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Car Hire Cameroon
When it comes to taking a road trip, the incredible variety of attractions in Cameroon make it the single-most exciting destination to rent a car in West Africa. Featuring endless stretches of white powder sands, luscious green rainforest, remote tribes, towering peaks and many wildlife experiences; you could spend a few days scratching the surface or several weeks feeling immersed in the heart of the “Dark Continent.”
Although Africa may seem a slightly daring place to travel, the online world is slowly starting to challenge the many false beliefs which are largely the creation of biased journalism and media. On the contrary, Africa is a largely safe place to travel, and when it comes to convenient tourist services such as car rental, you will find it keeps up with the western world with surprising ease.
In fact, the road infrastructure in this pocket of Africa is one of the best on the continent, and the car rental options are equally as impressive. Whether you fly into the capital and opt for car rental in Yaoundé airport or have a change of mind and pick up a vehicle in Douala, the ease of renting a car in Cameroon is apparent at every turn.
Travel Itinerary for Cameroon
Day 1 – Welcome to Douala
Having arrived in Douala, pick up your car rental and get ready to move. Thankfully, there are also many excellent accommodation options for an overnight stay, from budget hotels to exclusive and extremely luxurious resorts. Take your pick but try not to hang around too long as this is a busy city which can feel hot, sticky and often, claustrophobic.
Instead, check into your hotel and relax for the evening with the intention of leaving the city behind the first thing in the morning. Yes, there are one or two interesting sights in the city itself, but with such a short itinerary, you should see that this time is better spent elsewhere on the journey.
Day 2 – Bangem & Muanenguba Twin Crater Lakes
Muanenguba Twin Crater Lakes are some of the most iconic and mystical likes in the world which are easily accessible when you rent a car in Cameroon. Located a short distance from Douala, the town of Bangem is home to the start of a beautiful hiking trail which travels through rolling landscapes to these lakes, and it is also an ideal place to leave the car rental.
Lasting for six hours, the hike is reasonably long, but the reward is nothing short of unforgettable. Green and endless, the surrounding fields are similar to the hills in France while an encounter with the Mbororo tribe is a reminder that you are a very long way from anywhere so civilized.
Day 3 – Melong & Ekom Nkam Waterfall
Although it is possible to rent a car in Melong, most travelers will have picked up their vehicle already and opt to escape the busy city easily before rush hour starts. Once on the open road, rural life in Africa takes over on your trip to Ekom Nkam Waterfall which is located half way to the next city of Nkongsamba. Once the scene for Tarzan, a famous movie in the 1980’s, the jungle here is dense and every bit as special as it seemed on the big screen.
Simply put, these waterfalls are spellbinding and one of a fascinating natural attractions across the country. You can take a hike in the local area here or just stay for a picnic beneath the falls. Either way, this region is the perfect place to spend a day hiking or enjoying the scenery.
Day 4 & 5 – Limbe Beach and Wildlife Center
While the stunning remote sands of Kribi Beach is possibly better known for tourists, the alternative is Limbe which offers a better all-round experience.
As you might imagine, the beach is glorious and a great spot to lounge during the day with iconic views of nearby mountains and fishing boats on the horizon. However, the best part of visiting Limbe with your car rental is the Wildlife Center which is now home to orphaned and rescued primates that were once the subject of meat trade. Meeting these gentle creatures is a great experience, and the center is also equipped with an excellent café for lunch and the leafy Limbe Botanical Gardens where you can walk off the meal.
As with any vacation, the prospect of rushing from one destination to another is never a wise one, and so you should always take time to relax in Limbe, enjoy some down time and soak up the quiet ambiance.
Day 6 & 7 – Edea, Sanaga, and chimpanzees
Further southeast in Cameroon, you will reach the relatively small city of Edea, but while this makes a nice place to stay overnight, it is also the starting point to reach the very first German colony in Cameroon. At the same time, this settlement is not the reason the area is so appealing.
Situated on islands at the Sanaga River, you will find another incredible organization who rescue and re-home chimpanzee. Interestingly, each island is designated to a specific age group so on the first island you can expect some cute babies who are eager to interact with you but then on the next, you will need to keep your distance and watch the adults enjoy their peaceful surroundings.
Having experienced some of the most natural sites in Cameroon, walked on the most beautiful beaches and encountered the endearing chimpanzee, you are now within easy reach of Douala once again and free to enjoy a leisurely drive back to the airport to drop off your car rental.
Top Things to See in Cameroon
Mefou National Park
Located just over an hour from Yaoundé, Mefou National Park is a sanctuary for endangered primates which is run by Ape Action Africa. Although these primates are in captivity, it must be noted that this organization has rescued the animals with the intention of providing them with a safe habitat. Mefou is easily reached with your car rental as the roads are extremely well maintained and the center is nicely signposted.
Limbe Beach (And Limbe Wildlife Centre)
Limbe Beach is a hugely popular destination for tourists with beautiful sands and scenery, but then the wildlife center here is the real reason for which people arrive. Home to more than fifteen species of primates including silverback gorilla, it offers an incredible insight and the organization is run entirely by volunteers. Again, Limbe Wildlife Centre is not a zoo, and the animals here were rescued from the inevitability of death.
Known as the highest point in West Africa, the summit of Mount Cameroon is more than four thousand meters above sea level and another exciting attraction for the more intrepid travelers. Still known as an active volcano, the mountain is a mystical place to trek, and you have many options in this regards including a day hike to the first hut or a multi-day hike to the very top.
Chutes de la Lobe
Located close to Kribi Beach, Chutes de la Lobe is a beautiful waterfall and a huge tourist attraction for anyone who visits the region. At the same time, there are many cascading falls around the country which is equally as popular and Ekom Nkam Waterfall is arguably the most impressive of them all. You may need to take a six-hour trek to reach this beauty, but the reward is certainly worth the effort.
Art Galleries and museums
Simply put, such is the incredible array of galleries and museums throughout the major cities in Cameroon, there is no way to list them all. Doual’Art and Marche des Fleurs are beautiful illustrations of what Douala has to offer while Blackitude Museum and the National Museum are the stands out attractions in Yaoundé. You will find much more scattered amidst the urban sprawl of almost every major city in Cameroon and the collection of monuments is just as obvious, such as the inspiring Monument de la Reunification.
National Parks and natural surroundings
While Limbe Botanical Garden and Bois Sainte Anastasie in Yaoundé are some of the most sensational places of nature in Cameroon, it must be said that the confines of the National Parks are always a highlight for visitors. From the dusty plains of Waza and dense jungles in Korup to the antelope infested Bouba Njida and flowing rivers in Bénoué; every national park has something different and unforgettable to offer.