Central African Republic
Central African Republic (CAR) is a country plagued by internal political wars and sporadic fighting. The government has closed its borders on occasion due to the ongoing instability and imposed curfews during times of unrest. Despite the deteriorating situation of the country, CAR is home to some of the most pristine national parks. This includes game viewing areas like St. Floris and the Bamingui-Bangoran parks, which are domain of a plethora of wild animals.
Culture in CAR is largely influenced by music, which includes complex rhythms and harmonies. Just as African music has influenced Western music culture, modern music in CAR has similarities with jazz, rock and Latin music. The music scene is popular in the heart of the African quarter in the capital city of Bangui, one of the most popular but dangerous areas in town.
A landlocked country, CAR mainly consists of uninhabited forest and game reserves. The country’ weather has high temperatures year round, with heavy rain from May throughout summer and sometimes extending to October. Recommended travel is from November to April.
Sango is the national language, but French is commonly used and essential in many cases. Although the country's religious groups range from Islam to Christians and animists, almost every ethnic group has its own distinct religion.
Roads are poor in most of the country and sometimes closed during the wet season. Buses, trucks and minibuses are the common modes of transportation between cities. Taxis are only available in urban areas and do not have meters; fares must be negotiated. Chauffeur-driven cars are available.
International direct dialing is available; cellular phone service is limited to Bangui. Local postal service is unreliable. The government is restructuring the postal and telecommunications systems to improve service.
Violence between government and rebel military and civilian groups has flared on multiple occasions over the past decades. Political chaos continues within the country and with neighboring countries. Because few people visit CAR for pleasure, it is advisable to avoid traveling to this country until security conditions stabilize. If travel is unavoidable, take all necessary precautions to avoid being a target of violent crime.