Surely some, or many of you think: Cameroon? Come on! I didn’t think of that! What’s in there?
Logical, considering that it is a country that is heard and read very little. The clearest and most “popular” reference is Nigel Barley’s magnificent book, The Innocent Anthropologist. I highly recommend reading it if you have not already done so. Whether you’re going or not. You can see a great review in the blog Read and Travel.
How is it in Cameroon?
Indeed, Cameroon is not a very tourist destination, and in fact it is difficult to find guides and books about the country, and offers in travel agencies.
Once there, there are few travellers or tourists who are seen, and it is also noticeable -in many aspects, starting with the authorities- that they are not accustomed to receiving us.
However, it has a certain developed tourist message, with a very clear slogan
Little Africa, where one can find all the landscapes and attractions of the continent. Desert, savannah, jungle, tropical beaches, volcanoes. Fauna, ethnic groups…
This is one of the arguments that seduced me when deciding on this fate.
Practical information for travelling to Cameroon
Cameroon has an extension close to that of Spain, and yes, the variation of landscapes and climates, people and characters, is spectacular.
In the north, the heat of the Sahel and the coolness of the mountain are just a day’s journey away.
In the south the environment is humid and rainy, typically tropical.
Nice and hospitable people, smiling, change after a few hours from bus to more distant, uncommunicative, or directly “malencaradas” people. Although generally it is not that they want to be unpleasant or reject you at first, but that their gestures and tones when speaking and looking, are different.
Cultural and religious references also change a great deal.
From Islam to Christianity in many forms: Catholics, Baptists, Adventists, Witnesses of Jeová, Protestants, etc. All announcing their “church” or “mission” on road signs. But always with animism and its basic magic, or at the center of their lives, according to.
Here are some tips for travelling to Cameroon
The official languages are English and French. In practice, the latter is only widespread in English-speaking areas, two small regions. More than 20 native languages are also spoken, including Fang, Bulu, Yaoundé, Douala and Mboun.
The currency of Cameroon is the Franc CFAs, the common currency of many West African countries. Like the euro in Europe. 1 euro = 655 CFAs.
There are no different changes outside the officer. Beware, you can’t always change money, even in what appear to be populations of a certain size. Not all banks do this, but you can try it at money transfer houses like MoneyGram. Of course, paying commissions.
The black market exists, but it is advisable to do it with someone you trust. Someone who may be able to point us to the hotel or hostel where we are staying. If not, we expose you to the risk of being “informed” of the money we carry with us, with a view to making you a target for theft, fraud or the like.
As in other African countries, Cameroon is particularly cheap, although it depends on how you set it up and how much time you have, of course.
Especially in the northern area it is very interesting to hire a car and guide to access many towns and get permission to be there.
The accommodation, which is minimally decent – clean and little more – can cost around 18-30 euros per night (double rooms).
To eat and drink
Eating in restaurants costs between 6-9 euros per person (or even more). But eating at street stalls – shopping and going to a bar to drink it there, where you will consume the drink – is much cheaper. For 3 euros you can eat a few skewers or a good grilled fish.
Beer and soft drinks vary between 1 and 2.5 euros, always in 600 ml bottles, and water of 1.5 l. is also around the euro.
The variations are between towns and regions of the country, not by competition between bars or shops, in principle.
Want to know more about trips around the world? Take a lot at our Africa section.