green trees under white clouds during daytime
green trees under white clouds during daytime
people walking on street during daytime

Is Cameroon Safe?

Cameroon presents significant safety risks for travelers. Violent crime, including armed robbery and kidnapping, is prevalent, especially in major cities and border regions. The Anglophone crisis has led to civil unrest and clashes between security forces and armed separatist groups. Terrorism remains a threat, with attacks by Boko Haram and ISIS-affiliated groups in the Far North region. Travelers should exercise extreme caution, avoid high-risk areas, and closely monitor travel advisories.

Download Vigilios

Your Pocket-Sized Travel Safety Guide

A phone displaying the Vigilios app and it's safety features.
App Store

Safety & Security

Cameroon is generally considered safe for travelers, but there are some risks to be aware of. The country has experienced periods of civil unrest and political tension, particularly in the Anglophone regions. Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and bag snatching, is common in urban areas and tourist hotspots. Violent crime, including armed robbery and carjacking, also occurs, though it is less frequent.

  • Terrorism: There is a risk of terrorism, especially in the Far North region near the border with Nigeria, where the militant group Boko Haram operates. Attacks have occurred in this area, and travelers should exercise caution.

  • Scams: Travelers should be wary of common scams, such as fake tour guides, overcharging for services, and taxi scams. It's advisable to book tours and transportation through reputable sources.

  • Civil Unrest: Protests and demonstrations can occur, particularly in the Anglophone regions, and some have turned violent. Travelers should avoid large gatherings and monitor local news for updates.

  • Disputes: Disputes between locals and foreigners can sometimes escalate, especially in areas where there is tension between Anglophone and Francophone communities. It's best to avoid confrontations and remain vigilant.

While most visits to Cameroon are trouble-free, travelers should exercise caution, particularly in urban areas and regions with known security risks. Staying informed about the current situation and following the advice of local authorities can help mitigate risks.

Health & Medical

Travelers to Cameroon should be aware of potential health risks and take necessary precautions. Malaria is a significant concern, so antimalarial medication is highly recommended, especially in rural areas. Yellow fever vaccination is also required for entry into the country.

  • Insect-Borne Diseases: Besides malaria, other insect-borne diseases like dengue fever, chikungunya, and Zika virus are present. Use insect repellent and wear protective clothing.

  • Water and Food Safety: Avoid consuming tap water and only drink bottled or purified water. Be cautious with street food and ensure proper hygiene when eating.

  • Medical Facilities: Healthcare facilities in major cities are generally adequate, but may be limited in rural areas. Ensure you have comprehensive travel insurance and access to emergency medical evacuation if needed.

  • Vaccinations: In addition to routine vaccinations, hepatitis A, typhoid, and rabies vaccines are recommended depending on your travel plans.

  • Air Pollution: Air quality in major cities like Douala and Yaoundé can be poor, potentially exacerbating respiratory issues. Those with respiratory conditions should take necessary precautions.

Natural Disasters

Cameroon is prone to several natural disasters that travelers should be aware of. Volcanic eruptions pose a risk, particularly in the Northwest region near Mount Cameroon. Flooding is common during the rainy season from June to October, especially in low-lying areas. Landslides can occur in mountainous regions after heavy rainfall.

  • Volcanic Activity: Mount Cameroon, an active volcano, last erupted in 2000. Eruptions can cause ash fall, lava flows, and potential evacuations in nearby areas.

  • Flooding: Intense rainfall during the wet season can lead to flash floods, disrupting transportation and damaging infrastructure. Coastal areas are also vulnerable to storm surges.

  • Landslides: Deforestation and heavy rains increase the risk of landslides, especially in the Western Highlands and along major roads.

  • Droughts: Prolonged dry spells can occur, particularly in the northern regions, leading to water shortages and impacting agriculture.

While natural disasters cannot be entirely avoided, travelers should monitor weather conditions, follow local advisories, and exercise caution in high-risk areas during their visit to Cameroon.


Transportation in Cameroon can be challenging for travelers. While public transportation options like buses and shared taxis are available, their safety and reliability are often questionable. Road conditions are generally poor, especially in rural areas, with potholes, lack of proper signage, and inadequate lighting posing risks.

  • Road Safety: Driving in Cameroon can be hazardous due to reckless driving, poorly maintained vehicles, and a lack of enforcement of traffic laws. Travelers are advised to exercise extreme caution when driving or riding in vehicles.

  • Public Transportation: Buses and shared taxis are widely used but may be overcrowded, poorly maintained, and driven recklessly. Accidents involving public transportation are not uncommon.

  • Taxis: While taxis are available in major cities, it's essential to use reputable companies or negotiate fares beforehand to avoid scams or overcharging.

