Cameroon Driving Guide
Cameroon is a unique beautiful country. Explore all of it by driving when you get your International Driving Permit
Cameroon, also known as the Republic of Cameroon, is a Central African nation located on the Gulf of Guinea. Although this country is not an ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) member state, it is historically and geographically in West Africa. Cameroon is referred to as West African or Central African due to its strategic position at the crossroads between Central Africa and the West. The Republic of Cameroon houses over 250 native languages spoken by nearly 25 million people.
The word Cameroon came from the Portuguese word, Camaroes, which means shrimps. In 1472, the Portuguese sailor Fernando Poo arrived in the Wouri River in Douala and discovered several shrimp in the river, so he decided to call it Rio Dos Camaroes, which means river of shrimps. From this word, the country derived its name, which has a spelling in various forms.
How Can This Guide Help You?
Visiting a foreign country for several days and not knowing even little information about the country you’re seeing could lead to a hassle. This guide aims to provide you with the vital information you need to have a worry-free adventure when visiting Cameroon. This guide includes facts about the country, history, driving jobs in Cameroon, driving test in Cameroon, people of Cameroon, and everything you need to know before driving on the Cameroon map.
Going on a road trip could be the best thing you can do when you visit Cameroon. Aside from saving you from the hassle of transportation, you have the choice to stop and what places you would like to stopover to get some rest, relax, and enjoy the area. To make driving on the Cameroon map possible, you will first need to get a driving license in Cameroon and visit a driving school in Cameroon.
Cameroon has a land area of 475,650 square kilometers, which is almost as large as Spain and slightly larger than the US state, California. The country’s southern and coastal regions are characterized by dense vegetation, a vast river system, and a hot, humid climate with abundant rainfall. In May 1972, Cameroon became a United Republic, and in 1984, the country became the Republic of Cameroon.
This country resides in: Gulf of Guinea in the South West; Nigeria in the North West; The Republic of Congo, Gabon, and Equatorial Guinea in the South; the Central African Republic and Chad in the East; and has a narrow lakefront of Lake Chad in the North. The country’s capital, Yaoundé, is the second-largest city of the country and its political capital. The country’s largest city, Douala, is its main port and economic prosperity of its commercial and industrial activities.
There are other major urban centers in the country, such as: Edea, which focuses on heavy industry and hydro-power plants; Limbe, which focuses on headquarters of the oil industry; and Kribi, the terminal of the Chad-Cameroon pipeline. The Germs colonized this area in 1884; however, at the end of the First World War, the League of Nations mandated the country to the British and French governments.
The League of Nations mandated the country to the French and British governments, which explains the languages used by people in this country. The country has two official languages: English and French; however, French is the most understood language in which more than 80% of the locals speak it. The government encourages people to use bilingualism in English and French in official government documents, legislation, ballots, etc.
Almost 20 million citizens also speak approximately 250 other languages of the country, which is because Cameroon is known as one of the most linguistically diverse countries in the world. In the northern regions of Cameroon, the Fulani language, known as Fulfulde, is the primary language, with French merely serving as the administrative language. In 2017, the anglophone population started a language protests against perceived oppression.
Cameroon has a total land area of 475,650 square kilometers, making it the 53rd-largest country in the world. This place is slightly larger than the state of California and the nation of Sweden. In terms of similarity, Cameroon is comparable in size to Papua New Guinea. Cameroon has five major geographic zones, which can have various dominant physical, climatic, and vegetative features.
The Germans colonized the country during 1884, but when World War I came to an end, the League of Nations mandated the country to the French and British governments. France took the more extensive sector, formerly known as East Cameroon, while Britain took responsibility for the West Cameroon, formerly known as “Cameroon under British Administration.”
One of the first groups to settle in the country are the Bantu speakers, followed by the Muslim Fulani in the 18th and 19th centuries. The land was set free from colonial rule in 1884, where the treaties with tribal chiefs brought the country under German domination. After World War I, the League of Nations gave the French a piece of over 80% of the country and the British 20% adjacent to Nigeria.
Tourism in Cameroon is a growing but relatively minor industry because, since the 1970s, the Cameroon government cultivated the industry by manufacturing a ministry of tourism and encouraging investment by hotels, airlines, and travel agencies. The Cameroon government described its country as “Africa in miniature,” promoting diversity of climate, geography, and culture since the country is home to many of Africa’s iconic animals.
Since the country is home to many of Africa’s iconic animals, its wildlife draws both big-game hunters and safari-goers. The country houses: cheetahs, chimpanzees, giraffes, elephants, gorillas, rhinoceroses, and hippopotami. Cameroon is known to be one of the oldest countries of Africa and has many sites that can be part of World Heritage Sites. The government has several historical, rich, cultural, and unusual attractions that are part of Cameroon’s heritage
When you visit the country, you can see a lot of people driving through Cameroon. Driving in Cameroon is possible as long as you have your driving license in Cameroon. Your IDP acts as your international driving license in Cameroon, making you go legally in the country. Before getting an IDP, you have to take a driving test in Cameroon and prepare the driving in Cameroon requirements. Below are a few things to keep in mind about driving in the country.
