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Travel Insurance Central African Republic


Central African Republic Country Guide

  1. CountryFacts
  2. Health
  3. Media
  1. Intro
  2. Geography
  3. People
  4. Travel
  5. Embassies & Visas
  6. Finance
  7. Cities/Regions

Quick Facts

Region: Africa
Full Name: Central African Republic
Capital City: Bangui
Language Spoken: French (official), Sangho (lingua franca and national language), tribal languages

Central African Republic Travel Insurance

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Geographic data

7 00 N, 21 00 E

Elevation Extremes

lowest point: Oubangui River 335 m highest point: Mont Ngaoui 1,420 m

Land boundaries

total: 5,203 km border countries: Cameroon 797 km, Chad 1,197 km, Democratic Republic of the Congo 1,577 km, Republic of the Congo 467 km, Sudan 1,165 km

Natural hazards

hot, dry, dusty harmattan winds affect northern areas; floods are common

Natural resources

diamonds, uranium, timber, gold, oil, hydropower

Land use

arable land: 3.1% permanent crops: 0.15% other: 96.75% (2005)

Environmental current issues

tap water is not potable; poaching has diminished the country's reputation as one of the last great wildlife refuges; desertification; deforestation


Hot all year with a defined dry season. Especially hot in the north, with greater humidity in the south. The rainy season is mainly from May to October. Heavy rainfall is typical in the southwestern forest areas. Required clothing Linens and tropical waterproof clothing.

Time difference

time difference: UTC+1


4,303,356 note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2006 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 41.9% (male 907,629/female 897,153) 15-64 years: 53.9% (male 1,146,346/female 1,173,268) 65 years and over: 4.2% (male 71,312/female 107,648) (2006 est.)

Median age

total: 18.4 years male: 18 years female: 18.8 years (2006 est.)

Population growth rate

1.53% (2006 est.)

Birth rate

33.91 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Death rate

18.65 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Net migration rate

0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.66 male(s)/female total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2006 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 43.54 years male: 43.46 years female: 43.62 years (2006 est.)

Total fertility rate

4.41 children born/woman (2006 est.)

Business Practices

Formal wear is expected for meetings in the Central African Republic (suits and ties for men). Knowledge of French is essential. Interpreter and translation services may be available at large hotels or contact your embassy for assistance. Business cards should be in French and English. Office hours are normally 0730-1530 Monday to Friday.


With unemployment estimated at 80 percent, street crime is a concern. The police force is ill-equipped and poorly trained. When a crime occurs, the victim may have to pay to send a vehicle to pick up police officers due to the shortage of police vehicles. Armed highway robbery in rural areas is common, especially in the dry season from December until May. Armed banditry renders road travel outside the city dangerous, especially after dark.


There are a few good hotels in Bangui, some of which are very exclusive and expensive. The better hotels have air-conditioning and swimming pools. Pre-booking is essential, ideally several weeks in advance. Outside Bangui, accommodation of any standard is very difficult to find.


Telephone IDD is available. Country code: 236, although some calls are still directed through the operator. Telex facilities are available at post offices in Bangui and good hotels. Telegrams may be sent from 1430-1830 Saturday and from 0800-1830 Sunday.


is 220/380 volts AC, 50Hz. Electricity 220 volts AC, 50Hz.

Plug Types


Food And Dining

Western food is only available in the capital, Bangui. Most of the top-class hotels have good restaurants. The standard of these restaurants is high, but they do tend to be expensive. Otherwise travelers must call at local villages and barter for provisions. Local food is basic. Many dishes contain okra (gombo), although other popular ingredients include rice, bananas and cassava. Bars are numerous in Bangui with both table and counter service. Drinking and smoking are not encouraged in Muslim society; in Muslim areas, drinking is best done in private. Elsewhere, there are numerous beer halls offering beverages of a high standard. National dishes:
? Muamba de Galinha is chicken with palm oil and okra.
? Chicken and cumin stew.
? Fried fish in peanut sauce.
? Palm butter soup.
? Shrimps eaten with boiled yams or sweet potatoes.
? Spinach stew, which might also include tomato, peppers, chiles, onions and peanut butter.
? Banana leaves stuffed with beef, onions and peanuts.
? Dongo-Dongo, which is halfway between a soup and a sauce, and is always served with okra and sometimes fish or meat too. National drinks:
? Two of the most popular brews are palm wine and banana wine. Tipping : 10 per cent is appropriate in expensive hotels and restaurants. Bargaining is normal.

The few hotels in Bangui have expensive clubs catering for tourists and businessmen; local nightlife is centered on the district known as 'Kilom?tre Cinq'.

Entry departure requirements

Visa immigration information


Passport valid for six months after entry into the Central African Republic required by all.


