To travel across Cameroon, you can choose among a few means of transport. But which ones? Find out in this article.
If you have decided to settle in Cameroon, you will probably have to move from one place to another during your stay, whether it is long or short. For this, you can choose among different means of transports. Note, however, that the country's transports network is not very developed, unlike many foreign countries. However, the country has many roads which will allow you to travel anywhere without much difficulty. Having a driver's license could be very advantageous.
But if you do not wish to rent or buy a car, you can still travel by bus, by taxi or by train.
Cameroon's road infrastructure consists of some 50,000 km of roads including 30,000 km of rural roads and 20,000 km of national, regional and local roads. However, only 10% of these roads are appropriate for traffic although these are often blocked due to the installation of toll posts over small distances and the passing of huge goods vehicles. Note that there are three toll posts between Yaoundé, the capital city, and Douala.
Both Yaoundé and Douala have an urban and interurban transport network, consisting of bus fleets. The bus network is run by an American company providing transport services through Chinese vehicles. However, a local bus manufacturing company has also started its activities in Cameroon in order to reduce costs and generate profits for a more efficient transport service.
There are different types of taxi in Cameroon. The most popular ones are traditional taxis which are yellow. These taxis are used to two types of rates, namely for dropping off and picking up. In the case of dropping off, rates have been set following negotiations between the taxi unions and the government of Cameroon. As regards picking up, rates can be negotiated by the passenger with the taxi driver. However, fixed rates apply to some specific routes, such as a trip from the city center to the airport. Moreover, night rates apply in Cameroon.
On the other hand, you are very likely to find motorcycle-taxis cross the country, especially in the North. In general, rates are negotiated beforehand. However, motorcycle-taxi is quite risky due to careless benzikiner, that is motorcycle-taxi riders. Accidents involving this type of taxi are frequent. Hence, you are advised to be careful while choosing to travel by motorcycle-taxi. In fact, Douala's hospital has even opened a special cell for motorcycle taxi accident victims.
Finally, you can find taxi-buses in the major cities. These minibuses will allow you to travel to work and back at affordable rates. These even reach neighboring cities, covering long distances.
Camrail is the company which regulates the railway transport network. In general, trains provide transports facilities to passengers on the following lines: Douala-Kumba, Douala-Yaoundé and Yaoundé-Ngaoundere. Rates range between CFA 500 and CFA 60,000 depending on the class and the selected route.
Note, however, that train schedules are extremely limited. For instance, a single train serves the Douala-Kumba in both ways between 7.50 am and 5.30 pm at a frequency of 6 trips a day. Moreover, delays are quite frequent. You can have more details on the train schedule on the Camrail website.