Flying to Douala and looking to buy a sim card for Cameroon? Here is everything you need to know! A complete guide about buying a sim card at Douala Airport on arrival.
Find out where to buy a sim card, the best 4G/5G network in Cameroon, up to date prices as per January 2024, my recommendation, a vlog about my experiences and even information about international and e-sim cards for Cameroon.
As a full time world traveler I get to see a lot of different countries. Visiting Cameroon for me was entering country no. 122 on my journey to travel to every country in the world. Everywhere I go I write local sim card guides to help travelers not to waste money on expensive roaming costs.
On my blog you can find many sim card guides from around the world: Kenya, Egypt, South Africa, Sao Tome & Principe, Gabon, Paris, Dubai, Brussels, USA, Europe, Istanbul, USA, Canada, Turkey, Portugal, Italy and many more.
You can of course also find a complete guide for buying a sim card in Cameroon in 2024 in case you missed the opportunity at Douala Airport, with much more detailed info.
So next time you are planning your adventure abroad come check out Traveltomtom for the latest prepaid and e-sim card advice for your next holiday destination. Bookmark me!
Traveltomtom recommends an Orange sim card for traveling in Cameroon. It has a great mobile data network and the cheapest prices for prepaid sim cards and data packages for tourists at Douala Airport.
Buying a sim card at Douala Airport is especially recommended for those travelers who do not speak French. At Douala Airport the staff speaks reasonable English and it will be much easier for you to get the right Cameroon sim card deal.
Of course are e-sim cards recommended as you would be online as soon as the plane lands, but they are more expensive than local prepaid sim cards. The best e-sim card deal for Cameroon in 2024 is an Orange Holiday World e-sim card with 10 GB data for $39.90 USD
Is your phone not e-sim compatible then a physical travel sim card with data and global coverage is a solution. These so called international prepaid sim cards are slightly more expensive but come with a lot of advantages.
You can order one online and get a sim card shipped to your home address before your trip. Check out my comparison of the best global sim cards with data for traveling in 2024 and pick the one that suits your trip the most.
Best e-sim cards for Cameroon
The easiest way to stay connected when traveling to Douala in 2024 is an e-sim card. No more swapping physical sim cards and visiting a store. Just order an e-sim card online.
You order an e-sim card for Cameroon on the internet, you receive a QR code, scan it, follow the simple steps and within less than 2 minutes you have a Cameroon e-sim card installed on your phone.
Upon arrival in Cameroon it automatically connects you to an available network and you enjoy data on your phone pretty much when the plane lands.
Make sure your phone is e-sim compatible before ordering an e-sim card for Cameroon.
Airalo is a reliable e-sim card provider that sells e-sims from all over the world.
- 1 GB data for 7 days = $9.5 USD
Click here to order an e-sim card for Cameroon directly online or get more info.
The above Kamtok Telecom operates on the 4G/LTE network in Cameroon and is only valid in Cameroon.
SimOptions is another trusted e-sim provider that Traveltomtom has used in more than 50 countries around the world.
SimOptions offers the following international e-sim cards valid in up to 124 countries, including Cameroon:
- 3 GB data for 30 days = $24.90 USD
- 5 GB data for 30 days = $34.90 USD
- 10 GB data for 14 days = $39.90 USD
Click here for more info or to order an international e-sim card for Cameroon via SimOptions.
You can also opt for a physical sim card for traveling in Cameroon. You order online, get a physical sim card delivered at your home address before your trip and it is plug and play on arrival. For $49.90 USD you get a physical prepaid sim card with 10 GB data in Cameroon. Click on the link for more info.
Why buying a sim card for Cameroon
Having a data connection on your phone makes life so much easier, right? No need to tell you that anymore! But as soon as you travel abroad your data connections stop working or switches to roaming, and roaming costs are outrageous. Imagine not being able to look up information or navigating through Google Maps, finding nearby hotels, restaurants or simply staying in touch with family. Not even talking about emergencies like money issues, language barriers, etc.
