Cameroon

From Eco Friendly Travels


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Eco-friendly travel guide to Cameroon advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to travel in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Cameroon, Africa.


  • Air quality: 2 / 5
  • Bus connections: 3 / 5
  • Train connections: 2 / 5
  • Hitchhiking: 2 / 5
  • National parks: 3 / 5
  • Outdoor activities: 2 / 5
  • Locals' English level: 3 / 5
  • Safety: 3 / 5
  • Accommodation: US$10 - $30
  • Budget per day: US$20 - $70

Responsible Travel

Cameroon is present in the central Africa. It got its independence in 1960 from France. This country's total area is 475,442 km2, and it has an estimated population of 26.5 million. The majority of the people living in this country follow Christianity and Islam and among them the majority of the people belong to the ethnic group of Cameroon Highlanders.


Air Quality and Pollution

The air of this country is densely polluted, and the concentration of PM 2.5 in this country's atmosphere is 73, which should be lesser than 10. There are many reasons for such high rate of air pollution in this country. There are very frequent power cut-offs on this place; therefore, the industries have to use electricity generators as a backup source of electricity in their industries. These electricity generators run on diesel which creates a lot of pollution in the form of smoke. Petrochemical industries and plants use the majority of these types of generators. Other than this, to deal with waste, the locals burn them in an open area which creates a lot of smoke. This is a primary factor in polluting the land in this country which is widely practiced by the locals in this country. Even in dustbins, the garbage is burned. Along with this, there is a high use of pesticides and fertilizers, which contaminates the land. It not only affects the land but also affects the underground water. As per a survey, more than half of the pollution present in this country is due to traffic. The overall conclusion is that this country's pollution rates are very high; therefore, you must take proper precautions.


Respect the Culture

The culture of this country is made up of 250 ethnic groups which have specific languages and customs. Cameroon is also known as ‘Little Africa’ due to its geographical features. This country constitutes of mountains, rainforest, and deserts. The majority of the people who are living in this country follow Christianity and Islam. However, everyone has freedom of religion which states that everyone above 18 years of age can choose and convert themselves to be a part of any religious group. The northern side of this country has the majority of Fulani people. This group is one of the largest groups present on the wider side of West Africa, South Sudan, Eritrea, and the northern side of central Africa. The majority of the Fulani people present in the north side of this country follow Islam, which is the dominating religion in this region. On the western part, some Bauman people also follow Islam. Along with this, the ones who speak French are generally Catholics, and those who speak English are generally Protestants. This country is divided into seven major parts, which are called the provinces. Each of the provinces has its own ethnic or religious groups on the dominating side. Due to colonialism that happened in this country, the people of this country were forced to follow the ruling nation’s culture and traditions; therefore, it impacted the culture after this country's independence. In this country, there is one national culture along with two regional cultures. You should not disrespect this country's culture by any means as it can hurt the sentiments of the people following that culture or religion.


Top 10 Places to Visit

1. Douala

It is the capital of this country and also the largest city in the entire region. The total population present is estimated to be around 27,68,400, and the area is 210 square kilometers. It is the most populated city. The majority of this country's export and import work is done in this city, including oil, cocoa, coffee, timber, metal, and various fruits exported to other countries. This city has a tropical climate. Portuguese first discovered this place in 1472, and it was formed into a city in 1650 by various migrants coming from Congo. This city has even witnessed the transatlantic slave trade as it was the center of slave trade practices in the 18th century. This city was divided into four different villages in 1826. The local language of this city is Duala.

2. Yaounde

This city is the second-largest city in this country in terms of area and population. The city's area is 180 square kilometers, and the population is estimated to be 2,765,600 does creates a density of 15,000 people per square kilometers. Along with this, the city has an elevation of 750 meters. This city has many government offices, and a famous Central Market and various foreign embassies are also present in this city, including a sports Palace and a reunification monument. Many universities are present in this city, including three American schools, one Turkish school, and The Amity college.

