While referring to Cameroon as “Africa in miniature” has become a bit of a cliché, this statement certainly rings true: everything you would expect from the African continent seems to be consolidated here, in this enticing and eclectic land.
The beautiful south is characterised by tropical rainforests and deserted golden beaches, which would be chock full of bathers in a more developed destination. There’s a hearty appetite for independence in the English-speaking south, but, despite the best efforts of local pressure groups, it has yet to break free from the rest of the country.
In contrast to the south, the dramatic landscapes of northern Cameroon are dominated by great expanses of desert, lakes and savannah. Traditional villages still cling on in this unforgiving land, which is perhaps the most culturally diverse region in Cameroon, home as it is to some 50 ethnic groups. Though largely peaceful, the region has been rocked by attacks from extremists in recent years. Keep abreast of the latest news.
Pack your hiking gear if you’re heading to western Cameroon, which is dominated by volcanic mountains. Looking out across these rugged ranges you could be forgiven for thinking you were on Mars, such is their otherworldly appearance. It’s not all about the landscapes, though. Scattered across the country are a handful of game reserves, which offer ample opportunity to observe impressive wildlife, including elephants and lions.
Cameroon really should be one of Africa’s leading destinations, but poverty blights much of its infrastructure, meaning transport and accommodation are chronically underdeveloped. Outstanding border disputes haven’t helped, either – travellers are advised to steer clear of the frontiers with Nigeria, Chad and the Central African Republic, which are considered unstable.
Aside from certain no-go areas, Cameroon has much to offer adventurous travellers. From its verdant rainforests to its iconic wildlife, the country is bursting with life. Go and you shall be handsomely rewarded.
475,442 sq km (183,569 sq miles).
23,924,407 (UN estimate 2016).
49.9 per sq km.
President Paul Biya since 1982.
Prime Minister Philémon Yang since 2009.
220 volts AC, 50Hz. Plugs with two round pins are standard.