Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Not feeling too confident about this Cameroonian visa process

April 25, 2007

This better work.

Right now I am on my mobile phone with the Canadian consulate in Cameroon, where we are planning to travel in five days time, to hike Mount Cameroon. I’ve been told by the Cameroon embassy in Ottawa that visas are required before arrival in Douala, the international flight hub, but Cameroon does not have an embassy in Ghana. We would have to travel first to the nearest embassy in Abidjan in Cote d’Ivoire, or else mail our passports there — not items we are willing to trust to the West African postal system. We don’t have time for either of those options, anyway.

Now, maybe this is the fault of my imperfect French, but when I spoke to the Canadian consulate in Yaounde three weeks ago I was told that if we faxed them copies of our passports with a letter explaining our intentions things would work out. But it doesn’t sound like there’s any trace of those documents.

We’ll see. The consular agent is out on a walk and I’m to call back in one hour…

Okay, so mixed reports. Canadian officials in Cameroonian consulates say we need visas before arriving at Douala airport. Numerous travel websites and officials with the Cameroon embassy in Abidjan say we can buy visas at the airport once we arrive. We’re going with the latter wisdom, flying to Douala from Lome, the capital of Ghana’s neighbour Togo, on Monday.

Updates to follow… (G)

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