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Cameroon - Exercise a high degree of caution
Exercise a high degree of caution in Cameroon due to the high level of violent crime in some regions and the tensions that exist in the Sahel region.
Far North region and Mayo-Louti Department - Avoid all travel
Avoid all travel to the Far North region and Mayo-Louti Department in the North region. The security conditions are unpredictable in these zones due to the increased threat of frequent attacks by the Boko Haram extremist group, banditry and kidnappings.
Areas within 30 kilometres of the borders with Nigeria, Chad and the Central African Republic - Avoid all travel
Avoid all travel to areas within 30 kilometres of the borders with Nigeria, Chad and the Central African Republic, because of the risk of kidnapping and armed banditry and terrorist threat.
North-West and South-West regions - Avoid all travel
Avoid all travel to the North-West and South-West regions due to violence between armed groups and security forces and the risk of kidnapping.
North and Adamaoua regions - Avoid non-essential travel
Avoid non-essential travel to the North and Adamaoua regions due to the threat of kidnapping.
Bakassi Peninsula - Avoid non-essential travel
Avoid non-essential travel to the Bakassi Peninsula, due to various forms of banditry.
Gulf of Guinea - Avoid all travel
Avoid all travel to to the Gulf of Guinea, due to piracy and kidnappings by rebel groups. These attacks have become increasingly frequent, even targeting larger vessels and petroleum platforms.
Travel Health Notice - Zika virus
The Public Health Agency of Canada has issued advice for travellers on the Zika virus, recommending that Canadians practice special health precautions while travelling in affected countries. Pregnant women and those considering becoming pregnant should avoid travel to Cameroon. See Health for more information.
Safety and security
Safety and security
North-West and South-West regions (see Advisory)
Since late November 2016, demonstrations, general strikes and clashes stemming from local tensions have led to casualties in the North-West and South-West regions. The security situation has deteriorated since the beginning of 2018. Kidnappings have occurred and foreigners have been targeted. A curfew is in effect from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. Unofficial road blocks could be set up by armed groups. At any time, local authorities could impose movement restrictions. Telecommunications could be disrupted.
The Far North region and Mayo-Louti Department
The growing presence of extremist groups has increased the risk of terrorist acts, kidnappings and banditry. Since 2014, Boko Haram has been intensifying its terrorist activities in Cameroon. There have been several suicide bomb attacks in public places of important urban areas resulting in numerous death and injuries. These are suspected to be related to the terrorist organisation of Boko Haram. Fighting between Cameroonian security forces and Boko Haram combatants is often very violent.
The areas bordering Nigeria, Chad and the Central African Republic (see Advisory)
Carjackings, assaults, kidnappings and other forms of armed banditry occur in these areas.
A state of emergency is in effect in the Nigerian states of Borno and Adamawa, which border northeast Cameroon. There is a threat of terrorist and criminal acts along the Nigerian border.
The security crisis in the Central African Republic periodically spills over the border. Attacks and kidnappings have occurred along the border with Cameroon.
The Bakassi Peninsula (see Advisory)
Various forms of banditry have been reported in this area due to its isolated location.
Assaults, burglaries and armed robberies occur in major urban centres and on main roads. Snatch-and-grab theft is common. Do not resist robberies, as perpetrators may use violence.
Violent assaults and thefts have occurred in the community of Melong, and foreign tourists are often targeted. Hiking around the region is strongly discouraged. Avoid staying at hotels in the Mont de Manengouba and lacs jumeaux areas.
Petty theft is prevalent and occurs on trains, buses and taxis. Violent assaults on taxi passengers are frequent. The Hilton and Mont Fébé hotels offer a shuttle service from Yaoundé-Nsimalen Airport to downtown Yaoundé. You should use this service or arrange to be met, especially after dark.
Avoid isolated areas. Avoid travelling alone, especially after dark, in certain areas of Yaoundé, including La Briquetterie, Mokolo and Mvog-Ada. Do not show signs of affluence.
