Douala is the largest city in Cameroon and the capital of Cameroon's Littoral Province. Home to Cameroon's largest port and its major international airport, Douala Airport, it is the commercial capital of the country. Consequently, it handles most of the country's major exports, such as oil, cocoa and coffee, as well as trade with Chad. It is also home to the Eko Market, the country's largest market.


The city is located on the banks of the Wouri River, the two sides linked by Bonaberi Bridge. Its population in 1991 was recorded as around 1.6 million and is now likely to have exceeded 2,000,000. The climate is tropical.

The first Europeans to visit the area were the Portuguese in about 1472. By 1650, it had become the site of a town formed by immigrants from the interior who spoke the Douala language and during the eighteenth century it was center of the transatlantic slave trade. Before coming under German 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 Bonajo 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 patisseries; along the waterfront, many bars and bistros may be found, commanding views of the Gulf of Guinea and nearby mangrove swamps. Many of these are frequented by the city's large expatriate population, mainly French or Lebanese, most of whom work in the petroleum industry.

Douala is Africa's most expensive city, in terms of cost of living , and ranked 24th most expensive city in the world in 2007


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Douala is linked by rail to Yaoundé, Ngaoundéré, Kumba and Nkongsamba. 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
  • Joseph-Francis Sumegné, La Nouvelle Liberté, 1996


Sister Cities


  • Brooke, James (1987). "Informal Capitalism Grows in Cameroon." New York Times. November 30.
  • Derrick, Jonathan (1977). "Review of Douala: ville et histoire by René Gouellain." Africa: Journal of the International African Institute. 47:4.
  • Elate, Som Simon (2004). "African Urban History in the Future." Globalization and Urbanization in Africa. Steven Salm and Toyin Falola, eds. Trenton: Africa World Press.
  • Hance, William (1964). The Geography of Modern Africa. New York: Columbia University Press.
  • Lambi, C. M. and Hombe, L. F. (2002). "Environmental Hazards and Landuse Planning for Sustainable Development: the Douala Unstable Coastal Region." Instability: Planning and Management. R. G. Macinnes and Jenny Jakeways, eds. London: Thomas Telford.
  • Levine, Victor (1971). The Cameroon Federal Republic. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
  • Njoh, Ambe (2003). Planning in Contemporary Africa. Aldershot: Ashgate.
  • Simone, A. M. (2004). For the City Yet to Come: Changing African Life in Four Cities. Durham: Duke University Press.

External links


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