By Hancke Hudson

Cameroon is a historically significant hunting destination. It takes you back many decades and can be used in the same nostalgic discussions right up there with countries such as Tanzania and the Central African Republic. Cameroon was one of the prime destinations of the former Afrique Equatoriale Française (French Equatorial Africa) for some of the most sought-after trophies in the modern world, like the giant Lord Derby eland and the bongo, as well as the dwarf buffalo. Today, Cameroon remains one of the most beautiful destinations to hunt in Africa.

Owing to the diversity of its climate and topography, ranging from the southern equatorial rainforest to the vast northern desert, it is a miniature reproduction of the entire African continent, hence the nickname ‘Little Africa’. It ranges from rain forest, forest glades with savannah all the way to open savannah, as well as savannah with bush veld. Cameroon stretches from the shores of the Atlantic Ocean up to Chad in the north and the Central African Republic in the east. About half the size of France, or the same size as the US state of Oklahoma, Cameroon encompasses two distinct ecosystems: the tropical rain forest (jungle) in the south of the country and the savannah in the centre.
The political stability of the country assures Cameroon’s reputation as an ideal destination for hunting. All hunters are certain to discover the ancient atmosphere of Africa, while experiencing the thrill of an authentic fair-chase African hunt. There are two major hunting regions in Cameroon, the North and the South / Southeast.
The northern terrain consists mostly of savannah with some lightly wooded areas, and some dense forest. Hunting in northern Cameroon is famous for one of its most sought-after species, the Lord Derby eland (Tragelaphus eurycerus eurycerus). Cameroon is also known for its large variety of antelope, including roan antelope (Hippotragus equinus), western hartebeest (Alcelaphus buselaphus), Buffon’s kob (Kobus kob), Defassa waterbuck (Kobus ellipsiprymnus defassa), bohor reedbuck (Redunca redunca), harnessed bushbuck (Tragelaphus scriptus knutsoni), oribi (Ourebia ourebi) and various varieties of duikers (Cephalophus cephalophus).
West African savannah buffalo (Syncerus cafer nanus savanensis) are found in large numbers, sometimes several hundred strong. Lion are hunted but only by tracking, as is the case in all of West and Central Africa, and not with bait as in East Africa. Elephants are also abundant and hunting them is allowed. Hippos provide yet another exciting hunting opportunity. The neighboring parks and wildlife preserves ensure the continued presence of dense animal populations, which migrate freely between the parks, preserves and the hunting areas.

Hunting in the northern part of Cameroon begins with a drive in a 4×4 from the camps. Once in the bush, tracking is done on foot. The terrain is fairly flat and the hunting is not very physically demanding. As is true for all of West and Central Africa, the large hunting areas in Cameroon are open territories, not fenced.
The average hunting concession area is in excess of 200 000 acres and is rented and managed by hunting outfitters, who are usually French hunting companies and / or French professional hunters and members of the ACP (Association des Chasseurs Professionnels – Association of Professional Hunters). In northern Cameroon the hunting camps are permanent. The bungalows are comfortable and are often air-conditioned. Camps are usually built along rivers. The French-style cuisine is excellent and offers many opportunities to taste the meat of various types of game, which would be harvested by the hunters themselves. In the northern region, hunting areas are accessible by road from Garoua, capital of the northern district. Roads are normally good, depending on the rain, and the drive is on average 3 to 4 hours. The hunting season runs from mid-December through mid-May.

Species List – Savannah
• Giant eland
• Western roan
• Northwestern savannah buffalo
• Western hartebeest
• Sing sing waterbuck
• Nigerian bohor reedbuck
• Harnessed bushbuck
• Central African kob
• Oribi
• Western bush duiker
• Red-flanked duiker
• Warthog

Bohor reedbuck

The south and southeast of Cameroon, along with neighbouring regions in the Congo and the Central African Republic, also provide for an excellent hunting experience.

Lord Derby trophy

Defassa waterbuck

Savannah buffalo

Western hartebeest

These regions are covered with dense rain forest and are home to the forest elephant. Hunting forest elephant is always very exciting but requires a fair amount of physical exertion. Good physical fitness is recommended.
The forest is also home to the magnificent, yet stealthy bongo, and as with the forest elephant, the hunt is usually led by Pygmies. This type of hunting will test any hunter’s endurance levels. The equatorial forest in Cameroon is also home to the dwarf forest buffalo (Syncerus caffer nanus stricto sensus), western sitatunga (Tragelaphus Spekei Gratus), giant forest hog (Hylochoerus meinertzhageni), bushpig (Potamochoerus), yellow-backed duiker (Cephalophus silvicultor), blue duiker (Cephalophus monticola), black-fronted duiker (Cephalophus nigrifrons) and the white-bellied duiker (Cephalophus leucogatser). For obvious reasons this jungle-type of rain-forest hunting is only done on foot, which requires significant physical exertion and should not be undertaken lightly. The hunting camps are generally tented camps. However, hunting in the forest also sometimes requires making ‘flying camps’.
In the southern region, hunting areas are accessible by air from the capital of Cameroon, Yaounde, and charter flights average 30 minutes.
The hunting season in the rain-forest areas runs from end of May through end of July.

