Cameroon is a developing African country. Facilities for tourism are limited.
A valid passport and visa are required. Travelers should obtain the latest information and details from the Embassy of the Republic of Cameroon, 2349 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington D.C. 20008, telephone (202) 265-8790/94. Overseas, inquiries should be made to the nearest Cameroonian embassy or consulate
U.S. citizens should avoid crowds, political rallies and street demonstrations and maintain security awareness at all times.
Armed banditry is a serious problem throughout all ten provinces of Cameroon. To curb banditry, security personnel may request persons to show their passport, residence card, driver’s license and/or vehicle registration at random checkpoints.
The risk of street and residential crime is high, and incidents of violent crime are on the rise throughout the country. Reports of carjackings and burglaries remain high, particularly in Yaoundé and Douala. Carjackings have also been reported on rural highways. Crimes against property, such as carjacking, have often been accompanied by violent acts. The U.S. Embassy advises travelers always to remain aware of their surroundings and to follow routine security precautions such as locking car, hotel, and house doors at all times. Travel after dark is extremely risky and should be avoided if possible.
Tourists and business people should note that there is an increasing circulation of counterfeit U.S. and Cameroonian currency in the country. In recent years business travelers have experienced difficulty in obtaining adequate services from Cameroon’s banking sector.
Business travelers are also advised that using the services of a local agent is a strongly recommended first step in establishing a presence in the Cameroonian market. Caution is required in pursuing joint ventures and licensing arrangements in Cameroon.
Medical facilities in Cameroon are limited. Sanitation levels are low, even in the best hospitals. Not all medicines are available. Travelers are advised to bring their own supplies. Serious medical problems requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the United States can cost thousands of dollars or more. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health care services.
U.S. medical insurance is not always valid outside the United States. U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs do not provide payment for medical services outside the United States. Uninsured travelers who require medical care overseas may face extreme difficulties. Please check with your own company to confirm whether your policy applies overseas, including provision for medical evacuation. Please ascertain whether payment will be made to the overseas hospital or doctor or whether you will be reimbursed later for expenses that you incur. Some insurance policies also include coverage for psychiatric treatment and for disposition of remains in the event of death. Useful information on medical emergencies abroad, including overseas insurance programs, is provided in the Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs brochure, Medical Information for Americans Traveling Abroad, available via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov.
While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Cameroon is provided for general reference only and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.
Safety of Public Transportation: Poor
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: Fair to Poor
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Poor
Availability of Roadside Assistance: Poor to Nonexistent
Cameroon’s road network, both paved and unpaved, is underdeveloped and unsafe. In general, roads and vehicles are poorly maintained. During the rainy season, many roads are passable only with four-wheel-drive vehicles. There are few road and traffic signs. Livestock and pedestrians create constant road hazards and road safety rules are routinely ignored. Buses and logging trucks traveling at high speeds are a threat.
Drivers are advised against nighttime travel. Outside major towns, especially in the Far North Province, armed bandits pose a threat.
While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country’s laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating Cameroonian law, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Cameroon are strict, and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines.
U.S. citizens are encouraged to register with the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Yaoundé or with the Embassy Office in Douala, and to obtain updated information on travel and security in Cameroon. The Embassy is located on Rue Nachtigal in Yaoundé. The mailing address is B.P. 817, Yaoundé, Cameroon, telephone (237) 23-40-14, fax (237) 23-07-53. The U.S. Embassy Office in Douala can be contacted at (237) 42-53-31; the fax is (237) 42-77-90.