What You Need To Know
Yaoundé, also spelled Yaunde, city and capital of Cameroon. It is situated on a hilly, forested plateau between the Nyong and Sanaga rivers in the south-central part of the country. The city has grown as an administrative, service, and commercial centre and a communications hub for road, rail, and air transport. Yaoundé contains several small manufacturing and processing industries (a cigarette factory, a brewery, sawmills, and printing presses) and is also the market for one of the richest agricultural areas in the country, the national library and archives are located in the city.
Area: 68.926 km²
Population: 2 440 462 (2011)
- The Cfa is the local currency in Cameroon is called Central African CFA Franc.
- Coins: 1, 2, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, 500 francs
- Notes: 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 ,1,000, 2,000, 5,000 and 10,000 Francs
- Payment by credit card is possible in main supermarkets and petrol stations but less acceptable in smaller shops and restaurants; Visa is the most widely accepted. Confirm in advance with your hotel if you plan to settle a bill by credit card.Some ATMs outside banks in Yaoundé, Douala and other major towns, including at petrol stations, will accept major UK credit cards and supply local currency.Money transfer agencies can be found throughout Cameroon
Yaoundé features a tropical wet and dry climate with constant temperatures throughout the year. However, primarily due to the altitude, temperatures are not quite as hot as one would expect for a city located near the equator. Yaoundé features a lengthy wet season, covering a ten-month span between February and November. However, there is a noticeable decrease in precipitation within the wet season, seen during the months of July and August, almost giving the city the appearance of having two separate rainy seasons.
English and French are official languages, a heritage of Cameroon’s colonial past as a colony of both the United Kingdom and France from 1916 to 1960.
Health and security
- The quality of tap water in Cameroon is a source of worry for many households, in many cases having a reddish colour. The water supply is also an issue. Yaoundé and Douala’s populations are currently facing severe and acute water shortages. These issues regularly feature in the local press. The government of Cameroon is committed to improving the water supply situation in both cities by constructing new facilities. The situation is improving a little but clean drinking water from the tap remains a problem.
- Sunny and humid, most of Cameroon is a breeding ground for anopheles mosquitoes that transmit the malaria parasite. The country’s 20 million people are now on the frontline of the war on malaria in Africa.
- The U.S. State Department rates Cameroon as a Critical threat country for both residential and non-residential crime. High unemployment and an under-equipped police force fuel criminality in Yaounde, Douala, and other towns. Street crime is endemic in major metropolitan areas.
- Victims are pickpocketed at virtually all large gatherings and soccer matches. Thieves often attempt to distract a victim by asking questions or bumping or jostling the individual. While the victim is distracted, an accomplice may snatch a necklace, purse, or wallet. Often the thieves use knives or razor blades to cut valuables out of pockets or handbags. Thieves routinely use motorcycles as a platform to snatch purses. Theft by intimidation or extortion is another popular street crime.
- We advise you to exercise a high degree of caution in Cameroon because of the high levels of serious crime. Pay close attention to your personal security at all times and monitor the media for information about possible new safety or security risks. .
- travel to the Far North region and to within 40 kilometres of the borders with Central African Republic, Chad and Nigeria’s Adamawa state because of the threat of terrorist attack, kidnapping and armed banditry.
- There is a very high threat of kidnapping in the Far North and North regions, where the militant group Boko Haram is active. Foreigners were kidnapped from the Far North region in 2013 and 2014.
- The city’s not really set up for tourists, but some fun things to see are the Mvog Betsi zoo (primates and lions, with a kid’s playground), the Mokolo market (very big and in-your-face), Mont Febe, or maybe the swimming pools of some of the hotels.The city centre houses government offices, some hotels, and the central market. The Bastos neighbourhood, with most homes owned by Cameroonians, is home to foreign embassies and the expatriate European community (drawn mainly from the diplomatic corps). The presidential palace and compound is in the Etoudi neighborhood.