3. Bamenda

It is the third most populated city in this country with a total population of around 2,000,000, and the elevation of this city is 1,614 meters. The city is divided into three main villages and other sub-urban Areas. However, the city was colonized by the German empire from 1884 till 1916. In 1916, this colony's administration was given to Britain and France, and finally, after a long wait, in 1961, this division was taken under Cameroon's area. There are many people present in this city who speak English as their primary language, so it is easier for you to interact with the shopkeepers and other people in this city. The military held a surgical operation in 2020 to clean all the groups aiming to make the city an independent Ambazonian state.

4. Bafoussam

The city's area is 402 square kilometers with an elevation of 1521 meters, and an estimated population present in this city is 301,894. This city is also the capital, but it is the capital of the western region of this country, and also, this city plays a vital role in providing finance to the country. As this is the capital of this country, many trades happen here, which include coffee, potato, maize, and beans grown by the farmers of the western region. This city has two main markets and restaurants for tourists to enjoy various dishes, supermarkets, and Movie Theatres. If you want to enjoy the nightlife in this city, you must visit Aqwa, which has multiple bars, stores, meat and chicken shops, and other delicious food.

5. Maroua

This city is the capital of Cameroon's northern region, and the total population is estimated to be 201,371 with an elevation of 384 meters. There were declarations made in this city's name between Nigeria and Cameroon, which was called a maritime boundary agreement in 1975. There are various shops and markets in this city where you can find leather goods, jewelry, and pottery goods in this city, as these products are traded. There is an airport in this study called Maroua Salak Airport. There is a university that is also present in this city which is called the University of Maroua. Places of worship include the majority of the mosques. Other than mosques, there are churches and temples, which are also present in this city.

6. Ngaoundere

The city's elevation is 1,212 meters, and the total population is estimated to be 152,698 people living in this city. Also, it is the capital of the Adamawa region of the city. This city has some bauxite deposits, due to which there are mining activities performed in this city. Even this city has a lot of mosques than churches and temples. This city has an airport present called Ngaoundere airport, and there is a railway station present in this city.

7. Garoua

Around 836,900 people are living in this city, and the elevation of this city is 250 meters. There are many textiles and cotton industries present in this city. This city was established in the 19th century by Fulani and Adama people. And at that time, the population of this country was estimated to be 30,000. This city is currently on the northern side of Cameroon near the Benue River.

8. Kombi

It is a metropolitan city with an elevation of 240 meters, and the total population of this city is 400,000 people. This city is divided into three subdivisions which are called Kumba 1, 2, and 3. The majority of the people who are living in this city speak French and English. This city has the largest volcanic lake in this country.

9. Buea

This city is present on the slopes; therefore, the elevation of this city is 870 meters. This city was established when a hunter from Bombolo reached here. This city is famous for tea farming and also has a highland climate. This city is present on Mount Cameroon, which is a volcanic mountain.

10. Mkongsamba

This city has a population of 111,142 people with an elevation of 826 meters. This city was founded in 1917. The majority of the farmers grow palm oil, banana, and coffee either exported or sold in the local market. There is no airport in this city; however, there is a railway line and a seaport. There is a flea market which is present in this city organized by the farmer every Thursday.


Explore

Many things can be explored in this country, including various tribes and villages. You can visit the villages of this country to experience life and the hardships they face. You can explore local and nearby gardens to experience various plants and trees along with a fresh environment. Other than this, to get some knowledge and details about the country you can visit the museum. There are beaches which are present in this city and are suitable for relaxation. There is a very famous amusement park that you can visit to experience various amusement rides filled with thrill.


City Parks

There is a city park present in Limbe called Jungle Village, which also requires an entrance fee of CFA 1000, which equals around 8 to 9 US dollars, and if you want to take any camera to capture some images, you have to pay an extra amount of CFA 500. There is a restaurant which is also present in this park. There is a City Park called Park banjo. This park is open for 24 hours. Some trees are also present in this park to enjoy the fresh and clean environment. You can visit this park for a morning or an evening walk or spend some time in nature. This park is not maintained that much, but still, it is clean and tidy. You can even visit this park for one day picnic with your friends and family. There is another park called Eco-park. This park opens from 8:00 AM and closes at 10:00 PM every day. It is a lovely and beautiful park, especially in the rainy season also you can even have a small party or a family gathering. For moving around in the park, there are horses and camels. There are few animals present in this park, and you can play with them. The entry ticket to this park is 1000 CFA. You can even hire a guide who can help you to visit this park in detail.


