Thanks to its extensive cultural and geographical diversity, Cameroon has earned the nickname "Africa in Miniature". This central African country covers an area of more than 475,000 km2 and is bordered by Nigeria, Chad, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and Congo. The coast of Cameroon is situated on the Bight of Bonny in the Atlantic Ocean. The population of 22.25 million people is almost completely equally divided between rural dwellers and those residing in urban cities. Population density is at its highest in cities, especially Douala, Yaoundé and Garoua.
More than 230 distinctive languages can be found in this varied country. The official language is French, with around 80% of Cameroonians being fluent speakers, however, traditional tribal languages are widely spoken. Baka and Bakoo are the most prominent indigenous languages.
Due to Cameroon being one of the most politically and socially stable countries in central Africa, there is a large number of foreigners living and working there. Nigerians are the main group of foreign nationals, followed by Sudanese. Roughly 2% of the population consists of expats from outside Africa, most commonly European and Chinese.
Cameroon experiences both a tropical and a semiarid climate, with a big difference between north and south.
The climate in the south and along the coast is extremely humid and hot, while further north the weather is very dry and arid with little to no precipitation. In the south of Cameroon, the dry season is from November to February: during this time the southern cities are exceptionally warm, with average temperatures of 32°C (89.6°F). Southern Cameroon experiences a wet season between the months of August and October. In the rainy season, the southern coastal belt is in the top 10 wettest places on earth and the regions around the base of Mount Cameroon have annual rainfall of 10,287 mm.
The Northern region is hot and dry, with a rainy season going from May to September and an average temperature of 30°C (86°F).
People entering Cameroon for any amount of time must be in possession of a valid visa. In order to be granted a visa, foreigners must provide an accurately completed visa application form. This form can be downloaded and completed online, or collected in person at the nearest Cameroonian embassy. In addition to this, the embassy must be provided with an original passport with a minimum of six months validity remaining and two passport sized photographs.
Before entering Cameroon, foreigners must also be in possession of a yellow fever vaccination certificate and a recent bank statement that clearly displays the applicant’s name, address, bank account balance and complete transaction record. Expats should obtain a residence visa for Cameroon in order to reside in the country for more than three months. Anyone moving to Cameroon from overseas must pay the consulate a residence permit fee, the minimum amount is 250,000 XFA but the price may vary. More advice and information can be obtained by visiting a Cameroonian embassy.