The beginning of Cameroon was the same challenging road as the end of Nigeria for another 30 kilometers. After, the road got better and better. In addition, we were quite surprised about this country.
A challenging start
We entered Cameroon via the border close to Banyo. Not because we were looking for an off-road adventure, but just because this was the only border crossing that was open at the moment. In Nigeria, we already got some deep dents in the bottom of our cars. We also learned more about its limits and possibilities of it. We became trained off-road drivers with this none-off-road car. Therefore, for this first 30 km in Cameroon we drove very slowly, with an average of 6km/h, but all went well.
Solar charging in raining season?
And this is where our biggest surprise came; very strong sun! As we drove through Cameroon in April, we were in the middle of raining season. Therefore, we were prepared for rain almost every day, but this was not the case. In the end, we only used the grid once for our entire passing, and we even set a new record for charging in a day: +59%! Our previous record was set in Morocco at +56%, as after Mauritania we had at least a few clouds or smoke in the air every solar charging day. This day as well, but the intensity of the sun is a lot higher as the sun is right above us.
It was, however, very challenging to find a spot to lay out our solar panels. Even more compared to Liberia, as everywhere there was lush jungle or houses next to the road. We, therefore, charged once in the garden of a retired general and once at a technique school during their holiday period.
As said before, it was raining season. This made the weather very unpredictable. At once very dark clouds could appear, which made it feel like night during the day. Sometimes this was followed by heavy rain, and sometimes it blew over and we could look at the lightning from a distance.
The one time we charged on the grid, the mechanic of the hotel helped us charge 3 phases. Therefore, our expedition car was full in 4,5 hours. Charging via the grid was not always an option. Driving from Banyo to the south as well as from Cameroon in the direction of Congo Brazzaville, there are big grid gaps. Sometimes people had some solar panels or a generator, but not always enough to charge an electric car. We were therefore very happy with our solar charging solution!
The roads in Cameroon
In the beginning, while entering via Banyo, the roads were very bad in Cameroon. From Banyo we drove to Magba, which is 150km, and all was badly paved road. We drove for 10 hours with an average of 15km/h. If it had rained heavily this road would be too slippery for our car, so we were happy to cross. After, once we passed Magba, all roads were perfect tarmac. Smooth, no put holes, a real treat!