Cameroon travel advice
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- Risk level
- Safety and security
- Entry and exit requirements
- Laws and culture
- Natural disasters and climate
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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 extremist group Boko Haram, banditry and kidnappings.
Borders with Nigeria, Chad and the Central African Republic - Avoid all travel
Avoid all travel to areas within 30 km of the borders with Nigeria, Chad and the Central African Republic (CAR), due to the risk of kidnapping, 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, the risk of kidnapping and banditry.
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 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.
Safety and security
Far North region and Mayo-Louti Department
The growing presence of extremist groups has increased the risk of terrorist acts, kidnappings and banditry.
There have been several suicide bomb attacks in public places of major urban areas, resulting in several deaths and injuries. Fighting between Cameroonian security forces and Boko Haram combatants is often very violent.
North-West and South-West regions
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.
Unofficial road blocks could be set up by armed groups.
At any time, local authorities could impose movement restrictions, and telecommunications could be disrupted.
Various forms of banditry occur in this area due to its isolated location.
Curfews can be imposed on short notice.
Always comply with the directives issued by local authorities.
Assaults, burglaries and armed robberies occur in major urban centres and on main roads.
Snatch-and-grab theft is common. Don’t resist robberies, as perpetrators may use violence.
In the community of Melong, foreign tourists are often targeted for violent assault and theft. Avoid hiking around the region.
Avoid staying at hotels in the Mount Manengouba and Jumeaux lakes areas.
Theft is prevalent and occurs on trains, buses and taxis. Violent assaults on taxi passengers are frequent. Some hotels offer a shuttle service from Yaoundé Nsimalen International 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 Briqueterie, Mokolo and Mvog Ada
- Don’t show signs of affluence
There’s a threat of terrorism.
Since June 2020, several incidents involving improvised explosive devices have been reported in Yaoundé. These devices have been concealed in public places and detonated remotely. The explosions resulted in several injuries.
Remain vigilant at all times, but especially in public places such as:
- restaurants, bars, and cafes
- shopping malls and markets
- tourist attractions
- hotels and other places frequented by foreigners
Targets could include the following locations:
- government buildings, including schools
- places of worship
- airports and other transportation hubs and networks
Attempted fraud is frequently reported in Cameroon.
Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.
- Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
- Follow the instructions of local authorities
- Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations
- Always carry with you photo identification such as your passport
- Keep a photocopy of your passport in a safe place, in case it’s lost or confiscated.
Fuel shortages occur occasionally, especially during holiday periods in December and January.
Local authorities may impose rationing measures for fuel. These measures could lead to a reduction of essential services and line-ups at gas stations.
- Plan accordingly
- Keep a supply fuel on hand
Power outages occur regularly across the country and can last more than 8 hours. Not all buildings have generators.
Power outages could impact essential services, such as:
- public transportation, including flights
- medical services
- the public water supply
- banking transactions
- the purchase of basic necessities
Tourism infrastructure is limited.
If you are planning to travel to remote areas:
- plan your trip accordingly
- keep a supply of water, food and fuel on hand
- make sure you always have a complete emergency kit
- bring a cell phone, charger and local emergency numbers
- use a reputable tour operator
Major roads are in good condition but secondary roads are damaged and unsafe, particularly during the rainy season.
Driving can be dangerous due to:
- reckless driving and lack of respect for traffic laws
- poorly maintained vehicles
- the presence of livestock and pedestrians on the roadway
- the lack of signage
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.
If your are planning to travel overland:
- keep a supply of water, food and fuel
- bring a reliable means of communication, such as a cellular telephone (in areas with reliable service), a satellite telephone or a VHF radio
Local police erect roadblocks throughout the country, and you may be expected to pay them. 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.
Carry certified copies of your identification and travel documents with you at all times, and keep the original documents in a secure place.
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 or Tiko, Cameroon, and Calabar, Nigeria.
Live Piracy Report - International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Centre
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
Entry and exit requirements
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 the Foreign Representatives 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.
Passport with “X” gender identifier
While the Government of Canada issues passports with an “X” gender identifier, it cannot guarantee your entry or transit through other countries. You might face entry restrictions in countries that do not recognize the “X” gender identifier. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.
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 foreign representative 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.
Due to the ongoing outbreak of Ebola virus disease in neighbouring countries you may be subject to a quick thermal scanner screening and/or a health questionnaire at the airports upon boarding or disembarking a plane and at land border crossings. If you are travelling from the Democratic Republic of Congo, you may also be asked to provide the address where you will reside during your stay in Cameroon, as well as a telephone number to contact you.
Children and travel
Learn more about travelling with children.
Proof of polio vaccination
Visitors 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).
This section contains information on possible health risks and restrictions regularly found or ongoing in the destination. Follow this advice to lower your risk of becoming ill while travelling. Not all risks are listed below.
Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably 6 weeks before you travel to get personalized health advice and recommendations.
Some of these vaccinations include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.
