Cameroon Road Network

By | November 16, 2022

According to wholevehicles, Cameroon has a relatively limited network of major roads. The total road network is estimated at 121,500 kilometres, a large part of this, however, concerns dirt roads, paths, tracks in the sand or residential streets. Routes nationales are the main road network of Cameroon. The network of routes nationales was 9,370 kilometers in 2018, of which about half is paved. The regional roads are 13,923 kilometers of which less than 10% is paved. In Cameroon, in 2020, there were 7,252 kilometers of asphalted road, outside the national routes, however, almost all roads are unpaved. The largest network of tarmac roads is located around the capital Yaoundé and in the highlands around Bafoussam and Bamenda. The network of paved roads around the port city of Douala is more limited. There are tarmac roads to all neighboring countries except Congo. In the east and north of Cameroon, however, there are almost no paved roads outside the N1 and some of its branches.

The southeast of Cameroon is an inaccessible rainforest, there are no paved roads and almost no improved dirt roads. Also in the central part of Cameroon there is almost no paved road outside the N1. The border area with Nigeria in the Anglophone part of Cameroon also has a barely developed road network.

In Douala there is a 2×3 lane grade separated road between the airport and the port, sometimes seen as the country’s first motorway. Several motorways were under construction in 2014, including a motorway between Douala and Yaoundé, the two largest cities in the country. On January 5, 2022, Cameroon’s first highway sections, a segment of the Autoroute Yaoundé – Douala and the Autoroute Yaoundé – Nsimalen, opened. In addition to the motorways, tolls are also occasionally levied on routes nationales.

Cameroon’s major cities have a greater number of paved roads, but many side streets are unpaved. In Yaoundé and Douala, the main city roads generally have four or six lanes of traffic. The road network in smaller towns is often much more limited, with only the through national route being paved and almost all other roads not.

National Routes and Autoroutes in Cameroon
N1 • N2 • N3 • N4 • N5 • N6 • N7 • N8 • N9 • N10 • N11 • N12 • N13 • N14 • N15 • N16 • N17 • N18 • N19 • N20 • N21 • N22Autoroute Kribi – Lolabé • Autoroute Yaoundé – Douala • Autoroute Yaoundé – Nsimalen

Future

In 2014 the construction of the 196 kilometer long Autoroute Yaoundé – Douala started with an 80 kilometer long section between Yaoundé and Bot-Makak. In 2016 only some earthworks were carried out and a number of culverts were installed, in 2020 the highway was also still unfinished. In 2015 the construction of the 20 kilometer long Autoroute Yaoundé – Nsimalen started. Both motorways will open simultaneously in 2022 as Cameroon’s first motorways. A 38.5-kilometer-long highway has also been constructed between Kribi and a deep-sea port in southern Cameroon, which opened later in 2022.

Motorways

In Cameroon a number of autoroutes are planned or under construction;

  • Autoroute Yaoundé – Douala
  • Kribi – Lolabé Auto Autoroute
  • Yaoundé – Nsimalen Autoroute

Road numbering

In Cameroon there are three road number layers, Route Nationales, Route Provinciales and Route Départementales, with the prefix N, P and D respectively.

National Routes

The national routes are the main roads of Cameroon. The N1 to N4 radiate from the capital Yaoundé. The N1 is the longest route to the far north. The numbering runs from N1 to N22. The numbering is somewhat clustered. The routes nationales also have branches in some cases, numbered with a suffix. The N1 has the most branches of these. The numbering went until 2018 to the N18, in that year the numbering was extended to the N22.

Routes

# No. Route Length
N1 Yaoundé – Bertoua – Ngaoundéré – Garoua – Maroua – Kousséri (Chad border) 1660 km
N2 Yaoundé – Ebolowa – Ambam (Gabon border) 275 km
N3 Yaoundé – Douala – Idenau 355 km
N4 Obala – Bafia – Bafoussam 260 km
N5 Békoko – Loum – Bafang – Bandjoun 220 km
N6 (Nigeria border) – Ekok – Bamenda – Bafoussam – Tibati – Meiganga 910 km
N7 Edea – Kribi – Campo 195 km
N8 Mutengene – Kumba – Bachou Akagbe 230 km
N9 Mbalmayo – Sangmelima – Mbalam 425 km
N10 Yaoundé – Bertoua – Yokadouma – Moloundou 830 km
N11 Bamenda – Kumbo – Bamenda 350 km
N12 Gourmeui – Yagoua – Tsébé (Chad border) 145 km
N13 Gidjiba – Touboro – Babongo 500 km
N14 Nagoundéré – Tignere – Kontcha (Nigeria border) 260 km
N15 Batchenga – Tibatic 400 km
N16 Loum – Kumba – Mundemba 155 km
N17 Kribi – Ebolowa 170 km
N18 Mbwam – Belabo 51 km
N19 Abong Mbang – Mbalam 290 km
N20 Ngaoundéré – Touboro (Chad border) 261 km
N21 Sangmelima – Mbama 230 km
N22 Yaounde – Kribic 260 km

Provincial Routes

The P-routes are randomly numbered, but slightly zoned, which are deviated from. Not all P-ways are equally important. For example, the P4 is part of the route from Bertoua to Bangui in the Central African Republic. The P12 forms a long inland route from Batchenga to Ngaoundére, intersecting the N1.

Routes of the departments

The D-roads are numbered from the north, increasing to 25 in the south. Higher numbers are numbered somewhat randomly.

Signage

Signage is sparse. French is used on the road signs. The first motorways have French-style signage, including a color distinction between blue and white, but no road numbers. Roadside signs indicate the number of fatalities along certain road sections.

Cameroon Road Network