Western Cameroon

Cameroon's lush western provinces are the most bountiful parts of the country. There's a riot of vegetation and a colourful selection of produce in the markets. Douala is the jumping-off place for Mt Cameroon and the Ring Road, as well as the lazy beaches around Limbe. Throw in several tribal kingdoms and sultanates, and it's a traveller's paradise.

DOUALA

pop 1.7 million

Yaoundé might be Cameroon's capital, but Douala is the economic powerhouse. With little in the way of tourist attractions, it's a swelteringly hot mess of dusty honking traffic jams. Hard to love initially, give it some time and you may begin to appreciate this port city's good restaurants, lively nightlife and decaying tropical ambience. As the Cameroonians say, 'Yaoundé sleeps, Douala moves'.

Orientation

Akwa district is at the heart of Douala, bisected by Blvd de la Liberté, where you'll find many hotels, internet cafés, banks and restaurants. South of here, near Rue Joss in Bonanjo, is the administrative quarter, with airline offices and government buildings. The airport is a couple of kilometres south of town.

Information

INTERNET ACCESS

There are internet cafés all along Blvd de la Liberté; Cyberbao (Blvd de la Liberté, per hr CFA400) is reliable.

MEDICAL SERVICES Pharmacie de Centre (Blvd de la Liberté) Pharmacie de Douala (Blvd Ahidjo) Polyclinique Bonanjo ( (§) 342 7936; Ave de Gaulle) For medical emergencies.

MONEY

For changing money, try the banks along Blvd de la Liberté or Rue Joss - most have ATMs. Express Exchange (Blvd de la Liberté) conveniently changes travellers cheques and US dollars. Hôtel Akwa Palace (Blvd de la Liberté) has plenty of touts outside for changing cash out of hours, but watch yourself.

POST

Central Post Office (Rue loss) TRAVEL AGENCIES

Saga Voyages ( (§) 342 3317; Rue Joss) Well-organised agency.

Trans Africa Tours ( (§) 342 8307; near Rond Point Dëido) Good for African flight connections.

Dangers & Annoyances

Douala has a poor reputation for muggings and you need to be streetwise. Taxis are always a good idea after dark, and leave your valuables in your hotel. The beggars near Hôtel Akwa Palace can sometimes be aggressive.

Sleeping

Centre d'Accueil Missionaire ( §§ 342 2797; progemis .doualaiacamnet.cm; Rue Franceville; r without/with shower CFA7000/8000; (P) (g) @ ) This is a real oasis. There are clean twin rooms, a pleasant veranda and a pool to cool off in. Part of the Catholic Mission, it's poorly signed - it's next to the pink Axa Building.

Hotel Hila ( §§ 342 1586; Blvd de l'Unité; s CFA10,000-12,000, d CFA15,000; Igl) Ideally located for the Yaoundé bus agencies, the Hila sits on a very busy road, so get a room at the back if you can. Rooms are a little threadbare, but fair value for the price.

Foyer du Marin (l§)342 2794; [email protected] mannsmission.org; Rue Gallieni; s/d CFA15,000/28,000; (P) IS) IH) @ ) Otherwise known as the German Seaman's Mission, tidy comfortable rooms are kept ship-shape for visiting sailors - and other travellers - coming into port. It's equally popular as a drinking spot with Douala's expats, who visit for the nightly sausage and meat grill from 7pm. There's an eclectic multilingual book exchange. Douala's bargain, it's regularly full so advance booking is essential.

Hotel Beausejour Mirabel ( §§ 342 3885; infosbeau-sejour-mirabel.com; Rue Joffre; r CFA25,000-27,000; g) (g) This hotel's bright exterior puts forward a warm welcome. The corner location can make the interior seem like it's all corridors, but at the end of them you'll find large tidy rooms with balconies. Nonresidents can use the pool for CFA 1500 per day.

Parfait Garden ( § 342 6357; hotel.parfait-gardenia globalnet2.net; Blvd de la Liberté; r from CFA35.000; Igl ) Rooms are spacious and plush. There's a nice bar and restaurant, and the liveried bell boys inject a little class.

Eating & Drinking

There are plenty of good restaurants along Blvd de la Liberté, selling a spectrum of international cuisine.

Delice (Blvd de la Liberté; snacks from CFA500; S 7am-9.30pm) A great early morning stop for pastries and a shot of coffee; there are also some good toasted sandwiches. The 'delice' surely refers to the cool air-conditioning and comfy seating.

