Here’s everything you need to know about our volunteering project in Cameroon, including how to get there and visa advice.
About the Project
How does the project in Cameroon work?
This project was established by a local team in 2007 to encourage people to find ways of solving their problems using the resources they already have. The project also aims to provide positive encouragement, advice and funding to small start ups from women’s groups to micro-businesses.
A new school is currently under construction and some classes have already started running with some tables and benches donated by recent volunteers.
Where is the project based?
The project’s headquarters are in the East of Cameroon in Kumbo approximately 6 hours from Douala, one of the two largest cities in Cameroon. This may be the heart of Africa but the scenery here is hilly and green with regular showers and warm days so you should not over heat here!
What’s it like to be a volunteer in Cameroon?
Volunteers are invited to help in the community with the various community groups, rural clinics or teach in the new school. No special educational background or work experience is required to work successfully in Cameroon.
Volunteer teachers take their own class or small group of students using the local textbook provided. You may wish to bring some additional Maths/English workbooks for the 10 – 15 age group to provide supplementary work should you run out of ideas. Mostly the teaching is fairly informal and local staff just want you to help create a positive learning environment.
Volunteers who would like to work in the community will be introduced by their coordinator to available opportunities in Kumbo and the surrounding villages.
We consider this project ideal if you…
Are looking for a challenging opportunity away from the crowds and off the beaten African tourist trail. Want to experience the heart of Africa and understand both the daily challenges and strengths of the local people. Can work independently with little support once introduced to an opportunity.
Do I need a visa for Cameroon?
All visitors to Cameroon require a visa. We will provide all the supporting documentation from Cameroon you will need. It is a good idea to allow at least 8 – 12 weeks to allow for processing time. All visa applications now require a visit in person to the Embassy in London to complete applications. If you are not in the UK, it is a good idea to check with your nearest Cameroon Embassy to see what their requirements are.
What happens on arrival?
All volunteers are met on arrival at the airport in Douala. Most flights arrive too late for a same day transfer to Kumbo so a hotel in Douala will be organised for you. There are a couple of options of hotel room costing between £16 and £25 depending on the level of comfort you would like for your first night in Africa. The next day you will transfer to Kumbo, the bus leaves at 10am and the journey takes about 6 hours depending on conditions, but what an adventure after a good night’s sleep!
Children in Kumbo where the project is based.
Children in the IT lab at the project’s headquarters in Kumbo. The volunteer appartment is self-contained and on the second floor.
What support is provided?
Your volunteer coordinator is English speaking and is also the programme manager for much of the project work in Kumbo and surrounding villages. He will help you with choosing the right placement and assist with any questions or advice during your stay. If you are in the volunteer apartment at project HQ then you couldn’t be in a better position if you need anything.
Free Time in Cameroon
Whatever your area of work there will be plenty of time to relax and explore your new home. Your coordinator will be happy to advise you on the top spots to visit in the area and further afield. You may want to travel with other volunteers which could be more fun!
OV volunteers outside Kumbo cathedral in the main square.
Centre of town, free
Kumbo square is the heart of Kumbo, in front of the cathedral you will find shops, restaurants and bars. Most of the food is Cameroonian but there is place now selling fish, omelette and chips!
Supermarkets sell the basics but do bring non-meltable, longlife treats from home.
But the town is sleepy so bring some evening games and entertainment to share with fellow volunteers and new friends.
OV volunteer Hannah exploring the local area on foot. This was Hannah’s first trip to Cameroon. She has since been back again to follow up her work and help progress it further.
Walks in the local area
Suggested donation £3
Bring good strong shoes/walking boots to take advantage of walks in the surrounding forest.
Ask the coordinator about hiring a guide.
Kribi beach on the French speaking southern coast, a popular long weekend break with volunteers.
Beaches at the weekends
There are two main resort areas in Cameroon; Limbe and Kribi.
