Exercise a high degree of caution in Cameroon because of the high levels of serious crime and the threat of terrorist attacks. Violent crime is common in residential centres and on rural highways. Armed bandits operate throughout the country. Pay close attention to your personal security at all times. See
Safety and security
Do not travel to the Far North region of Cameroon, or to within 40 kilometres of the borders with Central African Republic (CAR), Chad and Nigeria's Adamawa state because of the threat of terrorist attack, kidnapping and armed banditry. Kidnapping is also a significant risk in the North region: militant group Boko Haram is active in areas near Cameroon's border with Nigeria and has targeted foreigners in the past. See
Safety and security
Do not travel to the Northwest and Southwest regions, including the Bakassi Peninsula, due to the ongoing domestic tensions, threat of localised violence and kidnapping. See
Safety and security
Reconsider your need to travel elsewhere in the North and Adamaoua regions due to the terrorism threat.
- Presidential elections will be held on 7 October 2018. Monitor media about possible safety risks in the lead up to, during and after the elections. Transport, internet connectivity and other services may be limited or unavailable during the election period. Curfews are in effect in some parts of Cameroon. Avoid demonstrations, political events, and large public gatherings. They can turn violent. Follow the instructions of local authorities. See
Safety and security
- Australia has a Consulate in Cameroon headed by an Honorary Consul who can provide limited consular assistance. The
Australian High Commission in Abuja, Nigeria, provides full consular assistance to Australians in Cameroon.
Entry and exit
Visa and other entry and exit conditions (such as currency, customs and quarantine regulations) can change at short notice. Contact the nearest
Embassy or Consulate of Cameroon for the most up to date information.
Yellow Fever occurs in Cameroon. A valid Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate is required for entry to Cameroon.
To protect yourself against this potentially fatal disease and to avoid issues entering Cameroon (and other countries after you leave Cameroon), get vaccinated for yellow fever before you travel. See
Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months from the date you intend to return to Australia.
Your passport is a valuable document and attractive to criminals who may try to use your identity to commit crimes. Always keep it in a safe place.
Be aware of attempts to get access to your passport by deception. If you are forced to hand over your passport, contact the Embassy for advice.
If your passport is lost or stolen, you must notify the Australian Government as soon as possible.
Cameroon is largely a cash economy. The local currency is the Central African Franc (CFCA). US dollars and Euros are widely accepted at hotels and exchangeable for local currency. Australian dollars are not accepted.
Credit card facilities are not widespread. Travellers cheques and credit cards are accepted at major hotels. You’ll need original purchase receipts to cash travellers cheques.
ATMs that accept international cards are limited. Check ATM locations with your bank before you travel.
Be aware of counterfeit currency.
Safety and security
Terrorists are active in the Far North region of Cameroon, including Lake Chad, and in the area within 40 kilometres of the border with Nigeria's Adamawa state.
The security situation in northern Cameroon is directly affected by the violent conflict in northern Nigeria. The Nigeria-based militant group, Boko Haram, is undertaking an extremely violent campaign of terror, centred in the Nigerian states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe. Militants regularly cross the border to carry out attacks in Cameroon's Far North, North and Adamawa regions, including through the use of suicide bombers. In the Far North, suicide bombers have targeted large markets, hotels, parks and sporting venues.
In response, Cameroon has joined its neighbours, including Nigeria, in escalating military operations against Boko Haram. This has adversely affected security in the border regions of Cameroon. There have also been movements of large numbers of people into and across parts of northern Cameroon, including internally displaced persons and refugees from Nigeria.
Terrorist attacks could take place at any time and could target locations frequented by westerners, including tourist, commercial and transport facilities, as well as public places such as markets, places of worship and educational institutions (including schools, colleges and universities).
Do not travel to the Far North region of Cameroon, or to within 40 kilometres of the borders with CAR, Chad and Nigeria's Adamawa state because of the threat of terrorist attack, kidnapping and armed banditry.
Reconsider your need to travel elsewhere in North and Adamawa regions due to the terrorism threat.
