I was pretty surprised with Duoala. All the information I had read on the city made it out to be this industrial city without any sort of attraction for tourists. But while there isn’t a whole heap of things to do, I though Duoala was incredibly pleasant. There was some good food, some friendly people, and not nearly the traffic chaos that you get in Yaounde. There is a pretty active expat life in Douala and after visiting I can tell it’s about more than just business. It’s a pretty cool city.
Time Needed: 1-2 Days
Backpacker Budget: $40-50USD Per Day
Things to do and See in Duoala
Douala isn’t much of a tourist town. It’s much more attractive for travellers that are looking for some of the comforts of home in Central Africa. It’s a center of business as well. But, there are a couple things worth seeing.
- Shopping: There is some good shopping to be had on the main strip in Douala. You’ll find lots of imported goods you won’t find elsewhere in Cameroon.
- Place du Governement: The government house is interesting, worth a look.
- Douala Memorials: Another quick stop for a photo.
Where to Eat in Duoala
Duoala’s food scene is thriving thanks to an influx of foreigners. You can get loads of food items not found anywhere else in the region. Here are some options.
- La Forchette: On the road down to the Catholic Mission, this place is pretty fantastic, though a bit pricey. I made the massive mistake of showing up dressed in shorts and flip-flops. Be prepared to feel like a hobo if you do. There is free wifi here as well.
- Mediterranee: This Mediterranean place has amazing pasta and lots of really great food. There is also some Lebanese stuff on the menu as I imagine that the owners must be Lebanese.
- Saga Africa: It’s expensive, but this place serves African and International dishes in a nice atmosphere.
- Ice Cream: Find one of the ice cream shops. They have the best ice cream in Central Africa, without a doubt.
Where to Stay in Duoala
There isn’t the world’s greatest selection of hotels in Douala, but you’ll find what you need. You may want to book ahead, however, as the best places are often full.
- Foyer du Marin: This is an awesome expat hotel with a pool, nice restaurant, and courtyard. It’s a bit of an oasis. The rooms are a touchy pricey, and I was turned away because they had no space left.
- Catholic Mission: After being turned away from Foyer du Marin, I found I was better off at the Catholic Mission. They have nice, but basic, rooms and a nice bit of sitting area. There is also a pool. The staff is really friendly, and the price is definitely right for budget travellers.
Getting out of Town
It’s not hard getting out of Douala. If you’re travelling on your own wheels, you’re quickly connected to the highways that can pull you in any direction you need to go. If you’re using public transport, you’ll have no trouble catching a shared taxi or bus to just about anywhere in the country. Trips to Yaounde and Limbe are especially easy to find and leave constantly throughout the day.
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