Whilst Limbe is the biggest with its black sand following a volcano and English speaking, Kribi, is fast becoming a popular hang out with wealthy Cameroonians, expats and foreign tourists. In contrast to Limbe, Kribi boasts white sand beaches and the Lobe Waterfalls which drop straight down into the sea. Local people speak French. Speak to your coordinator about travel to both resorts but allow plenty of time, perhaps best taken at the end of your trip or over a long weekend with other volunteers as you will need a full day’s travel. As this is a small project, don’t forget to let the coordinator and other volunteers staying in Kumbo know where you are going and when you will be back to save any worry.
Approximate cost of return travel on public transport and guesthouse £50
Cameroon is full of Royal Palaces which are still lived in. They are well worth visiting and a Prince might show you round.
The Bafut Palace north of Bamenda was originally the English author Gerald Durrell’s house.
Prices are £1 for admission, £1.5 for cameras and £2.20 to get in the museum.
Take a drive past the spectacular Ekom Falls where the 1984 Legend of Tarzan film was filmed.
You will need to hire a driver to see this untouched wonder of nature but the whole road is equally stunning with lush green rainforest all along the route.
You will probably spend more evenings here than anywhere else in town.
Squares bar on the main square is the place to relax in town and serve refreshing beers and fish and chips.
What to take
What do I need to pack?
Once you have applied and registered with Original Volunteers, you will receive an Information Pack via email that will have further details on the project in Cameroon; in this email there will be a list of items to take. In the meantime, you will need to bring a mosquito net, DEET mosquito repellent, layered clothing for warm days and cool nights including anorak and umbrella, strong walking shoes or sturdy trainers suitable for muddy footpaths and wet grass out of town footpaths. For health volunteers, bring a white apron or lab coat, a roll of disposable aprons, exam gloves and other medical resources you can bring from home which you think will be useful for a clinic without any resources.
The new school under construction. Classes could not wait so lessons are already being taught. On going support will be needed over the coming few years to help build desks and decorate so practical volunteers are very welcome to come and help.
All volunteers are met on arrival by the regular driver or your coordinator and project director himself (pictured left). Douala is the preferred airport for a quicker transfer to Kumbo.
What happens if I travel with friends?
Friends are met together at the airport together. On arrival in Kumbo friends will be placed together either in the volunteer appartment, space permitting or together with a local family.
Will there be other volunteers?
Although some volunteers travel with friends, the bigger majority travel alone to Cameroon. It is possible to get in contact with other volunteers before your travel. We can put you in touch with others, in addition create a profile on the Travel Buddy list and post a message on the main Facebook page.
Once in Cameroon volunteers generally live and work together unless you have decided to work in an area of your preference away from Kumbo. Between June and September there are usually enough volunteers to be working in pairs. But do not let this put you off arriving at another time, in fact if you are the only volunteer it is most likely you will be able to spend more time with the local staff and make more friends than if you are part of a larger volunteer group. Many volunteers finding themselves alone on a project until the next volunteer arrives, tell us it was the best experience, knowing what an individual experience can offer.
What are the costs after I have registered and booked my space in Cameroon?
The project costs for Cameroon are a once only payment of £200 and additional £10 per week for local running costs and to help cover the bills of the volunteer apartment throughout the year. The first £50 is payable as early as possible to get your visa started in Cameroon. This requires your coordinator to travel into the capital and complete the necessary paperwork which will support your visa application in the UK. Without this paperwork completed in Cameroon most visas are rejected. The cost of completing the visa in the UK currently costs £62. You will also be required to visit the Embassy in London for fingerprints at a later stage so it is a good idea to factor in travel costs to London into your overall budget. The remaining £150 of your Cameroon project costs are payable on arrival and include your airport pick up and transfer.
All volunteers need to purchase their own return flight to Douala in Cameroon (airport code DLA) and comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all medical bills and repatriation should you need it. The average policy will be £30 for a 2 to 3 week visit. You will also need to get a Yellow fever jab and certificate. In Cameroon this may be requested on entry. Although many jabs are provided for free in the UK by the NHS the Yellow fever jab is not included. If you are in the UK the NaTHNac website has a search facility to find your nearest Yellow Fever health centre.