If you think the hotel WiFi is fine for you when traveling to Cameroon then think again. Cameroon is not as developed as back home and even if the hotel offers WiFi, it is often not even properly working. Also a reminder that surfing the web on public WiFi is through an UNSECURED network.
When traveling to Cameroon Traveltomtom recommend you to buy a local prepaid sim card. It is easy, takes just a couple minutes, saves you massively in roaming costs, you are instantly connected and data packages in Cameroon are cheap.
Douala International Airport
Although Douala Airport is the main hub for traveling to and from Cameroon, it is a very outdated and a little chaotic airport. That said, don't worry too much it is not going to be super busy either at the international arrival terminal. People are very friendly and helpful in Cameroon.
There is only one arrival hall and luggage reclaim area so that makes it easy. You definitely won't get lost at Douala Airport.
Where to buy a sim card at Douala Airport
It is impossible to miss the opportunity for getting a Cameroon sim card on arrival at Douala Airport. There are 4 mobile internet operators in Cameroon and all of them have a kiosk at Douala International Airport right next to the luggage belts.
So after you grabbed your luggage from the belt, don’t walk out of the terminal yet but turn around and you will see the mobile internet providers shops. There is MTN and Orange as well as Nexttel and Camtel in Cameroon. Camtel does not provide any prepaid sim cards for tourists.
Nexttel is a separate story as the company was owned by Viettel Vietnam. However, just recently the Vietnamese pulled the plug and left. It is unsure what is happening to Nexttel as they are looking for investors. Bottomline: it is not recommended to buy a sim card from Nexttel.
Nexttel was Traveltomtom's last recommendation anyway since MTN and Orange have a much better 4G/LTE network.
All mobile internet provider shops are open from 08.00 am till midnight and BE AWARE that you can only pay cash, unfortunately they don’t accept credit cards at the sim card shops at Douala Airport.
Prices Cameroon sim cards at Douala Airport
All the below info and prices are updates in January 2024 and prices are in Central African Franc: $1 USD = 597 CFA and 1,000 CFA = $1.68 USD.
This is the smallest internet provider in Cameroon with a much smaller network coverage. The sim card costs 100 XAF = $0.17 USD and you can choose from one of the above data packages.
Nexttel only offers monthly packages, valid for 30 days!
The most common Nexttel sim card deal for Cameroon is the 1.05 GB per day for 30 days, which means 30 * 1.05 GB = 31.5 GB. Every day at midnight you get another GB. Total price is 9,000 XAF = $15 USD. For more prepaid sim card deals from Nexttel have a look at the photo above.
An MTN prepaid sim card for tourists is called an MTN tourist plan. The sim card is free when activating one of the above 3 packages shown in the picture.
- 5,000 XAF = 250 MB / day + 2,500 XAF calling credit to all networks for 7 days - $8 USD
- 10,000 XAF = 1 GB / day + 5,000 XAF calling credit to all networks for 7 days - $17 USD
- 20,000 XAF = 1 GB / day + 10,000 XAF calling credit to all networks for 30 days - $34 USD
Also included is credit for calling MTN numbers + sms.
As you can see MTN is much more expensive than Nexttel, saying they offer basically the same prepaid sim card deal for 7 days and Nexttel offers this for 30 days.
The MTN store at Douala Airport does not provide e-sim cards, only physical prepaid sim cards for tourists are available.
At Orange they are very flexible when it comes to the duration. They offer data packages per 3 days, 7 days, 15 days and 30 days! Sounds like a winner as not everyone is traveling to Cameroon for 30 days.
- 2,650 XAF = 1 GB per day for 7 days - $4.5 USD
- 5,250 XAF = 1 GB per day for 15 days - $8 USD
- 10,000 XAF = 1 GB per day for 30 days - $17 USD
See the photo above for much more Orange Cameroon sim card deals.
