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Cameroon: The Ultimate Garoua Travel Guide

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Situated on the banks of the Benue River is Garoua the capital of the Northern Province of Cameroon. The city is a major river port and had a population of 235,996 at the 2005 census. The commercial center of this agricultural region is Garoua. The city has an airport and a textile processing factory.

Ahmadou Ahidjo, the first president of Cameroon was born in Garoua. For this reason, many developments have come to Garoua, including an international airport with direct flights through Cameroon Airlines to Paris.

In this ultimate Garoua travel guide I’ve compiled some of the things to do in Garoua, best times to go on a Garoua vacation, Garoua weather, best Garoua hotels, best Garoua restaurants and some tips to apply if you plan to travel to Garoua. I think with this first-hand informative travel guide your Garoua trip will be stress free yet fun filled. I think you'll love adding this city to your Garoua travel itinerary.

Have you ever felt "wow" when you visited a new place? It happens for many on a Garoua vacation. Don't let the unpopularity of Garoua fol you for it is a true beauty and packed with so many attractions. Though small, Garoua is a beautiful and worthy tourist destination.

This themed filled hidden touristic city will amaze you with so many unique places to explore and things to do. You will definitely love to visit Garoua again one day for some relaxation and rest. Read on, if you aren't sure if Garoua should be included in your itinerary when you visit Cameroon as a tourist or digital nomad.

What about best time to visit Garoua?

What is the best time to go for a Garoua vacation? To help you make a decision, I put together this information:

  • January to February, June to July, and September to October, November and December are the best months to go for a Garoua vacation if you want to experience good weather in Garoua.
  • February to March, April to May and November are averagely the warmest months.
  • From January to February, March, November and December, you will experience dry periods in Garoua
  • July and August are the rainiest months in Garoua.

Late November to mid-February is the best time of year to visit Garoua, based on this score about warm-weather activities, with the first week of January scoring the highest.

Least crowded and busiest months in Garoua

Followed by December and May, July is the busiest month for tourism in Garoua, Cameroon. Although you can save money by booking in advance, Garoua flights and Garoua hotel prices are higher during these months. In April, digital nomads and tourist are unlikely to visit Garoua. You will likely find April to be the most favorable month if decide to visit during this time of year.

How to get to Garoua?

Garoua is home to an international airport served by Camairco with regular flights to and from N'Djamena, Paris, Maroua, Yaoundé, and Douala. This airport is situated about some 8 kilometers from the city center, so it can be traveled by private or bus transport.

Though Garoua is connected to Douala and Yaoundé by bus, I do not advise this route due to long time and distance. Therefore, I advisable to use a plane. To get around Garoua, I used Buses that were widely available. Visitors can rent a car from a local travel agency for convenience.

What about Garoua Shopping and Culture

The city is also home to a Muslim minority, even though the majority of Garoua's population belongs to the Fulb ethnic group. Garoua like other Cameroonian towns is home to a traditional market with a variety of local products, including handicrafts.

What are the best Garoua attractions?

For anyone traveling to Garoua, here is a list of the best things to do in Garoua Cameroon.

Visit the Kola Gorge:

The Kola Gorge is an impressive and majestic attraction in the north of Cameroon, about 6 km from Guider. The Kola Gorge one of the most beautiful attractions in the northern region of Cameroon, is an exclusively rocky landscape that is 200 meters wide and 700 meters long.

Some of the water-cut rocks are up to 20 m deep, about 4 km long. This Garoua attraction is open to the public and can be visited at low tide. There is a majestic waterfall that falls almost twenty meters deep, caves, and dungeons carved out by water.

Explore the Garoua Mosques:

Often visited by Muslims living in and around Garoua, this is one of the largest Cameroon mosque. I recommend you bring your camera to take some photos of this great and large mosque in Garoua.

Visit lake Lagdo:

Located a few kilometers from Garoua and being the largest lake in Cameroon, the Lagdo Lake is one of the symbols of Cameroon. In addition to the beauty of the lake, Garoua tourists and digital nomads can equally use the lake shores as a recreation area for a full day of Garoua vacation. There are equally several fishing villages in the vicinity.

Experience the Benoue National Park:

One of the oldest protected areas in Cameroon and the former private hunting ground of King Bouba Lamido is located in the northern region, right in the Benoue Department. Since 1981 it has been a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and covers 180,000 hectares. It is a part of the Benoue Savannah, the area between the Garoua villages having a humid savannah forest. The park which stretches for more than 100 km, has a large frontage on the Benoue River and thus forms its eastern border.

The altitude of the park varies from 250 to 760 m above sea level. The Benoue national park is surrounded by nine specially equipped game reserves with varied and rich funa. The dry season, when the tall grass burns down is around February, and it allowing for better viewing of wildlife from a distance. This National Park features dense forests and grasslands and is home to animals such as elephant, buffalo, wild boar, hyena and monkey.

Explore the Faro Nature Reserve:

Located to the west of the Benoue National Park, near the Nigerian border, the Faro Nature Reserve is best explored by 4x4 with a guided tour and is a forest park. The nature reserve was established as a nature reserve in 1947 and declared a national park in 1980. It is part of the Sudanese savannah and covers an area of 330,000 hectares. The park presents a relief of plateaus and mountains and is located at an altitude between 620 and 900 m.