Required by all except the following:
(a) nationals of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Congo (Democratic Republic of), Congo (Rep), C?te d'Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Israel, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Mauritius, Monaco, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Sudan, Switzerland and Togo provided traveling from their own countries;
(b) transit passengers continuing their journey by the same or first connecting aircraft provided holding valid onward or return documentation and not leaving the airport.


Nationals of Lebanon are visa-exempt if in possession of written proof of their status as businessperson, banker or technician.

Types of visa and cost

Tourist/Business and Transit: US$59 (for stays of up to 30 days); US$179 (for stays of up to three months). Fees paid in other currencies depend on exchange rates.


Tourist and Business visas are valid for stays of maximum three months. For transit through the Central African Republic, enquire at the Consulate (or Consular sections at Embassy).

Application to

Consulate (or Consular section at Embassy); see Passport/Visa Information .

Application requirements

(a) Two application forms. (b) Fee. (c) Two passport-size photos. (d) Return/onward ticket. (e) Letter from company stating that applicant will resume work on returning. (f) Yellow fever vaccination certificate. (g) Stamped, self-addressed envelope.

Working days required

Normally two unless application is referred to the authorities in the Central African Republic.

HIV entry requirements

No Test Required

Departure tax

CFAfr10,000 is levied on all passengers


Embassy of the Central African Republic in France

30 rue des Perchamps, 75016 Paris, France
Tel: (1) 4224 4256.

Embassy of the Central African Republic in the USA

1618 22nd Street, NW, Washington DC 2008, USA
Tel: (202) 483 7800.

Travel Warnings

All but essential travel to the Central African Republic is advised against. Following a coup d'etat in March 2003 order has yet to be restored to much of the country outside Bangui. Travelers who must travel outside Bangui are strongly recommended to check on the situation in the areas through which they are traveling with their local contacts, the local authorities and diplomatic missions before proceeding.
The threat from terrorism is low but you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners.
This advice is based on information provided by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office in the UK. It is correct at time of publishing. As the situation can change rapidly, visitors are advised to contact the following organizations for the latest travel advice:

British Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office

Tel: (0845) 850 2829.

US Department of State



CFA (Communaut? Financiaire Africaine) Franc (CFAfr) = 100 centimes. Notes are in denominations of CFAfr10,000, 5000, 2000, 1000 and 500. Coins are in denominations of CFAfr500, 100, 50, 25, 10, 5 and 1. The Central African Republic is part of the French Monetary Area. Only currency issued by the Banque des Etats de l'Afrique Centrale (Bank of Central African States) is valid; currency issued by the Banque des Etats de l'Afrique de l'Ouest (Bank of West African States) is not. The CFA Franc is tied to the Euro.

Currency restrictions

Import and export of local currency from Benin, Burkina Faso, C?te d'Ivoire, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and Togo is unlimited; for all other countries the import and export of local currency is limited to CFAfr75,000. The import of foreign currency is unlimited provided it is declared. The export of foreign currency is limited to the amount imported and declared.

Banking hours

Mon-Fri 0700-1230.

Currency exchange

Currency can be exchanged at banks in Bangui and Berb?rati.

Credit cards

Credit cards are not generally accepted, except in major hotels.

Travellers cheques

To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travelers are advised to take traveller's cheques in Euros. Even so, commission rates can be very high.


  1. Health Information
  2. Recent Disease Outbreak
  3. Hospital Database

Dental care

Avoid dental treatment in Central African Republic as the standards of care and hygiene cannot be guaranteed.

Medication Availability

Reliable supplies of medication are available in the larger pharmacies in Bangui. Elsewhere drugs can be out of date, heat damaged or counterfeit.

Blood supplies

Blood supplies should be considered as unsafe in The Central African Republic

Medical facilities

Medical facilities are limited, and the quality of acute care is unreliable. Sanitation levels are low. Many medicines are not available. Travelers are advised to bring their own properly-labeled supplies.

General caution

Recent medical and dental exams should ensure that the traveler is in good health. Carry appropriate health and accident insurance documents and copies of any important medical records. Bring an adequate supply of all prescription and other medications as well as any necessary personal hygiene items, including a spare pair of eyeglasses or contact lenses if necessary. Drink only bottled beverages (including water) or beverages made with boiled water. Do not use ice cubes or eat raw seafood, rare meat or dairy products. Eat well-cooked foods while they are still hot and fruits that can be peeled without contamination. Avoid roadside stands and street vendors. Swim only in well-maintained, chlorinated pools; avoid freshwater lakes, streams and rivers. Wear clothing which reduces exposed skin and apply repellents containing DEET to remaining areas. Sleep in well-screened accommodations. Carry anti-diarrheal medication. Reduce problems related to sun exposure by using sunglasses, wide-brimmed hats, sunscreen lotions and lip protection.