Cameroon’s involvement in a regional military offensive against Boko Haram makes it a potential target for terrorist attacks. Be extremely vigilant in crowded places such as markets, near government buildings, in places of worship and in hotels, including in Yaoundé and Douala.
Cases of attempted fraud are frequently reported in Cameroon. See our Overseas Fraud page for more information on scams abroad.
Avoid large crowds and demonstrations, as they can turn violent without warning. Contact the High Commission of Canada in Yaoundé for the latest security information.
Pirate attacks have been reported in the coastal waters of the Gulf of Guinea, and in some cases, farther out at sea. Mariners should take appropriate precautions.
There are pirates in the waters around the ferry crossing between Limbe/Tiko, Cameroon, and Calabar, Nigeria.
For additional information, consult the Live Piracy Report published by the International Maritime Bureau.
Major roads are in good condition but others are damaged and unsafe, particularly during the rainy season. Reckless driving, the use of poorly maintained vehicles and lack of respect for traffic laws are common. Keep windows closed and doors locked at all times. Avoid driving after dark in rural areas and on the main road between Yaoundé and Douala. The presence of livestock and pedestrians on the roadway, and the lack of road and traffic signs, pose hazards. Local police roadblocks are erected throughout the country, and you may be expected to make payments. If you receive a ticket, ask the police officer to include a description of the violation(s) on the ticket. Tickets can be paid at a local court or at a police station.
In the event of an accident, if possible go to the police station or gendarmerie closest to the High Commission of Canada in Yaoundé or the Consulate of Canada in Douala for assistance.
If travelling overland, carry sufficient supplies of water, food and fuel, as well as a reliable means of communication, such as a cellular telephone (in areas with reliable service), a satellite telephone or a very high frequency (VHF) radio.
You should always carry your driving permit and your vehicle's registration documents.
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
General safety information
Carefully evaluate any security risks before deciding to travel within Cameroon. Monitor news reports and follow the advice of local authorities in order to remain informed of security conditions in the region in which you are travelling and ensure that your hotel is safe.
Power outages are a daily occurrence all over the country and can last over eight hours. You are advised to turn off your electrical appliances before leaving your place of residence. Gas may also be in short supply, especially during holiday periods such as December and January.
The border with Equatorial Guinea is frequently closed. Contact local authorities for the latest information.
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.
We have obtained the information on this page from the Cameroonian authorities. It can, however, change at any time.
Verify this information with foreign diplomatic missions and consulates in Canada.
Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.
Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.
Regular Canadian passport
Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date you expect to leave from Cameroon.
Passport for official travel
Different entry rules may apply.
Other travel documents
Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest diplomatic mission for your destination.
Canadians must have a visa and an onward or return ticket.
Tourist visa: Required
Business visa: Required
Student visa: Required
Canadians who are going to Cameroon to work must obtain a Resident Card shortly after arrival.
Children and travel
Learn about travel with children.
Proof of polio vaccination
VVisitors who intend to stay in Cameroon for more than four weeks will need to show proof of polio vaccination upon entry.
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
Posted: January 26, 2018
Risk of a Large Outbreak of Meningococcal Disease in Africa
The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that countries in Africa's meningitis belt (see country list below) and neighbouring countries are at a high risk for a large outbreak of meningoccocal disease (commonly called meningitis).
There is a high risk of a large outbreak in the area because the strain of meningitis that is currently circulating is a new hyper-invasive strain of serogroup C and there is a shortage of meningitis C-containing vaccine.
If you plan to travel to any country in Africa's meningitis belt or a neighbouring country, it is recommended that you get vaccinated against meningococcal disease with a conjugate serogroup C-containing vaccine.
For more information, see the WHO Situation update on meningitis C epidemic risk.
Countries in Africa's meningitis belt include: Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Cote d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Sudan, Sudan, Togo, Uganda, and United Republic of Tanzania
Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Some of these vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.
Vaccines to Consider
You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health provider about which ones are right for you.
Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease and is common in most parts of the world.
