"Douala" Top 5 Page for this destination Douala by ukexpat44
Douala Travel Guide: 39 reviews and 35 photos
Not my favorite place i have to admit, of all the places around the world i have visited this i can safely say was not at all expected.
bribery is not only commonplace but expected even for the most trivial of things.
con artists are everywhere budding and experienced.
at arrival at the airport (basic to say the least) you approach a desk with a guy behind it with a white coat on in order to give the appearance of being involved with the health ministry. he demands to see your vaccine card showing you have had a vaccine for yellow fever, if you dont have it (as i didnt) he demands 50 euros. i asked him to explain how paying him would either prevent me from contracting yellow fever or protect him should i have it! his response was okay, okay 20 euros, thus becoming clear that this money was destined for nowhere else than his pocket. my friend went through after putting just 5 euros in his passport and giving it to the guy. i unfortuantly didnt have any change and only had 50 euro notes on me, thus after realising that a lot less than the original 50 euros was actually required i had no choice but to try other tactics, i argued, i haggled etc etc and eventually i grabbed my passport and walked off towards the passport control, a customs guy spoke to me and told me to go back to complete the process which i obviously did until he disappeared and then decided to try again, this time i sailed through without problems with the actual passport control police not paying any attention to the health guy! he followed me through baggage collection into the street outside demanding that i get some cash from the cash machine to give to him (after previously haven told him i couldnt give him anything because i simply didnt have anything on me other than visa), by which time he was getting on my nerves, so i informed him if he wanted cash he could wait until the person collecting me arrived and ask him, who just happened to be a member of goverment and dropped a name of someone i hoped was still in goverment, at this point he disappeared back inside.!
a couple of days later whilst walking down the rue de liberty towards the akwa palace me and my colleague was approached by a couple of guys showing police badges and a little leaflet saying secret police asking for our papers, i chose to ignore them and pretend that i did not understand a word they were saying to me, this upset them a little but i kept walking towards the hotel whilst my friend did the same, they followed us remonstrating with us all the way to the hotel, but low and behold upon opening the hotel doors and walking inside they disappeared.!! we waited a while having a coffee in reception area before going back out again. the catch here i believe is once they get your papers be it ID card or passport they either disappear with your papers or demand money to return them.
this was only a few of the attempts made on me during my stay there.!
some other quick tips,
there is an airport tax payable on exit at 10000 CFA, this appears official enough.
taxis, you need to negociate hard.!
marche de fluers is a must for souvenirs, wood objects etc. a nice area to walk around (behind the flower stalls). i... more travel advice
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