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Cameroon is in Central Africa. It borders Nigeria to the west, Chad to the northeast, the Central African Republic to the east and Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and the Republic of the Congo to the south. While Cameroon is not the largest country in Africa, in some ways it's as large as Africa itself. Known as "Africa in miniature" it features French and English speaking portions, Muslim and Christian dominated regions, the tallest mountain in Central Africa and terrain that includes rain forest, desert plains, mountains and high plateau. (less...) (more...)
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The territory of present day Cameroon was first settled during the Neolithic period. Portuguese sailors reached the coast in 1472. Over the following few centuries, European interests regularised trade with the coastal peoples, and Christian missionaries pushed inland. In the early 19th century, Modibo Adama led Fulani soldiers on a jihad in the north against non-Muslim and partially Muslim peoples and established the Adamawa Emirate. Settled peoples who fled the Fulani caused a major redistribution of population.
The German Empire claimed the territory as the colony of Kamerun in 1884 and began a steady push inland. With the defeat of Germany in World War I, Kamerun became a League of Nations mandate territory and was split into French Cameroun and British Cameroons in 1919. The French carefully integrated the economy of Cameroun with that of France and improved the infrastructure with capital investments, skilled workers, and continued forced labour.
The British administered their territory from neighbouring Nigeria. Natives complained that this made them a neglected "colony of a colony". The League of Nations mandates were converted into United Nations Trusteeships in 1946, and the question of independence became a pressing issue in French Cameroun. France outlawed the most radical political party, the Union des Populations du Cameroun (UPC), on 13 July 1955. This prompted a long guerrilla war. In British Cameroons, the question was whether to reunify with French Cameroun or join Nigeria.
On 1 January 1960, French Cameroun gained independence from France under President Ahmadou Ahidjo, and on 1 October 1961, the formerly British Northern Cameroons became a part of Nigeria, while the formerly British Southern Cameroons united with its neighbour to form the Federal Republic of Cameroon.
Varies with terrain, from tropical along the coast to semiarid and hot in the north. If you are going during the summer, plan on lots of rain every day. It might be cold up in the mountains, especially at nights.
There are plenty of good restaurants:
- Bonapriso quarter: Sorento, Bistrot Latin, Peche Mignon, Oriental Garden (Chinese), Alladin (Lebanese), Paradise (nice English bar), Piccolla Venezia (Italian), Ovalie (classy, expensive), Le Bouchon Lyonaise (French), Le BOJ (French), Le Cabanon
- Bonanjo quarter: Chez Wou (Chinese), La Cigalle
- Akwa quarter: Le Senat (great jazz in the evening), White House (local), Mediterrannee (Greek, good pizzas), La Fourchette (French), Le Foyer du Marin aka German Seamen's Club (German)
- by the waterfront: Le Mangrove (fresh fish & prawns), Le Dernier Comptoire Colonial (last sclaves trading post)
If you are on a very low budget, try Chez Kali in Bonapriso (towards the Energy Club - fitness). Safe food at very low price. Mont Febe, Hilton Hotel and hotel le depute in Yaounde, Atlantic Beach Hotel, Mirama hotel, Guest House hotel and Park hotel in Limbe, 3813 in Tiko, Miss Bright in Buea and Meridien hotel Douala.
- Ndole - often considered the national dish
- Mielie meal
Always check “best before” when buying a bottle - some drinks are way out of date.
Avoid drinking tap water, even in restaurants. Bottled water can be found most anywhere at reasonable prices. Expect to pay XAF400 for 1.5 L in the major cities, more in more remote areas.
Coca-Cola is available everywhere. For something different try one of the flavourful TOP sodas. They are much sweeter than most European or North American sodas but they are very tasty.
Cameroon is rich with choice when it comes to good beer due to its past as a German and later French colony. Bottled Guinness can be found everywhere although in the heat, try one of the excellent lighter beers such as Castel, Beaufort, Mützig, Isenbeck, Satzenbrau or 33. These are inexpensive and excellent in the heat. Castel Milk Stout is an excellent choice for those who like darker beer. Outside of the cities you will sometimes be hard pressed to find them chilled (due to a lack of electricity).
The Central African CFA franc (XAF) is used by Cameroon. It is also used by the Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. While strictly a separate currency from the Western African CFA franc (XOF), the two currencies are used interchangeably at par throughout all CFA franc (XAF & XOF) using countries.
Both CFA francs are guaranteed by the French treasury and are pegged to the euro at €1 = XAF655.957
ATM's - Visa ATM withdrawals are possible in many banks - for example, SGBC - which can be found in most major cities. ATMs to the MasterCard/Maestro/Cirrus network are nonexistent. Cash advances are NOT available as of December 2007.
Some good ways to spend your money include local handicrafts in Marche de Fleurs (Douala - Bonapriso quarter) and on fresh fish and prawns in Youppe village close to Douala (early morning).
Unless you are in stores and restaurants, you must bargain for everything. Demand 20-50% of the first price requested.
This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Cameroon on Wikivoyage.
Cities in Cameroon
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Yaounde is the capital of Cameroon.
- National Museum of Yaounde
- University of Yaounde
- Stade Omnisports
- Art Museum
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Douala is the largest city and the commercial centre of Cameroon.
- Stade de la Reunification
- Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul
- La Nouvelle Liberte
- Port of Douala
- Eko Market
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Limbe is in the South West Region of Cameroon. It is a cosmopolitan city with a blend of various cultures which originated due to the hospitality of the people and western influence. This is one of the first cities in Cameroon to get in contact with the whites. The sanitation in Limbe is the best in Cameroon, ... (read more)
Points of Interest in Cameroon
Visit the Limbe Botanic Garden, Benedictine Museum of Mont Febe, National Museum of Yaounde and the Kribi. These are famous attractions in the city of Yaounde, meant for tourists.
National Museum of Yaounde - Yaounde
Mount Cameroon - Buea
Waza National Park - Maroua
Bouba Njida National Park - Tchollire
Korup National Park - Mamfe
Faro Reserve - N Gaoundere
University of Yaounde - Yaounde
Stade Omnisports - Yaounde
Benoue National Park - Tchollire