- Reviewed: 19 March 2020, 14:26 NZDT
- Still current at: 9 April 2020
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There have been confirmed cases of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in Cameroon.
Local authorities in countries and territories with confirmed cases of COVID-19 may impose containment measures including travel restrictions and quarantine requirements to prevent the spread of the virus.
Such measures may be imposed at short notice and specific details may change rapidly, including where and to whom they apply to and for how long. All travellers should stay informed of measures being taken by authorities in the areas they are travelling to. We recommend that all travellers consult the official website or the nearest embassy or consulate of your country or territory of destination to find out about any border controls and other measures that may apply to you.
For information on countries and territories which have COVID-19 related border restrictions affecting foreign nationals, including travellers in transit, please check the International Air Transport Association (IATA) website before you travel. IATA provides a comprehensive list of all countries and territories that have imposed COVID-19 related border restrictions and is being continually updated.
As part of its response to managing the COVID-19 outbreak, the New Zealand Government has some temporary travel restrictions in place in New Zealand. Please refer to the New Zealand Ministry of Health website for up to date information.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
See our regional advice for Africa