The Margouilla's Advice on Nightstopping in Yaounde

YAOUNDE - NSIMALEN (FKYS/NSI)

 

 

What airfield can I expect?

The new airport of Yaounde Nsimalen was opened in the 1990's to replace the smaller Yaounde Ville airport in town. The latter has become a Cameroonese air force base, where landing is submitted to a special authorisation. Nsimalen is an oversize international airport with little traffic. It is open H24, with Jet A-1 available at all times from fuel hydrants located in front of the main terminal. No Avgas and no tiedowns, as Nsimalen is designed for airline traffic.

Airport security is excellent by African standards.

Just like in Douala, paying your taxes here is a pain. First of all, you have to bring your flight plan to the CCAA (Cameroon CAA) desk near the baggage claims section of the main terminal: they will charge you passenger taxes (25,000 XAF per international pax) and stamp your flight plan. Close to it is the billing office for ADC (Aéroports du Cameroun) where you will pay part of the landing taxes and the airport lighting fee. Finally, try to catch an ADC tug to go to the control tower about a mile away, where the ASECNA "bureau de piste" is located: a couple thousands CFAs are usually appreciated by the driver. ASECNA will file your flight plan, and you will have to pay them landing and overflight fees. Keep in mind the airport is pretty quiet, so sometimes not everybody is at his desk waiting for you: bring a phone along so you can call them (phone number usually left on the door). Handling is not mandatory, but if required ADC will do the job.

Probably because Yaounde Ville was overtaken by the city's expansion, Nsimalen has been built miles and miles away from town. It takes about 40 minutes to get there. Taxis have an official airport rate, usually placarded, which runs as high as 8,000 XAF depending of where you're going in town. Getting rides around Yaounde later on is much cheaper, about 1,000 XAF will do depending on what you negotiate.

 

Where am I?

Yaounde was founded by the Germans in 1889 in the hills of the Ewondo country. It quickly became a centre for ivory trade, and 20 years later it replaced Douala as the capital of Cameroon. Yaounde has developed less quickly than Douala, though, which remains the economic capital.

With a population of 2 millions, Yaounde's life is centred around the country's administrations, a couple universities, and informal commerce.

Yaounde has an equatorial, warm and moist climate.

 

Where do I sleep?

Hilton Yaounde   (40mn from the airport)

PO Box 11852 - Yaounde, boulevard du 20 Mai
Tel: +(237) 22 23 36 46
Fax: +(237) 22 22 32 10
Email: yaohitwsal@hilton.com

This Hilton is insanely expensive, yet service isn't really up to expectations. Still, it is located right in the town's centre, it has a swimming pool, tennis courts and in-room wifi. Non hotel residents can access the swimming pool for a flat fee of 10,000 XAF, which can be a good option for a day stop in town. Free hotel shuttle. Rooms start at 150,000 XAF a night.

Djeuga Palace (40mn from the airport)

Yaounde, avenue Narvick
Tel: +(237) 22 22 46 46

Luxurious independant hotel, offering rates much lower than the Hilton (rooms start at 60,000 XAF) and all the services expected from a palace (at least in Africa!). Free wi-fi and free airport shuttle. Swimming pool, fitness center, bar, restaurant & night club: it's all there... The best suites go for 195,000 XAF.

Hotel du Mont Fébé (50mn from the airport)

PO Box 711 - Yaounde
Tel: +(237) 22 21 40 02
Fax: +(237) 22 21 60 70
Email: info@hotel-montfebe.com

This 1970's-style concrete block has been built on the green slopes of Mount Febe, with a great view on the city. Golf course, tennis courts, swimming pool, the place could be great if it was better maintained. Nights 60,000 XAF and up.

Hotel le Mansel (50mn from the airport)

Yaounde, near Ahidjo Stadium
Tel: +(237) 22 20 24 62

A recently renovated hotel with a nice view on the city. A nice cheap hotel for those wanting a change from the regular old-fashioned African "Palaces"... A good alternative for a night or two in Yaounde. Bar & restaurant. Rates are 25,000 XAF and up.

Hotel Merina (40mn from the airport)

PO Box 14304 - Yaounde, avenue Ahmadou Ahidjo
Tel: +(237) 22 22 21 31
Fax: +(237) 22 22 21 61

This former Mercure offers very small rooms. It is located right in the town centre, near the central market. Swimming pool and free in-room wifi. Rooms from 45,000 XAF.

 

Where do I eat?

Les Cigalons (40mn from the airport)

Yaounde, quartier Hippodrome
Tel : +(237) 22 23 41 25 / 99 28 80 96

This restaurant is held by a friendly French lady who's lived in Yaounde for decades. Food is excellent, with special attention brought to presentation. Good wine menu. Nice terrace.

Club Noah

Yaounde, quartier Tongolo
Tel: +(237) 99 59 10 34

Good food around a swimming pool in a nice exotic garden. The place is ran by famed Cameroonese tennisman Yannick Noah's father, and is also a sports complex with three tennis courts and a basketball field. Entrance fee is 3,000 XAF for the day, open every day from 8h00 to 18h30. Taxis will bring you there from the city centre for about 1,500 XAF.

 

What can I visit?

 

Where can I go out?

Le Safari Club

Yaounde, quartier Hippodrome

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