If you spend nearly all of your time in Kumbo you can expect to spend around £40 a week on meals and the occasional taxi to get to projects off the beaten track. Most volunteers will only make one big trip out of the area to the coast for a long weekend but on public transport this won’t break the bank. Allow £80 for a long weekend (you’ll need to allow a day either side for travel to and from Kumbo) with all transport and comfortable backpacker accommodation. Some volunteers leave their beach break until the end of their visit as it can be more convenient to return to the airport from there rather than return back to Kumbo and leave again. The distance between Kumbo and Douala is not particularly far (same as Birmingham to London) but with the roads are bad and the buses stopping every few hundred yards the same journey can take three times longer than at home.
Classes have already started at the new school. Volunteers follow the national curriculum although you are welcome to bring extra activities for Maths and English.
Volunteer Hannah off to a project. Motorbike is the easiest way to get around the area and to remote communities which only have footpaths for access.
What do I need to know about money?
The currency in Cameroon is the CFA Franc divided into 100 Centime. The currency code is XAF. There are places to change money on arrival in Douala. It is always a good idea to carry both cash and a VISA debit card as back up. Most shops and cafes do not accept cards. Having cash also means you do not need to regularly travel to collect money when you run out. If you run out of money completely, family can send money to Cameroon via a money transfer service like Western Union. There are many agents in Cameroon where you can collect the transferred funds.
Will I need any jabs
All visitors to Cameroon will need some jabs and boosters. It is also essential to take malaria tablets and these need to be started before travel. The usual advice is to have Diptheria, Hep A, Tetanus and Typhoid. Yellow Fever is also often advised. Rabies and cholera is not needed. (Taken from the NHS website FitForTravel 21/08/2013)
What are the main places of interest?
There are plenty of opportunities to take time out during the week or further field at the weekend. Most volunteers will spend some time exploring the footpaths in the area to secluded waterfalls and lakes in the forest. Bring waterproof walking boots/trainers, even in town the roads can get muddy after heavy rain. Some volunteers spend a long weekend on the southern coast. Scroll down to see prices and options.
Getting back to the airport
How will I get back to the airport?
Your coordinator will help organise this for you. The two options are escorted driver or public transport. Many leave Kumbo a few days before their flight for a visit to the coast with other volunteers. For this reason, the local team recommend leaving plans open until closer to your return home and you know what you would like to do. A driver will charge less than on arrival if returning straight to the airport as there is no waiting time. Public transport is an alternative budget option however lengthier bus journey times may require an overnight stay in Douala. Your coordinator will be happy to pre-book a hotel for you.
Volunteers at a bar at Squares, the main square in Kumbo and the place to socialise in the evening.
Student at the new school in Kumbo where many volunteers now teach.
How and when do I need to pay for my project?
We will email you an invoice for your visa to be started in Cameroon (£50) shortly after booking. If you have your flight details already for the coordinator – this can help your visa application. There is nothing further to pay Original Volunteers before travel, the remainder of the £200 and the weekly contribution are payable in Cameroon.
Korup, a days travel from Kumbo, is the most accessible of all the rainforests in Cameroon and can be reached on public transport. Allow 5 days including travel there. Head to Mundemba village and hire a park ranger guide for a 3 day camping trip.
What happens after you have booked?
As soon as you have booked with the once-only £125 registration fee (this covers one or more projects within a year), you will receive a welcome email confirming your booking and explaining in more detail how to get organised for you trip.
We will Buddy you up with another volunteer going to the Cameroon volunteer programme arriving around the same time so you should have a good chance to travel together if you wish to.
You will also receive a Welcome Pack with some useful information which will include project specific advice on what to take, how to prepare and travel health recommendations.
