Country guides Africa
Electrical current is 220 volts, 50Hz. Round two-pin attachment plugs are in use.
French and English are the official languages, although French is more commonly spoken and is the language of business. There are also numerous other African dialects.
The official currency is the Central Africa CFA Franc (XAF), which is divided into 100 centimes. Cash is fairly easy to exchange, and Euros are by far the easiest currency to change for CFA francs. Credit cards have limited acceptance in Cameroon, though most major hotels accept them. Most towns have ATMS; money transfer agencies can be found throughout Cameroon.
If service charges are not included a tip of about 10 percent is customary.
A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required for all travellers older than one year of age to Cameroon. There is a risk of malaria throughout the country and prophylaxis is recommended for all travellers. Vaccinations are recommended for hepatitis A, typhoid, polio (booster), and hepatitis B.
A meningococcus vaccination may also be recommended for those travelling to Cameroon during the dry season, which runs from November to June. Cholera outbreaks do occur in Cameroon, particularly between the months of December and June. Travellers should drink only boiled or bottled water.
Medical facilities are very limited with frequent shortages of medication and outdated equipment; visitors should ensure they have comprehensive medical insurance, which includes emergency air evacuation. Doctors and hospitals generally expect immediate cash payment.
If visitors require prescription medication, it is best to bring it with them into Cameroon. They should also make sure they have all the relevant documents from their doctor to get the medication through customs.
Travellers should be wary of petty and violent crime, as they occur throughout the country. Theft is common on public transport and travellers should try and avoid travelling alone in taxis, especially at night. The safety and reliability of internal flights in Cameroon cannot be vouched for. Women should dress conservatively as Cameroon, while generally friendly, is strongly patriarchal and violence towards women is not unheard of.
If visitors are travelling in the north it is advisable to do so in a convoy and to limit travel to daylight hours. Many foreign governments advise against travel to the areas bordering the Central African Republic and Chad, as well as to the area bordering Nigeria in the region of the Bakassi Peninsula.
Greetings in Cameroon may be extended and elaborate, and it's important to greet elders first. If travellers are eating communally with their hands, they should always use their right hand. Law requires that everyone carry identification at all times, and it is forbidden to take photographs of ports, airports, government buildings, and military sites. Homosexuality is illegal.
Cameroon is ranked higher than most Central African countries for ease of doing business and the comparatively good infrastructure is a big help in this regard. For meetings, lightweight suits are appropriate and handshakes are a common method of greeting for men and women.
Greetings often take time and it is important to enquire about health and family and exchange business cards. Office hours are generally 7.30am until 6pm, Monday to Friday, with a one to two hour lunch break. Most businesses are also open on Saturdays between 8am and 1pm.
Travellers to Cameroon do not have to pay duty on 400 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 5 packs tobacco; 1 bottle of alcohol; and 5 bottles perfume. Entry to the country with sporting guns requires a licence.
The international dialling code for Cameroon is +237. Visitors can purchase local SIM cards for unlocked phones; WiFi coverage is available in most regions.
Passport & Visa
All travellers require confirmed onward or return tickets and all necessary documents for next destination, as well as proof of sufficient funds for their stay. Passengers can obtain a visa on arrival if they have a confirmation letter stating that a visa has been approved. All other visas must be acquired before travel to Cameroon. It's recommended that passports be valid for six months after the intended period of travel.
US nationals require a valid passport and a visa to enter Cameroon.
UK nationals require a valid passport and a visa to enter Cameroon.
Canadians require a valid passport and a visa to enter Cameroon.
Australians require a valid passport and a visa to enter Cameroon.
South Africans require a valid passport and a visa to enter Cameroon.
Irish nationals require a valid passport and a visa to enter Cameroon.
New Zealand nationals require a valid passport and a visa to enter Cameroon.
Cameroon Ministry of Tourism, Yaounde: +202 265 8790 or www.tourisminformationcameroon.net117 (police), 118 (fire), 119 (medical)
Embassies / consulates in other countries
Cameroon Embassy, Washington DC, United States: +1 202 265 8790.
Cameroon Embassy, London, United Kingdom: +44 20 7727 0771.
Cameroon High Commission, Ottawa, Canada: +1 613 236 1522 ext. 221
Cameroon Consulate, Sydney, Australia: +61 2 9989 8414.
Cameroon High Commission, Pretoria, South Africa: +27 12 460 0341.
Cameroon Consulate, Dublin, Ireland: +353 83 031 2631
Embassies / consulates in Cameroon
United States Embassy, Yaoundé: +237 2220 1500.
British High Commission, Yaoundé: +237 222 22 07 96.
Canadian High Commission, Yaoundé (also responsible for Australia): +237 222 50 39 00.
South African High Commission, Yaoundé: +237 2220 0440.