World Travelling Guide
World Travelling Guide

Accommodation in Southern Africa and South Africa including accommodation in Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Gauteng, Limpopo Province, North West Province, Free State, Kwazulu-Natal, Mpumalanga

List of Countries
Map of Africa

Cameroon Travelling Guide
Cameroon Travelling Guide

General background: The former French Cameroon and part of British Cameroon merged in 1961 to form the present country. Cameroon has generally enjoyed stability, which has permitted the development of agriculture, roads, and railways, as well as a petroleum industry. Despite movement toward democratic reform, political power remains firmly in the hands of an ethnic oligarchy.

Area comparative: Slightly larger than California

Climate: Varies with terrain, from tropical along coast to semiarid and hot in north

Terrain: Diverse, with coastal plain in southwest, dissected plateau in center, mountains in west, plains in north

Population: 16,184,748

Ethnic groups: Cameroon Highlanders 31%, Equatorial Bantu 19%, Kirdi 11%, Fulani 10%, Northwestern Bantu 8%, Eastern Nigritic 7%, other African 13%, non-African less than 1%

Religions: Indigenous beliefs 40%, Christian 40%, Muslim 20%

Language: 24 major African language groups, English (official), French (official)

Government type: Unitary republic; multiparty presidential regime (opposition parties legalized in 1990)

Capital: Yaounde

Legal system: Based on French civil law system, with common law influence; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Economic overview: Because of its oil resources and favourable agricultural conditions, Cameroon has one of the best-endowed primary commodity economies in sub-Saharan Africa. Still, it faces many of the serious problems facing other underdeveloped countries, such as a top-heavy civil service and a generally unfavourable climate for business enterprise. Since 1990, the government has embarked on various IMF and World Bank programs designed to spur business investment, increase efficiency in agriculture, improve trade, and recapitalize the nation's banks. In June 2000, the government completed an IMF-sponsored, three-year structural adjustment program; however, the IMF is pressing for more reforms, including increased budget transparency and privatisation. International oil and cocoa prices have considerable impact on the economy.

Communication/Telephone system: Available only to business and government. Cable, microwave radio relay, and tropospheric scatter. Satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean).

Places of interest: Elephants and bongos congregate by the hundreds in some of Africa's best wildlife parks, and beachcombers laze on long, isolated beaches.

Travel tips: If you must travel between these locations, stick to the main routes and travel during daylight hours, preferably with the armed escort of Cameroonian security forces. Walking at night around the streets of Douala, Yaoundé and some of the other larger cities is considered extremely unwise.