Below is an example timeline for a volunteer travelling in July 2019
As soon as possible : get flights to Douala airport to arrive on 15th/16th of the month. Try to arrive as early as possible to allow a same day transfer to the project. If an overnight stay is required a transfer will be made the next morning, accommodation will be organised for you by the driver not to worry. There is a Turkish airline which arrives at 1am which may be the best time to arrive for a same day transfer, even if it is a longer flight via Turkey it may be more comfortable than a Cameroon hotel. Transfer time from Douala to Kumbo is 5 to 7 hours depending on weather and traffic.
Pay for your visa to be started in Cameroon An invoice will be emailed shortly after booking.
As soon as you have your flight : complete the required documentation (details in Welcome Pack) to start the visa process. Because this can be a lengthy process and needs to start in Cameroon by your coordinator, get your flight as soon as you can, pay the first project contribution so the visa process can be started straightaway. Add yourself to the Buddy List to meet other volunteers, travel together or simply find a familiar face when you arrive.
Join the volunteer community on Facebook to see recent pictures from projects and other interesting stories and updates
May: contact your travel nurse or travel clinic to make appointments for jabs and boosters (for more information on what is typically recommended please refer to the NHS website fitfortravel). Malaria tablets are essential and need to be started before travel – consult a good pharmacist about 2 weeks before travel
May: Contact us if you have not received confirmation regarding your visa from your coordinator in Cameroon. It is also worth contacting the Embassy to check everything is in order and on schedule as the Cameroon embassy in particular change their application processes frequently with little notice. The new requirement for fingerprints to be taken in person happened without warning for volunteers in 2013.
June : Arrange suitable travel insurance which should include medical expenses and repatriation – further advice is provided in your emailed welcome pack.
30 days before travel or sooner : Check with the Embassy first when is the best time to send off your documents/or whether you need to apply in person. If they have you on their ‘legalised list’ (this means the first stage was completed satisfactorily in Cameroon) – apply for your visa direct with the Cameroon Embassy in London and pay for the visa. You may need to visit the Embassy in person for finger printing or an interview as the Cameroon visa requirements can and do change regularly and without notice, it is always best to call the Embassy in good time to verify what their current process is in case it has changed over the past few months as it is unlikely they will notify you of any change.
We will organise your pick up and transfer from Douala airport automatically for you.
Cameroon at a glance
French and English and ‘Cameroon English’ are spoken in Cameroon along with many hundreds of tribal languages and dialects. In the town and area where volunteers stay, English and ‘Cameroon English’ are widely spoken with only a few people who speak French.
Climate: Sub-tropical. The average temperature in Cameroon is 23 Celsius throughout the year, although in the highlands where the project is based it can feel slightly cooler at times, especially in the evening and a sweater, trainers/walking boots and anorak are also needed along with hot weather clothes for during the day. The sun can still be very strong through, despite cooler temperatures than drier African countries so do bring sun screen with you for the middle of the day when the sun is shining. Dress is fairly conservative, with jeans or cotton trousers and short sleeved shirts/normal t-shirts being the most practical and culturally sensitive clothes to wear although the country is open to all faiths and religions. The hottest time of year is between January and April with average temperatures in the lowlands of 29 Celsius although again, cooler in the hills.
Time difference from UK: GMT 0 or +1hrs
Want to know more?
If you have any questions big or small on any aspect of our unique programme in Cameroon or would like to check available dates please contact us at the earliest opportunity as this project receives volunteers from all over the world and has limited spaces.Alternatively complete an easy enquiry form with your contact details and we’ll be in touch! If you like the sound of Cameroon but this will be your first time travelling or you would like to volunteer in a larger volunteer group a little closer to Europe you may like to look at our popular Ghana and Morocco programmes which are often a good starting point for the less-travelled or cautious adventurer.
Placement at a glance
Various community options
Pre-departure helpdesk, in-country coordinating team and 24hr emergency support
Volunteer accommodation provided
Self-catering. Food can be bought cheaply from street sellers and cafes
Variable depending on area of work
Getting to project
On foot or local taxi as the small town is spread over a large area.
10 days minimum recommended due to travelling times
Volunteers usually stay
2 to 4 weeks
All year round
When to apply
Immediately as spaces are limited on these low cost projects.