Pre-travel vaccines and medications
You may be at risk for preventable diseases while travelling in this destination. Talk to a travel health professional about which medications or vaccines may be right for you, based on your destination and itinerary.
There is a risk of hepatitis A in this destination. It is a disease of the liver. People can get hepatitis A if they ingest contaminated food or water, eat foods prepared by an infectious person, or if they have close physical contact (such as oral-anal sex) with an infectious person, although casual contact among people does not spread the virus.
Practise safe food and water precautions and wash your hands often. Vaccination is recommended for all travellers to areas where hepatitis A is present.
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 yellow fever vaccination for travellers from all countries.
- Vaccination is recommended.
- Contact a designated Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre well in advance of their trip to arrange for vaccination.
- Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care professional.
- 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.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.
Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.
Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.
This destination is in the African Meningitis Belt, an area which has the highest rates of meningococcal disease in the world. Meningococcal disease is a serious and sometimes fatal infection.
Travellers who are at higher risk should discuss vaccination with a health care provider. 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.
Hepatitis B is a risk in every destination. It is a viral liver disease that is easily transmitted from one person to another through exposure to blood and body fluids containing the hepatitis B virus. Travellers who may be exposed to blood or other bodily fluids (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) are at higher risk of getting hepatitis B.
Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for all travellers. Prevent hepatitis B infection by practicing safe sex, only using new and sterile drug equipment, and only getting tattoos and piercings in settings that follow public health regulations and standards.
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious viral disease. It can spread from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.
It is recommended that all eligible travellers complete a COVID-19 vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada before travelling. Evidence shows that vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. While vaccination provides better protection against serious illness, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19. Anyone who has not completed a vaccine series is at increased risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and is at greater risk for severe disease when travelling internationally.
Before travelling, verify your destination’s COVID-19 vaccination entry/exit requirements. Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.
The flu occurs worldwide.
- In the Northern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs from November to April.
- In the Southern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs between April and October.
- In the tropics, there is flu activity year round.
The flu vaccine available in one hemisphere may only offer partial protection against the flu in the other hemisphere.
The flu virus spreads from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Clean your hands often and wear a mask if you have a fever or respiratory symptoms.
Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease that is caused by parasites spread through the bites of mosquitoes.
Malaria is a risk to travellers to this destination.
Antimalarial medication is recommended for most travellers to this destination and should be taken as recommended. Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic before travelling to discuss your options. It is recommended to do this 6 weeks before travel, however, it is still a good idea any time before leaving.
Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times:
- Cover your skin and use an approved insect repellent on uncovered skin.
- Exclude mosquitoes from your living area with screening and/or closed, well-sealed doors and windows.
- Use insecticide-treated bed nets if mosquitoes cannot be excluded from your living area.
- Wear permethrin-treated clothing.
If you develop symptoms similar to malaria when you are travelling or up to a year after you return home, see a health care professional immediately. Tell them where you have been travelling or living.
In this destination, rabies is commonly carried by dogs and some wildlife, including bats. Rabies is a deadly disease that spreads to humans primarily through bites or scratches from an infected animal. While travelling, take precautions, including keeping your distance from animals (including free-roaming dogs), and closely supervising children.
If you are bitten or scratched by a dog or other animal while travelling, immediately wash the wound with soap and clean water and see a health care professional. In this destination, rabies treatment may be limited or may not be available, therefore you may need to return to Canada for treatment.
Before travel, discuss rabies vaccination with a health care professional. It may be recommended for travellers who are at high risk of exposure (e.g., occupational risk such as veterinarians and wildlife workers, children, adventure travellers and spelunkers, and others in close contact with animals).
Polio (poliomyelitis) is an infectious disease that can be prevented by vaccination. It is caused by poliovirus type 1, 2 or 3. Circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus 2 (cVDPV2) is present in this country.
Polio is spread from person to person and through contaminated food and water. Infection with the polio virus can cause paralysis and death in individuals of any age who are not immune.
Safe food and water precautions
Many illnesses can be caused by eating food or drinking beverages contaminated by bacteria, parasites, toxins, or viruses, or by swimming or bathing in contaminated water.
- Learn more about food and water precautions to take to avoid getting sick by visiting our eat and drink safely abroad page. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
- Avoid getting water into your eyes, mouth or nose when swimming or participating in activities in freshwater (streams, canals, lakes), particularly after flooding or heavy rain. Water may look clean but could still be polluted or contaminated.
- Avoid inhaling or swallowing water while bathing, showering, or swimming in pools or hot tubs.
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 children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.
Travellers visiting regions with a risk of typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation, should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.
Cholera is a risk in parts of this country. Most travellers are at very low risk.
To protect against cholera, all travellers should practise safe food and water precautions.
Travellers at higher risk of getting cholera include those:
- visiting, working or living in areas with limited access to safe food, water and proper sanitation
- visiting areas where outbreaks are occurring
Vaccination may be recommended for high-risk travellers, and should be discussed with a health care professional.