Grilled fish & beer (Rue de la Joie; fish from CFA1000; S 10am-late) This street of bars off Blvd de la Réunification is punctuated at regular intervals by women with stalls selling grilled fish with plantain or baton (steamed manioc). Order, then retire to a drinking hole to sink a cold one while your meal is prepared.

Saga African Restaurant (Blvd de la Liberté; mainsfrom CFA1200; S noon-10pm) Opposite the Parfait Garden hotel, the Saga offers an interesting mix of continental dishes with some local classics, such as ndole. It's nicely decked out, with a bar out the front and restaurant behind.

Méditerranée Restaurant (Blvd de la Liberté; mains from CFA2500; ® 8am-midnight) With an open terrace but still cleverly sheltered from the busy road, the Méditerranée is perennially popular. The menu is a good mix of Greek, Italian and Lebanese dishes.

You can find good Cameroonian food from the street stalls along Rue Joffre.

Entertainment

Douala is known for its nightlife. Asking locals is the best way to find the current hotspots,

DOUALA

EATING [H

Del ice

INFORMATION

British Consulate

Central Post Office

Cyberbao

Equatorial Guinean Consulate.

Express Exchange

French Consulate

Nigerian Consulate

Pharmacie de Centre

Pharmacie de Douai a

Saga Voyages

Trans Africa Tours

US Consulate

Méditerranée Restaurant. SagaAfrican Restaurant.. Street Food

.7 D2 ENTERTAINMENT 0

.8 C3 Wouri Cinema

TRANSPORT

Cameroon Airlines

Centrale Voyages

Confort Voyages

Guaranti Express

Shared Taxis to Gare Routière Bonabéri

SLEEPING Q

Centre d'Accueil Missionaire.

Foyer du Marin

Hôtel Beausejour Mirabel

Parfait Garden

Main Port

Cathedral Q

fo A/iarché des Fleurs; Centr Artisanal de Douala (1km); ' : Airpç\(4km)

To Garé Routière Bonabéri (5km); Limöe (75km); Buea (90km); Kumba (Ï35km); Bafoussam (285km); Foum ban jf355km); Bamenda (365km);

Train Station

•Flare Anmadöi. Ahidjo l.'ribi (77?i.m); Yaounde (I'/Oi.m)

but when we visited Rue de la Joie near Rond Point Dëido was one of the happening streets, with bars and nightclubs dancing until dawn on the weekend.

Wouri cinema (Blvd de la Liberté) Shows recent Hollywood and European hits in French.

Getting There & Away

Douala has a major international airport with links to cities around the region. Cameroon Airlines ( §§ 342 2525; Rue Joss, Bonanjo) is the main carrier.

Buses to Yaoundé (CFA3800, three hours) depart from agency offices along Blvd de l'Unité throughout the day.

For other destinations, use the sprawling Gare Routière Bonabéri, 6km north of the city centre. Routes include Limbe (CFA1000, lVz hours), Bamenda (CFA5000, seven hours), Bafoussam (CFA4000, five hours) and Foum-ban (CFA4500, six hours).

Getting Around

The main ways of getting around are shared taxis and moto-taxi (motorcycle taxi), of which there are thousands and they are cheaper than taxis (CFA100). Charter taxis from central Douala to Bonabéri generally charge CFA3000. A taxi to the airports CFA2500.

BUEA

Buea is a cool and breezy mountain town and the base for hiking and trekking on Mt Cameroon. It's a laid-back, Anglophone town spread over several steep hills. Even if you don't climb, it's a nice place to relax and enjoy the cooler weather.

Conveniently, Express Exchange (Molyko Rd) will exchange euros, dollars and travellers cheques.

At the Presbyterian Church Synod Office ( (g 332

2336; Market Rd; camp sites CFA1000, s/d without bathroom CFA2500/4000, with bathroom CFA3000/5000; (g ) rooms are comfy and spotless, and there's a tidy communal sitting room and cooking facilities. This church mission is a gem.

The Paramount Hotel ( i§ 382 2074; Molyko Rd; s/d CFA7000/10,000, with hot water CFA14,000/17,000; (D ®) should be credited for trying to bring some upscale pomp to Buea. Rooms are comfortable and clean with TV; the budget options are a little simpler.

There are several cheap eating establishments on Molyko Rd around the Paramount Hotel.

