Getting around Cameroon

Air

This is the most efficient means of national transport. Camair-Co (www.camair-co.cm) runs services to a number of destinations within Cameroon including Douala, Yaoundé, Garoua and Maroua. You can also arrange private charter jets.

Departure tax

CFA500.

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Road quality

There are paved roads from Douala to Yaoundé, Limbé, Buéa, Bafoussam and Bamenda and between main centres. Other roads are generally poorly maintained and become almost impassable during the rainy season. Many vehicles are poorly lit and badly driven. Night driving is not recommended.

Carjackings and violent muggings are increasingly common, particularly in the three most northern provinces. Driving on the Yaoundé/Douala trunk road should be avoided; accidents happen frequently.

Car hire

This is expensive and limited to Douala, Yaoundé and Limbé. Cars are available with or without a driver. Roadside assistance is non-existent.

Documentation

You can drive on your own national licence when you first arrive, but need to obtain a Cameroonian licence from the Delegation of Transport as soon as you can.

Getting around towns and cities

Taxis and share-taxis are available at reasonable fixed rates (none are metered). A 10% tip is optional. City taxis do not generally comply with basic security norms and seat belts are often absent. Violent assaults on taxi passengers are not uncommon, so the choice of taxi must be considered carefully. However, they are cheap and fast.

Petty theft is common on trains, coaches and bush-taxis, and visitors to Cameroon who rely on public transport are urged to remain vigilant.

Rail

Camrail (www.camrail.net) is the national service provider. Services are good, if relatively slow, but it is still much quicker to go by train than by bus. There are daily overnight services from Yaoundé to Ngaoundéré, with couchettes and first- and second-class seats. 

There is a rail route running from Douala to Nkongsamba, with a branch line leading off from Mbanga to Kumba. Daily trains also run from Yaoundé to Douala. Trains usually have a restaurant car. Tickets must be booked on the day of travel.

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