Flying to Douala soon 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. Where to go, the best 4G/5G network in Cameroon, up to date prices as per February 2022 and even information about an e-sim card 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, etc.

You can of course also find a complete guide for buying a sim card in Cameroon in 2022 in case you missed the opportunity at Douala Airport. 

My recommendation

Traveltomtom recommends an Orange sim card for traveling in Cameroon. It has the best network and surprisingly also the cheapest prices for data packages. 

Buying a sim card at Douala Airport is especially recommended to those not speaking French. At the airport they speak English and it will be much easier for you to get the right Cameroon sim card deal.

We do NOT recommend expensive travel sim cards. These so called international sim cards with global coverage are incredibly expensive compared to local sim cards. However, you can order them online before your trip to Cameroon, which is an advantage. Check out my comparison of the best international sim cards for travelers for more info.

Why buying a sim card in 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 chaotic airport. Luckily there is only one arrival hall and luggage reclaim area so that makes it kind of easy. 

Where to buy a sim card at Douala Airport

nexttel shop douala airport

It is impossible to miss the opportunity for getting a Cameroon sim card on arrival at Douala Airport. There are 3 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 building yet but turn around and you will see the mobile internet providers shops of MTN, Orange and Nexttel.

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.

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Prices Cameroon sim cards at Douala Airport

Nexttel

nexttel sim card douala airport

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 = $16 USD. For more prepaid sim card deals from Nexttel have a look at the photo above.

MTN Cameroon

mtn cameroon sim card douala airport

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 - $9
  • 10,000 XAF = 1 GB / day + 5,000 XAF calling credit to all networks for 7 days - $17
  • 20,000 XAF = 1 GB / day + 10,000 XAF calling credit to all networks for 30 days - $35

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.

Orange Cameroon

orange cameroon sim card douala airport

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 - $5
  • 5,250 XAF = 1 GB per day for 15 days - $9
  • 10,000 XAF = 1 GB per day for 30 days - $17

See the photo above for much more Orange Cameroon sim card deals.

Not hard to determine which mobile internet provider in Cameroon offers the best prepaid sim card deals! Right?

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 as per February 2022. However, there is a pretty good 4G network and all of the best places to visit in Cameroon are covered with a 4G signal. But not by every mobile provider!

When determining the best prepaid sim card in Cameroon I can already tell you that Nexttel is NOT recommend for traveling in Cameroon. Their network coverage is simply too small.

MTN has a fairly good network, but Orange has the best 3G/4G network in Cameroon!

For more detailed information about the best mobile internet network in Cameroon check my article about buying a sim card in Cameroon in 2022.

Best Cameroon sim card at Douala Airport

It leaves no doubt that Orange is the best prepaid sim card for tourists in Cameroon. It has the best network coverage and prices for data bundles are significantly cheaper than its main competitor MTN.

For less than $5 USD you get already 1 GB data per day for 1 week and for less than $10 1 GB data per day for 15 days. Therefore Traveltomtom recommends buying an Orange sim card at Douala Airport.

Buying a sim card for Cameroon online

You can skip all this hassle by getting a Cameroon sim card online and get it shipped to your home address before your trip. Check out the following international sim card deal for Cameroon, a pretty good deal:

  • Orange Holiday World with 10 GB data for 14 days = $49.90 USD

Click here to order the above Cameroon sim card directly online. These sim cards work based on plug and play, meaning they are automatically activated from its first use. 

E-sim card for Cameroon

The easiest way to stay connected these days is an e-sim card. No more swapping physical sim cards, but just ordering an e-sim card online. You receive a code, follow the instructions and you are connected to a foreign network instantly. Check out this e-sim card deal for Cameroon:

  • $9.5 USD = 1 GB data for 7 days

Click here to directly order an e-sim card for Cameroon or find more information.

My experiences buying a sim card at Douala Airport

mtn sim card shop 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 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 2022

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.

Enjoy your trip to Cameroon! 

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