

There the upscale Hotel Seme Beach, Mile 11 Route d'Idenau.

A little further down the coast to the south is the small harbor of Bimbia. Slaves used to be shipped from here. There are still the ruins of a prison on the offshore Île Nicole.

Getting there
(Since the beginning of the uprising, which is less about armed struggle than passive resistance, in the region, it has become more difficult to find direct minibuses from Douala. You can get there easily if you change trains.)
Coming from Doula, you can get to Mutengene on the N3 in a maximum of three hours. In this village is the simple Plakinen Hotel. Here the road forks, towards the sea it goes 18 km to Limbé, up the hill you come to Buea, 12 km away.



In the city of Foumban, the eponymous people had their own script and made a good living from the trade in natural pigments, the traditional sultan of the pre-colonial kingdom of Bamum still resides today in a palace built around 1917 in North German brick construction. The ruler at the time was inspired by German postcards. Every Friday, His Highness and his court march in procession to the mosque. Near the palace is the Musée de Foumban, which presents the history of the tribe and the region.

A quarter of the city focuses on the production of handicrafts, often artificially aged, for the world market. (Note the 10% export duty on carvings.)

The Hotel Pekassa de Karche, 100m from the museum on the main street, has 2018 rooms for 15000CFA, with air conditioning 25000CFA.

Getting there
From Douala on the N5 to Bafoussam, then continue on the N6. This can be combined with a detour to the Chutes d'Ekom Nkam waterfalls. This is almost exactly halfway, 165km from Douala and about 180km from Foudam. Particularly impressive towards the end of the rainy season, a Tarzan film was shot here in 1983.

Coming from Yaundé, first take the N4 to Bafoussam, then continue as above.


Bamenda and the Ring Road

In the highlands, the so-called grasslands, is Bamenda, the capital of the North-West Province. On the outskirts of the city there is a well-kept park that is somewhat exaggeratedly called a “botanical garden”. Starting from this city, a 367 km long route known as the Ring Road has been designated, which connects numerous places of tourist interest and natural beauties. That doesn't mean that the roads are particularly good, they are impassable in the rainy season and dusty in the dry season. You can either rent a four-wheel drive car or bring plenty of time if you want to travel with bush taxis.

The route, for which you should plan 4-5 days, leads, counterclockwise, from Bamenda, past Sabga Hill to Bamessing and Ndop. In Kumbo there is a Catholic church, the Mus'art Gallery and the chefferie to visit.

Further north you come to Nkambe and Missaje, whereby the road, and especially the bridges, become increasingly worse. You can only get to We in the dry season, and even then you should carry enough supplies with you. About halfway is the small Kimbi Wildlife Reserve. It would be a good idea to hike from Missaje to We, passing Lac Nyos, notorious for the 1,700 deaths after a CO2 eruption in 1986.[4] The area is therefore largely uninhabited today. Further south you come to Wum. The Menchum waterfall is at least worth a photo stop.

Bafut undoubtedly offers the most attractive sight, the palace of the traditional ruler, called Fon. Part museum and “ecovillage,” part still inhabited. The Tikar tribe was regionally very strong; the dynasty looks back on 700 years of history. The museum, in a colonial-era stone building above the palace, is also worth a visit.
A four-day traditional festival takes place at the end of December.

The city is a pilgrimage destination for the Islamic festival of sacrifice Tabaski (June 16, 2024), and the rites are celebrated mixed with Bamoun traditions.

If you don't have much time, you can alternatively complete the “short” Ring Road in two days. This route connects the Bamenda, Bafut, Wum, We, Fundong, Belo and Bambui stages in a clockwise direction.

Getting there
Bamenda Airport (aéroport de Bamenda, ​IATA: BPC; halfway between Bafut and Bamenda) . The long-neglected military landing site has been served by Camair-co from Douala three times a week since July 2017 for 32,000 CFA.
Guaranti Express Bus Station, Food Market Rd., Bamenda. Next door is the Vatican Bus stop.
Nkwen Motor Park.

Minibuses along the western part of the Ring Road from Ntarikon Motor Park. To Wum it takes about 6 hours.

Towards Mamfe (127 km) and Bali (18 km), about 1km outside on Bali Rd.



Plain Hotel, Plain Hotel St., Ndop. Tel.: +237 6 76 31 95 34. The name says it all.
Green Valley Hotel, Green Valley Hotel St., Ndop.
Dominion Hotel, Foncha St., Mulang Mankon, Bamenda. A little out of the way, but well cared for.
Jeps Hotel, Fon's Street, Bamenda (Central near bus stop and market).



Kribi is the most famous “seaside resort,” also known for wealthy Cameroonians, in the country. The Edéa road is paved. There are long sandy beaches as well as good seafood. Auberges and mid-range hotels are numerous.
Long-distance buses stop in front of the offices on Rue du Marché.

To the north is Londji Beach with the upscale Hotel Costa Blanca.

Almost seven kilometers south, at Bwambe Beach, you can visit the Lobé waterfalls; these fall directly into the sea.

52km further south along the P8 along the coast is the village of Ébodjé, an ecotourism destination because of the sea turtles found here. The season during which females lay their eggs ends at the beginning of June. When the first animals begin to hatch in mid-July, areas of the beach are fenced off.


National Parks

There are a total of sixteen designated protected areas in Cameroon. The more important ones are:

Bénoué National Park established in 2001. The dry Sudan zone dominates the flora. Dry forests of Anogeissus leiocarpa are widespread. There are rocky buttes, woodland and some bodies of water in the park. During the dry season from November to May, wild animals crowd the waterholes. Mammals include hippos (in herds), baboons, occasionally elephants, bushbuck (Tragelaphus scriptus) but also particularly endangered species such as the African wild dog (Lycaon pictus), the manatee (Trichechus senegalensis) and the giant eland (Taurotragus derbianus).
Campo Ma’an National Park 2,640 km², just before the border with Equatorial Guinea, directly on the Atlantic consists of barely touched rainforest. Gorillas also live here. The construction of an oil pipeline nearby and the ban on hunting have put the three pygmy tribes living here in severe distress. The protected area can only be reached via 150 km of poor road from Kribi. It is doubtful whether a tourism infrastructure, which was still missing in 2017, will be created. At least one “hotel” financed by the WWF has already fallen into disrepair. Officially, the fee for the park is 5000 CFA per person plus 2000 CFA per vehicle. Guides whose price should be 10000 CFA can quickly charge several hundred dollars for a tour. There are three beachfront accommodations in Campo. However, it is cheapest in the guesthouse attached to the Supermarché Les Bonnes.
Wildlife Reserva Dja Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site within a 5260 km² loop on the upper reaches of the Dja River. Almost completely untouched tropical rainforest. In addition to numerous species of primates and vervet monkeys, you can also find a variety of amphibians and reptiles. The Pygmies living here are still allowed to practice traditional hunting.
Waza National Park (Parc national de Waza) in the Lake Chad basin, the core of which was designated in 1934 and is now a biosphere reserve. Probably the most animal-rich park in the country with classic African big game: lions, elephants, giraffes and some cheetahs. Buffon cobantelopes are common. (Rhinoceros, Cape buffalo and hippos are extinct here.) The vast grassy areas in the eastern part of Waza National Park are flooded during the rainy season. The western part has varying densities, mostly forested with acacias. The not uncontroversial construction of the Maga Dam has affected part of the park, but on the other hand the reservoir has developed into a breeding area for water bird species that are affected by the increasing drying out of Lake Chad.