National Parks

There are national parks present in this country, and the famous ones are mentioned. Bakossi National Park is a park that was established in 2008 and covered around 29,320 hectares. Many animals are present in this park, including drills, chimpanzees, red colobus, and African forest elephants. However, this National Park is facing some severe threats due to the people living in that region. The population of this region is rapidly growing. Due to this, the trees are cutting down regularly for the construction of homes and many furniture. Trees are at risk and also the wildlife because many people hunt animals mainly for bushmeat as a source of protein. Illegal logging of woods is also practiced in this area. The second famous park is Benue National Park. This park is spread over 180,000 hectares, and it is also of biosphere reserve that UNESCO has designated. This park also has a River that is spread over a length of 100 kilometers. This park was established in 1968, and before 1968, it was established as a Faunal Reserve in 1932. Later it was declared a national park in 1968; it was established as a Biosphere reserve in 1981. This National Park is present in the North-eastern part of this country. Some people live in this are generally nomadic park. Another famous park is Korup National Park. This park covered an area of 1,260 square kilometers and was established in 1986. At present, this park is under the governance of the Cameroon ministry of forests and wildlife. This park has around five villages which have an estimated population of about 2,000 people in total. The people living in this park often grow cocoa and oil palms, including other cash crop framings and other activities, including fishing, hunting, and trading. This park's climate is of two seasons which involves dry season, which starts from December and is present till February, and then the rainy season starts from May and ends till October.


Beaches

Krabi beach is the most famous and the best beach which is present in this country. This beach is present in Krabi, which is around 150 kilometers away from this country's capital. The beach is present in Krabi, which is about 150 kilometers away from this country's capital. There are various activities which you can perform on this beach. Swimming is also allowed on this beach as the water of this beach is safe. If you do not want to try any water sport, you can try sunbathing, which is very beneficial for the body but try not to sunbath for a longer time as it can cause sunburn. Mentioning about the other water activities, you can try snorkeling and diving into deep water. There are only a few shops that can help you get the proper gear for rent. Therefore, it is advised that you must bring your snorkeling or diving gear with you. Instead of water sports, there are other things which you can also perform, including beach volleyball and football. Another famous beach is grand Batanga. It is a beach with a volcanic origin, and you will not find much of the crowd. Therefore, you can visit this beach for recreation or can also spend time with your partner, family, or friends. The third most famous beach present in this country is Limbe beach. It is also a volcanic origin beach; therefore, the sand of this beach is black. Some other facilities include picnic spots, washrooms, and changing booth.


Landmarks

This country has a lot of landmarks. NKA Cave is a cave spread over 168 meters, and there is a stream of a river that goes through the cave. At the end of the cave, a bridge is present over the River, and it is made naturally. According to locals, it has been found that you must not visit this cave during the night, and you can witness various rituals performed by the locals. Next is lobe falls which is a waterfall that offers a scenic destination. Near to this Waterfall, there is a beach where you can find two different species of turtles, which includes leatherback sea turtles and Olivia sea turtles. It is not only a tourist spot, but it is also a purification center for the local people. According to some myths, the King of this place used to visit here for enthronization. This Waterfall has now gained many tourists due to its charm. It is a magnificent natural landmark present in this country. Another waterfall that is a natural landmark is Metche falls which has a length of 40 meters.


