CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC TRAVEL GUIDE
The Central African Republic (CAR), as its name signifies, is in the heart of Africa. The cities and urban centres may remind you of the French connection but the countryside remains the true African experience. This country is home to more than 15,000 pygmies and other tribes who have stayed with the ways of their ancestors and forefathers. Although the country is rich in mineral deposits, self-styled emperors and dictators in the garb of Presidents have done very little to improve the lot of the common people. The citizens are friendly and generous despite their many trials and tribulations and stoically cling on to the hope of better times. Unfortunately, it is not considered a very safe country to travel to, so do check with your embassy before you set out.
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CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC QUICK FACTS
Currency: Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XAF)
Area: 622,984 km2
Population: 4,666 million (2018)
Language: French (official), Sangho (lingua franca and national language), tribal languages
Religion: Indigenous beliefs 35%, Protestant 25%, Roman Catholic 25%, Muslim 15% (animistic beliefs and practices strongly influence the Christian majority)
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CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC PUBLIC HOLIDAYS
- 29 March, Barthelemy Boganda Day
- 1 May, Labor Day
- 30 June, Prayer Day
- 13 August, Independence Day
- 15 August, Assumption
- 1 November, All Saints Day
- 1 December, Proclamation of the Republic (National Day)
Also, Easter Monday, Ascension, Whit Monday, and, in some regions, Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha.
CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC WEATHER SYNOPSIS
The Central African Republic is characterised by a humid, tropical climate with a distinct rainy and dry season, moderated in part by the movement of the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ). Mean annual rainfall increases from north to south and ranges from 300 mm to 2,500 mm per year throughout the country. Average temperatures in CAR range between 20-35°C. CAR spans three distinctive climatic zones. In the southern part of CAR, the Guinea-Forest climate zone typically receives around 1,600-1,800 mm of rainfall per year, and the rainy season lasts longer than the dry season. The central part of the CAR is characterised as the Sudanese-Guinean zone, receiving between 1,000-1,600 mm of rainfall per year. The dry season and wet season are generally the same temporal range. The Sudanese-Sahelian zone occupies the northern region of the country with annual average rainfall less than 800 mm, and a longer dry season than wet season.
HEALTH RISKS IN CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
Be aware of possible health risks in
Central African Republic
Yellow fever - The yellow fever virus is found in tropical and subtropical areas of Africa and South America. The virus is spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no medicine to treat or cure an infection. To prevent getting sick from yellow fever, use insect repellent, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants, and get vaccinated.
Zika Virus - Zika is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. These mosquitoes bite during the day and night. Zika can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus. Infection during pregnancy can cause certain birth defects. There is no vaccine or medicine for Zika.
Malaria - Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease caused by a parasite that commonly infects a certain type of mosquito which feeds on humans. People who get malaria are typically very sick with high fevers, shaking chills, and flu-like illness. Although malaria can be a deadly disease, illness and death from malaria can usually be prevented.