Getting here

Entry requirements
There has been an online portal for consular services since 2023. This is mandatory to use. Here, entry permits are not issued like in other countries, but you receive approval in advance with which you can then get the visa at the consulate. Processing time should be a maximum of 72 hours.

Consular Department of the Cameroonian Embassy, Ulmenallee 32, 14050 Berlin. Tel.: +49 30 89 06 80 90, email: Responsible for all of Germany, Austria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland and the Czech Republic. The two honorary consulates in Germany are no longer allowed to issue visas. Open: Personal consultations are only possible by appointment: Mon–Fri 9:00 a.m.–3:30 p.m.
Cameroonian Consulate, Villa Flora, Hüttelbergstraße 23A, 1140 Vienna. Tel.: +43 1 914 77 44-0. Visa is no longer issued. Berlin is responsible. Open: Thursday 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. for appointments.
Section consulaire de l'Ambassade de Cameroun, Brunnadernrain 29, 3006 Bern. Also responsible for Greece, Slovenia, Albania and Liechtenstein. Open: Mon-Thurs 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., pickup 2:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

In any case, proof of yellow fever vaccination is required. If you miss it, you will be vaccinated at the airport for a fee.

When entering the country by air, a valid return or onward ticket is required.

Anyone who has a long-term work/residence permit including a residence card (Carte de séjour), which is normally valid for 2 years, must apply for a re-entry permit in order not to lose their status when they leave the country.

Customs regulations
For vehicle import, see the information below. The usual import bans apply to pornography, drugs, weapons and explosives, as well as oil and food.

More than one million CFA cash must be declared upon entry. An unlimited amount of CFA can be exported to countries in the monetary union, otherwise the cash limit is 25,000CFA for tourists and 400,000CFA for business travelers.

The import of (hunting) weapons for big game hunting must be applied for via the Cameroonian embassy in Berlin or one of the two honorary consuls (€100 fee).

Wood carvings are subject to an export duty of 10%. Fruits should be carried in checked baggage and not in carry-on baggage.

Allowances (without age limit)
400 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 5 packs of tobacco.
1 bottle of alcohol.
5 bottles of perfume.

By plane
The main airport in Cameroon is Douala (DLA), followed by Yaoundé-Nsimalen.

The state flag carrier Camair-co flies Douala-Yaoundé-Paris CDG and surrounding African capitals several times a week. You have a monopoly on domestic routes.

Despite its name, the airport in Garoua currently does not offer any international flights.

By train
There are no cross-border rail connections.

On the street
Entry into Cameroon by land is currently considered highly dangerous due to armed conflicts; the Foreign Office advises against all entry by land. It is comparatively safe to enter Rio Campo from Equatorial Guinea (but practically impossible due to the visa policy there) and Gabon.

When entering the country with your own vehicle, you must have third-party insurance that is valid in Cameroon (it is best to also take proof of payment and a copy of the insurance policy with you). Standard insurance policies taken out in Europe are generally not valid in Cameroon.
A Carnet de Passage is also recommended. The import of right-hand drive vehicles is generally prohibited.

A vignette must also be purchased, which as of 2008 amounts to 25,000 CAF or 100,000 CAF for larger cars.
The rest is standard: a driver's license and international driving license, as well as a vehicle ID card and a passport/identity card are regularly required during the very frequent checks. The presence of a breakdown triangle, fire extinguisher and first aid kit is now checked. 2 warning triangles, 1 fire extinguisher (Extenteur) are mandatory and the first aid package should also contain paracetamol, alcohol 95% and a yellow bottle of Betadine (Beta-Isadona).

Registration of the vehicle is only required if you are staying for more than three months.

Also read the Driving in Yaoundé section.

During the rainy season (June to September) many of the unpaved roads are impassable.

Diesel is around 5-10% cheaper than (leaded) petrol. There are enough gas stations in cities.

By boat
There have been opportunities in the past to travel from Nigeria across the Gulf of Guinea to the Cameroonian port city of Limbe. However, the connections were canceled due to the precarious security situation in Nigeria; unofficial ride-sharing services should not be used due to the risk of kidnapping in Nigerian territorial waters.

In the rainy season it should also be possible to get to the city of Garoua via the Benue River; here too, the security situation in the neighboring country is considered the biggest obstacle.


Local transport

The main means of transport in Cameroon are buses, taxis, cars, trucks and motorcycles. Taxis and motorbikes go to individual destinations, buses follow fixed routes.

The price of taxis and motos is negotiated before the start. The real price should be known in advance, as Europeans usually charge twice the price. Licensed taxis are usually yellow. The previously common Peugeots were gradually replaced by Japanese small cars.

Chinese companies have been building numerous new or better roads for about ten years, but this has not yet been reflected on all maps.


Buses and bush taxis

The numerous bus agencies pay a fixed price for a seat and a piece of luggage. The road network is of very different quality.

Many routes are served by minibuses, now often also of Japanese origin, so-called bush taxis. Overcrowding and massive overloading are common. In larger towns there are central departure points. If you wait long enough you will always find a bush taxi in the direction you want. The departure only takes place when, in African terms, it is “full”.


By intercity bus

A large number of private bus companies offer intercity connections to larger cities that are connected to the hard surface road network. Traveling to places that can only be reached via slopes usually involves switching to bush taxis. It is not recommended to travel to the north (provinces of Adamaoua, Nord and Extreme Nord) by bus, as there are several hundred kilometers of dusty roads in the dry season, which turn into morass in the rainy season.

Bus stations at rush hour are vibrant places of African life. Young people try to recruit passengers for “their” bus company at the bus station. Sometimes the competition is harsh and packers try to snatch passengers' luggage in order to win them as customers. Here it is important to stay calm and keep a firm hand on your luggage. The prices for tickets vary depending on the time of day and the number of passengers. Before you travel, check with other travelers about the current daily prices.

The benches on the buses are usually filled with passengers until no one can fit in them anymore. In practice this means that five seats are sold on benches of four. For comfortable travel, it is recommended to buy 2 seats or an entire bench so that you don't travel like a sardine in a can for hours. When loading the bus, you have to keep your extra space free and occasionally defend it against the packers, but this usually works without any problems.


VIP buses

The Garantie, Buca Voyage and Central Voyage companies offer air-conditioned VIP buses with decent and hygienic catering. The waiting rooms are clean and air-conditioned. Newspapers are usually also provided. These buses usually respect higher safety standards regarding maintenance and overloading. In 2012, Buca Voyages was the best organized (also in terms of safety and predictability) and most comfortable bus company.