Is a Local Driver’s License Valid in Cameroon?
Cameroon does not recognize a local driver’s license from other countries unless accompanied by an International Driver's Permit. If you have a local driver’s license and want to drive a car in the country, you must apply for an IDP. Just like your local license, your international driver's license/permit contains information such as your details and a photo. Another thing to keep in mind before driving in the country is the driving code in Cameroon.
The legal driving age in Cameroon is 16 years old, so tourists who are at least that age and possess a valid local driver’s license can apply for an International Driver's Permit in Cameroon. Several driving schools in Bamenda, Cameroon, could give tips about driving in the country and the categories of driving licence in Cameroon. Your local driver’s license is not valid in the country; you must apply for an IDP, which acts as your driving licence in Cameroon
Do I Need an IDP in Cities and Districts of Cameroon?
Tourists with a valid local driver’s license and a driving license in Cameroon can drive in Cameroon’s cities. The fastest way to get a driving licence in Cameroon is by applying for an IDP. You can apply for an IDP online; just make sure to enter the correct information such as your address, zip code, driving in Cameroon name, and preparing the driving in Cameroon requirements.
Does an IDP Replace Your Native Driver’s License?
The International Driver's Permit serves as your international driving license in the foreign country for language differences. You need your IDP for renting and driving a car in Cameroon. When driving around the city, your International Driver's Permit acts as a validation during checkpoints to drive legally in the country. You can visit a driving school in Cameroon for new drivers to learn about going to the country and ask for driving jobs in Cameroon.
If you love traveling for vacation and driving a car around the cities of a foreign country, then you probably need an IDP. Car rental companies request an IDP, so getting a permit is necessary if you plan on driving a car in the country. If you are in a legal age and driving through Cameroon is on your list, or you are in the country and are looking for driving jobs in Cameroon, the first thing you need would be an International Driver's Permit.
How Long is an IDP Valid?
A permit from the International Driver’s Association is valid for one to three years. However, your International Driving Permit in Cameroon is valid for up to a year and is renewable. If you plan on staying in the country for more than a year, you have to apply for a valid Cameroon license renewal. To do this, you have to visit driving schools in Bamenda, Cameroon, to ask for assistance, and the staff will provide you with driving in Cameroon quotes.
Renting a Car in Cameroon
Public transportation is a universal form of travel in Cameroon and is in good condition, but there are times when you’d rather not deal with it. Driving your car or renting a car is the best thing to do when planning to go on a road trip or explore the city. There are several can rental companies you can find in Cameroon. If it’s your first time renting a car in the country, here’s the complete guide to help you.
Car Rental Companies
You can find several car rental companies in Cameroon, from famous car brands to lower-budget cars. Most of these car rental companies are present in major airports. If you’re a little tight on budget and still somewhat rent a luxurious car, you’ve got many options to choose from while driving in Cameroon. Before renting a car, you must know the essential things to keep in mind: legal driving age in Cameroon, driving code in Cameroon, categories of driving license in Cameroon, and driving in Cameroon quotes.
The average cost of renting a car in Cameroon is $147 per day. However, there are affordable car rental companies such as Avis, which costs $71 per day, and Hertz costs $129 per day. Cameroon Car Rental, a car hire in Douala Cameroon, is one of the largest car rental companies in the country and is a part of Global Bush Travel and Tourism Agency.
To rent a car in Cameroon, you must be at least 25 years old and have a valid form of identification. You must also produce an appropriate driver's license with a minimum of one year of driving experience issued by your home country in English or an International Driving Permit endorsed by authorized bodies. You must also present a valid credit card and a valid passport for assurance purposes. With these documents present, the process of renting a car in Cameroon will be smooth.
Cameroon is a top tourist destination for people on the different sides of the world, so it’s no surprise that various car companies allow you to rent a car while you’re in the city. The type of car model you rent will affect the price you pay. In Cameroon, several car companies let you rent a car for your road trip - ranging from famous car brand names to a more affordable car rental company.
There are several car types that you can rent, such as: One-Way Airport Car Rental, Luxury Car Rental, Pickup Truck Rental, Van Rental, SUV Rental, and Sedans. International car rental companies that you can rent include: Avis, Hertz, Europcar Car Rental, and Budget Car Rental. In the car rental company, the staff will answer your questions regarding how to apply for a driving license in Cameroon and driving job opportunities in Cameroon.
Car Rental Cost
Owning a car in Cameroon can be pretty expensive, and there are times when you don’t want to travel through public transport. If you have the requirements needed, vehicle rental can be the ideal solution to let you explore the city hassle-free. Your preferred type of car significantly affects your car rental cost. When renting a car, one thing to consider is the cost, so here are some cars with their respective price to give you an idea of how much you need in your budget.
- Economy - $65/day
- Intermediate - $110/day
- Standard - $168/day
- Minivan - $168/day
- Truck - $150/day
- Full-size SUV - $204/day
The minimum eligibility age to rent a car in Cameroon is 25 years old, and you must have held your license for one year. However, some car rental companies allow at least 18 years old to rent a car. The minimum age requirement entirely depends on the car rental company. Some car rental agencies even have a maximum age requirement. Car rental companies usually do not allow drivers under 18 years old to rent a car since it is considered underage and may cause uncontrolled accidents. Some car rental companies require an underage driver fee for drivers under their age limit.