The nature park is surrounded by the two Aquifa Rivers that throughout the year irrigate the park. Deo flows to the west and Faro flows to the northeast, while they both flow into Faro in the northern part of the reserve. The park has areas classified as bird areas by Birdlife International. Faro nature reserve has not stopped growing since its creation and is home to a large number of animal species of great tourist interest.

Visit the Bouba Ndjida National Park:

Created in 1932 as a wildlife reserve and declared a national park in 1968. This Garoua National Park is part of the Northern complex of protected areas with the Faro National Park and the Benoue National Park and covers an area of 220,000 hectares. It is home to around 23 species of antelope, including Lycaon pictus, giraffe, rhino, eland, and painted dog. It lies near the border with Chad, to the east of Benoue Park in the north.

Thanks to bedrock and clay often retarding intrusion, water is plentiful throughout the park and in the dry and rainy seasons as well. This will ensure the development of ecological interactions between habitat features and wild species in this environment. One of the largest plaques in the world; the prehistoric site of Managna, located nearby has hundreds of dinosaur footprints.

Experience the Garoua cultural tourism:

The northern people of Cameroon have a cultural diversity that is evident in the local foods, their traditional chiefdoms, their unique and varied habitats, and their styles of clothing made in the port of Djellaba for women and men.

One of the most prestigious is the Lamidate Ray Bouba, built during the reign of Lamido Bouba Ndjida in the 19th century. During my visit to Garoua I experienced first-hand the iconic culture of the Garoua people. If you are looking to go for a Garoua vacation, I recommend you try out Garoua dishes and traditional cloths.

Enjoy the Garoua Gouma Dance:

This Garoua traditional dance is also called "topless dance". Known both internationally and nationally, the Garoua dance is dedicated to twins’ celebrations, that is taken to be a very extraordinary event in the Garoua tradition.

Other traditional ceremonies and festivals are also held in the region, such as the traditional harvest dance in October, which is popular with both Garoua tourists and the locals. While in Garoua I had the opportunity to partake in this iconic Garoua dance with the locals and it was a moment to remember.

Where to eat in Garoua Cameroon

Garoua foods are one of the most delicious in Cameroon, known not only for its beautiful landscapes but also for its excellent local foods. There are several eatery in Garoua offering mouth-watering dishes that will leave tourists and digital nomads wanting more. Some of the best Garoua restaurants include:

  • LE POÊLON restaurant
  • The oasis restaurant
  • Restaurant la difference
  • La caravelle restaurant
  • Le super resto
  • Cercle Sportif Le Munyenge restaurant
  • Le Figaro restaurant
  • LYNA restaurant

What are the best Garoua Hotels?

Modern Garoua hotels are few, however Garoua digital nomads and tourist can take advantage of cheaper Garoua vacation rentals (holiday homes) and campsites to stay during the busy season. These Garoua offer a variety of services like swimming pool, Jacuzzi, conference rooms, dinning and even host musical shows to entertain guest.

I put together a list of popular tourist Garoua hotels in and around this beautiful includes:

  • La Benue Hotel
  • Relais de Hubert Hotel
  • Camp Ndjida Bouba Safari
  • Buffle Noir Camp
  • Hotel Adamaoua
  • Hotel Tcherno
  • Hotel Mizao
  • Relais Porte Mayo hotel

Best travel tips for a Garoua vacation

Reserve your rental car before you fly:

If anything has changed much in the last year and a half, it's the availability of rental cars (at reasonable prices). In Garoua, Cameroon and around the world, car rental costs have skyrocketed in double digits. That's why I wanted to start my list for Garoua travel tips with these offbeat suggestions.

Check the prices and availability of rental cars (if you really need them) before buying your plane ticket. Before you book your flight, first book a rental car. This saves you the potential inconvenience of knowing that your rental car costs more than your flight.

Book your flights early:

The current (and future) travel landscape makes that impossible to predict flight prices and the best times to buy. Therefore, generally, it is better to book your flights as soon as possible. The price will increase 8 times out of 10, closer to the date of departure.

Carry more than 1 credit card:

If you are looking to travel with an AMEX card then it’s important to note thaat several Garoua businesses, do not accept AMEX cards. You can bring more than one card for a Garoua vacation, so that if something happens to one of your cards, you can use the other.

Book a refundable apartment or hotel room:

It's good to see that Airbnb has convinced its hosts to offer cancellation policies that are flexible. Book a refundable hotel "just in case”, whether you choose to stay at a Garoua hotel or an Airbnb. Plus, with a service like Pruvo, you get to save hundreds of dollars on your hotel and you can enjoy a reduced price after booking when you book a refundable hotel.

Note from Allotraveller:

Garoua is a green oasis in the heart of the forest. It is a tourist center: to the south lies the Faro Nature Reserve, the Benue National Park, and the Bouba Ndjida National Park and to the north lies the Kapsiki region and the Waza National Park. Cotonsport Garoua the 2006/07 Cameroonian soccer champions are based in Garoua. A Garoua vacation will surely leave you with memory of a lifetime.


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