The West Africa country of Cameroon is shaped like a triangle and situated on the Gulf of Guinea, between Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea. Don’t let this small African country fool you – travelers booking flights to Cameroon will find it’s huge on history.
Cameroon was under German rule until after World War I, when it was divided up between France and Britain. The French received the larger share of the country and in the 1960s, French Cameroon gained independence. In the years that followed, sections of British Cameroon joined French Cameroon and became the Republic of Cameroon, and the remaining British people joined neighboring countries. When you step off your flight to Cameroon, you’ll see how wonderfully country has been modernized.
Today, travelers looking to book Cameroon flights and accommodations will find tourism is limited in this country. However, those who do manage to fly to Cameroon will find themselves in a land of lavish landscapes including tropical rainforests and white sand beaches, and rugged mountains and vast desert plains. Wildlife enthusiasts book flights to Cameroon for an exploration of the country’s famous park, Waza National Park. The park is a plethora of animals all cohabiting under one region.
From November to February, southern Cameroon is dry and mild. You will probably see some rain from March to June, but the majority of the wet season takes place between August and September. Temperatures in the rainy season average just below 80 F, and the rest of the year usually sees a drought-like lack of moisture.
Although the country’s beautiful span of nature and wildlife makes any time of the year desirable to fly to Cameroon, first educate yourself on the current travel procedures issued by the US Embassy, which state that security in Cameroon has lessened, and terrorist attacks and violent demonstrations have endangered lives in Douala and Littoral.
Peak/Off Season: Since it’s not exactly known as a tourist destination, it’s easy to find cheap flights to Cameroon any time of the year. With no peaks and no lows, the best bet is to try to avoid the rainy season between November and February, and enjoy the rest of the year.
Once your flight to Cameroon arrives, you’ll want to explore the rest of the country. The railway makes travel from North to South possible. Train service between North and South is generally a reliable way to travel, but can sometimes be delayed. Purchase a first class ticket to ensure your spot on an air-conditioned car. The trip may take longer than expected, but the safety is worth the delay.
Tro-tros are bush taxis, which are the consistently the cheapest and quickest Cameroon travel methods for short distances. Prices are fixed, so you won’t be overcharged, but that doesn’t guarantee you’ll be on time. These rides only leave when they’re completely full, so be prepared to wait a bit.
Agencies are available in most main cities if you’re interested in renting a car, but they are known to be relatively expensive. From Yaounde, other cities are tangible through road trips, but some drives are shorter than others. Duala is only 3 hours away, but Ngaoundere is 12 hours away, Garoua is 18 hours away, and a drive to Maroua will take you an entire day.
The following chart gives approximate journey times (in hours and minutes) from Yaoundé.
Fon’s Palace: Just north of Barmenda, settled in the community of Bafut, lies one of the most powerful kingdoms in the country. Fon is known in Cameroon’s history as a local chief of a 700-year-old dynasty. Rooted in traditional culture, his palace holds a place for his 150 wives, burial sights for those who died while serving him, and an Achum building, which is off limits to all except for him and his crew. The Takombang house holds the ceremonial drum, and if you book your cheap flight to Cameroon in December, you’ll see this house lit with glory for a four-day celebration that marks the end of the ancestor worship.
Mandara Mountains: For more than just a pleasant jaunt in the woods, the Mandara Mountains are a perfect opportunity for those booking cheap flights to Cameroon to endure a physical challenge. The Marou region of the mountains remains the most popular section, riddled with old-style villages, huts, stone formations, and beautiful green valleys to explore. In Rhumsiki village, you’ll be able to enjoy the mountain scenery, while in Maga, you’ll see the handmade clay houses. For an adventure evenly stacked with culture and scenery, the Mandara Mountains top all others.
Waza National Park: Your flight to Cameroon might leave you gasping for a breath of fresh air; head straight to Waza National Park, where a huge variety of wildlife live among one another in accord. Large numbers of elephants, giraffes, hippos, antelopes, monkeys, and birdlife complete the spirit of this familial environment. To see the seldom-spotted lions, make sure to get an early start in the morning, because they roam only in the wee hours of the morning. Book a flight to Cameroon in March or April for the best time to see animals linger around the water hole.
Baka Pygmies: So often we are consumed with the luxuries of travel that we rarely recognize the genuine nature of humanity in culture. Swinging from one metropolis to the next never allows us to see inside the woods of a place where humans and nature collide and symbiotically coexist. The Baka Pygmies are these people. Situated in the rainforest, these hunters and gatherers are fundamentally nomadic people who exchange goods for service and not currency. Deforestation drives them from one place to another, but no matter where they roam, their reliance on the natural world and the gifts they bestow upon it make them the world’s partners. Focused on biological and cultural survival, the Baka tribe are experts on natural medicine and remember information through traditional songs. When settled in a place for more than a few weeks, the tribe will build huts made of mud and wood, called mongulu, and live there until the next urge to move as an organic whole. Though you may not be fortunate enough to come in contact with them, the Baka Pygmies make the natural world of Cameroon that much more intriguing.
(prices quoted are from London)