Experience what it's like living in any part of Africa in just one country: Cameroon. This country situated in West Africa on the Gulf of Guinea is often called “Little Africa” because it hosts all major climates, terrains, and vegetations of the entire continent. Volunteer abroad in Cameroon and discover opportunities ranging from teaching children to tilling the fields of Cameroon's staple foods, like yam and cassava. You’ll soon see why its beautiful landscapes, rainforests, beaches, and deserts make the perfect getaway for volunteering aficionados.
Where to Volunteer in Cameroon
From the active volcanoes to the rock formations, Cameroon’s mosaic of sceneries along with more than 200 language spoken here make this an ethnically and geographically diverse location. Wherever you go here, you’ll never tire of the mokassa music and roasting plantains. Here are the best places to volunteer in Cameroon.
Douala. This western port on the banks of the Wouri River is an economic and commercial hub for Cameroon, and it’s home to an international airport. Follow your nose to the French-style patisseries, stroll through Central Market, and marvel at the colonial cathedrals. Here you’ll get the pulse of Cameroon with the hubbub of the busyness and charming street life.
Yaounde. You’ll find this capital and second-largest city that spreads over seven hills of Cameroon in the southern central area. While this city is near the equator, thanks to its high altitude, experiences a mild temperate climate unlike its sister cities in Cameroon. You’ll have the pleasure of seeing several 1970s government buildings, and you can explore one of the many art and national museums as well.
Limbe. Just two hours east of Douala, this seaside city boasts the rainforest foothills of Mt. Cameroon. With its black sand beaches, Limbe Botanical Gardens, Limbe Wildlife Centre, and Bismarck tower, this city makes for a popular destination for visitors in Cameroon. You’ll find the majority of volunteer programs here ranging from empowering children to community development, and with it being a good tourist city, it’s a hot pick.
How to Volunteer in Cameroon
When it comes to volunteering options, Cameroon has a wide array of options. Take your pick: wildlife conservation, HIV/AIDs counseling, education, or community development, to boot, and there’s even more in store for you. Here are the most popular volunteer projects in Cameroon.
Healthcare. Several placements offer opportunities for you to hone in on medical skills to help hospitals, clinics, and medical outreach programs. You could also assist children with disabilities to help with their day-to-day needs. Poor sanitation and hygiene affects communities, and organizations need the help of volunteers to tailor programs and teach locals.
Teaching. Impoverished communities are in need of volunteers who are passionate about educating the youth as well as adults. Along with academic skills, some programs offer volunteers the opportunity to teach basic life skills and coaching sports as well. Volunteers will also assist with the upkeep and maintenance of the schools with mending and painting.
Animal Welfare. Gorilla and chimpanzee species need your help to assess their threats and to conserve and protect their habitats. You could be educating the community, surveying the rainforest, and tracking these primates.
Costs of Volunteering in Cameroon
While some of the cities in Cameroon are some of the most expensive in Africa, the country overall is a relatively affordable place for travelers. Most program fees cover the cost of food and housing. The international airfare is also a bit expensive, as Cameroon is an uncommon destination, but scholarships and fundraising can help (hint: FundMyTravel).
Accommodations in Cameroon
Rural areas in Cameroon don’t offer as many luxuries as urban areas, but that shouldn’t stop you, right? Even though electricity and Internet is not common everywhere, you’ll come to appreciate life that is happening around you.
Most programs will arrange housing for its volunteers, which can range from shared housing, guest houses, apartments/flats, dormitories, and host families. If you have the option of a homestay placement, you’ll be rewarded with immersing yourself in Cameroon’s languages, customs, traditions, and most importantly, food on a daily basis.
Visas for Cameroon
The requirements upon entering Cameroon are a bit demanding, as U.S. citizens will need to have polio and yellow fever vaccinations, a valid passport, and a tourist visa. The requirements may be a bit steep, but they are in the best interest of your personal health and safety. For more requirements for your country, visit GoAbroad’s Embassy Directory.
GoAbroad Insider Tips
You’ll never be short of adventurous activities to do here. You could go rock climbing, hiking, trekking on the Mandara Mountains, visit volcano sites, and go on safaris in the National Parks.
Life is harsh for the majority of the 20 million people, with over half living in abject poverty. Crime rates and terrorist activities in certain areas have been known to happen, so make safety your priority.
Why not get started today to make a difference for wildlife, people, or nature by volunteering in Cameroon?!