Prices vary depending on the time of day and general travel volume (traveling is more expensive before holidays and in the morning). Trips during the day and during the week are cheaper. VIP buses cost about twice as much and are worth the money.

Sometimes unsuspecting (European) passengers are asked to pay money to transport their luggage, but this usually does not correspond to the bus operator's tariff policy. Larger companies issue a ticket for each piece of luggage, which proves that it was transported.


Safety in bus transport

Safety in bus transport is generally precarious and accidents are common. Due to the very high competitive pressure, most companies save on chauffeurs (poor training and too short rest periods) and on vehicle maintenance. The choice of company is important for the safety of the trip. It's best to ask the local population and other travelers which company has the best current reputation. When providing information, it should be noted that the ethnic origin of the respondent also plays an important role in the preferences for a bus company.

Buses that make a bad visual impression should be avoided. The companies Kami and Mariama (their own) had a particularly bad reputation in 2010.

Attacks on buses are possible in northern Cameroon. The security forces are trying to combat the evil with varying degrees of commitment. The security situation must be inquired about before traveling. In the rest of the country, robberies are most likely to take place at night.



Traveling by train in Cameroon is a real adventure and therefore fun. The slow journey means you can see a lot of the country and come into contact with the colorful hawkers at the train stations or even start a conversation during a longer stop. If you prefer to travel in comfort, use the VIP buses or plane for a trip to the north.

The trains derail quite often. This is usually not very dangerous given the low speeds (typically around 60 km/h) of the trains. Theft is common on trains, especially in second class. (Passenger) trains often have to wait in stations to cross with freight trains, as the latter are preferred through the network due to greater profitability. Therefore, allow enough time for the journey.

There are three trains a day between Yaoundé and Douala (263 km), scheduled to take 3½-4 hours. Two are non-stop Intercity, another express stops in Edea. Prices are 3000-9000 CFA in 2018, depending on the class.

There is a pair of night trains (seats only) between Yaoundé and Ngaoundéré (N’déré) that depart daily shortly after 7:15 p.m. in each direction. Scheduled arrival after 667 km is at 9:00 a.m. the next morning; more realistically you should plan sixteen hours of travel time. There are intermediate stops in Nanga Eboko, Belabo and Mbitom. Unreserved 2nd class costs 17000 CFA in 2018; Couchette 25-28000 CFA (if in operation). There are also morning trains between Belabo ↔ N’déré for 4620 CFA.

Three local trains (omnibus) with wooden bench class run daily on the 66 km from Doula ↔ Mbanga ↔ Kumba for 500 CFA.

The counter clerks occasionally create artificial shortages of train tickets in order to sell them on their own account through bootleggers shortly before the departure date. The price lists at the counters are generally correct and apply.


Rental car

In principle, a car in Cameroon is always rented with a driver; rental cars without a driver are very rare. In big cities and tourist places, tourists can also get vehicles on their own. You need an international and domestic driving license.

“Renting” can take various forms: In the provincial capitals there are travel agencies that offer rental car contracts.
In the short term, you can simply negotiate a daily rate with a taxi driver. Assume a tariff of approximately 2000F CFA/h (2008). With a little negotiating skills, this is the cheaper option. In addition, e.g. For example, off-road vehicles can be rented privately quite easily. Simply ask in a pub or at a kiosk.


Traffic rules

Basically, French traffic rules apply. The vehicle drivers generally drive “on sight” and systematically respect only a few traffic rules. These are then v. a. relevant in traffic accidents. Minor paint damage, dents and broken exterior mirrors are the order of the day because the handlebars drive and park “on contact”. In the eyes of local drivers, scratches are not considered damage and are therefore hardly a reason for compensation. So be flexible in the event of minor collisions or if someone hits the body of your vehicle when opening the door. At intersections you usually have to drive as if you were in an imaginary roundabout, even if the intersection is not signposted as a roundabout ("faire le rondpoint"). In roundabouts, right of way applies (is usually respected), i.e. H. Vehicles entering the roundabout have the right of way. Vehicles already in the roundabout must brake. At intersections with red lights, you can and must turn right when the light is red. Stopping is considered a traffic violation. Red lights are not always observed, so caution should always be exercised when driving through intersections with traffic lights.

The typical speed is around 40-50 km/h and should not be exceeded even on a clear road. Children, disabled and elderly people, animals and vehicles can get directly onto the road at any time and without warning.


By bicycle

Cycling is possible, but extremely dangerous; cars and trucks pay little attention to cyclists and often push them onto sidewalks, sewers that run parallel to the street or into ditches. Numerous deep potholes, leaking oil and theft of bicycle parts make the journey a risky adventure. Foreign bicycle handlers are occasionally seen. They usually know in advance what to expect and are prepared accordingly.



Cameroon has two official languages: French and English. English is spoken in the South-West and North-West provinces, the other eight provinces are Francophone. Since the official languages are also the mandatory languages of instruction, most Cameroonians (with the exception of the older rural population) speak these languages. However, the lingua franca is Pidgin English (Kamtok), a simplified English with various influences. The same applies to French. CAMpidginFrench (Franc-anglais), a mixture of pidgin English and French (e.g. "on go" => <on> French we, <go> English go => "Go.), has recently become established as a youth language we?"). In addition, the more than 200 tribal languages and dialects play an important role, especially away from the cities.



Big game hunting
Cameroon allows the temporary import of hunting weapons. Shooting permits and corresponding safaris will usually have to be booked through specialized providers who can also provide information regarding the export regulations for trophies and CITES rules. The yellow-backed duiker (Cephalophus silvicultor) is completely protected. Lions, hippos and elephants can still be hunted, but the EU has banned all trophy imports since May 2015.

General hunting rules prohibit shooting at night, with artificial light or from a vehicle. There are also species-specific quotas, classes of animals and minimum stays as well as caliber regulations, which in combination affect the permit. Only animals for which permission has been granted in advance may be shot. The fee doubles if a wounded animal escapes.

Hunting times are from January 1st to March 31st in the savannah and from March 1st to June 30th in forest areas. There are different types of territories depending on who gets the shooting fee:
ZIC (Zone d'Intérêt Cynégétique): Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Nature Conservation
ZICGC (Zone d'Intérêt Cynégétique à Gestion Communautaire): Half to the local municipality and the Ministry of Nature Conservation
COZIC (Cogestion Zone d'Intérêt Cynégétique): Completely to the Ministry of Nature Conservation, additional fee for the surrounding communities.

Most of the territories are in the Nord and Est provinces near the border with the Central African Republic.
In the north there are special quarters for hunters. The preferred way to hunt here is in a four-wheel drive car.
In the east and south, stalking is mainly done on foot in the forest, which can be strenuous given the heat.