£10 per week with one off £200 & £125 (Registration to join OV which provides a year of volunteering without registering again)
Airport Pick-up Service
Available from Yaounde or Douala, full day travel, allow approx 110 Euros
Shop 5 minutes
Bars 15 minutes
Chemist 15 minutes
Bus 5 minutes
Taxis 5 minutes
Cash machine 30 minutes
Bank 30 minutes
Pay Phone 5 minutes
Internet access 5 minutes
Laundry 10 mins or handwash
Basics, what to take?
Volunteers share dorm style rooms in a shared volunteer apartment above the
main office and project base. Electricity and western bathroom available.
During busy periods volunteers may also be placed with local families close to the project’s HQ (above).
Volunteers mostly eat out at stalls or from vendors. Can also shop and cook at the volunteer house – but you may need to buy a camping gas canister!
Original Volunteers believes that the importance of professional and knowledgeable support is essential to make the most out of your visit.
In Cameroon the programme director and his support staff are all local people with a deep knowledge of their local area and well connected. So if you have an idea or your own project you would like to help set up they will probably know everyone you need to know to get your project started!
They are always at hand to show you around, introduce you to placements and help you adjust smoothly to the pace of life in Cameroon.
The benefits of your local in-country team
What is a volunteer coordinator?
Every project has a volunteer coordinator. This is the person responsible for organising your volunteering and looking after your welfare needs during your stay and they are all English speaking.
What experience do volunteer coordinators have?
All our coordinators are local people with knowledge and experience gained over many years of supporting volunteers. They have a deep knowledge of their local community, providing an invaluable source of information.
9 in 10 coordinators at our destinations have between 5 – 7 years experience and 7 in 10 of our coordinators have supported more than a thousand volunteers each (current as of August 2013).
If they don’t know where to buy Parmesan cheese when the shops are shut, no one will!
Who are volunteer coordinators?
At some destinations the volunteer coordinator will also be the manager/director of the project you are volunteering if you are based in one location. Examples of manager/coordinator projects will be Kenya-Mombasa/Peru/Cambodia/South Africa/Argentina/Uganda/India.
Some destinations require an independent volunteer coordinator because there are many projects volunteers go to. Independent coordinators will organise a variety of placements at many different projects in the local community throughout your visit. He/she will liaise with all the projects/schools/hospitals on your behalf to organise schedules for your volunteer group. Examples of volunteer programmes are: Morocco/Ghana/Tanzania/Kenya-Masai/Malawi/Mexico-Merida/Ecuador.
Thailand and Nepal offer a mix of both.
Is there only one volunteer coordinator?
Coordinators have other staff supporting them, from drivers to housekeepers, and cooks and assistant coordinators.
Support team size varies between project type and time of year. The typical size of any support team will be 5 – 7. There may also be a long stay volunteer helping out
The Uganda school project had at last count 15 local staff supporting volunteers which ranged from security to water carriers!
What do coordinators do?
Airport pick up
Your in-country coordinator will organise your pick up and make sure you get to the volunteer house as smoothly as possible. If your coordinator does not meet volunteers from the airport, their trusted regular driver will be sent to meet you.
Liaise with local projects
If you are on a mixed volunteer programme (Morocco/Ghana/Tanzania/Kenya-Masai/Malawi/Mexico-Merida/Ecuador) your coordinator will be regularly liaising with the projects you will be going to today, this week and next, organising suitable times and communicating schedules to the volunteer group.
Help organise specific placements
Coordinators will also ensure that volunteers with special preferences eg. medical/building can get involved as fully as possible in their preferred area of work.
Show you around and help you to locate things
Need a Sim card? Want to buy some paintbrushes for an art session tomorrow? Speak to your coordinator – they will advise on where, how to get there and prices.
Provide an orientation on arrival
Your coordinator or their local team will provide an orientation on arrival of what’s where and how to get started. This may take the form of a more formal meeting for all new arrivals by your coordinator or through informal advice for new arrivals from staff, long stay volunteers, handouts, information on the noticeboard as per needs dictate.
