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Thematically planned, the Douala Maritime Museum exhibits a rich collection of artefacts and objects of historic and artistic value such as photographs, sculptures, maps, paintings, videos, documents, archival materials and multimedia animations.

The first part of the exhibition located on the 1st floor of the museum building covers two themes namely: man in his natural environment and trade and the development of ships. Due to the large amount of prawns in the Wouri estuary, Portuguese explorers spontaneously named it «Rio dos Camaroes " translated into English as, “River of Prawns,” hence the name Cameroon. The richness of the waters of the Wouri estuary finally favoured the development of fishing, which is not only a very lucrative activity but a cultural phenomenon within local communities.

Water is not only a source of wealth par excellence but also a route for the carriage of goods using simple canoes, containerships and other types of modern vessels.

The second part of the permanent exhibition is dedicated to the history of trade and its development in various Cameroonian ports considered as the epicentres of all maritime commercial activities carried out between Cameroon and Africa, on the one hand, and Cameroon and the whole world, on the other hand. The ports of Douala, Kribi and Limbe better illustrate this idea.

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