Located in Central Africa, Cameroon is known throughout the world for its scenic terrain, vast wildlife population, and rich cultural heritage. With four cultural regions, Cameroon has something for every type of traveler to enjoy, from museums and outdoor markets to river cruises and day-long treks through the rainforests.
Waza National Park is Cameroon's largest wildlife reserve, spanning 170,000 acres. For a once-in-a-lifetime safari adventure, hire a local guide and rent a 4WD to take you through the vast terrain. For safety purposes, the park has a rule that all visitors must stay in their vehicles at all times, but you'll still be able to view the majestic animals in their natural habitats. The best time to visit the park is between December and March, also referred to as the dry season. During this time, the animals are more visible, as they huddle around their watering holes to keep hydrated.
Bafut Palace is the most significant structure in all of Cameroon, as it houses the King of Cameroon, his wife, and his royal court. Built over 400 years ago, the palace sits directly in the center of the Bafut community, and it consists of multiple dwellings. Every Sunday, the Palace holds a market that's open to the public, and you can also visit the museum inside the colonial building right above the Palace. If you're in Cameroon during late December, the Palace holds a four-day outdoor celebration with masked dancers and drumming,
The Dja Faunal Reserve is one of the largest rainforests in Cameroon. The reserve is protected by the UNESCO World Heritage Center, so 90 percent of the land is undisturbed. Surrounded by the Dja River, the reserve is open for tours, and local guides are available to help you navigate the terrain. The reserve is home to forest elephants, leopards, forest buffalo, 300 bird species and 1,500 plant species.
If you're in the mood for a day of shopping, head over to Marche De Fleur in Douala. Browse the stalls and shops that line the streets for handmade gifts, local crafts, knick-knacks, and some of the most beautiful flowers around. Haggling is common at the market, so you might even snag a few great deals during your outing.
For some authentic Cameroon cuisine, stop by Le Biberon Bamenda Bistro at Foncha Junction. The bistro serves its own organically grown food, and there's also a house band playing live music. The tables are small and intimate, making it a great spot for a date. The menu features a wide variety of both local dishes and Western dishes, including fish and chips and grilled chicken if you're looking for a little taste of home.
Get a rare glimpse of native wildlife in their natural habitat when you visit the Limbe Wildlife Centre. The sanctuary rescues and rehabs animals back to health, and the program is funded partially by donations. Skilled guides volunteer at the sanctuary and educate visitors on each animal and their rehabilitation process. When you're finished with your tour, pop next door to Arne's cafe for a smoothie or a slice of pizza.
Located in Doula, the Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul was built in 1936 as Catholicism became prevalent in Cameroon. Today, the cathedral is a historic landmark that welcomes visitors from around the globe, and it's fully operational and open to the public. Visit the cathedral on a Sunday for mass, or tour the interior on a weekday to take in the beautiful architecture. If you stop in for mass, make sure to arrive early, as the cathedral draws in a large Sunday crowd.
For a fun day among the animals, head over to the Mvog-Betsi Zoo. Located in Yaounde, this zoological and botanical park is home to an abundance of primates, reptiles, birds of prey, and big cats. Be sure to have your camera ready to snap some truly Instagrammable photos of lions, baboons, monkeys, mandrills, and more.
Lake Oku is a crater lake in Bamenda surrounded by a nature preserved forest that is maintained through BirdLife International. During your visit, you'll see an abundance of native birds and breathtaking flora. Visitors can reach the lake and hiking area via motorbike taxi, then hike back while taking in the views. The hike back will take you through the local village of Anyajua, where you'll get a chance to see the coffee farms and cornfields of the settled Fulani people.
For a day filled with beautiful views and some excitement on the water, sign up for a boat tour along the Kribi coast. Located in Kribi, the Lobe River draws in visitors who can't wait to catch a glimpse of the Lobe' waterfalls, a breathtaking natural attraction that flows right into the sea. Local tour company Urbain Mandoua takes travelers down the water via motorized canoe, then finishes the journey with a seafood meal at the beach.