At least 79 students and three others were seized on Monday in Bamenda, the capital of the North-West region, a government official has told the BBC.
The government and English-speaking separatists have accused each other of orchestrating the kidnapping.
Cameroon’s North-West and South-West regions have been hit by a secessionist rebellion in recent years.
Regional governor Adolphe Lele L’Afrique Deben Tchoffo blamed separatist militias for the kidnapping.
But English-speaking separatists are accusing the government of staging the kidnapping, as an attempt to discredit their cause.
The authorities have declared a ban on vehicles driving between most districts of the North-West region.