The CFA franc is tied directly to the EUR at a rate of almost €1 = 656 CFA, which is excessive for political reasons. Please note the applicable cash import restrictions.
It is advisable to bring cash in euros with you. There is a chronic shortage of small change in Cameroon. Supermarkets and gas stations can exchange larger notes. The easiest way to exchange the euro for CFA is at banks, free of charge. US$ and SFR are bought relatively well but with purchase costs. Avoid street exchanges, which are often accompanied by fraud or robbery. Banks and authorities open between 8 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

Withdrawing cash from ATMs (almost only Visa) and paying with credit cards are only possible in very rare cases in expensive hotels. In rural areas, cards can still be used to a very limited extent. ATM logistics (network connection, stock of banknotes, defects) will occasionally cause difficulties. Therefore, always keep some cash in reserve. Longer queues can be expected from the 25th of the month.

Larger money transfers from abroad up to approx. 20,000 CHF / 13,000 EUR per year (depending on the country-specific regulations on money laundering - meaning the regulations of the sending country) can be sent via Western Union or via other service providers such as MoneyGram, Express Union International within minutes be transferred on working days. Holders of a Swiss postal account can initiate a Western Union transfer to Cameroon via the Internet and are therefore less dependent on carrying cash with them.

Domestic money transfers. In addition to the channels mentioned above, domestic transfers can also be made via SMS/app via mobile phone transfer systems (Orange Money and MTN MoMo - mobile money).

During a longer stay, you should consider opening an account with a larger bank. To open, you will need a passport or residence permit and a copy of it. The opening takes about 1-2 hours. The cheapest way to transfer money to Cameroonian institutions is from French banks, as there are no fees for intermediary correspondent banks. Afriland, Ecobank, Credit Agricole and Standard Chartered also offer local bank cards, which you can use to easily withdraw money from ATMs.

Do not buy food in pieces or kilograms at the market (exception: meat and fish), but rather in the units offered: fruits and vegetables are bought in piles (French: un tas) or in cauldrons (French: saut). Peanuts, spices, rice or grain are bought in cups (French: goblet). You buy bananas in perennials (French: régime), as part of a perennial (French: main) or you guessed it, in pieces (French: doigt). When shopping at the market, take a porter (French: pousseur or porteur) who can advise you where to buy what and protect you from pickpockets. Younger carriers cost around 200 CFA, older ones around 500 CFA. Negotiate the price before hiring and leave an additional tip afterwards.



Cameroonian cuisine is part of the general West African cuisine, so yams, corn (also called couscous or polenta-like), cocoyam, plantains and foufou are among the staple foods. Joloff rice is also popular. Peanuts and palm oil are important components of meals.

For bobolo (syn. bâton de manioc), cassava is mashed, fermented and then steamed wrapped in a leaf. It is the traditional side dish for Ndolé. This type of stew with slightly bitter leaves comes from the Douala area, but has now become a national dish.
Ikok is a dish particularly popular among the Bantus of the Bassa tribe. The basis is formed by liana species of the Gnetum family. Suya are grilled meat skewers, seasoned in the style of the Hausa tribe living in the north. A common side dish is masa, a steamed rice cake. The low heat used when street vendors prepare beef further spreads the tapeworm.

Other commonly available dishes include: Poisson brézè, fish fried on the charcoal grill. Poulet DG chicken in sauce. Tripes tripe in tomato or peanut sauce. Sauce arachide, peanut sauce with rice and meat. Brochettes, like everywhere in West Africa, shrimp, beef or liver skewers on the wood grill (usually grilled on barrels of oil). Kilichi, dried, seasoned cured meat from beef, in the Sahel regions also often from dromedary. Safu or Prune are grilled or cooked safou fruits.

French-style bread is often eaten for breakfast. Street vendors in particular sell the pastries “ça va se savoir” for 50 CFA each.

Bush meat (Viande de brousse), e.g. B. the highly valued pangolins, Gambia giant hamster rats, porcupines, chimpanzees and gorillas still exist, but they have become expensive delicacies due to increasing shortages.

Odontol is the local fire water distilled from palm wine and grains, which is very popular because of its affordable price. The added flavor is the added Essok (Garcinia lucida), a mangosteen. The main product on offer is home-distilled booze, the production of which has been banned since 1970 but is tolerated “as medicine”. A few hundred dead or blind people every year are victims of the methyl it may contain.



Gambling is allowed. There is a casino each in Yaoundé and Douala.



Due to the overvaluation of the local currency, accommodation in Cameroon is only slightly cheaper than in Germany (approx. 20,000 CFA per night) with a significantly lower standard. Only in the luxury segment can you expect Western standards. Camping is possible, but should be avoided if possible due to the security situation in the country.

Most hotels do not accept credit cards. In hotels under the 4-star category, hot water is not always available (either not installed or the installation is defective). For children or those who don't like warm showers (for once, we mean to be kind) you can order hot water in buckets from the hotel (please give a small tip). Hot water can also be provided by yourself using a stick kettle (approx. 2000 CFA) and a bucket.

You can have your dirty laundry cleaned in all hotels. Either there is a service from the hotel (more expensive) or you ask the hotel employees (cheaper) who will do this for additional income. Remember that this is hand washing, which is less suitable for delicate items of clothing (intensive scrubbing). If you want boiled linen, this must be ordered separately. Laundry must definitely be ironed if it is dried outdoors (see also the Health section => Woodflies).



The security situation in Cameroon has deteriorated significantly in recent years, but you can still move around the country relatively freely if you follow a few tips:
Valuables and jewelry should not be displayed openly.
You should only take as much cash with you as you need for the day; the cash should be divided into different bags.
Important documents such as passports and visas should not be carried in their original form, but should be left in the hotel safe. You can copy your passport and visa and have the copy officially certified at a police station (cost: 1000 CFA), the copy will be recognized as a valid ID. The German embassy in Yaoundé also offers this service.
A taxi should not be hailed on the street (danger of muggings), it is best to ask the hotel/host to order a taxi. If you are planning longer trips across the country, you should consider renting a car with a driver.
Fake police officers are common in the country. You should ensure that the officer is genuine and insist on being allowed to contact the embassy.
You should not be outdoors after dark.
In the event of a robbery: Do not resist and hand over the demanded money or valuables to the robbers.

The rifts between the English-speaking minority on the border with Nigeria and the French-speaking majority in the rest of the country are currently breaking out again and there are violent clashes. Since many of Cameroon's neighboring countries do not have functioning governments (Chad, Central African Republic) and the extensive border can hardly be monitored, there is a risk of kidnappings by armed militias in the border areas with neighboring countries. Traveling to destinations outside the two large cities of Yaounde and Douala needs to be carefully considered.



A yellow fever vaccination is necessary to travel to Cameroon. This vaccination has been valid for life since 2017 (entry in the international vaccination card). It used to be ten years. It is not clear to what extent word of the change has spread to remote borders. This must be shown when applying for the visa and upon entry. In addition, if you have been in the country for four weeks or longer, you must prove that you have been vaccinated against polio (polio) when you leave. It makes sense to have the vaccination done before your trip.

