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Douala is Cameroon’s largest city and the African nation’s main financial and commercial hub. Business travellers will likely find themselves in Akwa, the town’s diplomatic and enterprise hub, and regular host of conferences and summits.
For the casual tourist in search of some culture, the Boulevard de la Liberté is bursting with activity at all hours, and is home to the majority of the city’s shops and restaurants. Beyond Douala’s city limits, explorers will be rewarded with a rolling landscape, home to plenty of cultural and historic gems.
So book a flight to Douala with Qatar Airways for an African adventure off the beaten trail.
Douala prides itself on being a modern, forward-thinking city that’s focused primarily on commerce and finance. But the town’s cultural identity is worth exploring, and the Espace Doual'art, focus of Cameroon’s growing arts scene, embodies it. Here, you can see displays from African artists who mix influences from the surrounding environment with cultural heritage and modernism.
Visit the Musèe Maritime de Douala to discover the nautical history of the city, through a rich collection of artefacts, photographs, maps, paintings and other exhibits. The New Bell Mosque is an elegant and peaceful locale, and the city’s cathedral offers a glimpse into the colonial influences that remain to this day.
For sunbathing and swimming, Limbe Beach, in the southwest of the city, is ideal. The currents can be very strong, so take extra care when entering the water. For optimum safety, it is best to check with officials or a knowledgeable local if a dip is advisable, even if you are an experienced swimmer.
Head out of the city toward the Congo Basin, to find Lobéké National Park – the perfect spot for wildlife safaris and guided tours. Expect to see at least some of Africa’s Big Five (lion, rhinoceros, leopard, buffalo, and elephant).
To find out more about the original culture of the region, sign up for a guided tour that takes you to meet the people of the Baka tribe, in the south-eastern rainforests of Cameroon.
You can also take a cruise along the River Wouri when you travel to Douala. This is the main artery of the country and runs for 160 km, providing breathtaking views of the Gulf of Guinea and the mangrove swamps that line the riverbanks.
One of the most popular Cameroonian dishes is ndolé, which is smoked fish or beef in a rich, nut-based sauce.
Most restaurants are focused in and around the Boulvard de la Liberté, offering Lebanese, Thai, and European dishes. Fish and other seafood recipes are extremely popular in this region. Also, expect dishes to be on the spicy side.
One of the most popular locations for trinkets, tourist souvenirs and handicrafts is the Marche Des Fleurs. Although prices here can be much higher than in other parts of the city, the quality of work is exemplary and well worth the extra expense.
For an authentic African feel, head to Eko Market, where you can buy just about anything, but be prepared to haggle. For more upmarket shopping and luxury goods, head to the boutiques and branded outlets along the Boulevard de la Liberté.
Essential facts about Douala
Enjoy a hassle-free journey with all the information you need to know before your trip