Car Insurance Cost
Insurance provides financial protection against physical damage resulting from traffic collisions and against liability that could arise from vehicle incidents. Exploring and driving on new roads in a different country can be worrisome, especially for first-time tourists, so it is highly encouraged to rent a car from a company that includes insurance in the rent package. However, most car rental companies would consist of car insurance in their extra service fee. You can also avail car insurance from an insurance company if your car rental provider can't provide car insurance.
Car Insurance Policy
Car rental companies in Cameroon include Collision Damage Waiver in their extra service fee. Some companies have the other three insurance as: Liability Coverage, which protects against any potential lawsuit from a car accident; Personal Accident Insurance covers medical expenses incurred from a car accident; and Personal Effects Coverage, which covers your belongings you can keep in the rental car.
The Road Rules in Cameroon
Learning and understanding a country’s road rules is very important when driving around a foreign country. Following the country’s road rules saves you from paying fines, picking fights, and getting into accidents. Road rules differ in every country, so take note of the regulations imposed in the country you’re visiting. Below are the essential road rules you must keep in mind when driving in the cities and districts of Cameroon.
Before you start hitting the road and start your road trip in a foreign country, you must know the country’s driving rules to avoid accidents or unwanted situations. Most driving directions in Cameroon are familiar to you since they are general rules in most countries, so there’s no excuse for you not to follow them. You must obey Cameroon’s driving rules to prevent getting into accidents and have a smooth and free road trip.
Drunk-driving is considered illegal in Cameroon. 86% of the population in Cameroon states that drinking and driving is a severe problem. The country’s legal drink-driving is limited to 0.08% blood alcohol content or 80 micrograms per 100ml of blood. Police officers rarely arrest drivers who are drunk-driving, and 56.8% of road security officers interviewed did not know the legal punishment for drunk driving in the country.
In Cameroon, road crashes kill at least 3.1 million people each year and injure 50 million others, a percentage that is greater than deaths from malaria. In this country, road accidents are among the leading causes of death, where 90% of the road casualties are from low and middle-income countries. Even in relatively small amounts, alcohol consumption increases the risk of getting into accidents between drivers and pedestrians.
Turning Signals at an Intersection
Drivers in Cameroon alert fellow drivers that they intend to stop, slow down, or change the car’s direction to the left or the right by turning on the vehicle signals. In intersections, you must turn on your sign to alert the drivers behind you that you will be taking the road’s side, thus avoiding collision. Remember to turn on your signals when you plan on overtaking or changing the direction of your vehicle.
Using of Cellular Phones While Driving
Cameroon takes road safety matters lightly, and there are no strict laws regarding the use of mobile devices on the road. Drivers caught holding any mobile device while police officers will not detect driving except on serious matters. Drivers on passenger vehicles can use their cell phones as long as they ask the passengers for permission and slow down their car. Using your cellular phone becomes an offense if you are on a highway and are using your phone.
Drivers caught using a mobile device while driving on a highway can be liable to a fine of up to $1,000 or a jail term of up to 6 months and will face suspension from driving. A driver convicted for breaking the law in this country can be liable to a maximum fine of $2,000 and a jail term of up to 12 months.
Before parking, make sure that the area allows cars to park and is safe. Cameroon implements a no parking at any time rule unless parking signs are indicating season restrictions. Watch out for these things before parking your vehicle: Parking while facing the wrong side, parking enforcement cameras, road markings, yellow line parking, various spots to avoid, and abreast of another vehicle.
There is little parking regulation in Cameroon, and drivers should follow local signage. Parking is generally quite erratic, and cars will tend to park wherever is convenient; however, if you park in a dangerous or hazardous manner, you can expect police officials to tow your vehicle. Another essential thing to keep in mind when parking is checking if pedestrians or cyclists are coming your way before opening your car door.
Ensure you and your vehicle are in good condition before driving.
Before starting your road trip in Cameroon, ensure that your vehicle is in good condition. Double-check your tires, side mirrors, windows, and brakes. To avoid unwanted checkpoint issues, always bring your passport, local driving license, car insurance documents, and your international driving license in Cameroon. Get enough sleep and avoid drinking before driving.
General Standards of Driving
Before driving in Cameroon, you must learn the general standards of driving to avoid getting in trouble. In Cameroon, locals follow the government’s rules to avoid paying a fee and getting demerit points in their license. Cars in Cameroon are either manual or automatic, depending on the vehicle you want to rent.
The general speed limit in Cameroon is 60 kilometers per hour, unless stated otherwise. When driving in rural areas, the speed limit must not go beyond 100 kilometers per hour due to less traffic, while the motorway speed limit is 100 kilometers per hour. Drivers who are caught overspeeding in this country will be liable to pay a fine and given specific demerit points. Police officers also have the right to check your license for driving in Cameroon history. Follow the speed limit imposed, especially on major highways.
