Travel.State.Gov > International Travel > Learn About Your Destination > Cameroon International Travel Information
Avenue Rosa Parks
(in the Mbankolo Quartier, adjacent to the Mount Febe Golf Club)
P.O. Box 817
Telephone: +(237) 22220-1500 Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(237) 22220-1500
Fax: +(237) 22220-1572
Requirements for Entry:
Visas: Obtain your visa before traveling. Visit the Embassy of Cameroon website for the most current visa information.
Dual Nationality: Cameroon does not recognize dual nationality. U.S. citizens should always present themselves as U.S. citizens to Cameroonian authorities, regardless of their country of birth. U.S. citizens must always enter and exit Cameroon on a U.S. passport with a valid Cameroonian visa otherwise they are liable to be denied entry or detained. Furthermore, presenting oneself as a Cameroonian citizen may impede our ability to provide consular services.
The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors or foreign residents of Cameroon.
Terrorism: Terrorist groups and those inspired by such organizations are intent on attacking U.S. citizens abroad. Terrorists are increasingly using less sophisticated methods of attack – including knives, firearms, and vehicles – to more effectively target crowds. Frequently, their aim is unprotected or vulnerable targets, such as:
Boko Haram and ISIS-West Africa are active in Far North, North, and Adamawa Regions of Cameroon. Suicide bombings have occurred in public places in and around urban areas resulting in numerous deaths and injuries. Terrorist attacks are most common outside major towns, especially in the regions bordering Nigeria and Chad. Extremists have frequently target areas of congregation, particularly camps for refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs). While most victims of terrorist attacks in Cameroon have been locals, violent extremist organizations may seek to target Westerners or conduct other high-profile operations. Kidnapping by terrorist organizations remains a concern. Refrain from traveling outside of cities or towns after dark and exercise caution when in the vicinity of potential targets.
There is ongoing violence in Northwest and Southwest Cameroon. Security force operations and attacks by armed militants regularly take place throughout these Regions including in major cities. Neighboring areas of other regions are at risk of spillover violence, including Douala. Use of improvised explosives and incendiary devices, kidnappings, illegitimate detentions, and acts of violent criminality by armed actors have also occurred in Northwest and Southwest Cameroon. Security forces, government officials, road travelers, administrative buildings, schools, and commercial areas have been repeatedly attacked. Those suspected of being associated, even tangentially, with the central government or armed militants have been targeted for reprisals by a variety of elements.
Border Areas: Cameroon’s borders remain porous. Terrorists regularly cross the border into Cameroon from Nigeria and Chad to conduct attacks in the Far North, North, and Adamawa Regions. Militant activities and security operations routinely occur along Cameroon’s shared border with Nigeria in the Northwest and Southwest Regions. Armed criminals and communal militia frequently conduct attacks in border areas abutting the Central African Republic (CAR).
Embassy personnel are restricted from traveling to the Northwest, Southwest, North, and Far North Regions of Cameroon, as well as within 20 kilometers of the border with the Central African Republic in Adamawa and East Regions, and within 20 kilometers of the border with Nigeria and north of Ngaoudere in the Adamawa Region.
Bakassi Peninsula: Cameroon's military authorities restrict access to the Bakassi Peninsula. U.S. citizens should avoid this area.
Use of Improvised Explosive Devices: Multiple improvised explosive device (IED) attacks have occurred in Douala and Yaoundé since June 2020. The threat for similar attacks could take place countrywide. Various armed actors, to include terrorists and political militants, may use such devices. To date, recent IED incidents have not directly targeted U.S. citizens or areas frequented by Westerners, however the risk of wrong place/wrong time violence remains. Locations with a high security force or government presence may be at increased risk of being targeted.
For more information, see our Terrorism page.
Crime: Violent and opportunistic crime is prevalent throughout the country including major cities. Foreigners in Cameroon have been victims of all types of crime including murder, sexual assault, kidnapping, carjacking, burglary, theft, armed robbery, and home invasion. Criminals often employ violence, particularly in instances where victims attempt to resist. The risk of street and residential crime is especially high, even in affluent areas with a large police and private security presence.
Transport Crimes: U.S. Embassy personnel are prohibited from using taxis. Violent assaults on taxi passengers are common. Petty theft is prevalent, particularly on trains, buses, and taxis.
The Hilton and Mont Febe hotels offer a shuttle service from Yaoundé-Nsimalen Airport to downtown Yaoundé. Travelers are encouraged to use this service or retain the services of a reputable private transport company.
Demonstrations occur frequently. They may take place in response to political or economic issues, on politically significant holidays, and during international events.
Maritime Security: Piracy and armed robbery continue to increase throughout the Gulf of Guinea including Cameroon’s waters. Pirates and armed groups operating in the region typically carry out attacks on vessels using automatic weapons. Attacks, kidnappings for ransom, and robbery of crew, passengers, and ship’s property are common and may occur near coastal areas or deep waters. More information on current conditions may be found on the Office of Naval Intelligence’s piracy page.
Communications: During periods of heightened unrest or insecurity, there is a heightened risk of communications disruptions which may affect internet access, social media, mobile messaging, and cellular voice calls. These disruptions may be localized or countrywide.
U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault are encouraged to contact the U.S. Embassy for assistance. Report crimes to the local police by calling 117 and contact the U.S. Embassy at + (237) 22220-1500. Dial + (237) 22222-2525 in Yaoundé or dial 112 in major cities to contact ambulance services. If you have been a victim of sexual assault or rape, consider contacting a medical provider for HIV post-exposure prophylaxis.
Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crime.
See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.
Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence are encouraged to contact the Embassy for assistance.
