Taking the train in Cameroon...

Taking the train is a good way to get around the country, especially given the state of the roads.  Cameroon has a metre-gauge network.

small bullet point  Douala to Yaoundé

small bullet point  Yaoundé to Ngaoundere

small bullet point  Douala - Mbanga - Kumba

For other routes and a network map, see www.camrail.net.  Further feedback to help improve this page is always welcome!

In Doula, trains leave from the Gare de Bessengué, see map of Douala showing station.

large bullet pointUseful country information

Train operator:

Camrail, www.camrail.net


Time zone:

GMT+1.  No daylight saving time.

Dialling code:




£1 = approx 850 Francs.    $1 = approx 590 Francs    Currency converter


You'll need a visa to visit Cameroon.  In the UK, see www.cameroonhighcommission.co.uk.

Tourist information:

?   Health & vaccinations


Hotels in Cameroon

Page last updated:

7 July 2021

large bullet pointDoula - Yaoundé

An improved service with two new non-stop inter-city trains started in May 2014.  These were suspended after an accident in 2016, but restored as from 1 July 2021.

 Douala ► Yaoundé


 Yaoundé ► Douala


IC 151

Omnibus 103

Exp 181

IC 153


Exp 184

Omnibus 104

IC 152

IC 154



Mon, Wed, Fri





Tue, Thur, Sat



 Douala depart:





 Yaoundé depart:





 Edea arr/dep:





 Edea arr/dep





 Yaoundé arrive:





 Douala arrive:





* Guesstimated time, not confirmed.

IC = InterCity train introduced 2014.  3 x air-conditioned 1st class cars, 5 x non-air-con premium class cars & bar-restaurant car.  Running again from 1 July 2021.

Exp = older express train, runs daily, 1st & 2nd class, calls at all stations.

Omnibus = slow train, all stations.

You can check departure times and fares at www.camrail.net.   Douala to Yaoundé is 263km (163 miles).

Buy tickets at the station, it's easy to buy tickets on the day.


 In CFA Francs

1st class

Premium class

2nd class

 Doula-Yaoundé by non-stop InterCity




 Doula-Yaoundé by older Express




Children under 5 travel free.  Children under 10 go at half fare. £1 = 850 CFA, $1 = 490 CFA.

Yaounde station with trains to Douala

At Yaoundé station, the InterCity is about to leave, with the daily local train on the left.

1st class on train from Douala to Yaoundé   2nd class seats

1st class air-con seats from Douala to Yaoundé.  Photo courtesy of Hubert Horan.

2nd class seats non-air-con seats on the Douala to Yaoundé train.  Courtesy of Hubert Horan.

Travellers' reports...

Traveller Iain Bisset reports:  "I travelled on the “Inter-City” [IC22] between Yaounde and Douala in first class. Arriving at the station at around 07:15 it was possible to buy a first class ticket for 6000 CFA from the ticket office (upstairs for this line, downstairs for Ngaoundere).  A guy outside pointed me in the direction of a line of buses which were off to Douala on a fill up and go basis. They would be much quicker, I was told. But that’s not the point of taking trains in Africa, right?  The train left on time at 07:40 and first class was comfortably empty.  Two commuters off to Eseka were they only other people in first class except for the guard, whose job it seemed only consisted of kicking out people with second class tickets who got on through the wrong door, and a guy selling cold drinks and sandwiches, the latter for about 40p.  A Whitney Houston music video was put, quietly, on the television and within fifteen minutes of leaving Yaounde there was no phone signal and we were in the jungle. 

The train had a couple of long delays due to other trains on the line breaking down. This was communicated to us clearly by the staff and in the end we arrived into Douala at 14:00. Or rather we got to an out-of-town station and everyone piled out, I joined them and hopped on a motorbike taxi to continue into the city centre. The train can take much longer than the bus so I think I may have been the only passenger in both classes to be travelling the full length, but as neither city has any “must see” sights, this makes a good journey choice. I was in the pool with a beer before 15:00 and the ticket is the same price as a VIP bus ticket, a journey which has never taken less than 4h15 minutes for me, so a train with no delays isn’t much longer. Definitely worth it, in my opinion."



large bullet pointYaoundé - Ngaoundéré

A daily overnight train links these cities, with sleeping-berths and seats.

 Yaoundé ► Ngaoundéré


 Ngaoundéré ► Yaoundé









 Yaoundé depart:


 Ngaoundéré depart:


 Nanga Eboko arr/dep:


 Mbitom arr/dep:


 Belabo arr/dep:


 Belabo arr/dep:


 Mbitom arr/dep:


 Nanga Eboko arr/dep:


 Ngaoundéré arrive:


 Yaoundé arrive:


Train 191/192 = Couchette car with 2-berth & 4-berth compartments, 1st & 2nd class seats, runs daily.

You can check departure times & fares at www.camrail.net.  The distance is 667km (417 miles).  Check other times locally.

Buy tickets at the station, it's recommended that couchettes are booked at least the day before, preferably several days.


 In CFA Francs

Bed in 2-berth

Bed in 4-berth

1st class seat

2nd class seat

 Yaoundé - Ngaoundéré





Children under 5 travel free.  Children under 10 go at half fare.   £1 = 850 CFA, $1 = 490 CFA.