  • Infrastructure: Road infrastructure is often lacking, with bridges and roads in disrepair, especially during the rainy season. Landslides and flooding can make some routes impassable.

Travelers are advised to research their transportation options thoroughly, plan routes carefully, and consider hiring a private driver or renting a vehicle from a reputable company if self-driving. Exercising caution and being aware of potential risks is crucial for a safe journey in Cameroon.

Cultural Norms

Cameroon is a culturally diverse nation with over 250 ethnic groups. Respecting local customs and traditions is essential for travelers to have an enriching experience. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Greetings: Greetings are important in Cameroonian culture. It's polite to greet people with a handshake, even in casual encounters. Avoid rushing into conversations without proper greetings.

  • Dress Code: Dress modestly, especially in rural areas and places of worship. Revealing clothing may be considered disrespectful.

  • Photography: Ask for permission before taking photographs of individuals, especially in traditional settings or religious sites.

  • Haggling: Bargaining is common practice in markets and with street vendors. However, be respectful and avoid aggressive haggling.

  • Ramadan: During the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, avoid eating, drinking, or smoking in public during daylight hours out of respect for those fasting.

  • Traditional Events: Cameroon has numerous traditional festivals and events throughout the year. Attending these can provide valuable cultural insights, but be mindful of local customs and etiquette.

  • Language: While English and French are widely spoken, learning a few basic phrases in local languages like Ewondo or Fulani can go a long way in showing respect and appreciation for the culture.

Emergency Services

Emergency services in Cameroon are limited, especially outside major cities. While police and ambulance services exist, their response times can be slow and their capabilities may be lacking. Private hospitals and clinics offer better emergency care, but at a higher cost.

  • Medical Facilities: Major cities like Douala and Yaoundé have private clinics and hospitals that provide relatively reliable emergency medical care, though services can be expensive for travelers without adequate insurance coverage.

  • Emergency Transportation: Ambulance services are available but may have long response times, especially in rural areas. Many travelers opt for private transportation to medical facilities during emergencies.

  • Police and Security: The police force is present but may have limited resources and training. Travelers should exercise caution and avoid confrontations or situations that could require police intervention.

  • Tourist Assistance: Some hotels and tour operators offer emergency assistance services for their guests, but these are not widely available or standardized across the country. Travelers should inquire about emergency support options with their accommodation providers or tour companies.

Overall, while basic emergency services exist, travelers to Cameroon should take precautions, have contingency plans, and consider obtaining comprehensive travel insurance that covers emergency medical evacuation if needed.

Frequently Asked Questions

A colorful illustration with three people and the letters "FAQ" representing a Frequently Asked Questions section

Is Cameroon safe for tourists?

Cameroon is generally safe for tourists, but caution is advised due to the threat of terrorism, crime, and civil unrest in certain regions. Avoid border areas with Nigeria, Chad, and the Central African Republic, as well as the Anglophone regions. Remain vigilant, avoid protests, and follow local news and travel advisories.

Is Cameroon safe for solo female travelers?

Solo female travelers should exercise increased caution in Cameroon. Avoid isolated areas, especially at night, and dress conservatively. Harassment and gender-based violence can occur. Arrange trusted transportation and guides, and be aware of your surroundings at all times.

Is Cameroon safe for families?

Cameroon can be safe for families, but caution is necessary. Avoid high-risk areas and follow travel advisories. Ensure children have all required vaccinations and take precautions against diseases like malaria. Family-friendly accommodation and activities may be limited in some areas.

Is Cameroon LGBTQ+ friendly?

Same-sex relationships are illegal in Cameroon, and the LGBTQ+ community faces discrimination and persecution. Public displays of affection and open discussions about sexuality should be avoided. Exercise caution and discretion to ensure personal safety.

Do you need a visa to go to Cameroon?

Most visitors require a visa to enter Cameroon, with some exceptions for short stays. U.S., Canadian, and EU citizens can typically obtain a visa on arrival or an e-visa for tourism purposes. However, it's advisable to check the specific requirements for your nationality and travel purpose well in advance.

Can you drink tap water in Cameroon?

Tap water is not safe to drink in Cameroon. Waterborne diseases are a risk, and bottled or purified water is recommended for drinking and brushing teeth. Avoid ice cubes and raw foods washed with tap water.

What is the currency in Cameroon?

The official currency in Cameroon is the Central African CFA franc (XAF). While credit cards are accepted in major cities and hotels, cash is widely used, especially in rural areas. Ensure you have sufficient local currency on hand.

Download the App

Map, Insights & Support - Vigilios is your Personal Safety Companion

A phone displaying the Vigilios app and it's safety features.
App Store QR LinkApp Store
Google Play QR Link
Coming soon to Android
Google Play