The Orange store at Douala Airport does not provide e-sim cards, only physical prepaid sim cards for tourists are available.
Not hard to determine which mobile internet provider in Cameroon offers the best prepaid sim card deals! Right?
Best 3G/4G/5G network in Cameroon
Let’s also talk mobile internet coverage and who has the best 4G/5G network in Cameroon. Unfortunately there is still no 5G in Cameroon in 2024. However, there is a pretty good 4G/LTE network and all of the best places to visit in Cameroon are covered with a 4G/LTE signal. But not by every mobile provider, so choose your sim card for Cameroon wisely.
When determining the best prepaid sim card in Cameroon I already told you that Nexttel is NOT recommend for traveling in Cameroon. Their network coverage is simply too small and the future of Nexttel is unsure.
MTN and Orange have an equally good 3G/4G network in Cameroon so it is hard to decide which one is better. See the full mobile data network coverage maps in the link below.
For more detailed information about the best mobile internet network in Cameroon check my article about buying a sim card in Cameroon in 2024.
Best Cameroon sim card at Douala Airport
It leaves no doubt that Orange is the best prepaid sim card for tourists at Douala Airport. Orange has great mobile data network coverage and prices for data bundles are cheaper than its main competitor MTN, which also has a great 4G/LTE network in Cameroon.
You can expect the same data speed on MTN as on Orange.
With an Orange sim card you get 1 GB data per day for 1 week for less than $5 USD and for less than $10 USD you get 1 GB data per day for 15 days. Therefore Traveltomtom recommends buying an Orange sim card at Douala Airport.
What about e-sim cards? I mentioned them in the beginning of the article already. When comparing them with local prepaid sim cards we have to conclude that they are more expensive. However, you are online as soon as the plane lands and you don't need to worry about buying a sim card at Douala Airport.
Buying a prepaid sim card for Cameroon online
If your phone is not e-sim compatible then you can always order a physical prepaid sim card for traveling to Cameroon on the internet.
Arrive prepared in Cameroon with an international prepaid sim card. You order them online and a physical prepaid sim card will be delivered to your home address. You put this sim card in your phone and it automatically connects to an available network upon arrival in Cameroon, basically when the plane lands you are instantly online.
Via SimOptions you can order the Orange Holiday World sim card, valid in 124 countries, including Cameroon.
- 10 GB data for 14 days = $49.90 USD
Click here for more info or to directly order an international prepaid sim card for Cameroon via SimOptions.
My experiences buying a sim card at Douala Airport
Unfortunately I was not aware that you have to have cash to buy a sim card at Douala Airport. At almost every airport around the world they accept international credit cards. Well, not in Cameroon!
The police had no problem with me walking out to get money from the ATM and coming back into the luggage belt area to buy a sim card for my trip to Cameroon. But guess what: ATM not working! Still I went back inside and explained the very helpful and English speaking staff at the Orange shop that I could not buy a sim card as I didn’t have cash.
Because an Orange sim card for Cameroon is free of charge, the staff offered to already register my sim card with my passport. So that I could top up credit anywhere and activate a package myself. As I am very well experienced when it comes to sim cards I opted for that option and had no problems getting the right data package.
I would only recommend this to those who know how thing work with smart dial codes and activation codes, etc. If you speak French it might be easy for you. If you don’t then this way is NOT recommended to get connected in Cameroon.
If you are not able to buy a sim card at Douala Airport for the same reason I recommend you to go to the nearby Douala Mall (taxi should cost maximum 1,000 XAF). There is an Orange Store and they can set you up. Also see my video above or check my article about best prepaid sim card for Cameroon in 2024.
I hope all the above tips for buying a sim card at Douala Airport were helpful. May you have any more questions please let me know in the comments below.
Interested in seeing some off the beaten path places then check out my Instagram account @traveltomtom and follow my journey to travel to every country in the world. As of January 2024 I have traveled to more than 155 countries.
Enjoy your trip to Cameroon!