Tap water is not drinkable. Because of the impurities, a special small water filter makes more sense than chemical agents. Otherwise, you only drink bottled water, which costs 300-400 CFA for 1½ liters (2018). Be careful with street vendors to make sure they are not refilled bottles. Brands are Tangui or Supermont.

The Cameroonian healthcare system is well equipped to deal with tropical diseases. The quality level in healthcare is very variable. There are many very good facilities but also many bad ones. Common sense is required when assessing performance - but don't panic. Cameroonian doctors and health workers immediately fight any bacterial infections with antibiotics.

An advance payment is required in hospitals. You also have to purchase your own medication and bandages. Most small and medium-sized clinics or dispensaries do not have their own laboratories. Therefore, it is important to know their locations. If you suspect you have an illness, you can order analyzes directly without consulting a doctor.

In large cities, the names of the service pharmacies are listed on the pharmacy doors. Ask locals about the location. As a rule, pharmacies do not require a doctor's prescription: If you feel confident enough, you can - at your own risk - buy any medication available in the pharmacy. This can be advantageous in emergency situations or when the person concerned is clear about the indications and posology of the medication.

For travelers who regularly need certain medications, it is very important to bring enough of them with them (e.g. insulin or prescribed medication). However, in larger cities there are pharmacies where you can buy French-made medicines quite cheaply. To do this, you should find out the French or international name of the respective medication or active ingredient, which may differ from the brand name in German-speaking countries.

Cameroon is a high-risk country for malaria. Before you travel, you should therefore find out about malaria prophylaxis options in tropical medicine and, if necessary, have appropriate medication prescribed. You should also always protect yourself from insect bites. If you still notice symptoms of malaria, you should go to one of the country's numerous hospitals immediately. The entire spectrum of tropical diseases is also available. The HIV prevalence in the population is between 5 and 12% nationwide.

If possible, when using swimming pools, always use ear plugs or tight swimming caps to protect against water getting into your ears. Due to the mostly medium to poor water quality, sensitive people are at risk of infections in the ear, nose and throat area.



The amoeba is an organism between 0.1 and 2mm in size. Amoebas lead to painful diseases in the digestive tract. White mucus in the excrement and painful bowel movements are typical symptoms of amoebic disease. The amoebas usually enter the body through unhygienically stored foods (salad, water, peeled fruits sold openly and cold, already prepared foods in general). By adhering to the tropical eating rule (see: Healthy travel) you can effectively avoid amoebic diseases. Amoebic remedies can be purchased at any pharmacy for approximately 2500 CFA.


Human Bot Fly / Bot Fly

The warbler fly lays its eggs on laundry hanging outside to dry. The maggots hatch upon contact with the skin and penetrate the skin where they develop. They feed on the host's skin. The erosion of the skin manifests itself in itching and sometimes painful stings. After a few days or weeks, a fly emerges from the affected area of skin. This disease is visually disgusting, but if no sensitive parts of the body are affected, it is usually harmless.
Avoid infestation by drying laundry indoors or by ironing laundry thoroughly.
When infested, they can use a few simple methods to “force” the maggots to come out of the skin by suffocating them. This can be done by smearing the area of skin with frying fat, oil, butter or a piece of meat. Lemon juice and tobacco smoke are commonly recommended. Approximately 15 minutes of treatment are sufficient. You can then squeeze the entire maggot out of the skin. Do not cut the maggot - it must be removed as a whole. Local nurses usually take care of the problem quickly and without pain. Fly infections are rare. Treat the infestation preferably during your stay by experienced staff and not after a return trip to Europe or the USA. Doctors in these countries have little experience in treating the infestation and often remove it surgically with a scalpel. This definitely results in high costs, but possibly also pain and inflammation caused by the procedure.


Rules and respect

A good two hundred tribes live in the country, some of which have their own culture. In addition, there are a large number of Muslims who react very unpleasantly to violations of their moral codes. Interlocutors often avoid direct eye contact. Insulting the president and his family is prohibited by law and punishable by law. Paul Biya (*1933) has been in office since 1982.

Before photographing people, always ask the person for consent. It is almost always given - perhaps in return for a symbolic tip or an invitation to a drink. Taking photos without consent can lead to serious conflict. Anything that has any military significance (e.g. bridges) should definitely not be included.

Africans are generally not numbers people - so don't expect precise answers to questions about the number of inhabitants, unemployment rates, distances in (kilo) meters or the exact duration of a trip. Be pragmatic and average multiple pieces of information. Although there are some street names, hardly anyone knows them. So if you e.g. For example, if you want to take a taxi to “Avenue Foch”, ask for the “Pharmacie du Soleil” or the “Commissariat de l'Elysée” and not the street name.

The practice of breast ironing is particularly widespread in the Littoral province. About half of adolescent girls are subjected to this cultural practice. By placing hot stones or something similar, the breast growth is supposed to be reduced and the girls are made unattractive to potential rapists. Normal breastfeeding is often not possible later. Long-term effects include damage to connective tissue, pain, impaired self-esteem, infections, cysts and increased risk of cancer.


Invitations to local celebrations and ceremonies

Invitations to dinner can certainly be formal occasions. Cameroonians value a well-groomed appearance. In government offices, good hotels or bars, avoid shorts, flip-flops, sleeveless T-shirts or swimwear.

The different Cameroonian ethnic groups celebrate various celebrations and ceremonies, which - no one is surprised - have their origin in the turning points of life: birth, wedding, death, etc. As many guests are always invited as the budget allows, and opulent meals are served served and long speeches are given and there is dancing in the traditional way. If you are invited to this, it is worth accepting the invitation. Despite similar names, most of the events differ greatly from those known in the Western world and are therefore worth an experience.

Funérailles are commemorations of the deceased that are celebrated by the Bamiléké, Bamoun and other grassland peoples. The celebration is accompanied by traditional music and dances and provides a colorful insight into the traditions of the mentioned peoples. These celebrations take place between December and early March. You have to have someone invite you, which is usually not a problem, as these celebrations are based on the principle that the more participants the better and a well-traveled guest is always welcome.


Post and telecommunications

There are no area codes; all telephone numbers have nine digits. Landlines start with 2 or 3, mobile phones with 7, 8 or 9.



Of Campost's 232 post offices, 58 accept foreign parcels. Letters sent abroad usually also arrive. The international parcel service has been outsourced to EMS. This courier company has similar prices to DHL.
The state postal service is suitable for sending documents cheaply where any loss will not cause major problems. Many pieces of mail are lost, and packages in particular are completely or partially looted by employees.

Because of problems with the state postal service, intercity bus companies are offering alternative shipping services. At every major bus station there is a courier service counter that accepts parcels and letters. The dispatched goods are entered into a register. Postage depends on the declared value of the shipment and sometimes on the sender. These services are usually quite reliable. However, delays are possible. The possible shipping destinations depend on the company's route network.


