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Central African Republic

Central African Republic is one of the world’s least developed nations and has experienced several periods of political instability since independence from France in 1960. Despite an on-going peace process and the presence of a democratically-elected government in the capital, Bangui, rebels still control large portions of the northern provinces in the country, and highway bandits prey on civilians and travelers in much of western CAR. In the country’s Dzanga-Sangha National Park in the southwest, facilities for tourists are being developed but remain limited. Read the Department of State Background Notes on the CAR at http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/4007.htm for additional information.

Central African Republic

   
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 COUNTRY OVERVIEW
Country Name: Cenral African Republic
Continent: Africa
Capital City: Bangui
Boundary Countries:

Cameroon, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Sudan

Recommended Hospitals in Capital:

Bangui:  CAS Clinique

Main Cities:

Bangui, Birao, Bria, Bambari, Ndele, Bossangoa, Bouar, Carnot

Country Size: 622,984 sq km
Population: 4,369,038

 

COUNTRY GENERAL INFORMATION
Language:

French (official), Sangho (lingua franca and national language), tribal languages

Currency: Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XAF); note- responsible authority is the Bank of the Central African States
Predominant Religions:

indigenous beliefs 35%, Protestant 25%, Roman Catholic 25%, Muslim 15%
note: animistic beliefs and practices strongly influence the Christian majority

National Holidays: Republic Day, 1 December (1958)
Economic Status:

Subsistence agriculture, together with forestry, remains the backbone of the economy of the Central African Republic (CAR), with more than 70% of the population living in outlying areas. Distribution of income is extraordinarily unequal. Grants from France and the international community can only partially meet humanitarian needs.

Security:

Central African Armed Forces (FACA): Ground Forces, Military Air Service; General Directorate of Gendarmerie Inspection (DGIG), Republican Guard, National Police

US Presence:

The US Embassy in the CAR is located at Avenue David Dacko, B.P. 924, Bangui; tel (236) 61-02-00; fax (236) 61-44-94. For additional information on safety and security in the CAR, contact the Consular Section of the US Embassy in Yaounde, Cameroon at tel (237) 220-1500, fax (237) 220-1572; web site http://yaounde.usembassy.gov/.

Americans may also obtain updated information from the American Embassy in N'djamena, Chad at tel (235) 51-70-09, 51-92-33 or 51-90-52; fax (235) 51-56-54; web site http://ndjamena.usembassy.gov/ 

Document Requirements:

A valid passport, visa, and evidence of yellow fever vaccination are required for entry.  Travelers should obtain the latest information and details from the Embassy of the Central African Republic, 1618 22nd Street NW, Washington, DC 20008, telephone: (202) 483–7800 / 7801, fax: (202) 332–9893.  Overseas, inquiries should be made to the nearest Central African Republic Embassy or Consulate.  NOTE: In any country where there is no Central African Republic diplomatic mission, the French Embassy has authorization to issue a visa for entry into the Central African Republic. 

Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our website.  For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information Sheet.

Major Airports:

Airports:  50, Airports w/paved runways:  3

Bangui-M’ Poko Airport (BGF/FEFF)
Bangui Airport, Central African Repbulic, BP 828, Bangui, CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
Tel:  +236 61.33.80, +236 61.33.85, +236 61.44.77
Fax:  +236 61.49.18
Customs, hours:  07:30 to 14:30, plus for scheduled flights
Tel:  +236 34.24.66

Servicing Airlines:
Risks and Precautions:

The US Dept. of State updated the Travel Warning for Central African Republic on 14 Jan 2011.
http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_940.html

 

The Department of State warns US citizens of the risks of traveling to the Central African Republic (CAR), and recommends against all but essential travel outside the capital, Bangui. Travelers in the CAR should exercise extreme caution. This replaces the Travel Warning of December 6, 2010 in light of increased tensions due to upcoming presidential and legislative elections, as well as instability in the east.

Armed militia groups, bandits, and poachers present real dangers, and the Central African government is unable to guarantee the safety of visitors in most parts of the country. There have been repeated attacks on Central African and expatriate travelers in the countryside. Poachers and armed men also pose a threat to game hunters in northern and eastern CAR. The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) poses a similar threat to hunters in eastern CAR.