- Be particularly alert to suspicious behaviour and items near Cameroonian government and security installations.
Terrorist threat worldwide
There is a very high threat of kidnapping in the Far North region and in areas close to the border with Nigeria's Borno and Adamawa states. Militants have kidnapped several foreigners from this area in recent years.
In March 2015, a number of kidnappings and attempted kidnappings occurred in or new Garoua-Boulai, in the east of Cameroon, near the border with CAR. Foreigners have also been targeted in Northwest and Southwest regions of Cameroon.
The Australian Government's longstanding policy is that it does not make payments or concessions to kidnappers. If you decide to travel to an area where there is a particular threat of kidnapping, seek professional security advice and have effective personal security measures in place.
Civil unrest and political tension
Presidential elections will be held on 7 October 2018. Monitor media about possible safety risks in the lead up to, during and after the elections. Transport, internet connectivity and other services may be limited or unavailable during the election period. Curfews are in effect in some parts of Cameroon.
Tensions in the Northwest and Southwest regions remain high. Do not to travel to the Northwest and Southwest regions, including the region of the Bakassi Peninsula, due to the ongoing tensions, threat of localised violence and kidnapping.
Since March 2018, incidents of violence in the Northwest and Southwest Regions between Anglophone separatists and Cameroon government forces have escalated. Armed clashes and explosions have been reported in the regional capitals of Buea and Bamenda, resulting in injuries and deaths. There are reports of general strikes, telecommunications disruptions and movement restrictions in both regions. Curfews may be in effect. An estimated 160,000 people in Anglophone areas have fled their homes and are internally displaced in Cameroon.
- Civil unrest is also possible in other parts of Cameroon.
- Avoid demonstrations and large public gatherings throughout Cameroon as they can turn violent
- Monitor the news and other sources for information on planned and possible demonstrations
- Follow all instructions issued by local authorities.
Sovereignty of the border area between Cameroon and Nigeria in the region of the Bakassi Peninsula was handed from Nigeria to Cameroon in 2008, following a long period of dispute. Tensions remain high and resettlement of residents is being negotiated. Localised violence between the police and security personnel of both countries can occur without warning.
On occasion, conflict in the CAR has spilled across the border into Cameroon, affecting outposts in the Adamawa and East Regions.
Violent crime, theft and assault
Violent crime is common in residential centres and on rural highways. Armed highwaymen operate throughout the country. Armed banditry is common in the border areas with the CAR.
Carjackings, muggings, robberies and petty theft occur in the capital city, Yaoundé, and in the regional cities of Douala, Kribi and Maroua. In Yaoundé, the suburbs of la Briquetterie, Mokolo and Mvog-Ada are particularly dangerous. Carjackings and armed robberies also happen along roads close to the borders with Nigeria, the CAR and Chad and along the Bamenda-Banyo, Bafoussam-Banyo, Bafoussam-Doula and Bafoussam-Yaoude roads. Petty thieves are active on trains, coaches, bush taxis and around bus stations.
There have been several incidents of robbery and rape committed against foreigners in Douala.
There have been a number of attacks by gangs of armed gunmen on restaurants and hotels known to be used by foreigners.
- Avoid travel after dark, especially outside city limits
- Pay attention to your personal security at all times
- When travelling by car, keep the doors locked, the windows up and valuables out of sight.
If you become a victim of violent crime, including rape, seek immediate medical assistance. The HIV/AIDS infection rate in Cameroon is high.
Commercial and internet fraud often originates in West African countries such as Cameroon. Many victims have been defrauded and those who travel to the originating country have had their lives endangered. Some victims have been killed. Typically, criminals seek details of 'safe' bank accounts overseas (such as yours) in which to transfer large sums of money (as a donation or for a percentage of the amount involved). Others provide fake cashier cheques for 'urgent' shipments of large quantities of goods, request sizeable fees for a fake government contract or extort money from individuals they have convinced to travel to Africa for a business opportunity.