Museums

There are many museums which are present in this country. There is a museum which is called Musa Heritage Gallery. This museum was established in 1996 as a tribute to an artist whose name was Musa; therefore, it is an Art Museum. Different artistic works are present in this museum, and if counted, it involves mainly a collection of 400 artistic objects. There are carved masks and wooden statues and other things made by Musa during the year 1970 till 2000 will trump their other musical instruments made up in a traditional style and hunting gadgets used to hunt wild animals. There are metal works and bamboo objects, and some poetry also works present in the exhibition. There are collections of grass field utensils such as dishes, plastic, wood, enamel, and pottery. The traditional style artists and Craftsmen produce them. Another famous museum is the Blackititude museum which was established in 2000. This museum has around 2070 objects to exhibit, and it is an ethnographic museum. This museum received a royal treasury in 1982, which contained a lot of artifacts and documentation. Other museums are also present, but these two are the most famous museums that have received a lot of tourists. Other museums are Baham museum, Mankon Museum, art Bakery. Different museums are present in history, anthropology, architecture, wars, and various others. You can visit any of these museums to gain knowledge about the specific category. The museum can be enjoyable, educational, and interesting.


Eat

There are a lot of things which you can eat in this country. There are different categories of dishes available in this country because of the geographical features. Some of the famous and specialties of this country are. Fufu, which is made from the leaves of Solanum scabrum, is also called garden huckleberry. Brochette is a non-vegetarian dish made up of chicken, beef, or goat. It is a kebab. Sangah is a dish made up of mixing maize, cassava leaf, and juice made up of palm nut. Mbanga soup is also famous in this country which is made up of palm fruit. Another favorite food is Koki which is a soup made up of peanuts and palm leaves.


Drink

To try various alcoholic beverages, you must be above 18 as per the law of this country. In general, only a few people purchase beer from the shop because many locals produce it in their own house, which eliminates purchasing it from the shop and a money-saving technique. The women have been made from Millet, and it is called bil-bil in their language. Some other non-alcoholic beverages include cardamom tea which is a hot tea served by adding cardamom. There is regular tea that is served either cold or hot as per the customer's request. Another beer that is produced locally is ginger beer, and it is non-alcoholic. However, you can find various other alcoholic drinks in nearby hotels, restaurants, and bars which are opened. Another famous drink is the tamarind drink available and served in this country.


Tap-water

Cameroon is a country with abundant fresh-water resources, but water scarcity is still a significant problem here and across the country. Only about 30 to 40 percent of Cameroon's population has access to potable water. Is it safe to drink from taps? The answer would be 'no' because water quality in Cameroon is inferior to other neighboring countries. To prevent water-borne illness, a tourist must boil the water first, let it cool down, and then pour it into their reusable water bottle before heading out for the day.


Activities

Famous as 'Africa in miniature, Cameroon is an exotic Central African nation with various wildlife, including beautiful savannah, expansive desserts, and lovely lakes. From gigantic volcanic mountains, beautiful rivers to picturesque grass-fields in the African nation's western and southern areas, the country offers you several exciting activities to enjoy while visiting it. Here are some adventurous activities you can do when spending your holidays/vacations in Cameroon:

• Drive on Central Highlands – while driving across the Central Highlands, you will discover the beautiful central highlands' spectacular scenery, including magnificent waterfalls and enchanting lush green valleys.

• Rock Climbing and Hiking – you can travel to Maroua to explore various peaks in its vicinity. You can find the location at the base of the Mandara Mountains. Le Dent de Mindif is the most desired destination among tourists to enjoy rock climbing activity.

• Climb an Active Volcano – the tallest mountain in West Africa – Mount Cameroon is about 4,095 meters tall, inviting several mountaineers to explore it.

• View Foumban's Colonial Structures - Foumban is a city in Cameroon, famous for its rich culture and old traditional structures dating back to the German colonization era.


Accommodation

The accommodation provides safety for all those travelers and helps them to explore their desired city in a better way. Such accommodation of international standards is available in Garoua, Bamenda, Maroua, Yaounde, and Douala. You can find budget-friendly hotels in almost all cities. Basic accommodations in Cameroon include guesthouses, camps, lodges, hostels, and apartments. Most locations offer you a good landscape view with 100% sustainability.