This will usually include any important cultural awareness if this may affect your stay. For example bare tummies should be covered in Ghana for example otherwise the children won’t stop giggling!
Help you when things go wrong
We are often asked what happens when things go wrong. Your local team are the experts on getting you the help you need immediately. They have seen it all before (in a nice way) and are well experienced in looking after hundreds of volunteers each year with all the usual niggles from sunburn to upset tummies. Whether you need a doctor in the night for sickness or you want to try out a new project or move bedroom or volunteer house.
If you have remembered to print off your project contact details and leave them with family (these are sent before travel to all volunteers) – your family can also contact the coordinator directly. Or they can call us and we can put them in touch.
But if you need further assistance or advice we are here to help you. Contact us straightaway and we might be able to make the niggly issues go away.
For any country related crises which may occur which would require volunteers to return home, your coordinator and their team will ensure everyone is safely escorted to the airport or Embassy as per the advice provided by each volunteer’s government together with any additional support that may be required.
Help you when you feel unwell
Coordinators are the first port of call if you think you may need medical assistance. They will organise an escort to the local clinic/hospital and make sure you are well treated. They can also contact home and will be happy to speak to parents to explain how you are. If you are volunteering alone, they may also stay with you in the hospital or request that a member of their staff and a volunteer keep you company as it can be quite daunting to be in a foreign hospital, even if it is only an infected mosquito bite!
Most health problems are minor and with a day or two’s bed rest either at the volunteer house or the local hospital and plenty of water, most volunteers are back to their normal selves again.
While on the subject of hospitals – make sure you have comprehensive travel insurance to cover local medical bills and repatriation. In developing countries and where medical care is mostly private, it is not uncommon to be admitted into a private room for something which would be treated as an out-patient back home. Without insurance, hospital fees can be as much as £200 per day.
For doctors appointments when you only need a prescription, your coordinator will help you to locate the nearest doctor/clinic. For these it is often easier to pay on the spot and not claim on the insurance. Expect to pay approx. £5 – £15 per consultation and £5 – £20 for basic medication.
Your coordinator knows all the best trips and best prices which volunteers over the years have participated on and recommended. If the options are not posted on a notice board ask your coordinator what is available and how to book. Typical prices across all destinations as a very rough guide: £30 – £40 for a day’s activity, £200 – £400 for a trek/budget safari for 3 – 5 days. Most volunteers go together in a group for more fun and get discounts. Additional trip discounts for volunteers are available in Ghana and Tanzania.
Return transfer back to the airport
Your coordinator can organise the return trip back to the airport for you, simply ask a few days before your flight. This is not automatically organised as many volunteers will have made friends and may leave the project a day or two earlier to sightsee before flying home, want to go shopping right up to the last minute or forget that the transfer was booked and have already jumped in a taxi!
Do I need experience? Few volunteers heading to Cameroon have any volunteering experience. We recommend committing to 4 weeks if at all possible to get the most out of the experience of this unique experience in an undeveloped corner of Africa far away from the tourist trail where outsiders are still welcomed as a novelty.
When do I choose what I will be doing? On arrival in Cameroon volunteers are provided with an orientation. Your coordinator will advise on all the volunteering projects available. Most new volunteers spend the first day with another volunteer to settle in before planning what area of work interests you. Most volunteers without a preference assist in the IT class, showing young people how to use a computer for the first time and teaching informal English, although there is usually a building project or clinic to get involved with too. Most volunteers will try out a few different things over the course of their visit.
What language is spoken? Following World War One, Cameroon became a colony of both Britain and France which has left the country divided into two distinct language regions, the West speak English and this is where volunteers stay, live and volunteer. The East is French speaking. If you want to practise your French, head to the beach resort of Kribi to the south of the country at the end of your stay.
Do you offer medical placements in Cameroon? Volunteers can get involved with the women’s healthcare centre and their maternity clinics although dates are irregular depending on when the local midwives are available. We therefore recommend at least a month’s visit to ensure enough time to make enough visits to be worthwhile.
