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FESTIVALS, HOLIDAYS AND OTHER ANNUAL EVENTS IN Douala

Every year, numerous holidays are celebrated in Cameroon.
Below are the main dates for these festivities:

1 January: 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 from France, which was proclaimed on January 1st, 1960. Lively atmosphere all around, especially in large cities like Douala and Yaoundé.

11 February: 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.

8 March: 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!

1 May: Labour Day (national)

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

20 May: 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.

15 August: 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.

25 December: 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 32 51 Good period to go Good period to go
February 28 33 58 Good period to go Good period to go
March 28 33 119 Not the best period to go
April 27 32 173 Not the best period to go
May 27 32 187 Not the best period to go
June 26 30 236 Not the best period to go
July 25 28 347 Not the best period to go
August 25 28 468 Not the best period to go
September 25 29 390 Not the best period to go
October 26 30 236 Not the best period to go
November 27 31 108 Not the best period to go
December 27 32 30 Good period to go Good period to go
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THE DOUALA AND YAOUNDE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORTS

THE DOUALA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

The Douala airport is 7 kilometres away from Douala's downtown.
  • One terminal (Air France)

Travelling between the airport and Douala:
  • By car:
    There are two car parks at the airport, outdoor and at basement level, with capacities of 334 and 133 vehicles. Both enjoy baggage handling services. 500 XAF per 2 hours, 2,500 XAF per 12 to 24 hours (outdoor) and 600 XAF per hour, 3,200 XAF per 12 to 24 hours (basement).Rentals: A car rental company is located in the arrivals hall.
  • Hotel shuttles:
    Some large hotels organize their own shuttles from the airport. Check with your hotel ahead of time.
  • Taxi:
    Yellow taxis are available at the ranks outside the airport to take you downtown Douala. Allow for a 15-minute trip and a 3,500 XAF 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 10,000 XAF.
  • Services:
    In the airport you will find ATMs, VIP lounges, newspaper stands and duty-free shops.
  • Website: www.adcsa.aero/
  • Phone: +237 233 42 35 77

THE YAOUNDE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT


The Yaoundé-Nsimalen airport is south-west, 27 kilometres away, from Yaoundé's downtown.
  • Two terminals
    • T1
    • T2 (Air France)

Travelling between the airport and Yaoundé:
  • By car:
    There is an outdoor car park at the airport, with a 578 capacity. 500 XAF per 2 hours, 2,500 XAF per 12 to 24 hours.

    Rentals: A car rental company is located in the arrivals hall.
  • Hotel shuttles:
    Some large hotels organize their own shuttles from the airport. Check with your hotel ahead of time.
  • Taxi:
    Yellow taxis are available at the ranks outside the airport to take you downtown Douala. Allow for a 15-minute trip and a 3,500 XAF 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 10,000 XAF.
  • Services: In the airport you will find ATMs, a restaurant, newspaper stands, a post office, handicraft and duty-free shops.
  • Website: www.adcsa.aero/
  • Phone: +237 222 21 22 21

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GETTING AROUND Douala

Uncertain bus routes, heavy traffic, non-existent 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 finding where to park difficult. We advise you to use a taxi.

Traffic is very dense and heavy in 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 150 XAF.

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 a 250 XAF fare during daytime and 500 XAF at night.
Two private companies with AC cars offer secure transportation. Fares run about 3,500 XAF during daytime and 4,000 XAF 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.

Minister of tourism and entertainment

Immeuble Rose – 237 Yaoundé

+237 22 22 29 36

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Medical information

There are several private and public hospitals in both Douala and Yaoundé, as well as quality general practitioners and medical specialists.
In case of illness or accident, international health insurance, particularly repatriation insurance, is recommended before flying to Cameroon.

LIST OF OBLIGATORY AND RECOMMENDED 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).

Vaccine against rabies may also be advised.

For more information, contact the Air France Vaccination Centre:

FOOD SAFETY RECOMMENDATIONS

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, and wash your hands frequently.

DRINKING WATER

It is strongly advised to drink water from sealed bottles that you open yourself or that are opened in front of you, or drink water that has been made drinkable with, for example, a water purification tablet.

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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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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
00 + country prefix + number without the 0
0 : 00
of time difference with
Geneva
No Daylight Savings Time

Banks

Monday to Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Government offices

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 remember that tipping is the only income for some professionals such as baggage handlers at the airport.