Mobile communications and internet

There are hardly any landline telephones in Cameroon. The state-owned CAMTEL, with high access costs, is also responsible for landlines. The quality of the network (disconnections, overload, noise, channel crosstalk) is very poor due to poor maintenance, lack of investment and poor operational management. The number of connections has hardly changed for years. The telephone exchanges in Yaoundé are digital (first generation), the terminals are analog.

The mobile network is quite well developed. In 2014 there were four providers: Orange, MTN, E (formerly nextel) and Camtel. The network of the first two is the best developed. All offer prepaid cards or electronic transfer of credit.
The state-owned Camtel is mainly present in Douala and Yaoundé (the Vodafone LTE network there was taken over in 2017), but also offers internet, with fiber optics in all provincial capitals since 2015. Prepaid cards are also available everywhere in the country.

In larger cities there are countless call boxes, i.e. H. simple kiosks where you can make calls using your cell phone. This is often cheaper than using a personal cell phone!

MTN (Mobile Telephone Network), Orange Communications, Nextel operate a rapidly growing GSM 900/1800 network (standards: GSM; 3G and 4G since December 2015). Mobile phones common in Europe can be used. The per-minute prices for domestic calls are around CFA 100/minute. Credits can be transferred among end users via messages for CFA 50 / transaction ("transfert de crédit"). The quality of the networks is good in the urban area and outside. A monthly data subscription for 3G or 4G networks costs 8'000-10'000 CFA (as of January 1, 2015) and is recommended. It works with prepaid.

Local SIM cards can be purchased cheaply by presenting a passport or Cameroonian identity card. The quality of mobile data connections has increased significantly since 2016 with the introduction of 4G standards. WhatsApp, Skype, Messenger & Co receive enough bandwidth and network stability. However, the reliability of the networks is significantly worse than in Central Europe. Individual services (SMS, voice or data) may sporadically fail for a few hours. The “insurgent” Anglophone regions were completely cut off from the internet for months in 2018.


Practical tips

Importing your own vehicle

If you plan to travel in Cameroon or Central Africa for a longer period of time, it may be worth importing a vehicle that will later be sold locally. However, this procedure is only recommended for travelers with good knowledge of Africa, sufficient time budget and good nerves. Most vehicles are imported by sea via Doula. This process is described here in the article. It is advisable to commission an international logistics company to handle the customs clearance procedure, which will then carry it out in full transparency and at a slightly higher price.


Standard process

It is best to book shipping through a specialized car exporter. These are usually Lebanese businessmen, but sometimes also black Africans. Before shipping, the vehicle must be registered and assessed by the company SGS (Société Générale de Surveillance) (this is done according to a standard assessment table (“Argus”)). The vehicle is photographed and a dossier is created for the attention of Cameroon Customs and SGS in Douala.
The vehicle can then be shipped to Cameroon. The typical shipping ports are Antwerp, Rotterdam, Le Havre and Marseille.
The port handling fees must be paid before the ship arrives - you must present the shipping documents (Bill of Lading) which identify you as the owner. In the port, the Socomar company is responsible for the vehicle; its employees are considered extremely corrupt. A visit is carried out by customs, during which it is determined that the value does not differ significantly from the SGS estimate and that there are no other goods in the vehicle that would require additional customs clearance.
The customs officer’s report is then recorded in “Informatique” and a customs clearance report is created. With this customs clearance report you checkout and pay the customs amount against a receipt. This is 58% up to 2000 cc, above that it is 77% [probably increased by a further 10% in 2018]). Depending on the Argus list, the customs amount can be 1-2 million CFA - in addition to the import tax of 100-200,000 CFA. By presenting the receipt, you can apply to customs to release the vehicle from the port.
A parking fee must be paid for each day that the vehicle is in the port. In 2018, this was 500-1850 CFA, depending on size.
You will then receive a corresponding stamp on the customs dossier and can leave the port.



The process described in “Standard Process” is the one normally intended. Since Cameroon is still recognized by Transparency International as one of the more corrupt countries in the world, the corruption factor must be taken into account, the epicenter of which in Cameroon is the port of Douala. The author recommends the strategy of doing the above as precisely as possible. Please follow the standard procedure and not take any of the abbreviations that are offered everywhere. In your own interest, never try to bribe an official - the advantages of a clean transaction usually outweigh the disadvantages. The following statements are therefore based on a bribe-free practice process.


The right vehicle

In Cameroon there are only spare parts and repair know-how for a limited number of brands and models. It is best to choose the brands Toyota, Nissan, Kia, Hyundai or Mercedes. You can also find spare parts for other Japanese brands, Land Rovers and French brands (especially Peugeot). Audi and Jeep were coming in 2008. It is best to avoid other brands as you would then have to order the spare parts via DHL abroad or through a local garage and finding a mechanic can be very difficult. Remember that there are only a few workshops with car electronics analysis and parameterization devices.



If possible, send the vehicle empty, otherwise an additional customs clearance procedure will be required for the goods carried.
Try to book a ship with the freight forwarder that goes directly to Douala, i.e. H. no stops in West Africa. During these stops, parts are often unscrewed or goods are stolen from the vehicle. Remove particularly expensive accessories (e.g. car radio) or the lighting system.
Book transport insurance that protects against total loss, but not against minor transport damage or individual parts being unscrewed
Certain carriers offer a VIP shipping option, which also insures the unscrewing of smaller parts and shipping takes place with special security precautions.


Reception in the port

The whole procedure takes around 3 working days if all the necessary papers and a professional customs agent are present.
The name of the person who actually clears the car at the port must be listed on the Bill of Lading (BL) - otherwise there must be a certified power of attorney (certification, e.g. at a local police commissioner's office). An ETCN (“electronic cargo tracking note”) is also necessary.
Use the services of an international logistics company (expensive) or a local customs agent (“Transitaire”) (cheaper) who knows the procedure. Self-clearance is definitely not recommended for those who are not familiar with Cameroon and can lead to weeks of torture, including customs fines and vehicles being gutted while waiting. Negotiate the fee in advance. Around 50,000 CFA were appropriate in 2008. Add at least the same additional amount for taxi rides in the port (only special taxis with a port vignette operate there), paying for meals for the transitaire and yourself, port fees upon entry and all sorts of small expenses.
If you are carrying goods in the vehicle, apply in writing to customs for a “visit conjointe,” which then also includes a simultaneous customs visit for the goods. For such goods, a statement in French is required. Electrical appliances, etc. (computers duty-free if 6 months old must be documented with an invoice; import ban for televisions with Braun tubes) must be listed with serial number and value. Anyone who enters the country temporarily for work purposes (present an employment contract) can bring their used household items with them duty-free, although a flat rate fee of 2.5% will be charged. In addition, the items must remain in the possession of the importer (certified by a “Certificate of free entry”), which then also applies to cars.


Exit from the port

Before clearing customs, take out liability insurance from a local insurance company and purchase a road tax vignette. The vignette is available from the local direction of the impot.
Purchase a temporary vehicle plate from a handyman. Write down the characters CH (for chassis) and then the last 6 to 8 characters of the frame number (chassis number). You can find relevant craftsmen near the harbor entrance.
Install the sign before leaving the port. Take the appropriate tools with you - they are usually not available locally.