Be sure your measles vaccination is up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
This country is in the African Meningitis Belt, an area where there are many cases of meningococcal disease. Meningococcal disease is a serious and sometimes fatal infection. Travellers who may be at high risk should consider getting vaccinated. High-risk travellers include those living or working with the local population (e.g., health care workers) or those travelling to crowded areas or taking part in large gatherings.
There is a risk of polio in this country.
- Be sure that your vaccination against polio is up to date. Polio is part of the routine vaccine schedule for children in Canada.
- One booster dose of the polio vaccine is recommended as an adult.
Rabies is a deadly illness spread to humans through a bite, scratch or lick from an infected animal. Vaccination should be considered for travellers going to areas where rabies exists and who have a high risk of exposure (i.e., close contact with animals, occupational risk, and children).
Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
- There is a risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- Proof of vaccination is required if you are coming from or have transited through an airport of a country where yellow fever occurs.
- Vaccination is recommended.
- There is currently a shortage of the yellow fever vaccine in Canada. It is important for travellers to contact a designated Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre well in advance of their trip to ensure that the vaccine is available.
- Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care provider.
Protect yourself from mosquito bites.
Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Food and Water-borne Diseases
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
In some areas in Central Africa, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in Central Africa. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
Cholera is a risk in parts of this country. Most travellers are at very low risk.
For protection of cholera
All travellers should practise safe food and water precautions.
Travellers at higher risk should discuss with a health care provider the benefits of getting vaccinated.
Travellers at higher risk include those:
- visiting, working or living in areas with limited access to safe food, water and proper sanitation
- visiting areas where outbreaks are occurring.
Schistosomiasis can be spread to humans through freshwater sources contaminated by blood flukes (tiny worms). The eggs of the worms can cause stomach illnesses like diarrhea and cramps or urinary problems. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Avoid swimming in freshwater sources (lakes, rivers, ponds). There is no vaccine available for schistosomiasis.
- Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
- Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
- The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.
Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among pediatric travellers, travellers going to rural areas, visiting friends and relatives or travelling for a long period of time. Travellers visiting regions with typhoid risk, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should speak to a health care provider about vaccination.
Insects and Illness
In some areas in Central Africa, certain insects carry and spread diseases like African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, dengue fever, leishmaniasis, lymphatic filariasis, malaria, onchocerciasis, Rift Valley fever, West Nile virus , yellow fever and the Zika virus.
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
Onchocerciasis (river blindness) is an eye and skin disease caused by a parasite spread through the bite of an infected female blackfly. Onchocerciasis often leads to blindness if left untreated. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Protect yourself from blackfly bites, which are most common close to fast-flowing rivers and streams. There is no vaccine available for onchocerciasis although drug treatments exist.
Zika virus infection
Zika virus infection is a risk in this country. Recent or ongoing cases of Zika virus have been reported in this country.
All travellers should protect themselves from mosquito bites day and night.
Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause serious birth defects such as abnormally small heads (microcephaly). Zika virus can also be sexually transmitted.
Travellers who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy:
- Should avoid travel to this country
- If travel cannot be avoided follow strict mosquito bite prevention measures.
- Talk to your health care professional about the risk of Zika infection in pregnancy.
- Use condoms or avoid having sex for the duration of the pregnancy, if you are pregnant and your partner has travelled to this country.
- Female travellers: wait at least 2 months after returning from this country before trying to conceive (get pregnant) to ensure that any possible Zika virus infection has cleared your body.
- Male travellers: wait 6 months after returning from this country before trying to conceive. Use condoms or avoid having sex during that time.
See travel health notice: Zika virus: Advice for travellers
- There is a risk of malaria throughout the year in the whole country.
- Malaria is a serious and occasionally fatal disease that is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no vaccine against malaria.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. This includes covering up, using insect repellent and staying in enclosed air-conditioned accommodations. You may also consider pre-treating clothing and travel gear with insecticides and sleeping under an insecticide-treated bednet.
