Safety Tips in Cameroon

  • Warnings and Dangers
    by Wafro
  • Warnings and Dangers
    by Wafro
  • our sleeping accomodations...no fire or food
    our sleeping accomodations...no fire or...
    by bigiguana2001

Most Viewed Warnings and Dangers in Cameroon

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    Lifafa Travel Agency, double check your bookings

    by bigiguana2001 Updated Mar 7, 2011

    I have travelled to Cameroon 3x and have never used a travel agency to travel within the country in the past...and all went relatively well. This time we booked a trip to Korup Park through the Lifafa travel agency in Buea, South West Province, Cameroon/Cameroun (near the Mt. Cameroon ecotourism office which is much better known). Without all the details, beware of what you pay for. We paid a hefty sum for a guided tour through the park and were abandoned at the entrance by our tour guide from Lifafa. Needless to say, after 2 days of running through the forest and not taking the time to observe any nature to speak of, drinking stream water (no porter, no food until the next day) and eating minimally, we left the park having seen nothing, met up with our guide at midnight after we were all asleep, waited for him again in vain at the new rendez-vous point the next morning, got to play our own porter for the gear dropped off for us at midnight (including our cooking, sleeping gear and water). The guide from Lifafa had high-tailed it out of the park at 4am back to Buea...
    Needless to say for anyone who has been to Cameroon, it's not so easy to get your money back. Two weeks later and we're still hoping to get only part of our money back. Beware to ask about the refund policy and get some type of guarantee in writing when dealing with Lifafa. Do not use Mr Mbua Wilson's services, he's a scammer, or at least has no integrity. If you want to go to Korup, I would suggest you go directly to Mundemba and make your arrangements at the Korup office in town. You can hire guides and porters there (you'll have to use them anyways, even if you go through Lifafa or Mount Cameroon Ecotourism). We were lucky that our local (Mundemba) guide was with us and we were carrying one tent in our hands. If not we would have been sleeping under the stars on the bare ground.
    Remigius Linonge Lifafa Endeley is the owner of the agency and I'm not sure that he really has the best interests of his clients at heart either...if not he would have worked harder to reimburse us and compensate us for our misadventure and time lost.

    our sleeping accomodations...no fire or food had it gone as planned this would have been heaven my son playing porter since none was around
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    The Disappearing Rainforest

    by janiebaxter Written Aug 4, 2010

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    Cameroon is mainly made up of Rainforest in the South. I was shocked to see how much of it was stacked up at the Port in Douala ready to be shipped.
    I don't know whether it is grown sustainably or not but there was an awful lot of timber there.............
    I couldn't get out of the car and take a proper photo as one of the workers was shoutig at me not to photograph it.

    Timber at Douala Port
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    Don't take pictures of official buildings

    by Bernd_L Updated Jan 20, 2009

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    Taking pictures of official buildings or staff (government, military, police) but also of buildings of strategic importance (like bridges, ports, airports and so on) is strictly forbidden.

    When I took a picture of a monument in Yaounde someone tried to interrupt me. At first I didn't understand. Later I was told that a high rise building behind the square houses offices of several ministries. So if the police were around it could have got me into trouble.

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  • tom_chapman991's Profile Photo

    Corruption and police road checks in Cameroon

    by tom_chapman991 Updated Nov 24, 2007

    Cameroon is a beautiful country but as with many developing countries there is widespread corruption. I had my fair share of experiences with authorities / corrupt officials whilst in Cameroon.

    In particular when travelling anywhere you will come across the numerous police road checks. These are in place to check the safety of vehicles, monitor lorry cargoes etc. In the main you should have no problem at all as police are advised to leave tourists alone.

    However, every now and again you will find an over zealous officer who is looking to get some quick cash out of tourists. Usually this will be the price of beer. These encounters are usually good humoured. Remember to remain calm and pleasant. Cooperate as far as possible but stand your ground. The usual tactic is to discredit your documents i.e claiming that you do not have the proper stamps in your passport. Stick with your story and the officers usually become bored and send you on your way.

    There are many road checks on the roads into and out of Yaounde, however, I never had problems at these stops. It was more common to run into problem in the more remote regions such as the East Province. In particular around Abong Mbang.

    Don't let this put you off travelling around Cameroon. In general you are unlikely to run into problems!! Rememebe to keep spare copies of all your documents and above all make sure that you have all the necessary documentation with you at all times inc. vaccination records such as a yellow fever certificate.

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    No Change

    by Over60 Updated Jul 9, 2007

    Most everyone who has travelled in less developed countries is familiar with this problem, but Cameroon must be the "we don't have any change" capital of the world. You can hear this refrain from taxi drivers, restaurants, stands, and even good sized hotels. It occurs not just when you present a relatively large notes--like the ones that always seem to come out of ATM's, but also with middle size bills (e.g. the 5,000 franc note, which is worth about 10USD). If you insist that you have nothing smaller, many prople will try to accomodate you by going to adjacent stores or acquaintances in search of change, but you can end up standing around a very long time waiting for them to return. Asking the ATM for odd amounts or asking for smaller bills when you first exchange currency or cash traveller's checks can help, but in the end, I always seemed to run out of coins and small bank notes. Remembering that that's just the way things are and grinning and bearing it are then the only solution.

