Hi all, here is my contribution to help all new expatriates who want to live in Douala.
Douala is the economic capital of Cameroon and a very expensive city compared to African standards and the income of its citizens. You should understand that the high cost of living is due to scarcity (of good houses for example) and not quality.
For an expatriate who arrives in Douala, the largest expense that he/she will have to deal with will generally be linked to housing.
Decent housing in Douala is expensive. Here safety, comfort, and convenience has a price. The French expatriates love Bonapriso and Bonanjo due to the presence of the French school Dominic Savio, high quality super markets like Casino ... very good restaurants and clubs. And they live in these neighborhoods a little bit among themselves so to speak. It's easier to make friends when the children attend the same school, when we are members in the same sport clubs,when we go dance in the same clubs ..... and when we go spend
the weekend in the same hotel on the beach in Kribi or Limbe.
In Bonapriso/Bonanjo, it takes between 300,000 CFA Protected content and 650,000 CFA francs (1,000 euros) for a beautiful luxury apartment with 2 bedrooms in a beautiful building and very secure, and if you're lucky, with a swimming pool. For a person living alone, predict 200,000 FCFA Protected content for a nice studio with the same standing. The owners of houses usually require six months to 12 months rent in advance for the first year. After you can pay month by month. If you are in Douala for only 3 months for example, there are landlords who rent their 1 bedroom apartment at 20.000fcfa the day Protected content . These studios are usually furnished. But this formula is generally very expensive at the end of the month. Many cameroonian websites offer this type of service. Rents are much cheaper in other parts of Douala such as Denver, Bonamoussadi, Kotto. In Denver for example, a 3 bedroom apartment that will cost Protected content in Bonapriso will cost you Protected content with the same or better comfort. In Denver, with Protected content per month, you can rent a large 4 bedroom villa with swimming pool and large garden, very family-friendly for those who need lots of space and have more than 3 children.In other areas it is much cheaper, with Protected content , you have a nice 2 bedroom apartment with nice balcony. The downside is that if you live in these neighborhoods, you will definitely suffer traffic jams in the morning when you go to work and when you return at night at 6pm.
2-ELECTRICITY AND WATER
In Cameroon water costs nothing, budget between 20 and 50 euros per month. This depends of course if you live alone, with your partner, with children. If you need to fill your pool every month then you are in the Protected content 300 euros just for the water if your home does not have a borehole. Electricity is more expensive here because of the intensive use of air conditioning. You know Douala is very hot and humid, it is impossible to live without air conditioning for someone who comes from the cold. For an apartment with Protected content conditioners and other appliances, you must budget between Protected content and Protected content per month. Like I said, comfort has a price.
3 - TRANSPORTATION
To move in Douala, it is best to have your own car, it gives you some freedom of movement. You can get a good used vehicle starting with 10,000 euros, and a new vehicle from 15,000 euros. Don't forget that in Cameroon, we don't manufacture cars, so everything is imported from Europe. It usually takes 40% for doing customs and insurance. You can do good business with expatriates returning home in Europe. They generally are ready to get rid of their vehicule at any price. These vehicles are generally well maintained.If you do not have a ride, count Protected content (3 euros) for a drop with a taxi (you are the only passenger) to Protected content (4 euros) at night while returning from the nightclub.Taxis are very uncomfortable in Douala when you get in with other passengers because drivers spend their time overloading. The taxi costs an average of Protected content to Protected content depending on your destination.The fuel is Protected content per liter and that risk increases in Protected content . So starting with 1 euro per liter of super (gasoline).
Leisure in Douala comes down to going to the restaurant, night club, a few concerts at the French Cultural Centre or other venues, no cinema because Cameroon has no movie theater for 2 years. ... it's weird because even in Somalia there is a cinema, on the beach in Kribi or Limbe, horse riding at club St George if you want to meet one third of the french expatriates in Douala, and finally the birthday of friends. For a good lunch / dinner in a restaurant in Bonanjo or Bonapriso, count an average of 20 euros to 50 euros depending on your tastes. The clubs are more expensive here. Count 5 euros for a beer, 10 euros for a cocktail, 50 euros for a bottle of whiskey and Protected content for a bottle of champagne. Partygoers must budget at least Protected content to Protected content per month for fun.
5-Salaries in Cameroon
In Cameroon, as elsewhere in Africa, the wages are very low compared to the cost of living. Cameroonian civil servants earn on average Protected content per month, which is why they are generally very favorable to corruption. An engineer / accountant / bank employee earns an average of Protected content Protected content per month. But expatriates have a special status.For an expatriate who lives alone here, A pay below Protected content after tax per month is not interesting. Companies know this and hire an expatriate only if they know they can guarantee him a salary of at least Protected content after taxes per month.But if you come with his wife and children, and want the same comfort as in France, then Protected content after taxes per month would be a good starting point.
These clubs are very important to keep in shape and Meet the potential friends. In Bonapriso there is Energy Club. you can become a member. It will cost you an average of 50 to Protected content per month for membership. There are also other sports clubs and interesting clubs in Bonapriso/Bonanjo.
7 - Domestic Workers
It is very easy to find a 'good' cook or gardener if you need it. But if you want a loyal and dedicated person, pay above the average. On average a maid is paid Protected content per month, but offer Protected content and you will have a devoted person.
8 - Hospitals and diseases
Malaria is one of the most common diseases here. But don't worry, clinics are used to treat it with treatment that lasts up to 1 week usually. If the company you work for offers health insurance, good for you. Just make sure that you have the necessary vaccines for you and the kids.Get in touch with a good doctor who can serve as a family physician in case You will have an illness. For a consultation in a good clinic here predict 20 to 50 euros.
9- LAST ADVICE
Do make many friends and travel a lot. Good stay in Cameroon.