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Source: New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade – Safe Travel

  • Reviewed: 26 September 2019, 03:32 NZST
  • Still current at: 26 September 2019

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Do not travel to the Northwest and Southwest regions due to ongoing conflict and the volatile security situation.

Do not travel to the Far North region due to the threat from terrorism, kidnapping and armed banditry.

Do not travel to the Bakassi Peninsula region and within 40 kilometres of the borders with the Central African Republic, Chad and Nigeria’s Adamawa state. Armed bandits are known to operate in these areas and there is the potential for crossborder attacks and kidnappings.

Avoid non-essential travel in the North and Adamaoua regions due to the threat from terrorism and kidnapping and we advise against all tourist and other non-essential travel.

Exercise increased caution elsewhere in Cameroon due to violent crime, carjackings and piracy (in coastal areas).

Terrorism/kidnapping
There is a high threat from terrorism and kidnapping in northern areas of Cameroon, particularly in the Far North region.  The Nigerian-based terrorist group Boko Haram has a strong presence in neighbouring areas of northern Nigeria, and continues to cross the border and mount attacks in northern Cameroon, including shootings and suicide bombings. There have been ongoing regional military operations to counter Boko Haram which have led to an influx of refugees in northern Cameroon.

There have been a number of attacks on hotels in African countries including Burkina Faso, Mali, Cote d’Ivoire in the recent past. It is possible that Boko Haram and similar groups may attempt to conduct similarly styled attacks on hotels, public places, government buildings, places of worship and airports in Cameroon.

There is a risk of kidnapping in the North and Far North regions and along the border with Nigeria’s Adamawa region. There have also been a number of kidnappings and attempted kidnappings in the east of Cameroon near the border with the Central African Republic. Boko Haram has publicly threatened to conduct further attacks and kidnappings in Cameroon.    

Violent crime
Levels of violent crime in Cameroon are high and there have been a number of reports of violent crimes committed against foreigners. Muggings and robbery are common in urban areas, including Yaounde, Douala, Kribi and Maroua cities. In Yaounde, the suburbs of la Briquetterie, Mokolo and Mvog-Ada are particularly dangerous. Petty theft is common on transportation services, such as trains, buses and bush taxis. There have also been reports of violent assaults and robberies on taxi passengers. 

There are on-going threats of carjackings and armed robberies throughout Cameroon, particularly near the borders with Nigeria, the Central African Republic and Chad as well as along the Bamenda-Banyo, Bafoussam-Banyo, Bafoussam-Doula and Bafoussam-Yaounde roads.

New Zealanders in Cameroon are advised to be security conscious at all times and should avoid walking and travelling at night, particularly to isolated areas. As many crimes are financially motivated, it is advisable to avoid wearing or displaying items that appear valuable, such as jewellery and mobile devices. No resistance should be given if you are the victim of a robbery, mugging or carjacking as this could lead to an escalation in violence. 

Civil unrest
Demonstrations, strikes and protests occur frequently in Cameroon and may disrupt local public services and transport. Since late 2017, tensions in the English speaking Northwest and Southwest regions have resulted in protests, strikes and escalations in violence. Armed clashes and explosions have been reported in the regional capitals of Buea and Bameda, resulting in injuries and deaths.

Comply with any instructions issued by the local authorities, including any curfews. Monitor local and international media, review personal security plans and be aware of your surroundings. If unexpectedly in the vicinity of a protest or demonstration, exercise caution and leave the area quickly.

Scams

Commercial and internet fraud is common in Cameroon. New Zealanders should be wary of any offers that seem too good to be true, as they may be a scam. For further information see our advice on Internet Fraud and International Scams and Internet Dating Scams.

Police checkpoints are common in Cameroon and motorists may be requested to pay fines for minor or non-existant violations. New Zealanders in Cameroon are advised to carry all relevant and applicable identification with them (certified copy of passport, international driver’s license, driver’s license and residence permit) and to request that any violations be issued as a written citation that can be paid at a local court.  

Piracy
Piracy is a problem in the Gulf of Guinea, particularly in the waters around the Niger Delta, which includes the Bakassi Peninsula. Mariners are advised to take appropriate precautionary measures. For more information view the International Maritime Bureau’s piracy report.

General Travel Advice
As there is no New Zealand diplomatic presence in Cameroon, the ability of the government to provide consular assistance to New Zealand citizens is severely limited.

New Zealanders travelling or living in Cameroon should have a comprehensive travel insurance policy in place that includes provision for medical evacuation by air.

New Zealanders in Cameroon are encouraged to register their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Travel tips

See our regional advice for Africa

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