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Expat Exchange - Best Places to See While on a Look-See Trip to Cameroon (Plus, Itineraries) 2024
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Best Places to See While on a Look-See Trip to Cameroon (Plus, Itineraries)

By Betsy Burlingame

Universal Tax Professionals
Universal Tax Professionals

Summary: If you're considering moving to Cameroon and don't have a favorite city or town picked out, going on a look-see or exploratory trip to visit a number of popular expat destinations is really informative. Here are some recommendations for where to visit when exploring Cameroon.

Embarking on a Look-See trip to Cameroon is an essential step for anyone considering relocation to this diverse and culturally rich country. Such a trip allows potential expatriates, retirees, and digital nomads to explore the living conditions, local culture, amenities, and expatriate communities firsthand. It provides a realistic preview of daily life and helps in making an informed decision about whether or not to make the move. By visiting various cities and towns, one can assess factors like climate, healthcare, safety, and social opportunities that are crucial for a comfortable expatriate life.

Recommended Itineraries

For a comprehensive Look-See trip to Cameroon, consider the following itineraries. A 10-day trip could focus on the major urban centers and a glimpse of the natural landscapes, starting with Yaoundé, then Douala, and Limbe, before exploring the cultural richness of Bafoussam and the scenic beauty of Bamenda. For a more extensive 20-day trip, add the coastal city of Kribi, the historic town of Foumban, the serene Dschang, and the bustling market town of Buea. This longer itinerary allows for a deeper understanding of each region's unique offerings and lifestyle.

Yaoundé

Yaoundé, the capital city of Cameroon, is known for its vibrant culture and political significance. With a population of over 2.5 million, it offers a mix of urban life and green spaces. Expats and digital nomads appreciate the city's relatively stable infrastructure, including healthcare facilities and international schools. The cost of living is moderate, and the city's hilly landscape provides a cooler climate compared to other regions. Yaoundé serves as a central hub, making it easy to travel to other parts of the country.

Travel Tip: While in Yaoundé, visit the National Museum of Yaoundé (Musée National), which offers insights into Cameroon's rich cultural heritage. For a taste of local cuisine, try the renowned restaurant Le Senat, known for its traditional dishes and ambiance.

Douala

Douala is Cameroon's economic capital and largest city, acting as the main gateway for international trade. It's a bustling metropolis with a population exceeding 3 million. The city attracts expats with its business opportunities and relatively higher standard of living. The cost of living can be higher here, but the amenities and international community often justify the expense. Douala is also close to beach resorts, providing a quick escape to the Atlantic coast.

Travel Tip: Explore the Douala Art Market for unique handicrafts and art pieces. For dining, La Fourchette is a popular choice among expats for its diverse menu and quality service.

Limbe

Limbe is a coastal town known for its black sand beaches and the backdrop of Mount Cameroon. It's a smaller and more relaxed environment, with a growing community of expats drawn by the tourism and hospitality industry. The cost of living is lower than in larger cities, and the proximity to the ocean makes it ideal for those who enjoy water activities. Limbe also offers a botanical garden and a wildlife center, adding to its charm.

Travel Tip: Don't miss the Limbe Wildlife Centre, a sanctuary for rescued primates. For seafood lovers, a meal at Down Beach is a must, where you can enjoy fresh fish right by the water.

Bafoussam

Bafoussam is the capital of the West Region and is known for its rich traditions and cultural festivals. It's a city that offers a glimpse into the authentic Cameroonian way of life, with a lower cost of living and a close-knit community feel. The population is around 300,000, making it less crowded than the major cities. Bafoussam is also a gateway to exploring the Western Highlands and its traditional kingdoms.

Travel Tip: Experience the vibrant local culture at the Bafoussam Market, where you can find everything from textiles to spices. For dining, Le Palais de Bafoussam offers a mix of local and international cuisine in a cozy setting.

Bamenda

Bamenda is the main city in the Northwest Region and is surrounded by picturesque hills and valleys. It has a population of about 500,000 and is known for its temperate climate and friendly locals. The cost of living is affordable, and the city has a laid-back atmosphere, making it attractive for those seeking a quieter lifestyle. Bamenda is also a center for English-speaking Cameroonians, providing a linguistic advantage for English-speaking expats.

Travel Tip: Visit the Mankon Fon's Palace for a historical perspective on the local chieftaincy and traditions. For relaxation, the Ayaba Hotel offers a pleasant dining experience with views of the city's hilly landscape.

Kribi

Kribi is a seaside town known for its pristine beaches and the Lobe Waterfalls, where the river cascades directly into the sea. It's a popular spot for both tourists and expats looking for a tranquil coastal life. The cost of living is reasonable, and the town offers a variety of water sports and leisure activities. Kribi's growing expat community enjoys the relaxed pace and natural beauty of the area.

Travel Tip: Take a boat trip to see the Lobe Waterfalls from the sea, and enjoy a meal at the famous Tara Plage restaurant, where the fresh catch of the day is always on the menu.

Foumban

Foumban is a town with a strong artistic and historical presence, often referred to as the cultural heart of Cameroon. It's home to the Royal Palace of the Sultan of Bamoun, a living museum of art and history. The cost of living is low, and the town offers a peaceful environment with a slower pace of life. Expats interested in art, history, and culture will find Foumban particularly appealing.

Travel Tip: The Royal Palace and its adjoining museum are must-visit attractions, showcasing the artistic heritage of the Bamoun people. For a culinary treat, try the local specialties at Restaurant Le Sultan.

Buea

Buea is a small town located on the slopes of Mount Cameroon, known for its cool climate and colonial-era architecture. It's a hub for education with the presence of the University of Buea, attracting academics and students from around the world. The cost of living is moderate, and the town offers a serene environment with easy access to hiking and outdoor activities. Buea's expat community enjoys the blend of natural beauty and intellectual stimulation.

Travel Tip: Hiking Mount Cameroon is a popular activity for adventure seekers. After a day of exploring, relax at the IYA Buea restaurant, which offers a mix of international and Cameroonian dishes in a comfortable setting.

About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.


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SJB Global

SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
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SJB GlobalSJB Global

SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
Learn More

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