If you exceed the speed limit by 1 to 20 km/h, you will be awarded four demerit points and must pay $150. If you exceed by 21 to 30 km/h, you will get six demerits and must pay a fine of $200. If you exceed by 31 to 40 km/h, you will get eight demerits and must pay $300. If you exceed 41 to 50 km/h, you will get 12 demerits and must proceed to court for prosecution. If you exceed by 51-60 km/h or more than 60km/h, you will get 24 demerits and must go to court.
Seat Belt Laws
The World Health Organization Global Status Report on Road Safety reported that vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for children between 5-14 years old and young adults between 15 and 29. One of the most critical safety measures to prevent road accidents and fatalities is by wearing seatbelts. Seatbelts are straps found in the car seats to prevent injury during accidents.
Cameroon’s government requires all front and rear-seat passengers to wear seat belts while driving in the country unless medically exempted. However, even though the officials impose this rule, you will see few drivers wearing seat belts while driving.
Roundabouts are not common in Cameroon, but it is advantageous to know what rules and regulations to follow when entering the country’s roundabout. You’ll find roundabouts in significant cities like Yaounde. Yaounde resides in Cameroon Centre; you will find the main points of interest of the country in this city.
Besides roundabouts, you must also keep in mind that overtaking is not illegal in Cameroon. Overtaking is done on the right side of the road, on the country’s fast lane. If you do not plan to overtake, drive on the left side of the road. Although it’s permitted, overtaking is discouraged unless necessary.
Traffic Road Signs
Road signs are essential to keep in mind while driving. These signs allow drivers to know their required speed limit on specific points, where and when to turn so that they will not hit any car from the opposite direction. Road signs help avoid accidents on the road, and you will find a lot of these when you drive around Cameroon’s cities. This section will find the types of road signs you may encounter when you visit the country.
Road signs in Cameroon use the official English language, one of the two primary languages in the country. The other language - French, is also used and placed in important public places such as tourist attractions, airports, and immigration checkpoints. However, most of the locals use English as a medium of communication.
Warning signs indicate possible dangers or unusual conditions ahead to alert drivers, so they can make the appropriate actions to take. These signs are usually shaped as triangles with a red border and placed on a borderless white backing board. Warning signs include:
- Danger Ahead
- Restricted Zone Ahead
- Other Dangers
- Electronic Road Pricing Ahead
- Road Hump
- Uneven Road
- Road Narrows on Right
- Road Narrows on Both Sides Ahead
- Two-way Traffic Crosses a One-way Road
- Two-way Traffic Ahead
- Lanes Merge Ahead
- Double Bend First to Left
- Dual Carriageway Ends
- Side Road on Left
- Side Road on Right
- Traffic Merging from Left Behind
- Road Slippery When Wet
- Staggered Junction
- Steep Ascent
- Steep Descent
- Quayside or River Bank Ahead
- Tunnel Ahead
- Traffic Signals in Use Ahead
- Low Flying Aircraft
- Roundabout Ahead
- Zebra Crossing Ahead
- Bend to the Right Ahead
- Advance Warning of a Height Restriction Ahead
- Children Ahead
- Animals Crossing Road Ahead
- Pedestrians on Road Ahead
- Elderly or Blind People Ahead
- Slow Down
- Maintain a Slow Speed
- Bridge with Low Headroom Ahead
- Curve Alignment
- Sharp Deviation to the Left
- Extended Curve
Prohibitory signs indicate drivers what they must not do and mostly circular and have a red border. These signs include:
- No entry for all vehicles
- No left turn
- No right turn
- No lorries
- No vehicles with three axles or more
- No vehicles carrying explosives
- No pedal cycles
- No waiting
- No stopping
- No overtaking
- No sounding of the vehicle horn
- No jaywalking
- No jaywalking in the bus park
- No vehicles over height shown.
- No vehicles over width shown.
- No vehicles overweight shown.
- Maximum speed limit in kilometers per hour
Regulatory signs have two sets: Mandatory signs and Prohibition signs. Mandatory signs give positive instructions to drivers, while Prohibition signs indicate prohibition. Obligatory motions are generally circular with a white border and symbol on a blue background. Mandatory signs include:
- Ahead only
- Turn left ahead
- Turn left
- Keep left
- Split way
- Route to be used by pedal cycles only
- Stop and give way signs.
Information signs indicate a particular condition or nature of the road ahead the drivers need to note. These signs are independent of existing mandatory and prohibitive signs and are usually white or blue and rectangular. These signs include:
- Indication of a U-turn lane
- One way traffic ahead
- One-way traffic in direction indicated
- Zebra crossing
- Pedal cycle crossing
- Parking Area for all vehicles
- Parking area for motorcars
- Parking area for motorcycles
- No through road
- No through road on the left ahead.
- No through road on the right ahead
- Keep a safe distance.
- Left turn on red
- Right turn on red
- Right turn lanes ahead
- Watch out for traffic from a side road.