The country holds presidential and legislative elections on January 23 and the proclamation of first round results is scheduled for February 7. If a second round of elections is necessary, campaigning will begin March 8 and voting will take place on March 20. The release of definitive results is scheduled for April 5. Throughout the campaign period, US citizens in the CAR should expect an increased level of activity including rallies, marches, and other campaign activities. While there is no specific threat of violence, the Embassy encourages US citizens to remain especially vigilant during the electoral period. Bangui suffers from elevated crime rates, both petty and violent, as well as particularly limited transport and medical options. CAR military and civilian security forces (and people posing as such) staff checkpoints throughout the city, frequently harassing local and expatriate travelers for bribes.

US citizens should avoid public demonstrations, as even those intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence.

The US Embassy staff in Bangui can provide only limited services to US citizens at this time. Following an evacuation of all US staff in 2002, the US Embassy in Bangui resumed operations in January 2005. However, the Embassy currently operates with extremely limited staffing. US citizens should be aware that only very basic and limited services are presently available. Additional information can be found at the Embassy Bangui web site.

The US Embassy in Bangui encourages US citizens residing in, or planning to travel to, the CAR to enroll or update their information at the Department of State’s Smart Travel Enrollment Program (STEP) web site. Please note that it is important during enrollment, or updating of information, to include your current phone number and e-mail address where you can be reached in case of an emergency. US citizens without internet access may register directly with the US Embassy in Bangui. By registering, US citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency. While the Embassy’s ability to provide emergency consular services is limited, registration will enable electronic receipt of warden messages.

Mortality Statistics:

Infant MR total: 80.62 deaths/1,000 live births
Life Expectancy at birth:  TOTAL 44.47 years (male 44.4/ female 44.54)

Immunization Indicators:

Required:  for all travelers to CAR if >1 year of age (CDC Recommendation: for all travelers >9 months)
Recommended: Malaria, Hepatitis A & B, Typhoid, Meningococcal, Rabies, Polio
Boosters: MMR, DPT

Infectious Disease Concerns:

Drugs to Prevent Malaria (antimalarial drugs) 
If you will be visiting a malaria risk area in the Central African Republic, you will need to take one of the following antimalarial drugs: atovaquone/proguanil, doxycycline, or mefloquine (primaquine in special circumstances and only after G6PD testing).
Note: Chloroquine is NOT an effective antimalarial drug in Central African Republic and should not be taken to prevent malaria in this region.
Malaria risk area in the Central African Republic: All

 

 

 

Dengue, filariasis, leishmaniasis, and onchocerciasis (river blindness) are other diseases carried by insects that also occur in Central Africa. African trypanosomiasis (African sleeping sickness) has increased in Africa (it is epidemic in Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the Sudan; and highly endemic in Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Guinea, Mozambique, Uganda, and Tanzania; low levels are found in most of the other countries), and an increase in travelers has been noted since 2000.  Most had exposures in Tanzania and Kenya, reflecting common tourist routes.  Protecting yourself against insect bites will help to prevent these diseases.
Plague occurs sporadically or in outbreaks.  Outbreaks have occurred since 2000 in Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Uganda, and Tanzania.  Ituri Distric (Oriental Province) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo reports about 1,000 caes per year and was the site of an outbreak in 2006.
Schistosomiasis, a parasitic infection, can be contracted in fresh water in this region. Do not swim in fresh water (except in well-chlorinated swimming pools) in these countries. (For more information, please see Swimming and Recreational Water Safety.)
Polio outbreaks were reported in several previously polio-free countries in Central, Eastern, and Western Africa beginning in 2003.  Polio is still endemic in Nigeria.
Many countries in this region have high incidence rates of tuberculosis and high HIV prevalence rates.

Overall Quality of Medical Services:

Medical facilities are extremely limited in the CAR, and the quality of acute care is unreliable. Sanitation levels are low. Many medicines are not available; travelers should carry properly labeled prescription drugs and other medications with them.

Providers in Network:
Direct Payment: 0
Referrals: 3
View Network Providers
Recent Medical Threats/ Concerns/Warnings:

Highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5N1) has been found in poultry populations in several countries in Africa. Avoid all direct contact with birds, including domestic poultry (such as chickens and ducks) and wild birds, and avoid places such as poultry farms and bird markets where live birds are raised or kept.  For a current list of countries reporting outbreaks of H5N1 among poultry and/or wild birds, view updates from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), and for total numbers of confirmed human cases of H5N1 virus by country see the World Health Organization (WHO) Avian Influenza website.
Other risks to travelers to Central, East, and West African countries include
typhoid (a large outbreak occurred in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2004-2005) and paratyphoid fever, amebiasis, and brucellosis.

Communications Info:

Country Calling Code:  +236
Internet Country Code:  .cf

 



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