Yaoundé is a fantastic city to explore for food, music and entertainment. With some of Cameroon’s best restaurants, hotels and monuments, there are many sites and attractions to discover. From the great live band at Yao Ba to a walk around EcoPark, here are the top things to do in Yaoundé.
Take a walk along 20 May Boulevard
Building, Museum, Post Office, Church, Shop, Cathedral
National days and events are celebrated with parades at Yaoundé’s 20 May Boulevard. The attractions nearby are endless; Musée de la Blackitude, the National Museum and Notre Dame Cathedral. Enjoy a buffet in the woods at Bois Sainte Anastasie, shop at Mahima or continue your walk to the Hilton Hotel. The Prime Minister’s office and the Ministry of Higher Education are two of the street’s standout buildings.
Dress up for a fun night out at Yao Ba, with a great live band on the ground floor cabaret and a restaurant serving delectable cuisine above. The band plays bikutsi, soul, jazz, makossa, and pop. They will surprise you with the odd international hit. Enjoy wines, cocktails, beer and games.
Yaoundé is a sporty town, with countless groups that organise early morning work outs. Its seven hills and open spaces offer great tracks for runners, with sandy playing fields for team sports. The Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium draws many athletes to its terraces day and night. Many of the country’s football stars are products of the sandy pitches that are found across Yaoundé’s neighbourhoods.
Calafatas bakery, which has been baking since 1935, is a good place to stop on your way to Hôtel De Ville, which sits on Independence Square. With seats, a garden and lighting, it’s a great place for an evening picnic.
Yaoundé’s Goethe-Institut organises workshops to promote cultural exchanges between Germany and Cameroon. Art exhibitions, poetry readings and music festivals are all part of its strategy to spot emerging talent in the arts. Similar art projects take place at the Institut Français.
Go through the crowds at Mokolo Market to experience the Cameroonian hustle first hand. Add a few pairs of second-hand jeans to your collection and look through different departments selling shoes, clothes, food and housewares.
Visit the Mvog-Betsi botanical and zoological park and meet the royal lion couple. The king and queen of the jungle are accompanied by a congress of primates, birds, a hyena, crocodile, monkeys, and snakes, in a park sheltered by very tall trees, with the animals kept in large see-through cages.
The Grand Mosque was established in the Briqueterie neighbourhood in 1952 and now has a library, a school and conference hall. It plays a major role in the lives of Muslims all over the city, especially during festivities. The area is famous for its colourful fabrics, grilled chicken, and soya, sold on a stick.
Its developers have an ambitious plan: to create a ‘Cameroon in miniature’. This idea is already manifesting in Yaoundé’s ecological park, that grows plants, keeps animals, maintains fish ponds, operates a restaurant, and has spaces for exercise and playgrounds for kids. The site is still partly under construction but is already attracting those who love the outdoors.
Enjoy a quiet evening on the outskirts of Yaoundé in one of the gazebos built around a fish pond. Etok Koss restaurant serves delicious grilled goose and rabbit, and will let you catch your own fish if you get there early enough. It’s perfect for a family outing, with boat rides across the fish pond and a carousel for kids.
Venue to many cultural festivals, the Yaoundé Congress Hall is also a great place for a workout, with its slopes and vast yard. The hill provides possibly the widest view of Yaoundé and the perfect environment for a picnic. Nearby is Hôtel Mont Fébé, where you can swim and enjoy a meal, and the Benedictine Museum, both of which look over a number of embassies.