- Red light camera
- Dual Carriageway ahead
Temporary work-zone signs are signs placed to ensure roads keep a free flow of traffic despite being affected by roadworks in the area. These signs are orange diamond, orange rectangular, or yellow rectangular-shaped signs. The signs include:
- Advance sign of road works ahead.
- Indication of road stretch affected by road works
- Entry to works area
- Heavy vehicles are turning ahead.
- Layout of lanes ahead
- Road narrows on right ahead.
- Temporary mandatory speed limit
- Traffic lights in use ahead
- Bend to right
- Supplementary plate to specify direction
- Single lane traffic
- Curve Alignment Marker
- Detour for pedestrians
- Detour in direction indicated
- Advance sign of detour ahead
Right of Way
The right of way refers to who has the legal right to go first on the road. This setup is commonly known as the “priority” and indicates drivers who have the right to use the conflicting part of the road and who need to wait until the other vehicle passes. If you or another driver fails to follow this rule, you risk colliding with each other and may involve other cars, cyclists, or pedestrians
Like most countries, Cameroon also uses the priority-to-the-right rule and priority to vehicles going straight and turning vehicles to give way to cars going directly. This system requires a vehicle’s driver to provide a way to vehicles approaching from the right at intersections.
Legal Driving Age
In Cameroon, before you can drive a vehicle, you must possess a valid driver’s license that contains your driving in Cameroon name, and you must oblige all traffic rules. The legal age to drive in this country is 16 years old since Cameroon is one of the few countries with a standard driving age below 18 years old. If you seek driving job opportunities in Cameroon, you must also be at the legal driving age in Cameroon.
Any citizen below the age of 16 years old and above 70 years old cannot drive a vehicle in Cameroon since this is against the rule. However, if a driver between the age of 70 to 74 years of age passes an annual enhanced medical examination and proficiency driving test, they can retain their driving license. Besides that, tourists with no International Driver's Permit cannot drive in this country, but you can apply for an IDP to drive in Cameroon’s cities and districts.
Laws on Overtaking
Whether you’re in a hurry or for personal comfort, overtaking another car is one of the most common things drivers love to do when driving on the streets. Overtaking in Cameroon is not illegal; however, you must keep in mind that the country’s fast lane is the right lane of the highway. You should always overtake on the right-hand side of the road. If you’re not overtaking, remember to keep left. Road hogging in this country is illegal.
The driving side in Cameroon is on the right side of the road. You should keep this in mind when you’re planning on overtaking. Overtake on the right side of the road and keep left if you’re not overtaking. This rule makes most drivers comfortable driving in the city streets, but you have nothing to worry about since Cameroon drivers are safe drivers if you are a first-timer.
Other Road Rules
Aside from the main road rules and regulations to remember, there are minor rules that you must also keep in mind. These rules are an addition to your knowledge as a tourist driver in this country.
Are Road Signs Understandable by Tourists?
Cameroon road signs use the official English language, one of the two main and the country’s primary language. The other language - French, is also placed and used in important public places for tourists and locals, such as airports, immigration checkpoints, and tourist attractions. Road signs in Cameroon are easy to understand for tourists since they are mostly English, leaving you no reason not to follow them.
Can You Overtake On a One-Way Street?
Yes, you can overtake other traffic on either side when driving on a one-way street. Remember to make full use of your mirrors and ensure that the road is apparent all around before you attempt to overtake them. Also, look for road signs and road markings, and use the proper lane for your destination.
Are You Allowed To Increase Speed To Overtake?
No, it is illegal to increase your speed while overtaking another car. It is unlawful to drive way past the speed limit at any time, no matter the circumstances. Although it is safer to try and make an overtake to move quickly, keep in mind that you must always obey the speed limits to avoid unwanted circumstances.
Driving Etiquette in Cameroon
Whether you are driving in your local country or a foreign country, unforeseen circumstances could happen. Without knowing the proper driving etiquette, especially when you are in a foreign country, you could get into trouble. So you must know the driving etiquette of the country you are visiting before driving on the road to avoid the consequences that may happen.
Car breakdowns are one of the worst things that could happen when you are traveling or on a road trip, which is why you must ensure that your car is in good condition before hitting the road. Rental cars from established companies are regularly checked and maintained, so they are not likely to cause car breakdowns. If possible, try to move your vehicle off the road to avoid hassle and generating traffic to other drivers.
When your car breaks down in Cameroon, place your breakdown sign and wait behind the Vehicle Impact Guards instead of staying inside the vehicle. Staying inside the car while waiting for rescue is known to be dangerous. A tow truck must tow away your vehicle and bring it to the nearest car shop, giving them a call when this issue happens. Contact your car rental company to inform them about the subject.
When going on a road trip or just casually driving, you need to look out for checkpoints that you will most likely run. These checkpoints are not usually marked, so you will need to look out for police authorities on the side of the road. It would be possible also that the police will stop you and inform you that you are in a checkpoint area. Even though it may seem a hassle, these checkpoints are for your safety.
You must always bring the documents needed when driving in Cameroon’s cities. You will never know when you will be encountering these checkpoints. The records required are your passport, local driving license, and your International Driver's Permit. Failure to present these papers gives the police officers the right to arrest you and check your request for driving in Cameroon history.