Green Hotels

Green Hotels in Cameroon are in high demand, especially among tourists. Most tourists prefer to stay in environmentally sustainable hotels or accommodation to minimize their natural environment impact. As more consumers are choosing to engage in eco-conscious lifestyles, Cameroon hosts several such accommodations; here is a list of popular green hotels in the country:

• Oveng Lodge

• Hotel Zingana Bafoussam

• Mountain Hotel Buea

• Chariot Hotel Buea

• Mont Febe Hotel Yaounde


Hostels and Guest Houses

If you are traveling solo or with one or two other companions, accommodation in hostels and guesthouses is the best option for staying. Hostels here will provide you with bunk beds along with a neat and clean environment, and you might even have a surrounding garden for relaxation. Guesthouses, however, offer you the same feeling as your home as they provide an excellent homely ambiance. Here are few options you must have a look at if you are willing to adopt accommodations in hostels and guesthouses:

• Latitude

• Les Berges de la Lobe

• Mon Jardin

• LODJE

• Residence DAKENAT

• El Versace


Apartments

You can find apartments for rent in Cameroon's most significant cities, namely Douala, Yaounde, and Bamenda. Such apartments in Cameroon are generally close to everything a person needs, like restaurants and shops or transport facilities. Not to mention that such accommodations are more affordable than hotels or villas and have their private security to ensure the inhabitants live peacefully. Here are few places where you can find budget-friendly accommodations:

In Yaounde:

• Residence MASSOU BASTOS-GOLF

• Toundalia Residence

• Residence des Lilas

In Douala:

• DREAMS HOUSE BONAMOUSSADI, apartment

• MAKEPE BM 2 APARTMENT

• Apartment TOITA

• Sawa blue



Couchsurfing

Couchsurfing is another feasible accommodation option in Cameroon, with around 3,405 hosts in total. It plays a significant role in connecting travelers with a worldwide network of people willing to share in meaningful ways and making travel/visits a truly social experience. There are multiple websites for interested parties ready to find places to stay in their desired destination's local residencies. Websites like workaway.info, booking.com, and couchsurfing.com will help you find a perfect catch for your housing.


Camping

No matter what place you are visiting, what country you desire to explore, camping is always a fantasy of many tourists/travelers to experience once in life. Unplug yourself and enjoy the simplicity of nature is what defines camping in a simple way. Cameroon gives you plenty of camping options in national parks. Wild camping is permitted on the banks of Mayo Lidi River and in Boubandjidah National Park. You can also pitch a tent at Waza and Benoue National Parks; elsewhere, camping is somewhat unsafe due to the possibility of theft/robberies or wild animals' danger.


Regions

Cities

Getting There and Moving Around

There are plenty of options via airways to reach this Central African country. Yaounde and Douala have international airports which link Cameroon to all the major cities around the country. Apart from this, the neighboring countries are connected with Cameroon through roads as well. Cargo boats and ferries are also another option to get in the country. Like most neighboring countries in West Africa, Cameroon’s road networks are poorly maintained and unsafe to drive; unfortunately, it also presents a pretty fair sample of all the hazards facing travelers in West Africa. You can also opt for walking along with the essential landmarks in the city. Minibusses and rental cars are also available to take you to your desired tourist destination.


Air

The main international airport in the country is the Douala International Airport which has regular global air connections with almost every major international airport in West and Southwest Africa. It also has several links to East Africa and Europe, although Yaounde and Garoua also handle international flights. Airway transportation is always the prior choice for every tourist/traveler. Cameroon's airport facilities are pretty impressive, and you may also find taxis or rental cars outside the premises.


Bus

Buses in Cameroon travel between all major cities in the country. They are pretty comfortable and modern with few long-distance coaches. However, Buses do not stop at several tourist destinations, for that you might have to settle for shared taxis or minibusses that are not as convenient or comfortable. Most buses in the country have no set schedule and leave whenever the vehicle is complete with passengers. Thus, you might face some difficulties by opting for bus services to reach your location.


Train

There are no rail links with neighboring countries, but Cameroon's Camrail operates regular daily services on three routes. They are:

- Douala – Yaounde

- Douala – Kumba

- Yaounde – Ngaoundere

The Cameroon rail system is also the main link with the northern half of the country, the Central African Republic and Chad. Railways, however, provide you with all the comfort and affordable rides. Passenger trains run on various routes that will take you to your desired destination with complete safety and security.