Will I be met on arrival? All volunteers are met at the airport in Douala on arrival. The preferred start dates are the 15th of each month.
What do I need to take? A full kit list is provided after booking in the Welcome Pack. As a general guide, it can be warm during the day and chilly at night so bring a fleece/jumper/hoodie for evenings together with walking boots or strong shoes as the roads can be rough and muddy. The town is pretty quiet so you may want to get off onto the trails exploring even if you are not a walker at home. You may want to bring a smarter outfit for ‘official engagements’. There are often volunteer meetings with local dignitaries to discuss project work and presentations to children around exam time. An anorak and umbrella will also come in useful for when it rains. For building/repair work bring strong work gloves, sturdy footwear and clothes to get dirty. For clinic work; examination gloves, hair net, mouth cover, plastic aprons, smart casual clothes with a clean white blouse/shirt and sandals/shoes. If you can get hold of extra donated items from your local hospital to share out with the local midwives and clinic staff all will be fantastically appreciated and put to good use.
Where will I be staying? All volunteers are grouped together in a shared volunteer apartment or at busier times when the apartment is full, volunteers are placed with local families.
Is Cameroon safe? The region of Kumbo where volunteers are based is perfectly safe. This is a sleepy rural region and visitors are warmly welcomed, perhaps due in part to the novelty factor in this little-visited corner of the country.
Do I need a visa for Cameroon? UK/European passport holders require a visa in advance for Cameroon. Detailed notes on how to obtain your Cameroon visa are in the Welcome Pack and should be following immediately after booking. Original Volunteers has an arrangement with the Cameroon Embassy in London to ensure a smooth application process for our UK based volunteers so please read the information first before contacting the Embassy in London. For volunteers not based in the UK we cannot guarantee that visa applications made through other Embassies will be straightforward so we would strongly encourage you to contact the nearest Cameroon embassy first for advice on what their requirements are and possible timeframes before buying flights. We can provide letters of introduction from the project in Cameroon where required for all volunteers but we cannot guarantee that the letters accepted by Embassy in London will be acceptable in other countries. If you are outside of the UK you may also be expected to make one or two visits to your nearest Cameroon Embassy before a visa can be approved. You are strongly advised to check before buying flights.
Are there fixed arrival dates? Yes. Please arrange flights to arrive on the 15th of the month. It is a whole day’s travel to Douala to collect volunteers so the less trips in a month the better so everyone can get to know one another more easily and focus on the month’s work ahead
Will I be placed with friends? All volunteers arriving with friends are placed together in the same volunteer accommodation unless your group of friends is too big to squeeze in to the apartment!
I am worried about travelling on my own – can I buddy up with someone? We can Buddy you up with someone else going around the same time. Take a look at our Buddy List too or pop us a message on the main Facebook Group and we’ll add you to our weekly round up.
Will I need any jabs? This is Africa, so yes you will need to get quite a few jabs and probably some boosters to protect yourself. You should consult a travel health nurse at least 6 weeks before travel, although some independent travel health clinics (most large towns have one or two) can provide last minute jabs and boosters. Please remember that malaria tablets must be started before travel, not as you arrive and will need to be taken after you have left Cameroon too to ensure protection. Check with a good pharmacist (larger Boots chemists in the UK can advise)
How can I keep in touch with home? Internet is available at the project’s HQ in Kumbo.
How will I get back to the airport? Your coordinator will help you organise the return transfer for you back to Douala. Some volunteers like to leave a couple of days earlier than their flight to spend some time at the beach (popular resorts: Limbe, English speaking and Kribi, French speaking) and it is possible current volunteers will join you for a relaxing weekend and to see you off on your way.
Contact us for specific questions
We are always happy to answer any questions you may have. We pride ourselves in the vast knowledge of our projects and are always willing to share. Give us a call for a quick chat on 01603 280702 or email [email protected] to get the answers you need!