Douala is the largest city in Cameroon
Cameroon, officially the Republic of Cameroon , is a country in west Central Africa. It is bordered by Nigeria to the west; Chad to the northeast; the Central African Republic to the east; and Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and the Republic of the Congo to the south. Cameroon's coastline lies on the...

 and the capital of Cameroon's Littoral Province. Home to Cameroon's largest port
A port is a location on a coast or shore containing one or more harbors where ships can dock and transfer people or cargo to or from land....

 and its major international airport, Douala International Airport
Douala International Airport
Douala International Airport is an international airport located 6 miles from Douala, the largest city in Cameroon and the capital of Cameroon's Littoral Province...

, it is the commercial capital of the country. Consequently, it handles most of the country's major exports, such as oil
Petroleum or crude oil is a naturally occurring, flammable liquid consisting of a complex mixture of hydrocarbons of various molecular weights and other liquid organic compounds, that are found in geologic formations beneath the Earth's surface. Petroleum is recovered mostly through oil drilling...

, cocoa and coffee
Coffee is a brewed beverage with a dark,init brooo acidic flavor prepared from the roasted seeds of the coffee plant, colloquially called coffee beans. The beans are found in coffee cherries, which grow on trees cultivated in over 70 countries, primarily in equatorial Latin America, Southeast Asia,...

, timber, metals and fruits.

Douala is the richest city in the whole CEMAC region of 11 countries.


The city is located on the banks of the Wouri River
Wouri River
The Wouri is a river in Cameroon. The river is formed at the confluence of the rivers Nkam and Makombé, northeast of the city of Yabassi. The Wouri then flows about southeast to the Wouri estuary at Douala, the chief port and industrial city in the southwestern part of Cameroon on the Gulf of...

, the two sides linked by Bonaberi Bridge. Its population in 2008 was recorded at close to 3,000,000. The climate is tropical.

The first Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

ans to visit the area were the Portuguese
Portuguese people
The Portuguese are a nation and ethnic group native to the country of Portugal, in the west of the Iberian peninsula of south-west Europe. Their language is Portuguese, and Roman Catholicism is the predominant religion....

 in about 1472. By 1650, it had become the site of a town formed by immigrants from the interior who spoke the Douala language
Duala language
Duala is the language spoken by the Duala people of Cameroon. The language belonges to the Bantu language family, and a subgroup of it called the Duala languages...

 and during the eighteenth century it was center of the transatlantic slave trade
Atlantic slave trade
The Atlantic slave trade, also known as the trans-atlantic slave trade, refers to the trade in slaves that took place across the Atlantic ocean from the sixteenth through to the nineteenth centuries...

. Before coming under German
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 rule in 1884, the town was also known as Cameroons Town; thereafter it became Kamerunstadt ("Camaroon City"), the capital of German Kamerun. It was renamed Douala in 1907 and became part of the French Cameroons in 1919. From 1940 to 1946, it was the capital of Cameroon.

The city is divided into quarters with Akwa and Bonanjo being the most important with Akwa being Douala's nightlife center and Bonanjo its center of commerce and administration. Along the city's main thoroughfare lie some of Cameroon's best restaurants, coffee houses and French-style patisserie
A pâtisserie is the type of French or Belgian bakery that specializes in pastries and sweets. In both countries it is a legally controlled title that may only be used by bakeries that employ a licensed maître pâtissier ....

s; along the waterfront, many bars and bistros may be found, commanding views of the Gulf of Guinea
Gulf of Guinea
The Gulf of Guinea is the northeasternmost part of the tropical Atlantic Ocean between Cape Lopez in Gabon, north and west to Cape Palmas in Liberia. The intersection of the Equator and Prime Meridian is in the gulf....

 and nearby mangrove
Mangroves are various kinds of trees up to medium height and shrubs that grow in saline coastal sediment habitats in the tropics and subtropics – mainly between latitudes N and S...

 swamps. Many of these are frequented by the city's large expatriate
An expatriate is a person temporarily or permanently residing in a country and culture other than that of the person's upbringing...

 population, mainly French or Lebanese, most of whom work in the petroleum industry
Petroleum industry
The petroleum industry includes the global processes of exploration, extraction, refining, transporting , and marketing petroleum products. The largest volume products of the industry are fuel oil and gasoline...


Douala is the 27th most expensive city in the world and the most expensive in Africa, overtaking Lagos
Lagos is a port and the most populous conurbation in Nigeria. With a population of 7,937,932, it is currently the third most populous city in Africa after Cairo and Kinshasa, and currently estimated to be the second fastest growing city in Africa...

, Nigeria
Nigeria , officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal constitutional republic comprising 36 states and its Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The country is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in...

 at 32nd. It is ranked 27th for 2009, up from 34th in 2008. In 2007 it was ranked 24th in the world and 1st in Africa.

Douala is the hometown of Arsenal FC  midfielder Alex Song, and Wrexham FC goalkeeper Joslain Mayebi
Joslain Mayebi
Joslain Leon Mayebi is a Cameroonian footballer who plays for Wrexham as a goalkeeper.-Career:Mayebi previously played for FC Metz, AEK Larnaca and Hakoah Ramat Gan....



Douala contains a tropical monsoon climate
Tropical monsoon climate
Tropical monsoon climate, occasionally also known as a tropical wet climate or tropical monsoon and trade-wind littoral climate in climate classification, is a relatively rare type of climate that corresponds to the Köppen climate classification category "Am."Tropical monsoon climates have monthly...

, with relatively constant temperatures throughout the course of the year. The city typically features warm and humid conditions. Douala sees plentiful rainfall during the course of the year, experiencing on average roughly 3850 mm of precipitation of rainfall per year. Its driest month is December where on average 33 mm of precipitation falls while its wettest month is August when on average nearly 800 mm of rain falls.


Douala is linked by rail
Camrail is a company that has been granted a 20 year concession to operate the Cameroon National Railway. This Cameroonian company is a subsidiary of French investment group Bolloré. The railway has been operated by Comazar, a subsidiary of Bolloré, since 1999...

 to Yaoundé
-Transportation:Yaoundé Nsimalen International Airport is a major civilian hub, while nearby Yaoundé Airport is used by the military. Railway lines run west to the port city of Douala and north to N'Gaoundéré. Many bus companies operate from the city; particularly in the Nsam and Mvan neighborhoods...

, Ngaoundéré
Ngaoundéré or N'Gaoundéré is the capital of the Adamawa Region of Cameroon. It had a population of 152,698 . It lies at the northern end of the railway to Yaoundé and is also home to an airport. The current city was founded in approximately 1835 by the Fulani leader Ardo Njobdi, although the...

, Kumba
Kumba is a city in Southwest Province, western Cameroon also known around Cameroon as K town. It had a population of 144,268 . The N8 and N16 highways meet at Kumba.- History :...

 and Nkongsamba
Nkongsamba is a city in western Cameroon. It is located in the Moungo department, which is in the Littoral region. The city had a population of 104,050 inhabitants at the 2005 Census. The city is a centre of farming of oil palms, bananas and coffee, and is situated between two mountains, the...

. The Douala Airport is located nearby. The seaport has 8.5m of draft.

Points of interest

  • Hotel Akwa Palace
  • Place du Gouvernement
  • La Pagode
  • Doual'art
    doual'art is a no profit cultural organisation and art centre founded in 1991 in Douala, Cameroon and focussed on new urban practices of African cities....

  • Joseph-Francis Sumegné, La Nouvelle Liberté, 1996

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External links

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