Insect bite prevention
Many diseases are spread by the bites of infected insects such as mosquitoes, ticks, fleas or flies. When travelling to areas where infected insects may be present:
- Use insect repellent (bug spray) on exposed skin
- Cover up with light-coloured, loose clothes made of tightly woven materials such as nylon or polyester
- Minimize exposure to insects
- Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in buildings that are not fully enclosed
To learn more about how you can reduce your risk of infection and disease caused by bites, both at home and abroad, visit our insect bite prevention page.
Find out what types of insects are present where you’re travelling, when they’re most active, and the symptoms of the diseases they spread.
Zika virus is a risk in this country.
Zika virus is primarily spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. It can also be sexually transmitted. Zika virus can cause serious birth defects.
During your trip:
- Prevent mosquito bites at all times.
- Use condoms correctly or avoid sexual contact, particularly if you are pregnant.
If you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, you should discuss the potential risks of travelling to this destination with your health care provider. You may choose to avoid or postpone travel.
For more information, see Zika virus: Pregnant or planning a pregnancy.
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.
African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness) is caused by a parasite spread through the bite of a tsetse fly. Tsetse flies usually bite during the day and the bites are usually painful. If untreated, the disease is eventually fatal. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Protect yourself from bites especially in game parks and rural areas. Avoid wearing bright or dark-coloured clothing as these colours attract tsetse flies. There is no vaccine available for this disease.
Some infections, such as rabies and influenza, can be shared between humans and animals. Certain types of activities may increase your chance of contact with animals, such as travelling in rural or forested areas, camping, hiking, and visiting wet markets (places where live animals are slaughtered and sold) or caves.
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, livestock (pigs, cows), monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats, and to avoid eating undercooked wild game.
Closely supervise children, as they are more likely to come in contact with animals.
Mpox (monkeypox) is a risk in this country. It is a viral disease that can cause serious illness in some circumstances. Risk is generally low for most travellers.
Mpox spreads in 3 ways:
- from animals to humans through direct contact or by eating or preparing undercooked meat of infected animals or coming into contact with an infected animal's body fluids
- from person to person through close contact, including direct contact with the skin lesions, blood, body fluids, or mucosal surfaces (such as eyes, mouth, throat, genitalia, anus, or rectum) of an infected person
- through direct contact with contaminated objects such as bedding and towels, or by sharing personal objects used by an infected person
Follow recommended public health measures and avoid contact with animals such as rodents and primates to help prevent getting or spreading the infection.
Stay home if you’re sick and practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette, which includes coughing or sneezing into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand. Reduce your risk of colds, the flu and other illnesses by:
- washing your hands often
- avoiding or limiting the amount of time spent in closed spaces, crowded places, or at large-scale events (concerts, sporting events, rallies)
- avoiding close physical contact with people who may be showing symptoms of illness
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), HIV, and mpox are spread through blood and bodily fluids; use condoms, practise safe sex, and limit your number of sexual partners. Check with your local public health authority pre-travel to determine your eligibility for mpox vaccine.
Medical services and facilities
Medical facilities and services are not up to Canadian standards.
Even in large cities, medical supplies and facilities 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.
Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.
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
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.
2SLGBTQI+ travellers should carefully consider the risks of travelling to Cameroon.
Avoid taking photographs of:
- military sites
- government buildings
- uniformed service people.
Always ask permission before photographing individuals.
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 stay 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.
You should always carry your driving permit and your vehicle’s registration documents.
In the event of an accident
To obtain assistance in the event of an accident, go to the police station or gendarmerie closest to you.
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.
International Child Abduction
The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty. It can help parents with the return of children who have been removed to or retained in certain countries in violation of custody rights. It does not apply between Canada and Cameroon.
If your child was wrongfully taken to, or is being held in Cameroon by an abducting parent:
- act as quickly as you can
- consult a lawyer in Canada and in Cameroon to explore all the legal options for the return of your child
- report the situation to the nearest Canadian government office abroad or to the Vulnerable Children’s Consular Unit at Global Affairs Canada by calling the Emergency Watch and Response Centre.
If your child was removed from a country other than Canada, consult a lawyer to determine if The Hague Convention applies.
Be aware that Canadian consular officials cannot interfere in private legal matters or in another country’s judicial affairs.
- International Child Abduction: A Guidebook for Left-Behind Parents
- Travelling with children
- Canadian embassies and consulates by destination
- Emergency Watch and Response Centre
The currency is the Central African CFA franc (XAF). The West African CFA franc is not legal 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.
Transferring 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.
Natural disasters and climate
Mountaineers should consult with local authorities prior to ascending Mount Cameroon.
Exercise caution around the Nyos and Monoun volcanic lakes because they periodically release toxic gas.
The rainy or monsoon 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
- Plan accordingly
In case of emergency, dial:
- police: 117
- medical assistance: 119
- firefighters: 118
Yaoundé - High Commission of Canada
Chad, Central African Republic, Gabon
Douala - Honorary consul 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, expressed 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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