Pope Benedict XVI has arrived in Cameroon to start his first visit to Africa as pontiff.

The pope's Alitalia plane touched down in Yaounde at around 1500 GMT on Tuesday. It had departed hours earlier from a Rome airport.

Speaking aboard the plane that took him to Cameroon's capital, the pope touched on Africa's AIDS pandemic, saying that condoms were not the answer in the continent's fight against HIV.

The seven-day pilgrimage will also include Angola and is Benedict's first trip as pontiff to Africa, the fastest-growing region for the Roman Catholic Church.