"Cabana Boy's Douala Page" Top 5 Page for this destination Douala by Cabana_Boy

Douala Travel Guide: 40 reviews and 35 photos

First impressions

As the plane banked to the left and slowed a bit, our decent provided the view of lush tropical forests and dark, muddy rivers and soon gave way to small wooden shacks, dirt roads and the local inhabitants. Miles and miles of shantytowns turned into slightly more modern structures and roads that were somewhat paved and the late afternoon sun shone brightly off the Atlanta Ocean.

The plane landed, taking the full length of the runway to stop, and as we taxied back to the terminal children could be seen playing on the runway, literally... They were riding bicycles on the runway or kicking a ball on the tarmac. On the grass embankments surrounding the airport terminal, loads of people were sitting around in a similar fashion to a picnic or like spectators at a sporting event. The event it would seem is the landing of my Air France flight from Paris.

I think the mere fact people show up at the Douala airport simply to "watch" a plane land as a form of entertainment says a lot about the cultural differences between developed and undeveloped societies.

Over the next few weeks, I would see more and more cultural "differences" and depart Douala with a deeper appreciation of the day-to-day struggles of the African people as well as the convenience of my homeland. From the hordes of people standing around all day doing literally nothing but standing around to the vibrant nightlife on the streets in snake alley and in the local bars, new scents, tastes and sights were all around me...

My trip to Douala, Cameroon in February 2003 was my first foray onto the Dark Continent. Friends and colleagues who had been there before were quick to tell me what to expect and what sort of "things" I might see and experience (not to mention smell).

With all of my senses ready for action, I must say that Douala lived up to all the expectations that were set. I left the city with lots of fond memories and experiences and the hopes of someday returning for more...

Which I did nearly two years later in November 2004...

  • Last visit to Douala: Nov 2004
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (21)

Comments (10)

  • May 21, 2009 at 8:40 AM

    Had some crazy nights in Meggas. Saint Pierre next door in gogo's and Orange Metalica. Girls are really accomodatiing. Youre right about Meggas though they are a bit aggressive with ex pats.

  • Apr 28, 2009 at 6:36 PM

    My brother died in Douala of malaria, so take any illness seriously. He was from Australia and working over there.

  • 2-day's Profile Photo
    Apr 21, 2009 at 4:25 PM

    great restaurant tips will spend a few days in Douala next week and will check out these places

  • Carmanah's Profile Photo
    Feb 18, 2008 at 4:12 PM

    Fantastic writing and useful tips. I liked your initial story of the kids playing on the tarmac, although your adventures in the local nightclubs is rather entertaining!

  • Jan 1, 2008 at 2:40 AM

    I the information about Sawa Hotel is incorrect and outdated.

  • Oct 19, 2006 at 5:15 PM

    hey l am trying to find a girl l met ln megaslots l met this fab girl lts taken me two years to find her her name was me.me but her real name ls Elisabeth she had a sister sandra help a guy ln love please

  • Dirk64's Profile Photo
    Oct 24, 2005 at 5:37 AM

    Mega Slots, I´ve tried that one...you are right..even with a local watchdog it was very hard work, but I survived !

  • Feb 23, 2005 at 6:36 AM

    The BROADWAY : What is this story about so much mosquitoes??? Douala is a place where you can find them so numerous for few weeks whatever you try to do to get them out, and then, no more mosquitoes appears for months.

  • mafootje's Profile Photo
    Apr 22, 2003 at 11:38 AM

    Chinese restaurants differ from country to country doesn't it ?

  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo
    Feb 22, 2003 at 6:23 PM

    Nice page!


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