Climate in Cameroon
In the southern Cameroon forest-hunting area, the average daily temperature during the hunting season ranges from a low of 70°F to a high of 83°F (21°C to 28°C). There are two dry seasons, one which runs from November to February and the other from June to July. The rainy seasons can also be divided into two periods – the ‘small’ rains from March to June, and the ‘big’ rains during August and September.
In the northern Cameroon savannah-hunting area, the average daily temperature during the hunting season ranges from a low of 65°F to a high of 84°F (18°C to 29°C) and is very pleasant. The dry season in the north is from November to April, and the rainy season is spread out from May to the end of October, although very little rain falls in this area considering it is so close to the equator.

Species list ‒ Forest
• Forest elephant
• Bongo
• Forest sitatunga
• Dwarf forest buffalo
• Giant forest hog
• Red river hog
• Yellow-backed duiker
• Bates antelope
• Blue duiker
• White-bellied duiker
• Black-fronted duiker
• Peters’s duiker
• Bay duiker


Bay duiker

Forest elephant

Cameroon hunting permits & licences
The Cameroon Government and wildlife authorities allocate quotas by species to each hunting block, or hunting territory, on an individual basis. Your hunting licence and permit will be applied for and obtained by your hunting outfitter well prior to your arrival.
The following is required regarding permits for trophy hunting in Cameroon:
• To obtain your hunting licence, it is mandatory to get a health certificate from your doctor, stating that you are physically fit enough to participate in a big-game hunting safari.
• A maximum of one trophy per species per hunting season may be harvested, per hunting client per hunting license.
Note: Even though the Safari Club International recognises the dwarf / forest buffalo and the West African savannah buffalo as different species of buffalo, Cameroon considers it the same, so only one can be harvested.
• Clients are only permitted to hunt animals for which a permit has been issued.
• A maximum of one hunting licence per Group can be purchased per hunter per hunting season (one for Group (1) – Big Game, one for Group (2) – Medium Game and one for Group (3) – Small Game).
• All animals are subject to quota availability.
• Permits must be issued prior to the hunt commencing.
• A separate permit must be issued for each individual hunting client.
• The trophy fee for wounded game that is not recovered is double the standard trophy fee for that species.
• Clients are expected to abide by all Wildlife Hunting Regulations in Cameroon.


Group (1) – Big Game
The hunting licence under Group (1) allows you to harvest two different species listed under Group (1), and four different species listed under Group (3).
Below are the species listed under Group (1):
• Bongo (western)
• Buffalo (dwarf / forest)
• Buffalo (West African savannah)
• Eland (giant / Lord Derby)
• Elephant (forest)
• Hippopotamus
• Korrigum / topi giant / tsessebe
• Roan antelope (western)
• Lion (Note: This species does not count towards Group (1) or any other group, as it requires its own special permit in areas where lion hunting is permitted).

Cameroon lion

Cameroon hunting season & when hunting is allowed
• Hunting season – 1 December to 31 July.
Most outfitters in the Cameroon Savan-
nah region run their hunting season from
1 December to 31 May, and the Cameroon Forest region operate their hunting season from 15 March to 31 July.
• Trophy hunting is allowed within the hours
of daylight during the hunting season. No hunting is allowed at night or with artificial light.
• The Cameroon Government controls the minimum number of days for a hunting safari, based upon which species are being hunted. Above and beyond the government regulations, hunting outfitters may also impose their own guidelines as to the minimum number of days required to hunt certain species or combination of species.
• Hunting from a vehicle is not permitted, although the vehicle can be used to reach the area from where hunting on foot can begin. Shooting an animal from a vehicle is not permitted.
• The hunting of female, young and / or immature animals is prohibited. If shot, this animal will count as two animals taken from its Group on your
hunting license. (See Cameroon hunting permits & licenses section below for the species in each group.) The trophy fee will also be double the standard trophy fee for that species.
• The minimum legal weight of ivory for an elephant is 11 pounds (5 kg) per side.

Group (2) – Medium Game
The hunting licence under Group (2) allows you to harvest four different species listed under Group (2), and four different species listed under Group (3).

Below are the species listed under Group (2):
• Bushbuck (harnessed)
• Civet
• Duiker (bay)
• Duiker (Peters’s)
• Duiker (yellow-backed)
• Hartebeest (western)
• Hog (giant forest)
• Hog (red river)
• Hyena (spotted)
• Kob (western)
• Sitatunga (western)
• Warthog

Group (3) – Small Game (Mammals or Birds)
Group (3) is subdivided into two hunting licences, one for birds and one for small mammals. Either of these two hunting licences under Group (3) allows you to harvest all of the different species listed under that subdivided Group (3).
Below are the species listed under Group (3):
• Baboon
• Duiker (black-fronted)
• Duiker (blue)
• Duiker (Gabon)
• Duiker (Ogilby’s)
• Duiker (red-flanked)
• Duiker (white-bellied)
• Oribi
• Pygmy antelope Bates
• Reedbuck (bohor Nigerian)
• Waterbuck (sing sing)
• Bird species

International Airports in Cameroon
• Douala International Airport (Airport Code DLA), located six miles (10 km) outside the city of Douala (200 km west of Yaounde, capital of Cameroon).
• Yaounde International Airport (Airport Code YAO), located 12 miles (19 km) outside the city of Yaounde.

Major airlines flying into Cameroon
Air France
Swiss International Airlines ASM

Credits: and Chelet Safaris Cameroon