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    Don't travel at night

    by lovin_it Updated Sep 23, 2006

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    Do not travel after dark if you want to avoid theives and pick pockets. Thieves tend to hang around bus stations and taxi ranks after dark. You will generally be O.K inside the stations themselves but beware when you leave. To avoid this problem only travel in daylight.
    If you are travelling by night bus and arrive early in the morning, stay inside the bus station until the sun comes up.
    This poblem is mostly a problem in the big cities (Douala, Yaounde, Bamenda)

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    Water and GI issues

    by IngaRita Written Sep 15, 2006

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    Don't drink the water. Either filter it (drops, filter, tablets...) or drink Tangue (bottle water). Follow the simple rules of cook it, peel it...or don't eat it. I had not a one GI issue and i have a very weak stomach. i had more issues in Guatemala.
    Bring pepto tablets and take 2 if you feel something's going on down there.

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    Always clean your drinking water.

    by Wafro Updated Jun 20, 2006

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    When you’re trekking in the rainforests for several days it isn’t always possible to carry a lot of drinking water.
    So be sure you’ve got disinfectations tablets or a water filter to clean your water when you’re using the rivers.

    Lob��k�� forest
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    Elephant charges

    by Wafro Updated Jun 20, 2006

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    When you're traveling in the forests and you're lucky to encounter a forest elephant.
    But the elephant isn't happy with your presence, than the roots of these trees can offer you protection, if he attacks you.

    Lobeke forest
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  • Bernd_L's Profile Photo

    Beware of pickpockets

    by Bernd_L Written Nov 22, 2004

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    Cameroon is a poor country and a tourist who can afford to spend money only to visit a foreign country is a millionaire in the eyes of the locals. Many of them do not know how to make a decent living. So be not surprised if they are uninhibited in stealing.

    Use common sense if you walk in the cities. Avoid crowds if possible. Don't wear jewelry or expensive watches or cameras. Don't wear rucksacks on your back where you can't see what happens. And take along only as much money as you need.

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  • Bernd_L's Profile Photo

    Motivation money for the police

    by Bernd_L Written Nov 22, 2004

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    While travelling in Cameroon you'll encounter police controls very often. So it's a very good idea to have proper documents at hand at every time.

    But the police may find a problem anyway. And then it can happen that you are asked to give a bit 'motivation money'. You are not obliged to pay, because corruption is illegal in Cameroon too. But if they only ask for small amounts you may be better off to pay. It's not worth to save some CFA-Franc while having to discuss the (non-existing) problem for a long time.

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    Don't drive during the night

    by Bernd_L Updated Nov 22, 2004

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    Driving during the night outside of the cities is extremly dangerous.

    Not only do you risk to damage the car by driving into one of these big road holes. More dangerous are the technical conditions of other cars. During dawn most of the cars drive without light until it is totally dark. And some of them drive without rear lights even in total darkness.

    Furthermore a lot of people walk alongside the roads and it's not unusual that some domestic animals roam freely in the night.

    So if you can't avoid driving during night at least be very careful.

    Goats roaming freely on the road
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  • Important Health Notice

    by sociolingo Written Aug 31, 2004

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    There is currently an outbreak of cholera in Cameroon. The outbreak has mainly affected Douala and the surrounding area, though the disease has recently spread to the capital Yaounde. Since the beginning of 2004, of the 6377 people who have been affected by the disease, approximately 130 people have died. 21 cases in two weeks have been reported in Yaounde.

    It is strongly recommend that you obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling.

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  • local travel

    by sociolingo Updated Aug 31, 2004

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    Here's the latest warnings from the British Foreign Office
    We advise against all travel to the area bordering Nigeria in the region of the Bakassi Peninsula. The territory is subject to a dispute between Nigeria and Cameroon. The demarcation of the disputed border is on going. Tension in the area remains and localised skirmishes between Nigerian and Cameroonian police and security personnel have occurred with little warning.

    We advise against all but essential travel to the area bordering the Central African Republic, where armed banditry is common. If you chose to travel to this area, against our advice, you should inform the British High Commission in Yaoundé and the local security authorities before travelling.

    Visitors to the Lake Chad area in the Far North Province should report to the local authorities (the Prefet or Sous-Prefet) on arrival. The local authorities advise visitors to engage a reliable guide, such as one of those offered by the Hotel Porte-Maillhot in Maroua.

    The border with the Republic of Congo is closed. Overland travel out of Cameroon can be difficult. Gendarmerie detachments are posted along the road between Maroua and the Chadian border.

    Roadblocks set up by the police or gendarmerie are common throughout Cameroon. You may be asked to show your passport, driving licence or vehicle registration documents. There are regular reports of uniformed members of the security forces stopping motorists on the pretext of minor or non-existent violations of local vehicle regulations in order to extort small bribes. We recommend that you do not pay bribes. Where possible you should request the officer to provide a ticket payable at a local court.

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  • Wafro's Profile Photo

    Passport controle

    by Wafro Updated Jun 26, 2004

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    Be careful at the roadblocks, never leave your passport out of sight when you have to give it.
    When you know your passport and visa are alright, you should NEVER pay a bribe.
    They'll always ask it, but DON'T pay it.
    The other people in the bus, tro-tro or taxi will protect you when the officers get annoyed.

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Cameroon Hotels

See all 10 Hotels in Cameroon
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    Good for: Couples

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    This hotel has recently been renovated. The rooms are small but modern and well-kept.

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