Register the vehicle with the Ministry of Transportation with the help of an administrative scout who will guide you through the administrative thicket.
If you are importing a car with a displacement of less than 2 liters, ask the Ministry of Transport official for a tax output of 13 HP (“13CV”). Then you can buy the vignette for 25,000 CFA [2018 - 35,000 CFA] instead of the one for 100,000 CFA.
Once you have received the vehicle registration card (Carte grise), purchase a definitive vehicle plate from an authorized manufacturer. The order period lasts approx. 2 months. Keep the receipt and show it to the police during checks.



The name of the country comes from the hydronym "Rio dos Camarões" (port. Rio dos Camarões - "shrimp river"). This hydronym arose after the discovery by Portuguese navigators in the 1480s of the mouth of the Vouri River, where a large number of shrimp were found. Subsequently, the hydronym was transformed into the form "Cameroon".



Landscape character

The natural environment of Cameroon can be described as “Africa in miniature” as it contains all the main climate zones and vegetation of the continent: sea coast at the Bay of Bonny, mountains, tropical rainforest, savanna and, in the extreme north, desert. The interior consists mainly of flat plateaus, which rise northwards to the Adamaua Highlands and the Mandara Mountains, and then gradually slope down to the Lake Chad lowland in the extreme north, of which Cameroon still has smaller shares.

The west and northwest of Cameroon are dominated by volcanic mountains along the Cameroon Line, which are overlooked by an active volcano near the coast: the 4095 m high Cameroon Mountain is the highest peak in West Africa. The Oku volcanic field, which is up to 3011 m high and contains Lake Nyos and Lake Manoun, rises along the Cameroon line. The Oku volcanic field is located in the Bamenda Highlands, which contains the highest mountain rainforests in West Africa. The third highest peak in Cameroon is the Bambouto massif (2740 m). Other important mountains in the Cameroon Mountains are the sacred mountains of Bakossi, Manengouba and Kupe. The southern plateaus are covered with tropical rainforest and slope down to broad coastal plains.

The soils found in the south and center of Cameroon are ferrallitic soils, i.e. equatorial brown clay soils in the ever-humid tropics. In the north, the area of the dry and thorn savannah, there are typical reddish-brown and red soils of the dry savannah.



The climate is tropical with high temperatures that are moderated at higher altitudes. The rainy periods are predominantly rainy, but with large regional differences. A total of five regional climate zones can be distinguished (see map).

In the north of the country it is variable humid with a dry season from October to April and an average rainfall of around 700 mm per year. The period of low rainfall is from July to September. The average temperature is 32.2 °C. Due to the high temperatures and the relatively low rainfall, there is a medium probability of drought in this area (every two to five years). In the far north, near Lake Chad, the climate is dry. Here lie Cameroon's shares in the Chad Basin with the floodplains of the Logone in the east of the Waza Plain. From November, the El Beid River, which forms the border with Nigeria in the west, receives water for its peak flood season.

In the inner highlands to the south (1000 to 1500 m above sea level) the temperature reaches an average of 22 °C per year and rainfall of 1500 to 1600 mm falls annually. This is where the change from the savannas of the north to the rainforest of the south takes place. The following West Cameroon mountainous region has constant rainfall between 2000 and 11,000 mm. The area at the southern foothills of Mount Cameroon has average rainfall of 11,000 mm, making it one of the wettest areas in the world. In these two regions there is a “dry season” between December and February, although this period is not completely without rainfall.

The coastal plain in the south has an equatorial climate with rainfall between 1500 and 2000 mm and an average temperature of 25 °C. There is dense tropical rainforest here. The drier months are December and January.



Basically, Cameroon is divided into four large catchment areas (in addition to various coastal rivers). The watershed of these four major catchments is in the Adamaua highlands. In a northeasterly direction, the “northern” Vina and the Mbéré drain into the Chad Basin. The “southern” Vina and the Lom flow in a southerly direction and drain into the Sanaga. In the north of the highlands the Benue and in the northwest the Faro, a tributary of the Benue, have their headwaters that flow into the Niger system. There are also the Kadéï and Mambéré rivers, which drain southeast into the Congo via the Sangha.

Flora and fauna
According to a 2001 study by Bernard Foahom, Cameroon is home to at least 542 different fish species, 96 of which are endemic. In addition, over 15,000 species of butterflies, 281 species of mammals, 165 of the 275 reptiles existing in Africa, three species of crocodile and 190 to 200 species of frogs were counted. Among the 885 bird species there are 223 migratory bird species and seven endemic species (as of 2017). In the western mountains, the Bakossi Mountains and the Manengouba form a biodiversity hotspot.

The central part of the country is located in the so-called forest-savanna mosaic ecoregion of northern Congo.


Mineral resources

The country's natural resources include petroleum, bauxite, iron ore, gold and diamonds, among others. These mineral resources have not yet been used intensively. The first impulses were given by the United Nations Development Program in the 1980s.

The development of oil reserves has declined since 1986.



The area until the 19th century

Until 1884, the area that is now the state of Cameroon was populated by a large number of differently organized societies.

European influence began in 1472 when Portuguese sailors landed on the coast of Cameroon. Cameroon got its name because of the many crabs in the Wouri River (then Rio dos Camarões, Crab River). Around 1520, trade began with the Portuguese, particularly in ivory and sugar cane. The slave trade never achieved any particular importance on the Cameroon coast; The slave trade was abolished as early as 1820 and the slave traders were persecuted. Finally, on July 10, 1840, the Douala kings signed the international treaties with Great Britain for the worldwide ban on human trafficking and slavery. (For comparison, slavery was abolished in the USA in 1865, in Brazil in 1888 and in Saudi Arabia in 1963.) The slave trade was replaced by the trade in palm oil and palm kernels in the 19th century. The strong demand was a result of the industrial revolutions in parts of Europe.


German colony of Cameroon

In 1868, German influence on Cameroon became increasingly stronger with the establishment of trading branches by the Hamburg trading company Woermann at the mouth of the Wouri. On July 14, 1884, the German Consul General Gustav Nachtigal, as Imperial Commissioner, concluded protection agreements with several headmen of the Duala and other regional rulers and thereby proclaimed the protected area of Cameroon as a German colony. The naming initially referred to the protection of German economic interests. The de facto occupation of the hinterland and the violent or cooperative integration of the societies there took place over the course of the following 30 years and had not yet been finally completed at the outbreak of the First World War.

In 1911, the Morocco-Congo Agreement resulted in a significant expansion of the colony (New Cameroon) at the expense of the French colonies in Central Africa. In the Treaty of Versailles (Article 125) these territories were reassigned to France.

During the First World War, the numerically and materially inferior German protection force was able to hold out in Cameroon for two years. In 1916 the last garrison in Mora (Northern Cameroon) surrendered to the British colonial army.