Victims of Crime: Tourism: The tourism industry is unevenly regulated, and safety inspections for equipment and facilities do not commonly occur. Hazardous areas/activities are not always identified with appropriate signage, and staff may not be trained or certified either by the host government or by recognized authorities in the field. In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment is typically available only in Douala and Yaoundé. First responders are generally unable to access areas outside of these two cities and to provide urgent medical treatment. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Individuals establishing a business or practicing a profession that requires additional permits or licensing should seek information from the competent local authorities, prior to practicing or operating a business.
You may be taken in for questioning by the police if unable to produce an acceptable form of identification, travel permit, or Cameroonian driver’s license.
Photography: It is illegal to take pictures of government buildings, military installations, and other public facilities, many of which are unmarked. You could be fined, have your photographic equipment confiscated, or be detained or arrested. Do not take photos of people without their permission.
Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.
Phone Service: Cellular phones are the norm, as other telephone service is unreliable and landlines are nearly non-existent. It may be possible to purchase a SIM card locally and use a U.S.-compatible cell phone. You will need to show your passport.
Currency: The Central African franc (XAF) is the official currency of Cameroon, but U.S. dollars and Euros are accepted in urban areas. Cameroon is primarily a cash economy. Due to the potential for fraud and other criminal activity, avoid using credit cards and be cautious when using ATMs. Exchange currency only at reputable banks. Money transfer services are found throughout the country.
Customs: Strict import and export regulations, particularly with regard to pharmaceuticals and wood products, are enforced. It is illegal to buy, sell, kill, or capture any protected wild animal or trade its parts without a license, including ivory. Cameroon is a signatory to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. You will be prosecuted and could receive a prison sentence or a fine if you buy or traffic in these goods.
Wild Animal Parks: Heed all instructions given by guides or trackers. Use common sense and maintain a safe distance around wildlife. Even in the most serene settings, wild animals pose a lethal threat. There have been reports of armed poachers attacking tourists.
Counterfeit and Pirated Goods: Although counterfeit and pirated goods are prevalent in many countries, they may still be illegal according to local laws. You may also pay fines or have to give them up if you bring them back to the United States. See the U.S. Department of Justice website for more information.
Faith-Based Travelers: See the following webpages for details:
LGBTI Travelers: Consensual same-sex sexual activity is illegal and punishable by a prison sentence of six months to five years and a fine ranging from 20,000 to 200,000 CFA francs ($35-$353). LGBTI individuals face social stigmatization, harassment, and discrimination. Police and civilians may extort money from presumed LGBTI individuals with the threat of exposure or arrest. Suspected members of the LGBTI community have received anonymous threats by phone, text, and email.
Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.
For emergency services in Cameroon, dial the number of the hospital in the area where you are located. There is currently no national number for general health-related emergencies in the country.
Ambulance services are:
Injured or seriously ill travelers may prefer to take a taxi or private vehicle to the nearest major hospital rather than wait for an ambulance.
We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare/Medicaid does not apply overseas. Most hospitals and doctors overseas do not accept U.S. health insurance.
Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage. Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more information on type of insurance you should consider before you travel overseas.
We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.
Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription. Check with the government of Cameroon to ensure the medication is legal in Cameroon.
Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Further health information:
The U.S. Embassy maintains a list of doctors and hospitals available on this page under "local resources." We do not endorse or recommend any specific medical provider or clinic.
Health facilities in general:
Medical Tourism and Elective Surgery
Assisted Reproductive Technology and Surrogacy
General Health Language
The following diseases are prevalent:
Road Conditions and Safety: Cameroon's roads networks are poorly maintained and not well lit. During the rainy season from April to November, many roads are not passable even with four-wheel-drive vehicles. Traffic safety is hazardous due to lack of traffic signs, poorly trained/disciplined drivers, inadequately maintained vehicles, and indifference among many drivers toward the safety of pedestrians and cyclists. Other driving risks include excessive speed, erratic driving habits, lack of vehicle maintenance, and pedestrians, wildlife, and livestock.
Outside of major cities, travel with extra fuel, food, and water, as well as a reliable means of communication, such as a satellite phone or radio, as mobile phone coverage is limited. Professional roadside assistance service is not available.
Roadblocks: Security forces stop motorists on the pretext of minor or non-existent violations to conduct vehicle searches and check passengers for identity papers. They may also extort bribes. We advise travelers not to pay bribes, and to ask the police officer to provide a citation to be paid at the local court.
To protect yourself:
Traffic Laws: Cameroonian law does not require an international driver’s license. A valid driver’s license from any U.S. state or territory is valid to drive in Cameroon for stays of less than three months.
Accidents: Accidental injury due to hazardous road conditions is a major threat to health and safety. In the event of an automobile accident, remain inside the vehicle and wait for police. Although it is illegal to move your vehicle before the police arrive, if a hostile mob forms or you feel your safety is in danger, leave the scene and proceed directly to the nearest police station to report the incident. Do not stop at the scene of an accident or at intersections where people have gathered, as mobs can develop quickly.
Public Transportation: Avoid all travel by public transportation and hire private transport from a reliable source. Any form of public transportation is unregulated, unreliable, and generally unsafe. Mini-buses, buses, trains, and ferries are in poor mechanical condition and are often filled well beyond their intended capacity. Make sure any car you hire is adequately insured, preferably by written confirmation from the insurance company (rather than the car hire firm). If you are hiring a driver and car, make sure you are not liable for any accident or damage.
See our Road Safety page for more information.
Aviation Safety Oversight: As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Cameroon, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of Cameroon’s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.
Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Cameroon should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website, and the NGA broadcast warnings.