Do you wish to settle in Douala? Here is some useful information on the city and on its rental market.
Douala is known to be Cameroon's second most active city after Yaoundé. The city has been attracting foreigners in large numbers for a few years. Hence, various accommodation options are also available there. But it is best to inquire on its different neighborhoods and on rent prices before relocating there. Note that you are more likely to find furnished and unfurnished apartments across the city.
Good to know:
Douala is divided into six districts which are in turn divided into more than a hundred neighborhoods. Each of these displays a particular environment and lifestyle which encourage foreigners to settle there.
Akwa is one of Douala's busiest neighborhoods. It is deemed to be the city's commercial center. At night, it turns into haven for nightlife lovers. In fact, Akwa hosts many bars, casinos, as well as mobile fast-foods. It also hosts many cultural infrastructures such as French and German cultural centers and the British Council. However, Akwa is also one of the city's most expensive neighborhoods in terms of rent.
Bepanda, for its part, has a large population of local and foreign students. In fact, it hosts a bilingual school as well as many private higher education institutions. Bonamoussadi, which is nearer to Douala city center, is divided into two areas consisting of residential buildings and houses respectively.
Finally, Bonapriso is a very popular neighborhood, especially with European expats. However, rent prices are quite high there.
Rent prices in Douala generally vary according to the neighborhood, the type of housing, number of rooms and comfort level. Hence, you will need an average of between CFA 20,000 and CFA 500,000 per month to rent accommodation in Douala.
You are advised to insist with the landlord regarding the establishment of a lease contract so as to avoid any possible hurdles in the future. Moreover, some of them may request you to pay several months' rent in advance before moving in.
It is best to register with a real estate agency if you wish to find accommodation according to your criteria and budget. But you can also view housing offers on the Internet and in classified ads in local newspapers.
Word of mouth and networking may also help if you have friends and contacts on the spot.