We haven't changed our level of advice:
Exercise a high degree of caution in Cameroon overall.
Higher levels apply in some parts of the country.
Do not travel to the Far North Region and within 40km of borders with Central African Republic, Chad and Nigeria's Adamawa State; the Northwest and Southwest regions, including Bakassi Peninsula.
Do not travel to:
Full travel advice: Safety
Full travel advice: Health
Full travel advice: Local laws
Full travel advice: Travel
Full travel advice: Local contacts
Terrorists are active in the Far North Region of Cameroon. This includes Lake Chad and the area within 40km of the border with Nigeria's Adamawa State.
Violent conflict in northern Nigeria affects the safety of northern Cameroon.
The Nigeria-based militant group, Boko Haram, runs a violent campaign of terror. Its activities centre on the Nigerian states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe.
Militants cross the border to attack the Far North, North and Adamaoua regions of Cameroon.
Cameroon and its neighbours, including Nigeria, are increasing military operations against Boko Haram. The security of Cameroon's border regions has worsened.
Large numbers of people have moved into and across parts of northern Cameroon. This includes displaced Cameroonians and Nigerian refugees.
Terrorist attacks could take place at any time. Attacks may target:
To reduce your risk, be alert to suspicious behaviour and items near Cameroonian government and security installations.
Terrorism is a threat worldwide.
Kidnapping is a risk in Cameroon. The threat is very high in:
Militants have kidnapped several foreigners from this area in recent years.
Kidnappers have also targeted foreigners in the Northwest and Southwest regions.
The Australian Government's longstanding policy is that it does not make payments or concessions to kidnappers.
If, despite our advice, you decide to travel to an area where there's a risk of kidnapping:
Curfews are in place in some parts of Cameroon. Obey all curfews and movement restrictions.
Tensions in the Northwest and Southwest regions have increased since March 2018 and remain high. This is due to conflict between Anglophone separatists and Cameroon government forces. Avoid these regions, including the Bakassi Peninsula, due to the threats of localised violence and kidnapping.
People have been killed and injured in armed clashes and explosions in the regional capitals of Buea and Bamenda.
The Northwest and Southwest regions may have:
About 160,000 people in Anglophone areas have fled their homes. They are displaced in Cameroon.
After a long dispute, Nigeria handed the Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroon in 2008. Tensions remain high. Cameroon is negotiating the resettlement of residents. Localised violence between the police and security forces of both countries occurs without warning.
Sometimes conflict in the Central African Republic (CAR) has spilled across the border into Cameroon. That conflict mostly affects outposts in the Adamaoua and East regions.
Parliamentary elections are planned for 9 February 2020. Demonstrations could occur before, during and after the elections.
Public protests and events that draw large groups of people can turn violent.
Civil unrest is possible in other parts of Cameroon, not only the Northwest and Southwest regions.
To protect yourself during periods of unrest:
Violent crime is common in residential centres and on rural highways. Armed highwaymen operate across the country.
Armed bandits are common in the border areas with the CAR.
Carjackings, muggings, robberies and petty theft occur in:
In Yaoundé, the suburbs of la Briquetterie, Mokolo and Mvog-Ada are very dangerous.
Criminals target roads close to the borders with Nigeria, the CAR and Chad.
Carjackings and armed robberies also occur on:
Thieves are active on trains, coaches, bush taxis and around bus stations. Always take care of your belongings when using public transport.
Foreigners have reported several incidents of robbery and rape in Douala.
Gangs of armed gunmen have attacked restaurants and hotels that cater to foreigners.
To reduce your risk of crime:
If you become a victim of violent crime, including rape, seek medical help straight away. The HIV/AIDS infection rate in Cameroon is high. See Health.
Commercial and internet fraud often originates in West African countries, such as Cameroon.
Online scammers defraud victims. Victims who have travelled to the originating country have put their lives in danger. Some victims have been killed.
