Cameroon is a tropical destination, so beware that there will be wet and dry seasons, both offering their own benefits and disadvantages. Generally, the rains come between June and October, and the dry season stretches from around November into mid-March. This makes Yaounde a great destination for a tropical Christmas break, when you can expect bargain flight and accommodation prices.
Cameroon’s capital city is bursting with energy, offering bustling markets, zoos and historical attractions, as well as the chance to head out into the jungle on expertly led expeditions.
The city is filled with attractions that all can enjoy. Kids will adore the wide variety of wildlife at the city’s Mvog Betsi Zoo – including majestic lions. Then there is the vibrant market at Mokolo. One of the largest markets in Africa, Mokolo is an experience that no shopping lover will want to miss.
There are historical sites as well, such as the beautiful cathedral of Notre Dame des Victoires, as well as the Cameroon Art Museum which showcases works by the country’s many painters and sculptors. Visitors can also learn all about how Cameroon gained independence at the National Museum and learn about the nation’s passion for football at the Palace of Sport.
However, the real appeal of Yaounde is the ability to visit stunning scenery a short drive away from the city centre. Take guided tours to the very top of Mount Cameroon or head into the jungle with guides to find out all about Cameroon’s magnificent bird life.
There are sights of breathtaking natural beauty to visit as well, such as the Lobe Waterfalls, as well as the chance to visit laid back resorts like the village of Limbe, where visitors can recharge their tired batteries before heading home.
Yaounde is also famed for the friendliness of its locals, and the opportunity to sample wholesome street food (particularly roasted chicken and salads) and with its relaxed atmosphere, it is one of the finest destinations in Africa.
The city does not have a public bus or train service. Instead, locals get around by shared taxis, which may sound cramped but can be a quick, cheap and comfortable way to get around. Taxis will slow down when you signal, and expect you to shout your destination. If they beep their horn that means you can get in. The city centre is also easy to walk around, and seeing the city on foot is the best way to get a feel for its laid back atmosphere.
When you arrive at Yaoundé Nsimalen International Airport (NIS), the best way to travel into town will be by shuttle buses, and many hotels will be happy to supply transportation. If you can’t arrange to be picked up, then there will always be taxis waiting at the terminal, but try to negotiate a price before leaving. Car rental is also an option.
If you book a flight to Yaoundé, you will be flying into Nsimalen, which is the city’s only airport. Yaoundé Nsimalen (NSI) is located 16.5 km from the centre of Yaoundé.