Traveling Luck for Cameroon
Cameroon is located in Western Africa, bordering the Bight of Biafra, between Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria.
Land in Cameroon is diverse, with coastal plain in southwest, dissected plateau in center, mountains in west, plains in north.
Cameroonian land covers an area of 475440 square kilometers which is slightly larger than California
As for the Cameroonian climate; varies with terrain, from tropical along coast to semiarid and hot in north.
Cameroonian(s) speak 24 major African language groups, English (official), French (official).
Places of note in Cameroon
Cameroonian National Map
Regions of Cameroon
The former French Cameroon and part of British Cameroon merged in 1961 to form the present country. Cameroon has generally enjoyed stability, which has permitted the development of agriculture, roads, and railways, as well as a petroleum industry. Despite a slow movement toward democratic reform, political power remains firmly in the hands of an ethnic oligarchy headed by President Paul BIYA.
Because of its oil resources and favorable agricultural conditions, Cameroon has one of the best-endowed primary commodity economies in sub-Saharan Africa. Still, it faces many of the serious problems facing other underdeveloped countries, such as a top-heavy civil service and a generally unfavorable climate for business enterprise. Since 1990, the government has embarked on various IMF and World Bank programs designed to spur business investment, increase efficiency in agriculture, improve trade, and recapitalize the nation's banks. In June 2000, the government completed an IMF-sponsored, three-year structural adjustment program; however, the IMF is pressing for more reforms, including increased budget transparency, privatization, and poverty reduction programs. International oil and cocoa prices have considerable impact on the economy.
Cameroonian natural resources include petroleum, bauxite, iron ore, timber, hydropower
sometimes referred to as the hinge of Africa; throughout the country there are areas of thermal springs and indications of current or prior volcanic activity; Mount Cameroon, the highest mountain in Sub-Saharan west Africa, is an active volcano
Cameroonian religion is indigenous beliefs 40%, Christian 40%, Muslim 20%.
Natural hazards in Cameroon include volcanic activity with periodic releases of poisonous gases from Lake Nyos and Lake Monoun volcanoes.
- We advise against all travel to the area bordering the Central African Republic and Chad, where armed banditry is common.
- We advise against all travel along the Meiganga-Ngaoundere road and to the Belel area due to cases of banditry (including carjackings). You should exercise extreme care if travelling on any other route between the north and the south of the country by road, especially if travelling the eastern route through Garoua-Boulai.
- We advise against all travel to the area bordering Nigeria in the region of the Bakassi Peninsula.
- Incidents of mugging and banditry, often armed, are a serious problem throughout Cameroon. You should take sensible personal security precautions and maintain a high level of vigilance in public places. Do not resist thieves: people who have done so have been killed.
- The threat from terrorism is low but you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners.
- Most visits to Cameroon are trouble-free. The main type of incident for which British nationals require consular assistance in Cameroon is for petty crime (robbery and mugging) but be aware that these attacks frequently involve an unnecessary level of violence.
- You should carry some form of identification at all times (either a residence permit or a certified copy of your passport). Failure to produce such identification can lead to detention by the police.
- We strongly recommend that you obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling. You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake. Please see: Travel Insurance
SAFETY AND SECURITY
Cameroon Country Profile.
LOCAL LAWS AND CUSTOMS
Penalties for the use and possession of drugs are severe and usually include a prison sentence.
You should carry identification at all times (either a residence permit or a certified copy of your passport). Failure to produce such identification can lead to detention by the police.
Photography of military sites, government buildings, airports and ports is forbidden.
You will be asked to produce a yellow fever vaccination certificate on arrival in the country. Failure to do so will result in a further vaccination being administered, for which a charge is made.
Single parents or other adults travelling alone with children should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country or, in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country. For further information on exactly what will be required at immigration please contact the High Commission for the Republic of Cameroon.
Medical facilities are poor, particularly in rural areas. Emergency facilities are extremely limited. For serious medical treatment, medical evacuation to the UK or South Africa would be necessary.
Malaria is endemic. More than three-quarters of British travellers who contracted malaria in 2005 did not take preventive measures, such as malaria prevention tablets. However, malaria can occur despite appropriate prevention, and therefore you should promptly seek medical care in the event of a fever or flu-like illness in the first year following your return from travelling to a malaria risk country. Before travelling you should seek medical advice about the malaria risk in Cameroon.
HIV/AIDS is also widespread and transmission may also occur through sub-standard medical facilities. Water-borne diseases are also prevalent, and you are advised to drink bottled water wherever possible.
Cameroon experiences regular Cholera outbreaks, particularly between the months of December and June. The areas most usually affected are Douala city, Littoral province and the West and South West provinces. There have also been cases in the capital, Yaoundé. Last season’s outbreak infected over 1,400 people and 42 people died. Be careful of personal hygiene and avoid food and drink from sources that you are unsure of.
You are advised to seek medical advice before travelling and ensure that all appropriate vaccinations are up to date. For further information visit the Department of Health’s website at www.dh.gov.uk.
Avian Influenza (Bird Flu)
In March 2006, the Pasteur Institute identified the H5NI (Avian Influenza) virus in a domestic duck that came from a small poultry farm near to the northern town of Maroua. The authorities are taking measures to contain the disease. No human infections have been reported.
The risk from Avian Influenza is believed to be very low provided you avoid visiting live animal markets, poultry farms and other places where you may come into close contact with domestic, caged or wild birds, and ensure that poultry and egg dishes are well cooked.
You should read this advice in conjunction with the FCO’s Avian and Pandemic Influenza Factsheet which gives more detailed information.
You should register with the British High Commission in Yaoundé (contact details below) if you intend to say longer than one month.
The British High Commission in Yaoundé does not issue full passports and, before setting off, you should ensure that your passport has sufficient validity and a plentiful supply of unused pages. Applications for new passports are accepted in Yaoundé for forwarding to the British High Commission in Nairobi for processing, but this may take up to six weeks. If a courier is used, the cost must be borne by the applicant.