Hitchhiking

Hitchhiking in Cameroon is purely a risky option for traveling. Although, in most places, hitchhiking is usually free, but here in Cameroon, some people might charge you. However, the cars moving between the cities are happy to cram in hitchhikers to help them reach their destinations. It would be best if you do not opt for hitchhiking as a travel option due to terrible road connections.


Others

You can reach Cameroon by ferries and boats. To move in and around the country, shared taxis and rental cars are other options you can opt for. Shared taxis in Cameroon are the fastest and cheapest to get around cities. The road conditions are deplorable in Cameroon; hence they are not always the safest mode of transportation. Most rental cars are available at the international airports in Yaounde and Douala. These can be expensive than other transportation modes, hence choose wisely before finalizing your mode of transportation.


Sustainable Shopping

The concept of sustainable shopping in Cameroon helps to reduce the use of excessive plastic packaging whenever possible. The products are consciously made, tried, and tested. There are several local markets in the country that supports and promotes sustainability. Such shops/stores also support many independent artists and makers worldwide who utilize traditional craftsmanship techniques and cloth-making. As a responsible tourist, you must try to shop from local shopkeepers and buy things from local markets that promote sustainability and eco-friendly items.


Recycling

The country Cameroon faces the same challenges as many other developing countries. The concept of recycling waste materials into productive goods is a noble cause, yet in this African country, the government somehow lacks in establishing plants for such facilities. Recycling and waste management are not much advanced in Cameroon, but they are becoming increasingly important. The recycling plant in Yaounde processes plastic wastes to produce ecological pavements. Apart from this, several recycling Power plants in most cities in Cameroon manage and recycle waste materials into productive items.


Waste

Cameroon's policy framework has set out strategies to protect environmental resources and promote materials conservation through safe disposal and materials recovery, respectively. Although the facility to collect dump wastes is not up to the mark; yet, the local government has authorized several modes to collect disposals and garbage from neighborhood to neighborhood. You will also see local people collect their daily garbage and put it to burn. It increases air pollution, which they must avoid.


Work and Study Abroad

Cameroon is a country in Central Africa and is famous for its cultural and geological diversity with an abundance of beaches, deserts, rainforests, savannahs, and mountains. Over 100 international students study abroad in Cameroon each year, making it a unique and exquisite education destination. You can find universities/schools in Cameroon's largest cities, mainly in Yaounde, Douala, and Garoua. To find a job in Cameroon, you must know the country's official languages: English and French. Expats can find suitable jobs by logging in to several websites such as Career Jet, Go Abroad, Linkedin or Learn4Good. As for the students, there are no such regulations regarding students working; thus, they have the liberty to work while studying in Cameroonian universities/schools.


Exchange Student

Universities like Middlebury Schools, SIT Study Abroad, Dickinson College: Yaounde, and many others enable students to understand Africa as a whole Cameroonian culture and society in particular. Such universities help you examine social, political, and economic development patterns in Africa's most ethnically and geographically diverse countries. Most Cameroonian universities provide exchange student programs; you must dig deep and apply after proper consideration for admission purposes.


Au Pair

Websites like aupair.com, greataupair.com, newaupair.com, and many others will help you find the perfect au pair job in your desired city. Au Pair is a babysitting job that enables individuals to deal with their daily chores. Such jobs come with great responsibility and care; if you are willing to find such jobs in Cameroon, you must know the official languages, English and French, to communicate with the host and understand your position accordingly. Around a thousand hosts in Cameroon are looking for candidates to perform the job perfectly and with utmost loyalty.


Volunteering

Volunteering helps you become a responsible person. Tourists must take part in volunteering activities as it will help one to groom as an individual. There are many ways to help as a volunteer in Cameroon; it can be a teaching job at a local orphanage or school, support clean water initiatives, or participate in fundraising activities for local Non-Profit Organizations. If you have a medical background, you can work at a hospital. Committing to volunteer in any field in Cameroon will prove to be both rewarding and exciting. Being a responsible tourist or a Cameroonian citizen, you must participate in such volunteer programs to indulge in social activities and help needy people in every way possible.


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