- See a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic, preferably six weeks before you travel to discuss the benefits of taking antimalarial medication and to determine which one to take.
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Certain infections found in some areas of Central Africa, like ebola, rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that attacks and impairs the immune system, resulting in a chronic, progressive illness known as AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome).
High risk activities include anything which puts you in contact with blood or body fluids, such as unprotected sex and exposure to unsterilized needles for medications or other substances (for example, steroids and drugs), tattooing, body-piercing or acupuncture.
Tuberculosis is an infection caused by bacteria and usually affects the lungs.
For most travellers the risk of tuberculosis is low.
Travellers who may be at high risk while travelling in regions with risk of tuberculosis should discuss pre- and post-travel options with a health care provider.
High-risk travellers include those visiting or working in prisons, refugee camps, homeless shelters, or hospitals, or travellers visiting friends and relatives.
Medical services and facilities
Medical facilities and services are not up to Canadian standards. Even in large cities, medical facilities and supplies can be limited, and it can be difficult to get proper medical care from health professionals. Medical facilities may require some form of payment before accepting a patient. Medical evacuation to Europe may be necessary for cases of serious illness.
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Laws and culture
Laws & culture
You must abide by local laws.
Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe.
Sexual acts between persons of the same sex are prohibited under Cameroonian law.
Avoid taking photographs of airports, ports, military sites, government buildings and service people in uniform. Always ask permission before photographing individuals.
Carry certified copies of identification and travel documents at all times and keep originals in a safe place, such as a hotel safe. Tourist facilities are limited. Avoid shopping on the street. If possible, bring along a guide or buy from established shops.
A Canadian driver’s licence alone is not acceptable to drive in Cameroon. An International Driving Permit is required for visits of up to one year in Cameroon. If you intend to drive in Cameroon for more than one year, you will require a Cameroonian driver’s licence. To obtain a Cameroonian driver's licence, you are required to present your Canadian driver’s licence to the Delegation of Public Transport in your town of residence. The process usually takes only 24 hours.
Dual citizenship is not legally recognized in Cameroon.
If local authorities consider you a citizen of Cameroon, they may refuse to grant you access to Canadian consular services. This will prevent us from providing you with those services.
The currency is the franc de la Coopération financière en Afrique centrale (XAF bank code), which is also used in Chad, the Central African Republic, Congo, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. The West African CFA franc is not valid in Cameroon, and cannot be used or exchanged. The economy is primarily cash-based.
The euro and the U.S. dollar are accepted in major stores and hotels. Credit cards are rarely accepted outside major international hotels. VISA cash advance, money wire-transfer and automated teller machine (ATM) cash services are available at major banks. There are no American Express offices in Cameroon.
Transferring of money out of Cameroon is regulated, and you must obtain authorization from the Ministry of Finance for any such transaction. Transferring funds through a bank is time-consuming, and charges are levied.
High-quality counterfeit new 10,000 CFA franc banknotes have been discovered in circulation in CFA franc zone countries. You should avoid offers of large amounts of banknotes in exchange for foreign currency from anyone other than a reputable exchange bureau.
Business travellers who wish to establish a presence in Cameroon should first employ the services of a local agent. Exercise caution when pursuing venture capital and licensing arrangements. To do business in Cameroon, it is best to first contact the commercial section at the High Commission of Canada in Yaoundé.
Natural disasters and climate
Natural disasters & climate
The rainy season occurs from June to September in the north and from July to November in the south. Travel to certain rural areas may be difficult during these periods, as heavy rains and flash floods can make unpaved roads impassable. Keep informed of regional weather forecasts and plan accordingly.
Mountaineers should consult with local authorities prior to ascending Mount Cameroon. Exercise caution around the Nyos and Monoum volcanic lakes because of periodical toxic fumes.
In case of emergency, dial:
- police: 117
- medical assistance: 119
- firefighters: 118
Yaoundé - High Commission of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the High Commission of Canada in Yaoundé and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.
The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, express or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.
If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
Learn more about consular services.
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