Criminals often seek details of 'safe' bank accounts overseas, such as yours. They claim they will transfer large sums of money into the account. Victims believe they will get a donation or a percentage of the amount involved.
Be aware of other scams where criminals:
To protect yourself against a scam, be wary of:
Don't travel to Cameroon to try to get your money back.
If you're a victim of a financial scam, get legal advice.
Criminals in West Africa operate fake online friendship, dating and marriage schemes.
Scammers use these schemes to defraud and threaten the lives of Australians. They do this by targeting Australians and other foreigners on internet dating sites or chat rooms. They may pose as a prospective friend or spouse.
Once a friendship develops, the scammer asks for money to allow them to travel to Australia. In some cases, the scammer ends the relationship once the money has been sent. There's little chance of getting the money back.
In other cases, foreigners are lured to Africa to meet their prospective friend or marriage partner.
Once in Africa, they may become the victim of:
Cameroon experiences severe weather, including flooding and volcanic eruptions.
To protect yourself during a natural disaster:
The rainy season is:
Rain may cause flooding and make roads impassable.
Mount Cameroon is an active volcano that may experience explosions and lava flows. Ask local authorities before climbing it.
Nyos and Monoum volcanic lakes sometimes give off toxic fumes. Seek advice from local authorities before visiting.
Get comprehensive travel insurance before you leave. Your policy needs to cover all overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation. The Australian Government won’t pay for these costs.
If you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. This applies to everyone, no matter how healthy and fit you are.
If you're not insured, you may have to pay many 1000s of dollars up-front for medical care.
Consider your physical and mental health before you travel, especially if you have an existing medical condition.
See your doctor or travel clinic to:
Do this at least 8 weeks before you leave.
Not all medication available over the counter or by prescription in Australia is available in other countries. Some may even be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.
If you plan to bring any medication, check if it's legal in Cameroon. Take enough legal medicine for your trip.
Carry a copy of your prescription and a letter from your doctor stating:
Malaria is prevalent throughout the year.
Other insect-borne diseases include:
Yellow fever is widespread in Cameroon. Yellow fever is a potentially fatal virus spread by mosquitoes. It's prevented by vaccination. Get vaccinated before you travel.
To protect yourself from diseases spread by insects:
Consider taking medicine to prevent malaria.
The rate of HIV/AIDS infection in Cameroon is high. Take precautions before you do anything that puts you at risk of infection.
Waterborne, foodborne, parasitic and other infectious diseases are widespread. These include:
To protect yourself from these diseases:
Seek medical advice if you have a fever or diarrhoea or you suspect poisoning.
Medical facilities in urban centres are poor. They're extremely limited in rural areas.
Medical facilities often lack trained staff. They have poor hygiene and outdated equipment.
Medication is in short supply. Health services often use poor quality substitutes and counterfeit drugs.
You'll usually need to pay upfront for hospitals and surgeries. If you don't, the hospital may delay your treatment.
If you become seriously ill or injured, you'll need to be evacuated to a place with suitable facilities. This might include London, Paris or Johannesburg.
Medical evacuation can be very expensive. Make sure you have the right insurance for your trip.
You are subject to the all local laws and penalties, including those that appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling.
If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our Consular Services Charter, but we can't get you out of jail.
Carrying, using or selling illegal drugs attracts heavy fines and lengthy jail time.
Always carry proof of your identification (ID). A residence permit or a certified copy of your passport.
You might be detained by police if you can't show valid ID.
Penalties for serious crime, such as murder, include the death penalty.
Same-sex relationships are illegal. Penalties for same-sex activity include both:
The media has reported attacks and arrests targeting LGBTI people.
It's illegal to take photos of:
Some Australian criminal laws still apply when you’re overseas. If you break these laws, you may face prosecution in Australia.
Standards of dress and behaviour are conservative in Cameroon. Take care not to offend. If in doubt, seek local advice.