You can see several pedestrians walking in the streets of Cameroon. If you need help or want advice in finding the place you are driving to, you can ask the pedestrians, and they will spare you a few minutes to help. When asking for help, stop your car at the side of the road and politely request a citizen. The country’s primary language is English, so it would be easier to ask using the same vocabulary.
While driving in Cameroon, you may encounter random checkpoints conducted by police authorities for your safety. During checkpoints, present the documents needed: your passport, local driver’s license, and your International Driver's Permit. These checkpoints can happen at any time, so you must obey the drunk-driving rule and use cellular phone rules to avoid paying a fine and demerit points.
Other than the driving situations to keep in mind when driving in Cameroon, it’s also essential to know what to do in unwanted accidents. Getting in accidents while in a foreign country can be scary and hassle, but knowing what to do at certain times can reduce your worries when involved in an accident.
What should you do in case of accidents?
When involved in a vehicle accident, it is natural that emotions and anxiety run high. If you are involved in the accident, you should stop and don’t drive away from the accident scene, even if it’s a minor one. If there are injured victims, call for an ambulance and report the accident to the police if needed. When renting a car, exchange information with the other drivers involved in the accident and gather evidence of the accident, so that you can show it to the car rental company.
Driving Conditions in Cameroon
One vital factor to observe when going on a road trip in Cameroon is the driving situations and conditions. Knowing about the driving conditions and problems, operating rules, and driving etiquette could help you prepare for possible issues that you may encounter on the streets. You must know the driving situations and needs when you’re in a foreign country to keep you alert and confident when driving.
According to the World Health Organization, Cameroon records an average of 16,583 road accidents each year, killing more than 1,000 people. Despite the decrease in the statistic since 2012, road deaths increased over 20018-2014 because of the expanded vehicle fleet and the recorded intense accidents.
The government of Cameroon statistics in 2019 states that drivers account for 70% of road traffic accidents in the country. The leading cause of road accidents in Cameroon includes: overspeeding, not paying attention on the road, and poor driving skills. The records show that 7000 drivers in the country have no legal driving licenses or have fake permits.
Cameroon’s car ownership rate is at roughly 7%. The top four ranked car brands in Cameroon remained the same for the past years: Toyota, Nissan, Honda, and Mitsubishi. Toyota purchases reached 37,542; Nissan purchases earned 14,756; Honda purchases equal to 10,846; and Mitsubishi purchases equal to 4,760.
The national government of Cameroon implements the contract for the construction of the first 14 electronic road toll booths with a 3-year bidding process. According to Cameroon’s state department of public works, toll roads’ construction includes a ring road zone or, also known as an approach area that comprises a rigidly structured pavement of two lanes measuring each and two shoulders of 2.00 m wide each.
To cover the two rigid pavements of two lanes each, the officials plan to construct a single booth platform. They also plan to install three islets of 2 meters wide, including the entire civil engineering works, platform and islet sanitation, two sidewalks of 1.50 meters wide each, and signaling/operating equipment.
While going on a road trip or looking for driving jobs in Cameroon, you may encounter road conditions different from your native country. The country has a highly developed and well-maintained road and highway network. The government has a Land Transport Authority, which rescues vehicles on the road at all hours, and closed-circuit cameras that monitor all crucial highways.
Brightly-lit roads and regular police patrols make it safe to drive in Cameroon at any time of the day. Local drivers in this country are familiar with most routes, yet they still follow the speed limit rule and the other critical driving rules. The officials surveyed the country’s drivers, and 65% of the population said that Cameroon’s roads were very safe. You won’t have anything to worry about because the country’s locals are safe drivers.
There are also important things to keep in mind when driving in Cameroon, such as the unit used in speed limit and night driving. This section contains details about other tips you should know when going to Cameroon.
What Is the Unit of Speed When Driving in Cameroon?
Kilometers per hour, Kph, and miles per hour, mph are units of measurement used to display speed limits. Every country has a different measure of speed limits to use. Cameroon uses the kilometers per hour system for measurement. Countries that use Mph are the USA, Liberia, etc.; it’s essential to learn and understand the Kph metric system to help you when you drive in Cameroon.
Which Car Transmission Type is Commonly Used in Cameroon?
If you are staying in Cameroon for a short period, you might want to consider taking up the automatic car license instead of a manual car. You can find many automated vehicles these days since they are much easier to learn than a manual car. Mechanical car gears move according to the speed you drive, which means there is no clutch and only two-foot pedals.
Things To Do in Cameroon
Cameroon is a beautiful country and is one of the becoming top tourist destinations in the world. Driving a car as a tourist and visiting the beautiful attractions in this country can be memorable and exciting. If you are looking for another thing to do aside from visiting the top destinations, from earning money to buying a property, here are some things you can do in this country.
Drive as a Tourist
Tourists can legally drive in Cameroon’s streets as long as they have their local driver’s license, passport, and your international driver’s license with them. You must bring these documents with you since you will never know when you will encounter a checkpoint. Besides driving as a tourist, you can also work as a driver in this country, as some tourists were able to find driving jobs in Cameroon 2019 and some driving jobs in Cameroon early 2020.
