The Central African Republic (CAR) is located in the geographical heart of Africa and on the northwestern limit of the Congo Basin. Covering a land surface area of 623,000 square kilometers it is approximately one and a half times the size of France. Most of the country’s surface area is covered by wooded savannah. However the southern part of the country consists of a band of several million hectares of rain forest much of which is now being exploited by commercial logging. Another natural resource is diamonds which are found throughout the country and contribute more than 70% to the total national economy.
The population is estimated at 3.3 million inhabitants, with a human density 5 people per square kilometer. Certain parts of the country are practically uninhabited with most of the inhabitants residing in the bigger towns. The capital of Bangui, located at the edge of the Oubangui river, has a population of about 600,000 people.