Entry and exit conditions can change at short notice. You can contact the nearest High Commission of the Republic of Cameroon for the latest details. They will tell you about visas, currency, customs and other travel requirements.
You may need a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate to enter Cameroon, and neighbouring countries.
To protect yourself and to avoid entry issues, get vaccinated for yellow fever before you travel. See Health
Find out about returning to Australia after exposure to yellow fever.
Some countries won’t let you enter unless your passport is valid for 6 months after you plan to leave that country. This can apply even if you’re just transiting or stopping over.
Some foreign governments and airlines apply the rule inconsistently. Travellers can receive conflicting advice from different sources.
You can end up stranded if your passport is not valid for more than 6 months.
The Australian Government does not set these rules. Check your passport’s expiry date before you travel. If you’re not sure it’ll be valid for long enough, consider getting a new passport.
Your passport is a valuable document. It's attractive to people who may try to use your identity to commit crimes.
Some people may try to trick you into giving them your passport. Always keep it in a safe place.
If your passport is lost or stolen, tell the Australian Government as soon as possible:
Cameroon is largely a cash economy.
The local currency is the Central African CFA Franc (XAF).
Hotels accept US dollars and euros. You can exchange US dollars and euros for local currency. Australian dollars are not accepted.
Credit card facilities are not widespread. Major hotels accept traveller's cheques and credit cards. You’ll need original purchase receipts to cash traveller's cheques.
ATMs that accept international cards are limited. Check ATM locations with your bank before you travel.
Be aware of counterfeit currency.
In the past, borders with Cameroon's neighbours have closed with little or no warning. Monitor news and consult travel providers for the latest updates.
If you visit Lake Chad, despite our advice, get a reliable guide and report to local authorities on arrival.
Driving in Cameroon is dangerous. Hazards include:
You're 5 times more likely to be killed in a car accident in Cameroon than in Australia.
Roadside assistance is non-existent in Cameroon.
If bystanders believe you are at fault in a road accident, they may become hostile.
Avoid driving at night.
Road travel during the rainy season may be difficult. Heavy rains and flash floods can make roads impassable. See flooding in Safety
Very poor road conditions make it difficult to cross the land border with Gabon. If you plan to take this route:
Police checkpoints are common in Cameroon. Police may ask drivers and passengers to pay money.
Police might detain you if you can't show identification (ID). Make sure you carry one of the following:
Taxis in cities operate like buses, picking up passengers while there is still room in the vehicle. They often take indirect routes.
Many don't meet basic safety requirements.
There have been reports of violent assaults and robberies of taxi passengers.
The US Embassy in Yaoundé prohibits its staff from using taxis. This is due to the high levels of associated crime.
If you choose to travel by taxi, only use trusted taxis. Preferably book one from your hotel or restaurant.
Rail travel is possible between Douala, Yaoundé and Ngaoundere. However, many rail tracks and trains in Cameroon are in poor condition.
Arrange for someone to meet you on arrival at the airport. Make sure you have confirmed, prearranged transport.
DFAT doesn't provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths.
Check Cameroon's air safety profile with the Aviation Safety Network.
Depending on what you need, contact your:
Call 119 or go to the hospital.
Always get a police report when reporting a crime.
Your insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.
Contact your provider with any complaints about tourist services or products.
Read the Consular Services Charter for information about what the Australian Government can and can't do for you overseas.
Australia has a consulate in Cameroon. It provides limited consular assistance and doesn't issue Australian passports.
BAT Compound Bastos,
BP 7063 Yaoundé
Republic of Cameroon
Phone: (+237) 222 217 442
Fax: (+237) 222 208 431
Mobile: (+237) 696 802 662
Limited consular services are also available from the Australian High Commission in Nigeria.
Contact the High Commission to ask what services are available or to make an appointment.
In a consular emergency, if you're unable to contact an embassy, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on:
Be the first to know official government advice when travelling.