Work as a Driver
Getting a driving job as a tourist or looking for a driving job in Cameroon is possible; however, you must apply for a Work Permit to use your foreign driving license plus your International Driver's Permit to drive in Cameroon for one year. To apply for a work permit, you must get a written consent from the foreign company you’re working for, fill up an online form from the Work Permit website, pay the indicated fee, and check your application’s status after one week.
There are numerous land transportation modes for the people in the country. When you look at Cameroon’s streets, you will see every type of public vehicle present in your native country. These public vehicles include buses, taxis, and trucks. Those drivers possess a valid Cameroon driving license, which is why they can operate cars professionally. However, there are part-time driver jobs or driving jobs in Cameroon in 2019 and driving jobs in Cameroon in early 2020.
Work as a Travel Guide
Tourist guides in Cameroon are not limited to work under companies or travel agencies. Tourist guides can also market their guiding services and accept jobs from local and overseas visitors directly since most tourist guides in Cameroon are freelancers. However, you cannot work in this country on a tourist visa while working as a driver. You need to apply for a valid work visa for you to work in the country.
Apply For Residency
Several people become Cameroon permanent residents due to the positive thought of gaining permanent residence in this peaceful country through various programs. The beautiful scenery and beautiful people have convinced thousands of tourists of distinct backgrounds to set up home, find a job, and settle down in this country.
As a tourist, you may be eligible to apply for a permanent residence if you can provide the following documents: An application for a resident permit in Cameroon addressed to the immigration office; a copy of residence certificate; a copy of yellow fever card; a copy of employment contract or admission letter; a copy of entry visa; and a copy of lease agreement.
Other Things to Do
Besides seeking jobs to owning properties, you can do more things when planning to stay for a few years in the country. Cameroon is known as one of the calm countries in the world, but its magnificent scenery and living way can convince people to live and work in the country.
Do you need to convert your license when driving in Cameroon?
If you are a traveler, you must know that Cameroon is one of the countries you want to stay in longer. Your International Driver's Permit is valid only for one year from the date of issue, and it is not renewable. There are checkpoints in this country, so you might be in trouble if you drive with an expired driver’s permit. You must know what to do with your driver’s license if you plan on staying longer in the country.
You need to convert your permit to a valid Cameroon license if you plan on staying in the country for more than a year. The process requires an exam, and the basic theory test questions are in English, so it’s easier to understand for tourists. The driver must pass the test to get a valid license in the country; it consists of traffic rules, traffic signs, traffic regulations, and signals.
The Top Destinations in Cameroon
Cameroon is becoming one of the best tourist destinations in the world. The country is known as “Africa in miniature” due to its geographical and cultural diversity. This central African country has one of the highest literacy rates on the continent; however, corruption and decades of authoritarian rule delayed its economic progress. If you visit the country and go on a road trip, here are some of the country’s best road trip destinations.
Kribi is famously known as the ‘waterfall by the sea’ and is one of the most massive waterfalls in the equatorial region. This favorite tourist attraction is an immense, scenic beauty that facilitates boat rides across the river arranged by private companies. A beach located in Kribi, Plage de Grand Batanga-Londji village des pêcheurs is recommended for its serene and tranquil ambiance and is a hub of eco-tourism.
This place is the home of paradise in the country; the beaches in Kribi are stunningly beautiful with its white sand, blue sea, and fresh fish served from the restaurants lining the seafront. There are plenty of hotels in this area at a reasonable price. Aside from the white beach that you can enjoy, the Chutes de la Lobe waterfalls are just 8 kilometers due south from this town, and the waterfalls cascade directly into the sea, forming a remarkable sight.
- Drive to Kribi from the Yaounde Nsimalen International Airport.
- Exit the airport road and turn left to Bolem Road.
- From Bolem Road, straight drive until you reach Peage d’Okoa Maria.
- Drive straight until you reach Mandoumba.
- Turn left on the N7 express highway.
- Drive straight until you reach Kribi.
Things to Do:
If you want to enjoy the whole place fully, here’s a list of top fun activities to do in Kribi.
- Visit and enjoy the Lobe Waterfalls.
The Lobe Falls waterfalls are one of the best attractions of this area and are known as natural phenomena, something very original and unusual. The river turns into the falls and then empties in the Atlantic Ocean; the tide was low, and the freshwater from saltwater perfectly separated by a stretch of sand.
- Take a stroll at the Kribi Beach.
If you love going to the beach, you must visit this place. Most of the hotels are beachfront since this is a tourist area for the citizens of the country. The town is tranquil during monsoon season, and you can enjoy walking in the sand and some views before heading to the restaurant for dinner.
- Roam around the Town of Kribi.
Kribi is a town that catches no attention at first glance, from the road junction, with one of many gas stations. However, if you spend an afternoon wandering up and down, noting life, and sitting in one of the terraces of the bars to have a drink or a beer, you will feel the joy of being at a peaceful place.
- Visit the Rainforest.
