Frequently Asked Questions About Cameroon
Do I need a Visa to get in Cameroon?
Yes, you will need a single entry visa, which is valid for 3 months from the date of issuance. If you travel to Cameroon without a visa AND your yellow fever vaccination certificate, you won’t be let into the country. In order to get the visa you can either send the documents to the Cameroonian embassy in your country or go there directly. Firstly you will need to fill out two visa application forms, each with a photograph, and also hand in a copy of your yellow fever vaccination, your flight details and the necessary amount of money. If you decide to send the documents in the post, please be aware that it will take several days/weeks to issue the visa. Therefore you should apply for it as soon as possible and at least 2 weeks before the start of your journey. If you decide to do it in person, some of the embassies even issue visas on the same day. For further information, please visit the website of the Cameroonian embassy of your country or contact them.
What vaccines do I need?
All persons entering Cameroon needs a yellow fever vaccine (you must carry this certificate with your documents)
You can also have some of the following to be on a safe side;
Yellow Fever (you must carry this certificate with your documents)
Malaria Tablets (please consult your Chemist)
What Language do they speak and will I be able to communicate?
A. Cameroon is officially a bilingual country where English and French are spoken. However, most people are not bilingual. As Belo is located in the Anglophone North-West Region the main language is English. Younger people are able to speak English fairly well, whereas older people will mostly speak their local dialect. But in the hotels, restaurants and other touristic facilities all people speak English.
Is Cameroon a safe travel destination?
A. Cameroon is generally a politically stable and peaceful country. Most people are extremely welcoming and will appreciate your presence. You can freely but sensibly interact, socialize and travel in the country. Nonetheless we also recommend not to carry too much money with you and to be especially aware in busy places such as the major towns of Yaounde and Douala or around touristic places where the possibility of getting mugged or carjacked is higher than in other parts of the country. Also, you shouldn’t travel on your own when it gets dark and if you can you should avoid travelling at night altogether.
Am I likely to get sick?
A. Due to the hygienic conditions and the different types of food, some people suffer from traveller’s tummy. But if you always wash your hands or disinfect them before eating, drink only bottled water and pay attention to what you eat, you should be fine. If you have a sensitive stomach, you should maybe avoid eating raw food, cold cooked food, salads, fruit salads that have been prepared by other people and ice. In the unlikely event of you getting sick, one of our staff members will bring you to a hospital. From Belo you can reach two of the best hospitals in Cameroon in only 15 minute time. Nonetheless, we recommend that you bring your standard medicine against stomach problems, fever, headaches, throat issues or a cold (paracetamol, aspirin etc.)
What is the food like?
In most rural parts of the country, you will mainly find local traditional dishes including Rice and Beans, Rice with Groundnut Stew or other basic dishes. However in the more built up, touristic cities like Doula, Yaoundé and Limbe you will find your western favourites and other worldly food such as Pizza, burgers, Indian, Chinese etc. Delicious and fresh fruits such as pineapple, banana, papaya or coconut can usually be found everywhere in the country; especially during the rainy season.
What are the hotels like in Cameroon?
Hotels in Cameroon are classified in the star system, from 1 to 5 stars. Hotel facilities and service standards in some hotels may not be as you would expect from a hotel in other parts of the world. Only the main cities of Douala and Yaoundé have 4 or 5 star hotels while the other cities of the country only have hotels ranging from 1 to 3 stars. In certain tourist sites such as the national parks, there are only lodges with good facilities such as showers and air-conditioning. Front office personnel in most of the big hotels speak both English and French.
What should I pack?
We recommend bringing your own mosquito net, sun cream, first aid kits, some medicine and anti-malaria medication, water purifying tablets, torch, towel, mosquito repellent, your own sleeping bag (if you are roughing it traveller style) as well as comfortable clothes. If you are staying in the north we also recommend you to bring warm clothes such as a jumper or long trousers as it can be pretty chilly around the morning and the evening. If you want to go hiking, don’t forget to bring your hiking boots as well. If you are visiting during the rainy season (mid-March to December) remember to bring waterproofs or an umbrella.
The train service between North and South is generally a reliable way to travel, but can sometimes be delayed. Tro-tros are bush taxis, which are the consistently the cheapest and quickest Cameroon travel methods for short distances. Prices are fixed, so you won’t be overcharged, but that doesn’t guarantee you’ll be on time. These rides only leave when they’re completely full, so be prepared to wait a bit. Agencies are available in most main cities if you’re interested in renting a car, but they are known to be relatively expensive.
What is the currency in Cameroon and how much should I bring?
The Central African Francs (CFA or XAF) is the currency in Cameroon. It is an open currency, which means that it can be bought out of Cameroon. The CFA is tied to the Euro and is therefore stable. You should NOT bring travellers cheques, as they are hard to change here. We therefore recommend you bring Euros or US Dollars, which can be changed in bigger towns. Another option is to withdraw money once you get to Douala/Yaoundé. There are ATM machines in most of the bigger towns and cities. If you are on a tight traveller’s budget you can get by on approximately 15 Euros per day that’s including hotel, food and drinks.
Are credit cards accepted in Cameroon?
Credit cards are not recommended as a way of payment in Cameroon because they are only accepted by certain banks which have ATM machines to withdraw money. Your local guide will indicate where such ATM machines can be located. Mostly Visa cards are accepted by the machines.
Do you recommend I take out travel insurance?
We insist you take out personal Travel Insurance. You must have comprehensive cover for your protection. We recommend for your insurance to include: helicopter rescue, unlimited medical bills, repatriation costs and dental cover. Please inform yourself about possible travel insurances in your country.