Some Australian citizens have also been defrauded or had their lives endangered by bogus internet friendship, dating and marriage schemes operating from West African countries. These scams typically result from connections made through internet dating schemes or chat rooms. Once a virtual friendship develops, the Australian citizen is asked by their friend or prospective marriage partner to send money to enable travel to Australia. In some cases, the relationship is terminated and there is very little chance of ever recovering the funds. In other cases, foreigners are lured to Africa to meet their friend or prospective marriage partner and they become victims of kidnapping, extortion, assault and/or robbery.
- Be very wary of any request or demand to send money to anyone in Cameroon
- If you are a victim of a financial scam, get legal advice
- Don't travel to Cameroon to try to get your money back if you have been defrauded: there is a significant risk of physical assault or extortion by the perpetrators
- Be very wary of any invitation to Cameroon to meet someone you have met over the internet as you could face extortion, kidnapping or other threats on arrival.
In the past, borders with Cameroon's neighbours have closed with little or no warning. Monitor news and consult travel providers for the latest information.
If you visit Lake Chad, despite our advice not to travel there, get a reliable guide and report to local authorities on arrival.
Driving in Cameroon is hazardous due to poor road conditions, poorly maintained vehicles, local driving practices and inadequate lighting. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) you are five times more likely to be killed in a motor vehicle accident in Cameroon than in Australia.
Road travel during the rainy season (from June to September in the north and from July to November in the south) to some rural areas may be difficult, as heavy rains and flash floods can make roads impassable.
Roadside assistance is non-existent in Cameroon. Nearby crowds have been known to be hostile towards people believed to be at fault in road accidents. Avoid driving at night.
Very poor road conditions make it difficult to depart Cameroon via the land border with Gabon. If you plan to travel this route, plan carefully and travel in convoy wherever possible. As mobile phone coverage is limited, take a VHF radio or satellite phone.
Police checkpoints are common in Cameroon and the police may request payments from drivers and other occupants of the vehicle. If you can't produce identification (residence permit, driver's licence, international driver's permit or certified copy of your passport), you could be detained by the police.
Road safety and driving
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 personnel from using taxis in Cameroon due to the high levels of associated crime.
If you choose to travel by taxi, only use trusted taxis and preferably book one from your hotel or restaurant.
Many rail tracks and trains in Cameroon are in poor condition, but rail travel is possible between Douala, Yaounde and Ngaoundere.
Arrange to be met on arrival at the airport and have confirmed, prearranged transport.
The Australian Government does not provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths. See instead the
Aviation Safety Network website for information on aviation safety in Cameroon.
You are subject to the all local laws and penalties, including those that appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling, especially for an extended stay.
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.
Arrested or in prison
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs may include heavy fines and lengthy imprisonment.
Carrying or using drugs
Carry identification (residence permit or certified copy of your passport) at all times. Failure to produce identification when requested may result in being detained by the police.
While legal in some countries, the following activities are illegal in Cameroon:
- homosexual acts - penalties include prison sentences from six months to five years, and a fine ranging from 20,000 to 200,000 CFCA francs. Attacks and arrests targeting LGBTI individuals have been reported in the media. More information:
- photography of and around military zones, military assets and/or military personnel, government buildings, airports and ports.
Penalties for serious crimes, such as homicide, include the death penalty.
Some Australian criminal laws apply overseas. If you commit these offences, you may be prosecuted in Australia. Laws include those relating to:
- child pornography
child sex tourism
- female genital mutilation
- forced marriage
- drug trafficking
- people smuggling
- bribery of foreign public officials
- money laundering
Staying within the law
Cameroon does not recognise dual nationality. This may limit our ability to provide consular assistance to Australian/Cameroonian dual nationals who are arrested or detained. Travel on your Australian passport at all times.
More information: Dual nationals
There are conservative standards of dress and behaviour in Cameroon. Take care not to offend. If in doubt, seek local advice.
Take out comprehensive travel insurance before you depart to cover overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation.
Remember, regardless of how healthy and fit you are, if you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. The Australian Government will not pay for a traveller's medical expenses overseas or medical evacuation costs. This can be very expensive and cost you many thousands of dollars upfront.
