Flights to Garoua Garoua is a small city in northern Cameroon, and it is an important trade centre in the region. Due to the nearness of several wildlife parks, there is also a good tourist industry there. Even so, it is not a wealthy area and services are going to be quite simple and basic.
The local Garoua International Airport (airport code: GOU) does not handle very much air traffic and you will not be able to arrange a flight to Garoua directly from Johannesburg. But if you plan a flight to the capital, Douala, you can get a local flight to Garoua from there with Camairco or Air Leasing Cameroon. To the Douala International Airport (code: DLA), you can fly with Ethiopian Airlines and have one connection in Addis Ababa, or with Kenya Airways to travel through Lusaka and Nairobi.
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The Tourist Attractions of Garoua:
Both English and French are spoken in Garoua so you should be able to communicate with most people if you can get by with either (or both) languages.
There are no particular sights or attractions within the city, though the large mosque is a very impressive spot for photos. Most things to do here are outside the city to the south.
Lake Lagdo is the largest lake in Cameroon, and not too far from Garoua. It’s a nice place to walk or drive, and you can see many smaller fishing villages in the area.
Benoue National Park
South on the main highway out of Garoua is the Benoue National Park, the park closest to the town. The higher elevations are a little mountainous but most of the park is open grassland and heavy forests. The Benoue River also flows through this area. You may be able to see one of the local lions, but more likely you will spot elephants, buffalo, hyenas, warthogs, monkeys and various eland and antelope species.
To the west of Benoue National Park is the Faro Reserve, also near the Nigerian border. It’s a less maintained park than Benoue and you definitely need a 4×4 if you want to go. There are several herds of hippopotamus and you can also see rhinos, elephants and cheetahs in this area. Most of the park is woodland with some open spaces and grasslands.
Bouba Ndjida National Park
Farther east from the Benoue Park is the Bouba-Ndjida National Park, which is on the border with Chad. There is more open savannah grassland in this park compared to the others mentioned, but many of the same animals can be found here. There is a variety of eland, giraffe, rhinos and hyenas. A pride or two of lions is also within the park.
When Should You Visit?:
The best time to visit Garoua is January and December, as the climate is the right combination of cool and dry weather. It will be around 34C (93F) during those months, so it’s not really that cool by most standards, but is better than the higher months of March and April when it will reach 40F (103F) during the day. It will be even cooler in August but the rains are much heavier then and can be a hindrance for sightseeing.