During the German colonial period between 1884 and 1919, Cameroon lost tens of thousands of cultural and artistic objects, of which around 40,000 are now in German museums.


Franco-British mandate

Through the Treaty of Versailles of 1919, Cameroon officially became the property of the League of Nations, which in turn gave a mandate for administration to Great Britain and France. The country was divided, with France receiving four fifths.

France pursued a massive assimilation policy. The use of local languages in schools was banned. After 1929, as a result of the global economic crisis, mobility was restricted and a forced labor statute was imposed, which was reminiscent of the German forced labor system before the First World War.

After 1919, the banana and cocoa plantations on the Cameroon Mountains were in the British mandate. They were expropriated, but in 1924 the German companies were able to buy back the plantations at a London auction. After 1933, the Cameroon plantations became a testing ground for a future National Socialist colonial economy (“German Cameroon bananas”).

In 1940, the Vichy government's high commissioner for the French mandate defected to the France Libre movement.

After the Second World War (1945), both League of Nations mandates were converted into trust mandates by the UN. The goal of the UN was to achieve gradual self-government or independence for the area.

The path to women's suffrage was different in the two mandated territories: The French territory followed the pattern of other French colonies in West Africa: With the founding of the French Union and the Fourth Republic, women were given the right to vote on October 27, 1946. The right to stand for election was not expressly mentioned in the law, but it was not excluded either. According to the Loi Lamine Guèye, all citizens had the right to vote in elections to the French parliament and also in local elections, but voting was carried out in two classes, which gave the population of French origin an advantage. This two-class voting right was only abolished on June 23, 1956 by the loi-cadre Defferre and confirmed upon independence. The British territory was administered by Nigeria until 1954. In 1954, the Southern Cameroon House of Assembly was created, which guaranteed full universal suffrage in 1959. In 1961, the southern part of the British territory joined the newly independent Federal Republic of Cameroon, the northern part joined the predominantly Muslim northern part of Nigeria. As a result, women there only received the right to vote in 1976.

In 1947, France created the Assemblée représentative du Cameroun, whose members were determined by a dual electoral college (24 seats for the “Cameroonians” and 16 seats for the “settlers”).

In 1956, the Defferre framework law (loi-cadre Defferre) granted the French colonies and mandated territories (Togo and Cameroon) internal and limited autonomy.

In 1957, the Assemblée législative du Cameroun (German for “Cameroon Constituent Assembly”) was determined by general elections. On May 10, 1957, the French High Commissioner (Pierre Messmer) appointed André Marie Mbida as Prime Minister of the first Cameroonian government, which had limited powers (in particular the areas of security, foreign policy and monetary policy remained with France). After the fall of the Mbida government in 1958, he was replaced by Pierre Messmer with Ahmadou Ahidjo. In October 1959, a state of emergency (état d'urgence) was declared, which gave him extensive powers. On March 13, 1959, even after pressure from the mandated power of France, the United Nations General Assembly decided in Resolution 1349 that no referendum would have to be held before independence to elect the first president after independence.


War of Independence

From 1945 onwards there were repeated uprisings against the French security forces and the fight for the independence of the French trust territory. In 1948, the Union des Populations du Cameroun (UPC) emerged from the environment of the trade union movement, which used political means to campaign for the independence of the mandated territory until it was banned by the High Commissioner Roland Pré on July 13, 1955. The armed struggle of the UPC, or more precisely its military arm the ANLK (Armée National de Liberation du Cameroon, note the German spelling) first against the mandated power of France and later against the Ahidjo government began in mid-1955 and ended in 1971 with the execution of Ernest Ouandié January 1971 in Bafoussam.

On January 1, 1960, after a referendum and after the UN mandate expired, French Cameroon gained independence and called itself the Republic of Cameroon. In the 15th General Assembly of the United Nations in December 1960 it was decided that the trust territories should also be granted independence. This could be achieved through complete independence, free association with an already independent state, or integration into an independent state. The British trustees denied their trust territories the first option, complete independence. The north of the British mandate trust territory therefore voted in a referendum to join Nigeria, while the southern part decided to join the Republic of Cameroon in the form of a federation. Independence and simultaneous annexation took place on October 1, 1961. The state thus formed was called the Federal Republic of Cameroon. This is the reason why two official languages, French and English, are now recognized in Cameroon.


Time of independence

The Fulani Ahmadou Ahidjo, who rose from prime minister to Cameroonian president, established a dictatorship. In terms of foreign policy, the country's leadership followed France closely. With the help of covert and overt French support and brutal repression, Ahidjo managed to consolidate his regime. On September 1, 1966, the Union Nationale Camerounaise (UNC) was founded, which has been called the Rassemblement démocratique du Peuple Camerounais or Cameroon People's Democratic Movement (RDPC) since 1985.

In 1972 a referendum was held on the future form of government. As a result, the Federal Republic of Cameroon was transformed into a unitary state, the United Republic of Cameroon. After President Ahidjo resigned on November 6, 1982, his Prime Minister Paul Biya became head of state and chairman of the UNC unity party. He won the 1984 elections and was able to thwart an attempted coup. With the newly founded unity party RDPC, Biya promised the democratization of the country and more social justice. Biya won the 1988 elections because there was no opposing candidate. The country's economic and social crisis during the 1980s was blamed on him and his cabinet; it burdened the government. The demands for freedom of the press and an end to the one-party system became louder and louder. With freedom of the press allowed, many critical newspapers appeared and the opposition in the country became increasingly stronger. At the beginning of the 1990s there were increasing riots and general strikes demanding an end to the RDPC's monopoly position. Biya hesitantly gave in to the pressure from the street and allowed opposition parties to be formed, so that the first free elections took place in 1992, in which Biya won again. The opposition suspected electoral fraud because foreign election observers were obstructed. However, it is more likely that the opposition parties were too fragmented (32 parties took part in the election) to pool their votes. Nevertheless, the election result meant that the RDPC (89 seats) had to form a coalition with the largest opposition party, the National Union for Democracy and Progress (UNDP) (65 seats). Thanks to French support and clever outplaying of his political opponents, Biya was able to maintain his majority in parliament until 1997 and was confirmed in the elections that same year. The amended constitution of 1996 provided for the decentralization of the state, including the introduction of a second chamber of representatives, the Senate.

Since independence, in particular the creation of a unitary state and the renaming of the “United Republic of Cameroon” as the Republic of Cameroon in 1984, there have been repeated attempts at autonomy in the English-speaking part of Southern Cameroon. The South Cameroons National Council and the South Cameroons Ambazonia Consortium United Front (SCACUP) are fighting for a state of Ambazonia, whose name is derived from the local name Ambas Bay of the Cameroon estuary. The Republic of Ambazonia was proclaimed for the first time in 1984. There were protests from 2016 to 2018; in 2017 they were bloodily suppressed by the army. According to Amnesty International, 20 Ambazonia supporters had been killed by the army by June 2018 and 44 on the army side.