Visit this rainforest in Kribi to connect with nature and other animals you don’t usually see every day. You can get to this jungle by walking for about three hours and passing through the entangled vines and the ultra wet environment.
- Watch the Sunset.
Cameroon is a magical country with some spectacular sceneries where the sun is very intense, making the sunrises and sunsets magical to watch. One of the most spectacular sunsets you will see is in the port of Kribi. The port has a unique charm with the hustle and bustle that surrounds it at all times.
Central and West Africa may not be famous for having beautiful cities, but Cameroon’s capital, Yaoundé, is undoubtedly one. This magical city spreads over seven hills which means that the numerous buildings in the town are separated by stretches of lush green and rising terrain. Also, the layout of this city is clean and safe, with several tourist attractions. Due to its central location, the city is also perfect for including your country’s tour list.
This city has almost 2 million citizens and is a center of political power in the country. Yaoundé is in the Center province, which stretches along the small river Mfoundi that flows through the North to South. Hills surround this city, which resides 700 meters above sea level, and is at the homeland of the Wrondo and Eton people; though nowadays, the city is home to various people from all over the country.
- Drive to Yaounde city from the Yaounde Nsimalen International Airport.
- Exit airport road and turn right at N2 expressway.
- Drive straight and turn left at Allo Road.
- Drive straight and turn left at Carrefour Odza.
- Drive straight and turn left at Supermarche Ecomax.
- Drive to Carrefour Scalom and drive straight until you reach Yaounde.
Things to Do:
Yaounde is living up to its title as the capital city of Cameroon, providing you with various activities you can enjoy.
- Visit the Musee de la Blackitude.
If you’re visiting the country for a short time, don’t spend it by visiting the National Museum, instead take an informative tour of this private collection. This museum is home to Cameroon’s tribal heritage, particularly the Grassland region, with its reconstructed royal chamber and sacred musical and functional objects.
- Tour the Mefou National Park.
A 45-minute drive to the south of Yaounde, Mefou National Park is run by Ape Action Africa. The AAA is an organization established to protect primates in the country. The well-informed tour guides will show you gorillas, chimps, drills, and mandrills residing in the beautiful natural park from the bushmeat trade.
- Eat at La Paillote.
After visiting some of the tourist attractions in this city, take a break and eat La Paillote. This restaurant is Vietnam-inspired and has a charming shaded terrace and an innovative dining room inside, attracting a loyal crowd of the country’s ex-pats. The meals are also delicious, and the service is excellent.
- Relax at the Institut Francais.
This place is the best spot to relax after touring the city’s attractions. Institut Francais provides film or music events, lets you see an exhibition, or have a meal at the in-house Cafe de France. Besides, this infrastructure also has a sound library of French titles to read while resting.
- Pray at the Notre Dame Cathedral.
The honking of the vehicles in the country’s streets harmonizes with the sound of prayer and song at the Notre Dame Cathedral. This place has a bold triangular building with a stunning Afrocentric mosaic located above the altar
This city has a reputation of being a bit dirty and slummy, but this should not stop you from visiting. This major city in Cameroon has the biggest airport in the country and is Cameroon’s port and business center. These hubs result in an overactive and messy feel, and, likely; you will not relax much while you are here in this city. This largest city is the country’s economic capital.
Douala is also home to Central Africa’s largest port and its major international airport, Douala International Airport. The city is the commercial and economic capital of Cameroon and the entire CEMAC region, which comprises Congo, Chad, Gabon, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, and Cameroon. Consequently, the city handles its significant exports such as cocoa, coffee, oil, metals, fruits, and timber.
- Drive to Douala City from Douala International Airport.
- Exit the Airport road and take the N3 expressway.
- Drive straight and turn left at Rond Point CCC.
- Turn right at Ndokoti road.
- Drive straight and turn left at Total City of Palms until you reach Douala.
Things to Do:
You can enjoy several things in this city, and below are a few of them.
- Tour the Musee Maritime de Douala.
This maritime museum contains artifacts, models, and photographs that trace back to the history of ships and maritime trade. The fisheries in Douaou are a fan of history and want to know more about the city’s sea facts museum, this is the best spot for you.
- Enjoy the paintings at Doual’art.
If you are a huge fan of arts and artists, the Doual’art is a must-visit place for you. This place is a non-profit cultural organization and art center founded in 1991 in this city, which focuses on contemporary urban practices of African cities.
- Take pictures at the La Nouvelle Liberte.
The La Nouvelle Liberte is the most famous and emblematic artwork of Douala, which became the symbol of the city in the present day. The artwork pays tribute to the city’s contemporary culture and is 12 meters tall with 5 meters wingspan and 8 tons.
- Admire the Monument Nachtigal.
This monument was born in the Government’s park in Douala in 1930. During that time, the emperor contributed thousand marks toward the memorial, which the Geographical Society intends to erect in memory of Dr. Nachtigal, the famous African traveler.
- Visit the Cathedral Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul.
After taking a tour of the city, visiting this cathedral should be the best trip ender. The place resides in the village center and has enormous pillars and giant colorful statues on its windows. This Cathedral is best to visit on sunny days to appreciate the colors of the figures fully.
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