Train from Ngaoundere, arrived at Yaoundé   1st class couchette on Yaoundé to Ngaoundere train

The train from Ngaoundere, arrived at Yaoundé station.  Photo courtesy of Iain Bisset.


1st class 4-berth couchette on the night train from Yaoundé to Ngaoundere.  Photo courtesy of Iain Bisset.

Traveller's reports...

Traveller Andrew Polhill reports:  "It's an epic journey.  You leave the arid sahel region in the evening and wake up in the steamy tropics.  At the time I went it was also the safest way to travel north/south.  Definitely recommend it!"

Traveller Iain Bisset reports:  "I bought my ticket in N’Gaoundere in a much less effective system than there is in Yaounde.  A couple of benches sit outside the First Class ticket office and the guard will ask if you are reserving or paying. He will then forget and you will lose your place in the mass. It is best to keep pushing and stand up every time someone leaves to signal your intention to go in! After about ninety minutes I got to the reservation desk and asked for two beds in a two bed compartment. The lady made out the first reservation and then realised that was the last page in the book, she ordered a new book, we waited, it arrived, wrong book, girl went back. Eventually I got the reservations! You put a down payment of 5000 CFA on each ticket. I returned the next morning and the queue is much shorter for paying. There was some problem with the tickets, they had overbooked, they had nothing. After some arguing, all in French as no one speaks English up there, they gave us two beds in a four bed compartment. It only took ten minutes, including waiting. Off to photograph the interesting architecture of the station, which is flanked by more traditional colonial buildings and the palace. Hotel check-out is invariably 12:00 and even if you aim to board the train at 17:00 that is a lot of time to kill in N’Gaoundere.

The train left on time at 18:20 and the beds were comfortable with clean sheets and plenty of space for luggage.  We were given upper bunks which was apparent with a scrawled Haut on our tickets.  My colleague, local, happily left his belongings on the bunk when we went to the dining car, I had my valuables with me at all times but it didn’t feel like a problem to leave my sack of dirty clothes and books in the huge baggage space by the bunks.  We were found spaces in the restaurant car by a waitress who also offered to bring food to the compartment, although where you would eat it in the top bunk is beyond me. We had two meals and three drinks for 5000 CFA (around £6) which my colleague treated me to for having spent that time in the queue!  They served no alcohol when we were travelling and a lot of passengers complained which made me think it was not a regular occurrence.  I have spent over 60 nights in sleeper trains, on beds, and this was the most uncomfortable! The bed was comfortable but the train jerked in a staccato manner all night.  It had a long delay somewhere around Belabo, noticeable as we all fell into a deep sleep!

When we woke up in the morning we were nowhere near Yaounde, not a problem as breakfast was served for either 1500 or 2500 CFA depending on if you wanted fruit and fruit juice with your coffee and omelette. Jungle scenery passes by and stations come into view with villagers balancing buckets of all sorts on their heads which passengers lean from windows to purchase from. We arrived into Yaounde at 11:00 exactly, I have no idea when we were supposed to get there. Taxis wait to take people around town, but if you know your way it isn’t too far to several decent hotels.

Compared to the bus the train is a lot more comfortable, compared to flying the train is a lot cheaper and compared to both it is just the right way to go. The two bed compartments looked very nice and were a bit closer to the restaurant car, I am not sure how having a seat would be for this journey but it is worth noting that second class tickets do not admit access to the restaurant car, for that reason alone I would go for the first class and as it can take 16 hours, the bed seems the best way to go.

large bullet pointDoula - Mbanga - Kumba

Local trains, 2nd class only, run from Mbanga to Kumba daily at 09:20, 13:00, 17:30.  Journey 1 hour, fare 500 Francs.

Local trains, 2nd class only, run from Kumba to Mbanga daily at 07:50, 11:30, 15:30.  Journey 1 hour, fare 500 Francs.

Mbanga is 66km from Doula.

A train links Doula with Mbanga & Kumba twice a week, 2nd class only, fare 1000 Francs, see www.camrail.net.

Train from Mbanga to Kumba, Cameroon   Train to Kumba boarding at Mbanga

2nd class seats on the Mbanga to Kumba train.  Photo courtesy of Iain Bisset.


The local train to Kumba, boarding at Mbanga.  Photo courtesy of Iain Bisset.


large bullet pointFind hotels in Cameroon...

Find hotels at Booking.comMy favourite hotel search site: www.booking.com

www.booking.com is my favourite hotel booking site and I generally prefer booking my hotels all in one place here.  You can usually book with free cancellation - this allows you to confirm your accommodation at no risk before train booking opens.  It also means you can hold accommodation while you finalise your itinerary, and alter your plans as they evolve - a feature I use all the time when putting a trip together.  I never book hotels non-refundably.  I have also come to trust their review scores - you won't be disappointed with anything over 8.0.

Tip:  It can pay to compare prices across multiple hotel sites:  HotelsCombined.com is a price comparison site which compares hotel prices on Booking.com, Hotels.com, Expedia, Accor, Agoda and many others.  Though if there's not much in it, I prefer keeping all my bookings together in one place at www.booking.com.

Other hotel sites worth trying...

Backpacker hostels...

large bullet pointTravel insurance & VPN...


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UK flagYou can use Confused.com to compare prices & policies from many different insurers.

  Australian flag New Zealand flag  Irish flag    If you live in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland or the EU, try Columbus Direct's other websites.

  US flag If you live in the USA try Travel Guard USA.

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