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FESTIVALS, HOLIDAYS AND OTHER ANNUAL EVENTS IN Douala

There are a number of festivals, holidays and other events celebrated in Cameroon each year.
The main ones are listed below.

January 1: New Year's Day and Independence Day (national)

In Cameroon, January 1st is a double occasion: the country enters the new year, but also celebrates its Independence, proclaimed on January 1st, 1960. Lively atmosphere all around, especially in large cities like Douala and Yaoundé.

February 11: Youth Day (national)

Cameroon celebrates the youths and students. School parades and sometimes public shows take place in the streets, dancing schools, choirs and sports clubs to express the nation's talents.

May 1: Labour Day (national)

Labour Day is a public holiday for all Cameroonians. This day is spent on parades and worker marches.

May 8: International Women's Day (national)

Cameroonian women are very attached to Women's Day. Official celebrations, women parades, marches: women are the talk of the town, especially in large cities, where many nightclubs are reserved for them. Gentlemen, on that day you will stay outside!

May 20: National Day

Cameroon celebrates its foundation, and the transition from a federal state to a unitary one. Public marches and parades are a reason for popular rejoicing.

August 15: Assumption (national)

Every year, Cameroonians feverishly and grandiloquently celebrate the assumption of the Virgin Mary into Heaven.

First week of December: Ngondo (only in the Douala area)

The Ngondo takes place for a week and is held by the Sawa (coastal peoples). Miss Douala contest, dancing shows, pirogue races and many other activities follow the ceremony during which town inhabitants commune with their ancestors and the water spirits.

December 25: Christmas Day (national)

Cameroonians celebrate the birth of Christ. In a country where religious traditions are widespread, services are usually followed by family meals.

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CLIMATE AND WEATHER IN Douala

Located in an intertropical convergence zone, Cameroon offers two types of climate, tropical and equatorial.

Douala is located on the coastline. The rainy season extends from June to October, the worst rainfall happening in August, therefore to be avoided. Temperate and dry, December to February is the best season to discover the area.

Around Yaoundé, the dry season is longer, from November to March. To visit in the best conditions, avoid the months of September-October. Heavy rain floods the land and makes driving around very uncertain.

Month Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Average Rains (MM) Best Time to Travel
January 27/80 32/90 51/2.0 Good period to go Good period to go
February 28/82 33/91 58/2.3 Good period to go Good period to go
March 28/82 33/91 119/4.7 Not the best period to go
April 27/80 32/90 173/6.8 Not the best period to go
May 27/80 32/90 187/7.4 Not the best period to go
June 26/79 30/86 236/9.3 Not the best period to go
July 25/77 28/82 347/13.7 Not the best period to go
August 25/77 28/82 468/18.4 Not the best period to go
September 25/77 29/84 390/15.3 Not the best period to go
October 26/79 30/86 236/9.3 Not the best period to go
November 27/80 31/89 108/4.2 Not the best period to go
December 27/80 32/90 30/1.2 Good period to go Good period to go
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Douala International Airport and Yaoundé-Nsimalen International Airport

Douala International Airport

The Douala International Airport is located 7 kilometres (4 miles) from Douala's city centre.

  • One terminal (Air France)

Getting from the airport to Douala and back:
    • By car: Access via the N3 road.
      Two parking lots at the airport, outdoor and at basement level, with capacities of 334 and 133 vehicles. Both enjoy baggage handling services. XAF 600 per 2 hours, XAF 5,000 per 12 to 24 hours (outdoor) and XAF 700 per hour, XAF 10,000 per 12 to 24 hours (basement).

Rentals:
A car rental company is located in the arrivals hall.
  • By hotel shuttle:
    Some large hotels organize their own shuttle service to and from the airport. Check with your hotel ahead of time.
  • By taxi:
    Yellow taxis are available at the ranks outside the airport to take you to Douala's city centre. Allow for a 15-minute trip and a XAF 3,500 fare. Before departure, you may also ask your hotel to arrange for a shuttle transfer or a PHV to pick you up. For all transportation within the city, besides traditional bush taxis taking multiple customers for varying fares, two private companies with AC cars were recently launched in Cameroon. They can be reached locally, so we advise you to go through your hotel to reserve a taxi. Fares to downtown Douala run about XAF 10,000.
  • Services:
    ATMs, VIP lounges, newspaper stands and duty-free shops in the airport.
  • Website: www.adcsa.aero/
  • Phone: +237 233 42 35 77

Yaoundé-Nsimalen International Airport

The Yaoundé-Nsimalen airport is located 27 kilometres (17 miles) south-west of Yaoundé's city centre.
  • Two terminals
    • T1
    • T2 (Air France)

