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Living in Yaoundé

A comprehensive guide about living well in Yaoundé

Living in Yaoundé, Cameroon gives expats plenty of opportunity to enjoy this bilingual melting pot of cultures, a variety of dishes, and numerous places to visit. In this guide, we give you a first overview of the must-sees, how to best get around and what to keep in mind in regard to healthcare.

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Life in Yaoundé

Healthcare in Yaoundé

The healthcare in Yaoundé is not up to international standards, and it is recommended that expats purchase health insurance before moving to Yaoundé. Good insurance companies include Interglobal, Cigna and Geoblue and expats should contact them for more information. Good insurance can cover treatments in other nearby countries, some which have universal healthcare systems.

For minor injuries and illnesses, Yaoundé has some of the best health services and hospitals in the country. The city’s largest hospital is the Central Hospital of Yaoundé, which contains 650 beds and the biggest trauma center in the city. Emergency number for the ambulance is 112.

When visiting places such as Cameroon preparation is always important. Expats need to vaccinate themselves against yellow fever in order to get a visa, but in addition they should protect themselves from Malaria. Ideally it is best to bring a supply of Malaria tablets though they can also be found at healthcare clinics in the city.

Transportation in Yaoundé

Taxis, buses and mototaxis may sound insufficient for the center of an international city such as Yaoundé, but they actually provide an efficient, and by western standards, very cheap service.

The yellow taxis cost about 2000 XAF (3.5 USD) and can be shared if you want a cheaper ride. For 200 – 300 XAF (0.3–0.5 USD) they take you, and anyone else they pick up along the way, a short to medium distance through even the heaviest traffic.

The mototaxis are like motorbikes with a cabin and cost around the same as the yellow taxis. The difference is that they move through the traffic a lot faster.

If you are looking to travel outside of the city you can take a bus, train or plane. Buses leave from the outskirts of town. Recommended bus companies include Central Voyage and Guaranti Express. There is no bus station as such. Expats have to get information, pay, and catch buses directly from the bus company’s office.

Arguably the most comfortable way to travel to and from Yaoundé is by train. It is also the most popular with the locals, and during the holidays you may struggle to find a seat. At other times, however, you can travel to places in first or second class seats or sleeping compartments.

Those who want to beat the traffic can fly from the Nsimalan International, about 45 minutes from the city center. Comair flies locally and Air France and Turkish airlines fly internationally.

Culture and Leisure

As the country’s capital, Yaoundé is awash with culture, including some of the country’s best museums and most popular festivals. Musee d’Art Camerounais in the city center offers an introduction to the art, history and culture of Cameroon. Exhibits include the “Great Maternal Figure,” a brass sculpture found in the country’s northeast region.

The Musee National, also in the center, is worth visiting for its masks from across the country. Expats wanting to see places with more regional artwork can visit the private gallery at Musée Afhemi. With a welcoming spirit typical of the locals, the owner is known to invite visitors to lunch.

The country’s culture really comes to life when the sun comes down. Many nightclubs offer entertainment to locals and visitors alike, with music from hip hop to disco.

Food is an important part of the country’s culture and in Yaoundé restaurants can be found serving both traditional and international dishes at inexpensive prices

Do you want to relocate? If you have never moved abroad, the process will be overwhelming, and if you have, you know the burden that lies ahead. Whatever stage you are at, InterNations GO! can help you with a complete set of relocation services, such as home finding, school search, visa solutions, and even pet relocation. Our expert expat team is ready to get your relocation going, so why not jump-start your move abroad and contact us today? Best to start early!

Updated on: July 30, 2015
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