TREKKING MOUNT CAMEROON

Most treks to the summit of West Africa's highest peak take two or three days, but it's no stroll in the park. The difficulty stems not only from its height (4095m), but from the fact that you start from near sea level, making a big change in altitude in a relatively short distance. November to April is the main climbing season and although it's possible to climb the mountain year-round, you won't get much in the way of views during the rainy season. Warm clothes and waterproofs are a must. A popular ascent is a two-night, three-day trek via the Mann Spring route and descending via the Guinness Route.

Treks are arranged in Buea through the Mount Cameroon Ecotourism Organisation (@ 332 2038; mountceoiayahooo.uk; Buea Market; ®8am-5pm Mon-Fri, 7am-noon Sat-Sun). The organisation works closely with the 12 villages around the mountain, employing many villagers as guides and porters. All trekkers pay a flat 'stakeholder fee' of CFA3000, which goes into a village development fund and is used for community projects, such as improving electricity and water supply. The organisation's office also has a small shop selling locally produced handicrafts.

Guides, well versed in the local flora and fauna, cost CFA6000 per day and porters CFA5000 per day. Equipment can also be hired on a daily basis, including tents (CFA5000), sleeping bags (CFA2000), sleeping mats (CFA300) and raincoats (CFA300). Expect to spend around CFA2000 per day on food for the trek - Buea Market has a decent selection of basics.

LIMBE

The easygoing port of Limbe is the centre of Anglophone Littoral Province. It sits in the shadow of Mt Cameroon, surrounded by banana and coconut plantations, and is best known as a weekend getaway from Douala, with people coming to enjoy the languid air and fresh seafood.

Information

The Fako Tourist Board (§§333 2861; Banley St; S 7.30am-5pm Mon-Sat) can arrange local tours, hotels and bookings with the Mt Cameroon Ecotourism Organisation. Internet access is available at Computer World (BanleySt; per hr CFA400; S closed Sun) and Bifunde Computer Centre (Bota Rd; per hr CFA800), which has very fast connections. Ahidjo St has several ATMs.

Sights

Most zoos in Africa are depressing places, but the Limbe Wildlife Centre (www.limbewildlife .org; admission CFA3000; S 9am-5pm) is a shining exception. Jointly run by the Ministry of the Environment and the primate charity Pan-drillus, it contains rescued chimpanzees, gorillas, drills and other primates, all housed in large enclosures, with heaps of information about local conservation issues. Staff are well informed, and are heavily involved with community education. Interested visitors may even 'adopt' a primate to help pay for their care from CFA20,000 per year.

The botanic gardens (admission CFA1000, camera CFA2000; S 8am-6pm) are a pleasant place to while away an afternoon. There's a small visitors' centre and an area with Commonwealth War Graves. Those with particular botanic interests will profit from hiring a knowledgeable guide for CFA1000.

The best of Limbe's beaches are north of town and known by their distance from Limbe. Mile 6 and Mile 11 beaches are popular, but the best is at the village of Batoke at Mile 8, from where the lava flows of Mt Cameroon's eruption a few years ago are still visible.

Sleeping

Bay Hotel (§§ mobile 773 3609; off Makangal St; s/d/ste CFA5000/7000/10,000) Ignore the peeling paint work, this old colonial building has wide verandas and airy rooms to catch the best of the sea breeze. A tidy choice, the huge suites are an absolute steal at the price.

Victoria Guest House (§§ 333 2446; off Makangal St; r CFA12,000-16,000; (E) Fine in a pinch, this budget option has adequate accommodation.

Park Hotel Miramar (l§) 332 2332; Botanic Garden road; camp sites CFA5000, s/d CFA13,650/18,400, all ind breakfast; (P) l§l ®) Individual chalets are the order of the day here. With a terrace right on the water, there's a relaxing, almost languid air that makes this Limbe's most popular hotel.

Atlantic Beach Hotel (§§ 332 2689; near Limbe Bridge; r CFA16,500-23,500; ® (E (U) This hotel's days as Limbe's top dog are sadly over, and there's an air of past glories here. Rooms are fine, but only those overlooking the bay with their stunning sea views really justify the price tag.

Eating

Down Beach Fish Market (Down Beach; dishes from CFA1000) Perfectly located where the fishing boats haul up on the beach, you'll find this

cluster of shacks grilling the day's catch. Soak up your beer with fish, crab or sticks of delicious crevettes (shrimps). The dish of the day doesn't come any fresher.

Mars (Beach road; mains from CFA2000) This decent place has the usual range of Cameroonian dishes, but come here for the seafood and the terrace sticking out into the bay - a great place for a sundowner.

