Tourism & Communications
Though road links are good along the coast and between the major cities, many regions of Cameroon have few roads and little public transport.
Let the boat or train take the strain
Many tourists venture into Cameroon’s interior to view the country’s spectacular forests and wildlife. Boat is often the only way to travel. To cover large distances, the train can be best, though towns in remote regions may have little in the way of tourist accommodation.
This means that remote and heavily forested areas are hard to reach. Some of the country’s national parks – particularly in the southeast – are therefore infrequently visited by tourists.
In the very southeast, certain forest areas are little explored, even by experts. New discoveries of flora and fauna are still being made. Classified as an area of critical importance by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (ICUN), environmental organisations are active here.
The forests are also home to Baka ‘pygmies’ who live a traditional hunter-gatherer existence – see People & Culture.
A popular national park
The most popular and accessible wildlife destination for tourists is Waza National Park. Located in the flat plains of the far north, Waza’s high populations of safari animals are the main draw for tourists.
The large expanses of grassland savanna and seasonal marshes support a huge range of wildlife, including giraffe, hippos, antelopes and large herds of elephants, sometimes numbering over 100 animals.
Commercial hubLimbé is located near to Douala, Cameroon's commercial hub – see Map. The nearby coastline attracts businessmen who fly into Douala’s international airport and head for the beach on their time off. As a centre for business and tourism, more than a third of Cameroon’s hotels are located in Douala and the Littoral Province.
Cameroon’s beautiful beaches are uncrowded for much of the year and offer some strange contrasts.
The old colonial town of Limbé on the northern part of the coast is one key resort. This port town lies below Mount Cameroon. The volcanic nature of the area means that its beaches are chocolate brown in colour, the sand made up of dark igneous rock particles. Some locals believe the black sand has magical powers.
Further south along the coast, Kribi is the country’s main holiday destination, a few hours' drive from both Douala and Yaoundé. Unlike Limbé, Kribi has white beaches.
The name Kribi comes from the local word ‘kiridi’, which means ‘small men’. This is because the Baka ‘pygmy’ people used to be widespread in this region. However, the influx of other groups and construction projects have deforested large areas and driven many Bakas inland.