Cameroon Travel Information
Local time is GMT +1.
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.
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 hepatitus 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 Medical facilities are very limited with frequent shortages of medication and outdated equipment; visitors should ensure they have comprehensive medical insurance, which includes emergency air evacuation.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 you require prescription medication while travelling it is best to bring it with you into Cameroon; make sure you have all the relevant documents from your doctor to get the medication through customs.
If service charges are not included a tip of about 10 percent is customary.
Occurrences of banditry and mugging are serious problems throughout the country, and car hijacking and robbery along roads has resulted in several deaths. 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. If travelling in the north it is advisable to do so in a convoy and to limit travel to daylight hours. Incidents of robbery, often armed, are common in towns and cities and visitors should be vigilant in public places. Armed attacks have occurred at restaurants and hotels where foreigners are known to stay and eat, and travellers are advised to avoid carrying valuables or wearing jewellery in public, and to keep cash on person to a minimum. Petty theft is also 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 be wary and dress conservatively as Cameroon, while generally friendly, is strongly patriarchal and violence towards women is not unheard of.
Law requires that everyone carry identification at all times. 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.
The international dialling code for Cameroon is +237. The outgoing code is 00 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 0027 for South Africa). City codes are not required. International phone calls can be made from CAMTEL offices. A GSM 900 network provides cellphone coverage mainly in Yaoundé, Malabo and the southwest of the country. Internet cafes are available in the main towns.
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.
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