- what circumstances and activities are, and are not, covered under your policy
- that you are covered for the whole time you will be away.
Physical and mental health
It's important to consider your physical and mental health before travelling, especially if you have an existing medical condition.
- At least eight weeks before you depart, see your doctor or travel clinic for a basic health check-up, and to discuss your travel plans and implications for your health.
- Get vaccinated before you travel.
Not all medications available over the counter or by prescription in Australia are available in other countries. Some may even be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.
Before you leave Australia, check if your medication is legal in each country you're travelling to and find out if any quantity restrictions or certification requirements apply. Consult your doctor about alternatives well in advance of travel.
Take legal prescription medicine with you so you remain in good health. Keep all medication in its original labelled packaging. Carry copies of your prescription and a letter from your doctor stating what the medicine is, how much you'll take and that it's for personal use only.
Malaria is prevalent throughout the year. Other insect-borne diseases (including filariasis, dengue fever and African sleeping sickness) also pose risks to travellers.
Cameroon is listed by the World Health Organization (WHO) as endemic for yellow fever. Yellow fever is a potentially fatal viral disease transmitted by mosquitoes that is preventable by vaccination.
Protect yourself against mosquito-borne illnesses:
- get vaccinated against yellow fever
- ensure your accommodation is mosquito proof
- take measures to avoid insect bites, including using always using insect repellent and wearing long, loose fitting, light coloured clothing
- consider taking malaria prevention medication.
The rate of HIV/AIDS infection in Cameroon is high. Exercise appropriate precautions if engaging in activities that expose you to risk of infection.
Other diseases and health issues
Water-borne, food-borne, parasitic and other infectious diseases (including cholera, meningitis, hepatitis, tuberculosis, schistosomiasis, loiasis and river blindness) are widespread.
- Boil drinking water or drink bottled water
- Avoid ice cubes
Seek urgent medical attention if you suspect poisoning, if you have a fever or suffer from diarrhoea.
Medical facilities in urban centres in Cameroon are poor and are extremely limited in rural areas. Medical facilities typically lack trained personnel and have poor sanitation and outdated equipment. Pharmaceuticals are in short supply and poor quality substitutes and counterfeit drugs are often used.
Up-front payment for medical services is usually required. If you can't pay up-front, treatment will likely be delayed.
If you become seriously ill or injured, you would need to be evacuated to a destination with appropriate facilities such as London, Paris or Johannesburg. Medical evacuation could be very expensive. Make sure you have appropriate insurance for your trip.
Natural disasters, severe weather and climate
The rainy season is June to September in the north, and from July to November in the south. During these times flooding may occur and some roads become impassable.
Explosions and lava flows have occurred at Mont Cameroon. You should seek advice from local authorities before climbing.
Be careful around the Nyos and Monoum volcanic lakes because of periodic toxic fumes. Seek advice from local authorities before visiting.
If a natural disaster occurs:
- secure your passport in a safe, waterproof location or carry it on you at all times (in a waterproof bag).
- closely monitor local media and other sources such as the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System
- follow the advice of local authorities
- contact friends and family in Australia with regular updates about your welfare and whereabouts.
More information: Severe weather
Where to get help
Depending on the nature of your enquiry, your best option may be to first contact your family, friends, travel agent, travel insurance provider, employer or airline.
Emergency phone numbers
- Police: 117. Always get a police report when reporting a crime.
There is no national emergency number in Cameroon.
Tourism services and products
For complaints relating to tourism services or products, contact your service provider directly.
Consular Services Charter for information about what the Australian Government can and cannot do for you overseas.
Australia has a Consulate in Cameroon headed by an Honorary Consul. The Consulate provides limited consular assistance and does not issue Australian passports.
Australian Consulate, Yaoundé
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:
Australian High Commission, Abuja
Office mobile: +234 (0) 906 540 5487
Australia in Nigeria
Contact the High Commission to clarify what services are available and/or to make an appointment.
In a consular emergency if you are unable to contact the Consulate in Yaoundé or the Australian High Commission in Abuja, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 from overseas, or 1300 555 135 from within Australia.