Cheap Flights to Douala

  • Area (total)                         : 210km² (80 sq mi)
  • Area Code                         : +237 ‘No City Codes’ and number
  • Currency             : Central African Franc (CFA)
  • Population city : 2,446,945 (2012)
  • Official Languages             : French, English
  • Time Zone             : WAT (UTC+1)
  • Airport : Douala International Airport (DLA)

‘DLA’ is 10km from Douala city and the country’s busiest airport. Passengers can hire taxis or rental vehicles from ‘Avis’ and others. Flights from South Africa take almost six hours, covering a distance, as the crow flies, of 3901 kilometres.

Travellers can fly to ‘DLA’ from ‘O.R. Tambo Int. Airport’ with the following airlines:

  • Air France
  • Air Namibia
  • ASKY
  • Ethiopian
  • Kenya Airways
  • KLM
  • Kulula
  • Rwandair Express
  • South African Airways
  • Turkish

From ‘Cape Town Int. Airport’, the following airlines touch down at ‘DLA’:

  • Air France
  • British Airways
  • Emirates
  • Ethiopian
  • Kenya Airways
  • Kulula
  • South African Airways
  • Turkish

From King Shaka Int. Airport travellers can fly to ‘DLA’ with:

  • Air France
  • British Airways
  • Ethiopian
  • Kenya Airways
  • Qatar Airways
  • South African Airways
  • Turkish

Additional airlines flying to ‘DLA’ from around the globe include:

  • Air Canada
  • Arik Air
  • Brussels Airlines
  • Etihad Airways
  • Camair-Co
  • Cronos Airlines
  • Delta Air Lines
  • Karinou
  • SWISS
  • Trans Air Congo
  • United Airlines

Reasons to Visit Douala:

  • Douala is a sprawling city with West Africa’s highest mountain, Mt. Cameroon shadowing it. The city is capital of the Littoral Region in Cameroon and located on the Wouri River not far from the ocean. Its first European visitors were the Portuguese around 1472. Today it’s the country’s largest city, has the largest port and is Cameroon’s economic ‘powerhouse’ due to major exports of coffee, cocoa, fruits, timber, metals and oil.
  • It’s a vibrant, prosperous city with a few galleries and museums and also offers some splendid beaches, wildlife parks, an active volcano and ‘Baka’ pygmies that are the most indigenous people on the globe.
  • Dining out has virtually everyone’s favourite with a great range of eateries serving up French, Mediterranean, Italian, American, African and other international cuisines. Night revellers have plenty of bars and nightclubs to experience. For accommodation the city is dotted with hotels from budget to luxurious, plenty of Inns and B&Bs, holiday rentals, beach and mountain resorts and hostels.

When to Visit Douala:

For good weather the best months are January, February, November and December that reach highs of around 33°C with an average rainfall of 105mm during February and 54mm in November and December.

Places to Visit Douala:

  • ‘L’espace Doual’Art’, established in 1991 is a must for art enthusiasts and displays an interesting range of contemporary works of art. This venue also invites local and international artists, designers and architects to highlight their works.
  • Located on the first floor of the ‘Hotel de Ville’, ‘Musee de Douala’ is another must for art lovers, featuring Bamoun and Bamileke art, particularly the wooden Fang statues, Bamoun statues and Bamileke thrones and many other interesting displays.
  • The ‘Hotel Akwa Palace’ is probably the most well-known sight in the city comprising a mix of colonial traditions and contemporary comforts. Situated in the centre of the city it’s each to reach.
  • The ‘Manga Bell’ was designed and built by Rudlof D Manga Bell in 1914 and resembles a Chinese Pagoda.
  • Spend time meandering through the market of ‘Marche des Fleurs’ located at Rue Dominique Savio. It’s an enormous complex of stalls that sells crafts such as baskets, masks, jewellery and batik clothing including stunning ornamental garden plants. Stop of one of the beer bars or cafes for a refreshment or a meal of delicious grilled fish.
  • ‘Eko Market’, the country’s largest bustles every day of the week with people buying and selling items comprising virtually everything. It’s a great place to meet locals.
  • The 400,000 acre ‘Douala-Edéa Wildlife Reserve’ was founded in 1932. It comprises around 80% of tropical lowland equatorial woodlands including ‘Lake Tissongo’. Its home to numerous primates, elephants and antelopes as well as alligators, sea turtles, crocodiles, dolphins and a variety of fish species. Also common to the area are terrestrial and water bird species.
  • ‘Mt. Cameroon’ is must for hikers and ‘birders’. Guided tours are also available as is rental climbing equipment for those wanting to ascend higher. Visitors not wanting to exert themselves can stay overnight at a mountain resort at ‘Mount Abu’ that affords a range of hotels and resorts to choose from that all overlook Douala city.
  • Take a taxi to Douala’s closest beach and experience tanning on a black beach. What ‘Limbe Beach’ lacks in golden sands, it makes up for in the most delicious fresh seafood with numerous restaurants and most English-speaking locals. ‘Limbe’ is made up of three beaches comprising 6, 8 and 11 miles in length with black beach sand that resulted from the 1999 volcano eruption.
  • Deemed the best beach in the country is ‘Kribi Beach’, popular with professional surfers and tourists and stunning white sands. In addition the ‘World Heritage Site’ of Lobe Waterfalls is nearby that affords the more adventurous traveller a hike into the jungle.
  • The charming ‘Café des Palabres’ is located in an old colonial German home on Bonanjo’s main square and ideal for a drink of fresh hibiscus juice on the garden terrace or an excellent French dish amidst intellectual patrons inside.
  • For dancing the night-away take a taxi to the Akwa district, filled with pubs, clubs and restaurants.
  • The Cathedral impresses with its size, built in 1936 it’s fairly plain inside.
  • The ‘Ngondo’ festival occurs annually and starts with the dry season at the Wouri River mouth with certain rituals and feasts occurring during the first week of December before it moves to other banks in Douala. Activities comprise exhibitions of traditional dances, handicrafts and choral music including a canoe race and parade.
  • Musicians will appreciate the ‘African Music Market’ (Le Kolatier) that takes place every second year and brings together the best Indian Ocean and African music groups and includes other events seminars, workshops and a music trade fair.

Getting Around Douala:

Taxis:

The easiest option is finding a yellow shared taxi and they’re cheap too. They can be waved down with passengers and if their destination is where you’re headed, hop in. They’re a little more difficult to find at night. Travelling solo will cost you more but just ask the driver not to pick up anyone else. Be aware of sedan taxis that take up to six people where pick-pocketing is known to occur while seated in the taxi.

Moto-Taxis:

There are plenty of these motorcycle taxis ‘flying’ down the streets and although much cheaper they’re not that safe and not recommended.

Car Rentals:

Vehicles can be rented from ‘Avis’ and numerous other rental companies.

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