Last updated: 13 Jan 2020

Central African Republic


Discover the present-day capital, Bangui, which rests beside the River Ubangi. Built on a rock, Bangui is shaded by tropical greenery and features many modern buildings. Places of interest include the colourful Central Market (renowned for its malachite necklaces), the Boganda Museum, the Arts and Crafts School, the cathedral and the Saint Paul Mission, whose small brick church overlooks the river, and the Hausa quarter.

The Grande Corniche leads to the banks of the Ubangi and provides a picturesque view of the fishermen’s round huts and canoes.

In the dry season, take a 4-wheel-drive vehicle and spot some wildlife in the Central African Republic's national parks. The three most important parks are Manovo-Gounda St Floris, known for its high concentration of hippos; Bamingui-Bangoran in the north; and Dzanga-Sangha in the southwest.

The game population of these national parks is impressive, although the activities of poachers have led to a considerable decrease in recent years - elephants and rhinos being the worst affected species. It is also possible to view gorillas in Bayanga.
Capital:  Bangui (BGF)
Currency:  Central African CFA Franc (XAF)
Language:  French and Sango. Many local languages are also spoken.
Dialling code from SA:  + 236
Time Zones: UTC / GMT +1 (1 hour behind South Africa)
Public Holidays 2020: 

Jan 1; Mar 29; Apr 13; May 1, 21, 24; Jun 1, 30; Jul 31; Aug 13, 15; Nov 1; Dec 1, 25

Side of the Road: Right
Best Time to Go: December - March
Best for: Rare Wildlife
Plugs: 220 volts AC, 50Hz.
Drinking Water: All water should be regarded as being potentially contaminated. Milk is unpasteurised.
Health: Medical facilities are very limited. It is advisable to carry basic medical supplies.  Comprehensive health insurance is recommended and it should include emergency air evacuation coverage. If you require any medication on your travels it is best to bring it with you, in the original packaging, with a signed and dated letter from your doctor detailing exactly what it is and why you need it.
Customs: Dress should be conservative - men should wear long pants, and women should keep their arms and legs covered. Avoid eating, shaking hands and accepting items with your left hand.  Respect to religious customs should also be shown during the month of Ramadan.
Local Offences / Laws: There may be a curfew in place.
Travel Tips / Warnings: Central African Republic is a largely cash economy (credit cards are not widely accepted and there are few ATM’s).  Check the local political situation before finalising travel plans. Avoid political gatherings and protests. Avoid photographing military and government installations.
Duty Free: The following goods may be imported by visitors over 18 years of age into the Central African Republic without incurring customs duty:
• 1,000 cigarettes or cigarillos or 250 cigars or 2kg of tobacco (for women, cigarettes only).
• 5 bottles of alcoholic beverages.
• 5 bottles of perfume.

You must declare firearms before entering

Issuing Authorities

Embassy of Central African Republic
209 Eastwood Street, Arcadia, Pretoria, 0083
E-mail: /
Tel: 084 9596795 or 074 683 6376 or the landline number : Tel: (012) 430 2443/ 2473
Office hours : Mon-Fri 1000-1200 and 1430-1630

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Travel Health

Compulsory:  Yellow Fever 
Recommended Travel Vaccines:  Hepatitis A & B, Meningitis, Rabies, Typhoid, Tetanus, Polio
  Malaria Risk