With lush green hills and a cool-ish climate (making it a very pleasant place to visit), Yaounde is like no other capital city in West Africa. It also has warm, friendly people who will go out of their way to help you, and an abundance of attractions. Here we recommend 15 great things to do in Yaounde the next time you visit.
1. Breakfast At La Sintra
For a mixture of both traditional and western cuisine head to La Sintra where you can also enjoy their full breakfast menu. Sit on the terrace, sip on their delicious coffee, and watch the people of the city pass you by and get their day started.
2. Viewing Cameroon’s Art At Musée d’Art Camerounais
For a good introduction to the city’s art, history, and culture, head to the the Musée d’Art Camerounais. This museum has an amazing collection of pottery, masks, and wooden and bronze sculptures. Make sure to check out some of the nearby souvenir shops to buy a replica of your favourite art work.
3. Visit The Mvog-Betsi Zoo
A great way to get up close to Cameroon’s wildlife is at the Mvog-Betsi Zoo. One of the best zoos in West Africa, Mvog-Betsi Zoo is run by the British non-profit Cameroon Wildlife Aid Fund. Almost all the animals (including gorillas and chimps) have been rescued from the bushmeat trade and poachers. You can also see exotic birds, lizards, snakes, hyenas and lions.
4. Explore Mfoundi Market
One of the largest markets in Yaoundé, Mfoundi Market is situated in the centre of the city. Vendors sell anything from clothing to food and it is a great place to get a taste of how locals do things.
5. Enjoy A Traditional Cuisine At La Forêt Dense
Even though La Forêt Dense is a bit pricey compared to other traditional restaurants, you’re guaranteed only the best food. The restaurants setting is beautiful and upscale, with a menu including all traditional favourites including ndolé and crocodile mbongo.
6. Visit The Benedictine Monastery
Situated on the slope of Mont Febe is The Benedictine Monastery. One of Yaoundé’s most popular tourist attractions, the religious institution has a museum that has a wide variety of Cameroonian traditional art collections.
7. Go To Church Outside Paroisse de NDzong Melen
An amazing tradition that happens every Sunday is the open-air mass that takes place outside the Paroisse de NDzong Melen. Even though the service is in Ewondo, you definitely enjoy the amazing drumming, dancing and choral music. Don’t forget to put on your Sunday best to fit in with the locals.
8. Buy Souvenirs At Centre Artisanal
This government-run establishment is a great place to pick up a bargain on some local traditional art. Centre Artisanal is also known for its haggling, so don’t be put off by the high sticker prices – you can get half the price if you try.
9. View More Amazing Art At Musée Afhemi
Home to more regional artwork, Musée Afhemi is a private residence that has English tours (if you call in advance), friendly owners who often invite guests for lunch and amazing artworks that date back more than 900 years. The artworks including ritual and ceremonial masks, statues, and royal beds are rich in tradition.
10. Dance The Night Away At Club Safari
Put on your dancing shoes and head to Club Safari. From hip hop to house, this club plays it all, and is usually packed with locals who are looking for a good night out on the town.
11. Eat At Patisserie Select Plus
From a bakery selling a variety of freshly baked goods to a kitchen making delicious light meals and great coffee, Patisserie Select Plus is definitely a cafe worth trying. Treat yourself to a croissant and coffee on the go, or take a seat and enjoy their popular burger and pizza.
12. Take A Trip To Lobeke National Park
Located in the Congo Basin, this amazing national park is on the border between the Central African Republic and the Republic of the Congo. You’ll be able to spend the night, go on walks, and see amazing birdlife.
13. Visit The Blackitude Museum
Opened in 2000, the Blackitude Museum is an ethnographic museum in Yaoundé. Cameroon. The museum was created to preserve the remains of the artistic heritage in Cameroon. A member of the royal family carefully protected and preserved the collections of art objects which were given to Cameroon by kings of different chiefdoms.
14. Check Out The Reunification Monument
The Reunification Monument in Yaoundé represents the reunification of Cameroon in 1984 after Paul Biya became president. Cameroon was renamed from The United Republic of Cameroon to The Republic Of Cameroon.
15. Watch Soccer At The Sport Palace
If you’re lucky enough to be in this city when a soccer match is scheduled, then book a ticket and head to the game. Cameroon is a soccer-crazy nation, and fans head to the The Sport Palace to watch their favourite team in their thousands.