Hot Spot (off Botanic Garden road; mainsfrom CFA2000) On a low hill, there are great views overlooking the water, and good meals to boot. Take a torch for the walk home at night.

Getting There & Away

The main motor park is Mile 4, about 6km out of town. Minibuses and bush taxis leave approximately hourly to Buea (CFA500, 25 minutes) and Douala (CFA1500, 70 minutes). From Mile 2, there are buses to Yaounde (CFA5000, five hours).

Ferries travel every Monday and Thursday from Limbe to Calabar in Nigeria (CFA35,000, 10 hours), departing at around 11pm and returning on Tuesday and Friday at 6pm. Operator Destiny ((D mobile 755 3435) sell tickets on the day of departure at Bota Wharf, from where the ferry sails. Take your own food and water, and fight hard for a seat.

BAMENDA

The capital of Northwest Province is a slightly unkempt, sprawling place tumbling down a hill at over 1000m altitude. With a decent range of hotels and restaurants, it's a good jumping-off point for exploring the Ring Road circuit. Anglophone Bamenda is the centre of political opposition to President Biya.

Information

The tourist office ((0 3361395) can provide basic maps and dates of local festivals. You can access the internet at Maryland Cybercafe (per hr CFA300), which also has internet phone for CFA250 per minute, and World Trade Center Internet (perhrCFA3000). Express Exchange (City Chemist's Roundabout) changes travellers cheques as well as US dollars cash.

Sleeping

Baptist Mission Resthouse ( s 3361285; Finance Junction; dm CFA2500; (P)) A bit far from Bamenda's

BAMENDA

INFORMATION

Express Exchange

Maryland Cybercafé

Tourist Office

World Trade Center Internet...

3 B3

4 B3

Hotel Mondial International Hotel Presbyterian Church Centre

7 C3

8 B3

9 B2

SLEEPING Q

Baptist Mission Resthouse Def Motel

EATING Q]

Dreamland Restaurant 10 B3

Mustard Seed Restaurant 11 B4

Uncle Sam's Restaurant (see 15)

Vatican Shopping 12 B3

TRANSPORT

Bali Motor Park (Transport to

Guaranti Express 14 B2

Nkwen Motor Park (Transport to Bambui, Belo, Bamessing, Ndop & Kumbo) 15 D2

Ntarikon Motor Park 16 A3

Vatican Express & Agency Bus Offices to Bafoussam & Points South 17 B3

INFORMATION

Express Exchange

Maryland Cybercafé

Tourist Office

World Trade Center Internet...

3 B3

4 B3

SLEEPING Q

Baptist Mission Resthouse Def Motel

EATING Q]

Dreamland Restaurant 10 B3

Mustard Seed Restaurant 11 B4

Uncle Sam's Restaurant (see 15)

Vatican Shopping 12 B3

Hotel Beausejour Mirabel Douala Cameroun

centre, but this is still a great place to lay your head. Rooms are immaculate, with spotless shared-bathroom facilities proving that cleanliness is indeed next to godliness.

Presbyterian Church Centre (@ 336 4070; off Lo ng la St; dm/rCFA4000/6000; (PI) Hidden away from the bustle of the town centre, this is a good budget option. Private rooms are self-contained and the generous grounds are a good place to relax.

Def Motel (@l 366 3748; off Nkwen St; rCFA6000-10,000) Right in the middle of the lively Nkwen district, this place offers decent value. Prices increase as you go up each floor - those climbing all the stairs get rewarded with a TV and hot-water heater.

Hotel Mondial (®)336 1832; off Hotel Rd; s/d CFA12,500/14,000; (0) The Mondial feels a little more modern than its equivalents elsewhere in Bamenda. Comfortable rooms come with water heater and satellite TV, and there are a few decent cheaper options without, for those with slimmer budgets (CFA 7500).

International Hotel (@ 3362527; off Commercial Ave; rCFA15,000-18,000) This option fits solidly into the Cameroonian business person's class. Usually busy, rooms are big and have balconies, while the restaurant serves a great breakfast. The higher tariff gets you a TV and 'guaranteed' hot water.

Eating

Mustard Seed Restaurant (Commercial Ave; mains from CFA800;® 8am-10pm) This joint serves decent local food - the usual Cameroonian stand ards plus local speciality amajama - meat sauce with chopped huckleberry leaf. There are plenty of similar options along this stretch of Commercial Ave and across the road on Savannah St.