Specific concerns

AIDS occurs. Blood supply may not be adequately screened and/or single-use, disposable needles and syringes may be unavailable. When possible, travelers should defer medical treatment until reaching a facility where safety can be assured. Snakes, scorpions, tarantulas and other spiders, ants and mosquitoes make it necessary to take precautions when walking outdoors, including wearing shoes and using insect repellent, particularly at night.


Hepatitis A: Consider active immunization with hepatitis A vaccine or passive immunization with immune globulin (IG) for all susceptible travelers. Especially consider choosing active immunization for persons planning to reside for a long period or for persons who take frequent short-term trips to risk areas. The importance of protection against hepatitis A increases as length of stay increases. It is particularly important for persons who will be living in or visiting rural areas, eating or drinking in settings of poor or uncertain sanitation, or who will have close contact with local persons (especially young children) in settings with poor sanitary conditions. Hepatitis B: Vaccination is advised for health care workers, persons anticipating direct contact with blood from or sexual contact with inhabitants, and persons planning extended stays of 6 months or greater (especially those who anticipate using local health care facilities, staying in rural areas, or having intimate contact with the local population). Meningitis: Meningococcal vaccine is recommended for travelers, particularly during the December-June dry season when epidemics are most likely to occur. Importance of vaccination increases with length of stay and/or exposure to crowded conditions. Pregnancy is a relative contraindication to vaccination. Protection may be less effective for infants and children aged 3-23 months than it is for persons aged 2 years and older. Polio: A one-time booster dose is recommended for travelers who have previously completed a standard course of polio immunization. Refer to CDC guidelines for vaccinating unimmunized or incompletely immunized persons. Pregnancy is a relative contraindication to vaccination; however, if protection is needed, either IPV or OPV may be used, depending on preference and time available. Rabies: Preexposure vaccination should be considered for persons staying longer than 30 days who are expected to be at risk to bites from domestic and/or wild animals (particularly dogs), or for persons engaged in high risk activities such as spelunking or animal handling. Need for vaccination is more important if potential exposure is in rural areas and if adequate postexposure care is not readily available. Typhoid: Vaccination should be considered for persons staying longer than 3 weeks, adventurous eaters, and those who will venture off the usual tourist routes into small cities, villages and rural areas. Importance of vaccination increases as access to reasonable medical care becomes limited. Contraindications depend on vaccine type. Yellow fever: Vaccination is recommended for travelers over 9 months of age going outside of urban areas. Note: All routine vaccines (such as DTP or Td, Hib, MMR, polio, varicella, influenza and pneumococcal) should be kept up-to-date as a matter of good health practice unrelated to travel.

Disease risk summary

Insect-borne diseases: are major causes of illness. Many diseases, including yellow fever, are endemic, with only scattered cases being reported and, from time to time, more extensive outbreaks. Filariasis - prevalent Leishmaniasis - occurs (both cutaneous and visceral types may be found, particularly in the drier areas) Loiasis - prevalent Malaria - prevalent Onchocerciasis (river blindness) - prevalent Relapsing fever - occurs Trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness) - occurs (human type - mainly in small, isolated areas - is reported) Typhus - occurs (louse-, flea-, and tick-borne types occur) Food-borne and water-borne illness: highly endemic. The dysenteries and diarrheal diseases, giardiasis, the typhoid fevers and viral hepatitis are widespread. Echinococcosis (hydatid disease) is widespread in animal-breeding areas. Dracunculiasis - occurs Helminthic (parasitic worm) infections - prevalent Schistosomiasis - common

Entry requirements

Yellow fever: A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travelers over 1 year of age coming from all countries.

Recent disease outbreaks

No recent disease outbreaks

Clinique Dr. ChouaibBangui


There is journalistic freedom in the Central African Republic to the extent that private newspapers criticize government policies and allegations of corruption, but these are likely permitted because most of the populace both cannot afford them and cannot read them (there is a high rate of illiteracy in the country). Those radio and TV stations that are are state-run provide little to no coverage of the political opposition. It was only until recently, in 2004, that prison terms for press offences were abolished.
Press: There are several daily newspapers, including Le Citoyen (an independent publication), Le Confident (an independent publication) and L'Hirondelle (an independent publication). The weekly publications have limited distribution and are in French. Centrafrique-Presse is a state-owned bi-monthly publication.
TV: Television Centrafricaine is state-run.
Radio: The national state-run broadcaster is Radio Centrafrique. Radio Notre Dame is a Roman Catholic broadcaster based in Bangui. The UN-sponsored Radio Ndeke Luka can be relied upon for a balanced viewpoint. It also often re-broadcasts international news programs. Radio Nostalgie is privately run.