The city of Yaounde is the capital of Cameroon. With an estimated population of 2.5 million, it is the second largest city in the country next to its rival port city of Douala. It lies in the centre of the nation and is considered as a green city, self-contained and laid out across seven hills with temperate climate that tourists can get accustomed to. Yaounde is a great first stop before checking out the rest of Cameroon.
What to see & do
Yaounde is home to a number of 1970s government buildings that architecture enthusiasts will find amazing. Known structures that tourists visit are the city’s town hall and water towers. Also found here is the Cathédrale Notre Dame des Victoires, which serves as the seat of the Archdiocese of Yaoundé, and the Musée d'Art Camerounais, where an impressive collection of masks, bronze, woodwork, and other examples of Cameroonian art can be found. The chapel inside the museum is also something that is worth looking at. The most notable place that tourists visit is the Mvog Betsi Zoo, known as one of the best zoos in all of West Africa, where primates of various kinds and a playground for children can be found. Since the city is not really known to host tourists, some other activities that can be done here include shopping at the Mokolo Market or hanging out at the Mont Febe and the numerous other swimming facilities that their hotels have to offer.
How to get around within Yaounde
The most famous means of getting around the city are shared taxis which could cost a certain rate depending on the arrangement agreed upon. Another common means of transportation are public buses that leave their companies' offices and are spread out on the outskirts of town, particularly in the Nsam and Mvan districts. Otherwise, all agency and non-agency buses for Kribi, Bertoua, Batouri, Ebolowa, Limbe, and Buea depart from Blvd de l'Ocam, about three kilometres south of Place Ahmadou Ahidjo. Traffic is heavy during weekdays but is very light on weekends so it is recommended that you take a tour of Yaounde on those days. If you wish to visit neighbour cities Douala and N'Gaoundéré, train lines are the best way to do so since travel by road could take up to three hours to Douala and around 14 hours to N'Gaoundéré.
How to get there
There are daily flights from most major European destinations, like Paris, London, Belgium, and Amsterdam. While most flights arrive in Douala, these flights frequently continue on to Yaounde and do not require passengers to disembark. Alternately, one could get off in Douala and take one of the numerous bus or train services to reach Yaounde, which usually takes 3-4 hours of travel time. If you do happen to land in Douala, getting to Yaounde is possible through trains that run daily from the Amadawa province up to Yaounde. If you wish to get there faster from Douala, there are connecting internal flights that are provided by Camair-Co airlines and a 45-minute trip will get you there.
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