UndeSam'sRestaurant(malnsfromCFA1000; S 10am-11pm) Handily located next to Nkwen Motor Park, this is a reliable joint with a brightly painted red-and-blue façade.

Dreamland Restaurant (Commercial Ave; mains from CFA1300;® 7am-11pm) A fancy dining option dishing up excellent-value food for such swish surroundings. Choose from a good selection of local and international dishes (and a large wine list), or graze on the salad buffet every Friday from 7pm to 9pm (CFA2000, including two drinks).

Vatican Shopping (City Chemist's Roundabout) is well stocked for self-caterers.

Getting There & Away

Most agency offices for points south are on Sonac St. Destinations include Yaoundé (CFA5000, six hours), Douala (CFA5000, seven hours) and Bafoussam (CFA1200, IVi hours).

Nkwen Motor Park has transport to the east stretch of the Ring Road, including Ndop (CFA1000, VA hours) and Kumbo (CFA3000, five hours). The west stretch of the Ring Road is served by Ntarikon Motor Park, with minibuses to Wum (CFA2000, two hours). Transport also leaves for Bafut from here (CFA300, 20 minutes). Shared taxis to the further motor parks shouldn't cost more than CFA 150.

THE RING ROAD

The Ring Road is a circular 367km route through the heart of Cameroon's northwestern highlands, better known as the Grassfields. It's a particularly scenic part of the country, with rolling hills and mountains, lakes and waterfalls, and traditional kingdoms. There's great potential for hiking, but ask permission from the local chief before camping.

Transport links along the Ring Road are reasonable but not always particularly frequent, with minibuses usually leaving very early in the morning. Roads are poor throughout. Kumbo is the Ring Road's largest town, but apart from here (and to a lesser extent Nkambe), there's little infrastructure in the area, and nowhere to change money, so stock up on CFA before leaving Bamenda. There are basic hotels in Ndop, Kumbo, Nkambe and Wum.

Starting from Bamenda and heading east, you pass through the villages of Bamessing, with a handicraft centre and pottery workshop, Sagbo, with a hill with spectacular views, and Ndop. After that you reach Kumbo, dominated by its Catholic cathedral and fon's palace of the traditional chief. It's a good place to base yourself, with a good market and the Ring Road's best hotels. From there you go north to Nkambe, then Missaje and the end of the road.

The road from Missaje to We is just a dirt track in places, and in the rainy season you might not even find that. Some travellers continue on foot, sometimes with help from Fulani herdsmen. It can take a couple days to get to We, so bring supplies.

After We you pass Lake Nyos, a volcanic crater lake that was the site of a natural gas eruption in 1986, which resulted in around 1700 deaths. Continuing south you reach Wum, the biggest village on the west side of the ring. South of Wum the road passes the Metchum Falls, where most shared taxi drivers will stop to let you have a quick peek or photo. The falls are most impressive in the rainy season but are worth a stop year-round.

The last town on the Ring Road (or the first, if you're heading clockwise) is Bafut, traditionally the strongest of the kingdoms in this region. The fon's palace (admission CFA1000, camera CFA1500, museum CFA2000) here is a highlight of the Ring Road tour and includes a tour of the compound where the fon's large family lives.

BAFOUSSAM

A thriving business centre, Bafoussam is a Bamileke stronghold in the middle of a cof-fee- and cocoa-producing area. The town has outgrown its farming routes too quickly, and there's little of great interest to travellers as a result, barring the large chefferie (www.museum cam.org; chief's compound; admission CFA2000; ® 10am-5pm), about 15km south at Bandjoun.

Good value and with a decent bar to boot, the rooms at Hotel Federal (§§ 344 1309; Route de Foumban; r CFA6000-9000) are neat and tidy. Take one at the back, choosing the balconied options over those with no external window.

As well located as the name suggests, and a useful landmark, the rooms at Hotel du Centre (fD 344 2079; Carrefour Total; s/d CFA12,000/15,000) are bright and airy. They have balconies, but choose one away from the noisy road.

At the southern end of town along the main highway, the restaurant La Bonne Table de l'Ouest (mains from CFA1500; S 10am-11pm) offers excellent value, with a pleasant atmosphere and local and Western cuisine.

Les Arcades de l'Ouest ( S 9am-late), opposite the market and just off Ave de la République, is good for cheap Cameroonian food, washed down with copious amounts of beer deep into the night.

Rue de Marché and Route de Foumban are good for street food and cheap eats.

