Bafoussam isn't the most clean, picturesque, or polite city in Cameroon, but because of Cameroon's hierarchical organization, it has a central location in the Grand West. It is a major hub for Bamiléké culture, especially French Bamiléké culture.
Most cities have cars going to Bafoussam. In Yaoundé, Binam ("the setting sun" in the local mother tongue) is well-reputed, but you can also try Merveilles, General, or any random car that seems to be going to Bafoussam. Most agences hire "loaders" to find passengers and to load their baggage, and that these loaders can be very aggressive! Keep a firm grip on your bags and respond firmly with a polite "Non, merci" or just "Merci" to anyone who wants to tell you where to go.
All within-Bafoussam travel is provided by taxis or moto-taxis. Most destinations will tell you "what to say" to a taxi. Taxis are cheap; you can get halfway across Bafoussam for 100 FCFA.
"Downtown" Bafoussam is located at the Rond Point Biao, or Marché A. From here there are the three roads, one going north (to carrefour Dschang and Bamenda; cars at Marché B), one going south (which forks into a road going to Bafang, Melong, and Douala, and another going to Bangangte, Bafia, and Yaoundé; cars at the Gare Routière), and one going west (which passes through Foumbot and Foumban before making its way into the West Adamawa; cars available at Carrefour Total).
There are two major supermarchés in Bafoussam: Le Point Plus, located at Rond Point Biao, and Sim-Delices, located on the south side of Bafoussam (tell a taxi Sim-Delices; it's across from the PMUC building). Marchés A and B are mostly unremarkable, with your normal collection of local groceries, Chinese-imported goods, and African fabric.
Like most Cameroonian cities, there are vendors walking around selling munchies like peanuts ("ground nuts"), slices of coconut, beignets, or cookies. There are also some vendors with "carts" selling fresh fruit like slices of pineapple or papaya. Keep an eye out for spaghetti omelette carts (visible because of their stack of egg crates). They're cheap (500 FCFA for three eggs and spaghetti in bread) and nutritious.
If none of those options appeal to you, you can also check out the supermarkets/bakeries, which sometimes have "sandwiches" or other pre-made food. In particular the Boulangerie du Peuple has a pretty good (no-cheese, no-meat) "pizza" for 400 FCFA per "slice". Sim-Delice sells both bread and cold cuts and you can ask them to assemble the two if you like.
Akwa is the name of a quartier which is right next to Rond Point Biao, and there are often women there braising fish, chicken, or soya (beef brochettes). There is also a long building made of an old shipping container, painted the colors and motifs of Jadida Butter. It has been "divided" into a series of "greasy spoon" type spaces where individual chefs prepare omelettes and salads.
- Maison Bambou (walk past the Jadida building. Continue down the street about 20 m; ou should see a sign on the left proclaiming 'chaowarma'). The shawarma aren't bad, although not "true" shawarma. Try the "fajita", 2000 FCFA, which is said to taste exactly like authentic Thai food. 1000-2000 FCFA.
Bars can be found everywhere. Notable ones include:
- Easy-Look, Akwa (from Rond Point Biao, find the road that leads to Akwa (it's unpaved and heads east); it's the bar with a large veranda, on left). Easy-Look is not the name of the bar but the name of the hotel above the bar, where Peace Corps volunteers tend to hang out. 550-600 FCFA per beer.
- Facebook, Akwa. A very chic place trying to appeal to a more upscale clientele.
- Boulangerie du Peuple, Carrefour le Maire. Has a very nice veranda where they serve drinks, but there isn't as much food as in Akwa. 600-700 FCFA per beer.
- Point Commercial Camtel, PMUC Building. A cybercafe/Camtel office run by a couple of nice Anglophone people. You can use your own laptop at 500 FCFA/hour instead of 300. 300 FCFA/hour.