Yaounde, Cameroon Report of what it's like to live there - 02/09/23

Personal Experiences from Yaounde, Cameroon

Yaounde, Cameroon 02/09/23


1. Was this post your first expatriate experience? If not, what other cities have you lived in as an expat?

China, Brazil, and UK.

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2. What is your home city/country? How long is the trip to post from there, with what connections? How easy/difficult is it to travel to this city/country?

The home of residence is the UK. The post is approximately 7 hours away from London. It is easy to get to once you get to Europe.

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3. What years did you live here?


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4. How long have you lived here?

5 years.

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5. What brought you to this city (e.g. diplomatic mission, business, NGO, teaching, retirement, etc.)?


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Housing, Groceries & Food:

1. What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?

A very good apartment in the heart of the expat community. The apartment has a generator that kicks in when the electricity goes. Teaching housing has basic cable and wifi.

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2. How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?

Groceries can seem expensive as many products are imported from France. Carrefour is the main supermarket and is well stocked with goods. Vegetables and fruit can easily be bought at the market and are inexpensive compared to the prices in the mall. The butcher is excellent (Central Gel) and stocks a range of meat, cheese and wines.

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3. What household or grocery items do you wish you had shipped to post?

Interestingly, you can buy many products that you can get in the UK. Baked beans are sold here. I do bring my own brand of tea, as that cannot be purchased here. Nevertheless, shopping in Yaounde is relatively easy.

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4. What typical restaurants, food delivery services, and/or takeout options are popular among expatriates?

There are many restaurants to choose from and a range of prices. The cheaper street type food is very cheap, there are mid-range restaurants that serve pizza and many international dishes, and then there are high-range restaurants like 'The Famous' that are places to go for a treat. The mall has many different restaurants and a coffee shop.

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5. Are there any unusual problems with insects or other infestations in housing?

After dusk you need to cover yourself in bug cream as the mosquitos are out in force, during the day, there are no issues. The apartments have screens on the windows and doors, and it is wise to sleep with a mosquito net.

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Daily Life:

1. How do you send and receive your letters and package mail? Are local postal facilities adequate?

I would not use the local postal service if there even is one. I have used DHL to receive and send parcels home.

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2. What is the availability and cost of household help, and what types of help are typically employed by expatriates?

This depends on what you require your household help to do, if just housekeeping, the price can be negotiated, but if nanny services or cooking is required, it would be more costly.

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3. What kinds of gyms or other sports/workout facilities are available? Are they expensive?

There is a gym at the Hilton hotel that is very well equipped. The Hilton hotel has tennis courts, a pool and squash courts. There are other gym facilities around but the equipment is not as well managed as at the Hilton and you get what you pay for. Expect a hotel to be more expensive but the facilities are better.

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4. Are credit cards widely accepted and safe to use locally? Are ATMs common and do you recommend using them? Are they safe to use?

Yaounde is a cash-based city; however, cards are beginning to be accepted in many shops and supermarkets. There are plenty of ATMs to use around the city.

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5. What English-language religious services are available locally?

I am unable to answer this. I know there are a lot of churches, and Sunday is a popular day for local people to go to church.

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6. How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?

To be honest, I have manged fine with limited French. There are many people around that speak English and can help.

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7. Would someone with physical disabilities have difficulties living in this city?

Yes. The city is not designed for a wheelchair.

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1. Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?

Taxis are cheap, but unless you pay a 'depot' you may share your ride with five, yes five other people, they squeeze two people in the front seat. Many people have a vehicle and traffic is hectic but with a little patience it is easy to drive around if you are prepared to break a few traffic laws!

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2. What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?

Four by four.

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Schools & Children:

1. What is the availability of international schools? What has been your general experience with them, if any?

There is the American School of Yaounde. An International school where expats from many embassies and NGOs send their children.

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2. What accommodations do schools make for special-needs kids?

There is a Learning Support Department, but best to get in contact with them first to see if they can accommodate your child.

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3. Are local sports classes and/or activities available for kids?

The American School offers a generous amount of after school activities.

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