Getting from the airport to Yaoundé and back:
  • By car:
    Access via N2 Joseph Tchooungui Akoa.
    There is an outdoor car park at the airport, with a 578 capacity. XAF 650 per 2 hours, XAF 4,500 per 12 to 24 hours.
    Rentals:
    A car rental company is located in the arrivals hall.
  • Hotel shuttles:
    Some large hotels organize their own shuttle services to and from the airport. Check with your hotel ahead of time.
  • Taxi:
    Yellow taxis are available at the ranks outside the airport to take you to Yaoundé's city centre. Allow for a 30-minute trip and a XAF 3,500 fare. Before departure, you may also ask your hotel to arrange for a shuttle transfer or a PHV to pick you up. For all transportation within the city, besides traditional bush taxis taking multiple customers for varying fares, two private companies with AC cars were recently launched in Cameroon. They can be reached locally, so we advise you to go through your hotel to reserve a taxi. Fares to downtown Douala run about XAF 10,000.
  • Services: ATMs, a restaurant, newspaper stands, a post office, handicraft and duty-free shops in the airport.
  • Website: www.adcsa.aero/
  • Phone: +237 222 21 22 21

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GETTING AROUND Douala

Uncertain bus routes, heavy traffic and nonexistent car parks in some neighbourhoods: getting around Cameroon's two major cities can be a hassle. We advise you to use a taxi.

By car

Traffic is very dense and heavy in Douala and Yaoundé, and finding where to park difficult. We advise you to use a taxi.

Bus

There are four bus lines in Douala, run by the Socatur company. They cross town, starting at the Ndokoti intersection. The ticket is XAF 150.
In Yaoundé, the Socatur company started a few bus lines. But be careful, service is uncertain, ill-equipped and unsafe.

Taxi

Taxis remain the best solution for tourists and inhabitants alike to navigate the city.
Traditional bush taxis take multiple customers in and around Yaoundé for varying fares: bargain with the driver.
Some official taxi cabs, the “yellow taxis”, also drive through the city. Expect an XAF 250 fare during daytime and XAF 500 at night.
Two private companies with AC cars offer secure transportation. Fares run about XAF 3,500 during daytime and XAF 4,000 at night. To get around the city, it is simpler to ask your hotel to reserve the taxi for you.

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Visitor information

There is no proper Tourist Information centre in Cameroon. For information on how to prepare your trip, we advise you to get in touch with the Tourist Information Centre for Europe in Paris, France.

Douala is the commercial and economic capital of Cameroon, while Yaoundé is the political one. Ministries and administrations are therefore all in Yaoundé. It may be possible to get in touch with the Department of Tourism and Leisure to find more information.

Ministry of tourism and entertainment

  • Address: Immeuble Rose - 237 Yaoundé
  • Telephone: +237 22 22 29 36

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Medical information

See your doctor before you travel. It is recommended that you obtain insurance covering health care expenses as well as medical evacuation or repatriation before you leave home. Douala and Yaoundé count several hospitals and medical institutions, as well as quality medical practitioners and health specialists.

Vaccinations

Vaccination for yellow fever is mandatory before flying to Cameroon. Proof of vaccination is required upon arrival.

It is recommended to have updated vaccines as usually required (diphtheria, typhoid, tetanus, polio, hepatitis A and B). Vaccination against rabies may also be advised.

For more information, contact the Air France Vaccination Centre:

FOOD SAFETY RECOMMENDATIONS

To avoid any inconvenience, it is recommended you:

  • peel your fruit, drink only pasteurized or boiled milk, do not use ice cubes or drink fresh squeezed juices,
  • make sure that all meats, fish, and crustaceans are well cooked,
  • wash your hands frequently.

DRINKING WATER

It is recommended to drink only from sealed bottled water.

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Administrative formalities

Whatever your nationality, a visa is mandatory to enter Cameroon.
For more information, visit the website of the Ministry of Tourism of Cameroon:
www.mintour.gov.cm/en/

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Useful addresses

To enjoy peace of mind during your stay in Douala and Yaoundé, visit the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your country.

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Essential phrases

Here are a few useful phrases in French and English, which are the two official languages in Cameroon.

Good morning: Bonjour (matin)

Good afternoon: Bonjour (après-midi)

Good evening: Bonsoir

Good bye: Au revoir

Yes: Oui

No: Non

No thank you: Non, merci

Thank you very much: Merci beaucoup

I don't understand: Je ne comprends pas

Could you repeat please?: Pouvez-vous répéter ?

Please: S'il vous plaît

What time is it?: Quelle heure est-il ?

Excuse me: Excusez-moi

Airport: Aéroport

Railway station: Gare

Taxi/cab: Taxi

Hotel: Hôtel

Bank: Banque

Telephone: Téléphone

I am (…): Je suis (...)

I am looking for (…): Je recherche (...)

How much is (…)?: Quel est le prix de (...)?

Do you have (…): Avez-vous (...)

Where can I find (…)?: Où puis-je trouver (...) ?

Where can I buy (…)?: Où puis-je acheter (...) ?

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Good to know

00 237
+ phone number
-1 : 00
of time difference with
Geneva
There is no Daylight Savings Time in Cameroon.

Usually open Monday to Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Usually open Monday to Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
220 V / 50 Hz

TIPPING
Tipping is customary in Cameroon. If the service is appreciated, a good rule of thumb is to leave an extra 5 to 15%. Please note that tipping is the only income for some professionals such as baggage handlers at the airport.