Cruising to Cameroon


The former French Cameroon and part of British Cameroon merged in 1961 to form the present country. Cameroon has generally enjoyed stability, which has permitted the development of agriculture, roads, and railways, as well as a petroleum industry. Despite a slow movement toward democratic reform, political power remains firmly in the hands of an ethnic oligarchy headed by President Paul BIYA.


Location: Western Africa, bordering the Bight of Biafra, between Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria
Geographic coordinates: 6 00 N, 12 00 E
Map references: Africa
Area: total: 475,440 sq km


402 km

Maritime claims

Territorial sea: 50 nm


Varies with terrain, from tropical along coast to semiarid and hot in north


Diverse, with coastal plain in southwest, dissected plateau in center, mountains in west, plains in north

Elevation extremes

Lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
Highest point: Fako 4,095 m (on Mt. Cameroon)


Because of its oil resources and favorable agricultural conditions, Cameroon has one of the best-endowed primary commodity economies in sub-Saharan Africa. Still, it faces many of the serious problems facing other underdeveloped countries, such as a top-heavy civil service and a generally unfavorable climate for business enterprise.

Since 1990, the government has embarked on various IMF and World Bank programs designed to spur business investment, increase efficiency in agriculture, improve trade, and recapitalize the nation's banks. In June 2000, the government completed an IMF-sponsored, three-year structural adjustment program; however, the IMF is pressing for more reforms, including increased budget transparency, privatization, and poverty reduction programs. International oil and cocoa prices have considerable impact on the economy.


Airports: 47 (2005)
Airports - with paved runways: total: 11
Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 36
Pipelines: gas 90 km; liquid petroleum gas 9 km; oil 1,120 km (2004)
Railways: total: 1,008 km
Roadways: total: 80,932 km


Navigation mainly on Benue River; limited during rainy season (2005)

Merchant marine

Total: 1 ships (1000 GRT or over) 38,613 GRT/68,820 DWT
By type: petroleum tanker 1
Foreign-owned: 1 (France 1) (2005)

Sailing Specifics: Ports and terminals

Douala, Limboh Terminal


ICJ ruled in 2002 on the entire Cameroon-Nigeria land and maritime boundary but the parties formed a Joint Border Commission, which continues to meet regularly to resolve differences bilaterally and have commenced with demarcation in less-contested sections of the boundary, starting in Lake Chad in the north; implementation of the ICJ ruling on the Cameroon-Equatorial Guinea-Nigeria maritime boundary in the Gulf of Guinea is impeded by imprecisely defined coordinates, the unresolved Bakassi allocation, and a sovereignty dispute between Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon over an island at the mouth of the Ntem River.

Nigeria initially rejected cession of the Bakasi Peninsula, then agreed, but has yet to withdraw its forces while much of the indigenous population opposes cession; only Nigeria and Cameroon have heeded the Lake Chad Commission's admonition to ratify the delimitation treaty which also includes the Chad-Niger and Niger-Nigeria boundaries.

Other Sailing Destinations in the Region

Angola - Antarctica - Cameroon - Congo - Falkland Islands - Gambia - Ivory Coast - Mauritania - Namibia - Nigeria - St. Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha - Senegal - South Africa

Further Reading

Back to "vacations"