YaoundeA symphony of color in the heart of Africa's rainforest.
Yaoundé, Cameroon's hilly capital city with frantic markets, rich cuisine, museums of culture and history, and the remarkable Unity Palace.
Welcome to Yaoundé, Cameroon's capital city. This city stands out with its hilly terrain, providing a unique backdrop for its colorful urban life.
Yaoundé was established as a cocoa plantation during the German colonial period in the late 19th century. Today, it is a busy city of nearly 3 million people. It is the country's political center, home to numerous embassies and the impressive Unity Palace, the office of the Cameroonian President. The palace is not open to public, but is one of the city's must-see landmarks.
There are few museums in Yaoundé that might be of interest. The National Museum of Yaoundé, based in a former presidential palace, hosts a variety of exhibits highlighting the country's history and culture. Musée D'Art Camerounais in the Benedictine Monastery, on the other hand, displays traditional Cameroonian art, including masks, sculptures and textiles.
A real taste of local life can be experienced at the Mfoundi Market. This large, bustling market sells everything from fresh produce and local spices to traditional clothing. For the brave ones there is a section selling live animals and bushmeat - it might be a bit shocking for the unprepared.
Cameroon is often referred to as "Africa in Miniature" due to its cultural and geographical diversity, and Yaoundé is a great starting point for exploring the country's varied landscapes, from beaches to mountains to rainforests. Mount Fébé, just a short drive from the city center, offers walking trails and panoramic views over Yaoundé.
When it comes to food, it's all about rich flavors and a lot of spice. Must-try dishes include 'Ndolé' (a spicy stew), 'Brochettes' (skewers of grilled meat or fish), and 'Fufu' (a dough-like side dish made from cassava). Cameroonian cuisine also includes a variety of tropical fruits, like mangoes, pineapples and papayas.
The climate in Yaoundé is equatorial, which means it's warm and humid all year round, with an average temperature around 24°C (75°F). Rain is common, especially from March to November.