Minibuses to Foumban (CFA800, one hour) depart from near Carrefour Total, along with shared taxis. Agencies to Yaoundé (CFA2500, three hours) and Douala (CFA4000, five hours) have offices along the main road south from the town centre. Transport to Bamenda (CFA1200, Wi hours) leaves from the Bamenda road, north of the town centre (CFA150 in a shared taxi).

FOUMBAN

Predominantly Muslim, Foumban is a great contrast to the rest of southwestern Cameroon. If you're heading north, this is the first place you'll hear the call to prayer. Home to the Bamoun people, it's also a great centre for Cameroonian handicrafts. Tabaski is a great time to be in Foumban, when horse races and parades mark the end of Ramadan (see right).

The Grande Marché is a warren of narrow stalls and alleys leading to a square where the Grande Mosquée faces the palace. Wednesday and Saturday are the biggest market days.

Sights

The must-see attraction of Foumban is the Palais Royal (Rue du Palais; admission CFA2000, camera CFA1500; S 8.30am-6pm), the sultan's palace, currently home to the 19th sultan of the Bamoun dynasty. The palace has a fascinating and well-organised museum containing previous sultans' possessions such as royal gowns, musical instruments, war garments and jewellery.

South of town, the Village des Artisans (Rue des Artisans) seems to produce more handicrafts than the rest of Cameroon combined. The village is one of the few places in the country where you can expect some tourist hustle, so get haggling. Close by, the Musée des Arts et Traditions Bamoun (admission CFA1000; S9am-5pm) houses a private collection of art and historical artefacts.

Festivals & Events

Every year at Tabaski (the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha), Foumban attracts thousands of pilgrims for an extraordinary blend of Muslim and traditional Bamoun ceremonies.

It all starts before sunrise with the call to prayer blasting from loudspeakers at the mosque. Thousands of men and boys, dressed in their finest, climb the hill to the Sacred Mountain and kneel in prayer. Around dawn the imam arrives, followed by the sultan in his white Cadillac. There are sunrise prayers, a sermon from the imam and a blessing from the sultan (on Eid al-Adha this is when the sheep is sacrificed). The heavy-set sultan then gets on his skinny little horse surrounded by his warriors in their full regalia, and everyone follows him in an enormous parade to the palace, while the women and girls, so far absent from the proceedings, line the streets dressed all in white and ululate as the sultan passes.

After the parade there's a rest, and then horse races through the town streets. Then another break until it gets dark, when the drumming and dancing start in front of the Palais Royal. Meanwhile (this is still Cameroon, after all) people pack the bars and clubs, and when these are full they set up speakers on the streets for heavy drinking and dancing until the sun comes up.

Sleeping & Eating

Hotel Beau Regarde ( §§ 348 2183; Rue de l'Hôtel Beau Regarde; r without bathroom CFA3000-4000, with bathroom CFA6000) Thirty years ago this would have been a cracking hotel. A little tired now, it's still a decent cheap option. Rooms at the back overlook the town to good effect.

Hotel Complexe Adi (g mobile 743 1181; Rue de l'Hôtel Beau Regarde; r CFA7000-9000) One of the nicer budget options in Foumban, rooms are simple but good value. Eat in the hotel restaurant, or enjoy the grilled meat vendors a stone's throw away.

Rifam Hotel (g 348 2878; Route de Bafoussam; s/d CFA15,000/25,000; §§) Near the bus agency offices, this hotel is easily Foumban's plushest. Doubles are huge and come with balconies large enough to play football on.

Royal Café (meals from CFA2000; ® 8am-10pm) On the southern side of the Grand Marché, this eatery has good meals and a patio with views. It's down a flight of steps and is easy to miss; look for the white building and red signboard.

Restaurant de la Maturité (meals from CFA2000; S 8am-10pm) Opposite the gare routière at the eastern end of the Grand Marché, this is a decent option, with good salads and omelettes.

The area just east of the gare routière is good for grilled meat; the streets along the Grande Marché are also good for eating on the hoof. Bars, as across Cameroon, are abundant.

Getting There & Away

There are a few direct buses to Yaoundé (CFA3000, five hours) and Douala (CFA4500, six hours); otherwise head for Bafoussam (CFA800, one hour) and change there. Bus agency offices are on the west side of town, about 3km from the Grande Marché (CFA100 in a shared taxi).

Transport between Foumban and Kumbo (CFA3000, around six hours) runs year-round, with times varying according to the rains. Although the road is very poor, it's easily one of the most beautiful in the country, skirting along the edge of the spectacular Mbam Massif.

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