Important Information

The following information is issued by the website of the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs http://www.diplo.de, (State 27.08.07)

General information:
Central African Republic is amongst the 25 poorest countries in the world (LDC). Its infrastructure is poorly developed and the standard of living of the population is extremely low. Tourism is developed only rudimentary.

The capital Bangui endues of places to stay but due to existing danger it is not recommended to take walks, especially after dawn, not even in the city centre. Provision and accommodation in the interior are difficult due to insufficient provisional situation in general as well as the missing infrastructure.

The administrative language is French. To deal with the numerous border police and police controls in and outside the capital, it is essential to have at least a basic knowledge of French.

Entry and visiting formalities for British citizens:
British nationals require a visa to visit the Central African Republic. To apply for a visa and to obtain further information on entry requirements, please contact the Embassy of Central African Republic in Paris at 30 rue des Perchamps, 75116 Paris - Tel: ++33 (0)1 42 24 42 56. You will be asked to produce a yellow fever vaccination certificate on arrival in the country. Failure to do so may result in application of a further vaccination, which will not be free of charge.

Customs requirements:
For general travel items/everyday essentials, no particular entry requirements are necessary. The import of arms is forbidden, with the exception of hunting guns, which have to be declared. You can apply for permits before departure. For hunting trips, it is strongly advised to book through a safari organization and let them handle the formalities (entrust to them, the handling..). The import of food products is subject to restrictions. For the export of natural products, even transformed ones, permits are required (wood, plants, skins, bones, etc.).

The import of a vehicle has to be declared (Laissez-Passer). It is recommended to obtain an international travel card “Carnet de passage” (available at the ADAC or the AvD Automobileclub), so that no duties will have to be paid; in this case the export of the car is obligatory.

Specific penal dispositions:
To take photographs or to film, a permit from the Ministry of Information is required. Before photographing people, it is strongly advised that you ask their permission. The possession of drugs and their use is forbidden. Homosexuality is imposed by imprisonment of up to 2 years and a fine of 600.000 FCFA. In practice, homosexuality is not punished systematically, but merely in isolated cases.

Entry into the country without an entry stamp or without a visa can lead to arrest, with the duration of this penalty not being foreseeable. In general, arrest leads to expulsion. Heavy fines may also be entailed.

Traffic regulations have to be respected strictly in order to avoid paying relatively heavy fines.

Medical information:
The medical supply is insufficient nationwide. The capital disposes of two private Clinics, which are able to provide emergency treatment. The Bangui Pasteur Institute (61 89 96) offers a large range of analyses in excellent conditions. There is no type of SAMU service and emergency services are only in urgent in name. French medication is generally available in the pharmacies of the capital. In the interior but also in the province capitals, the supply of medicals is very restricted. In case of serious illness, an evacuation to Europe is strongly recommended. Signing of a health insurance for abroad, including coverage of evacuation, is absolutely necessary. Emergency evacuations are carried out by calling a medically equipped plane or by the one weekly flight leaving Bangui on Sundays.

Water purification is insufficient. The use of tap water in the capital and larger province capitals (such as Bambari, Bangassou, Berberati, Bossangoa, Bouar, Bozoum, Carnot, Ndélé) is safe after filtration. Diarrhea, worms, etc. are frequent infections. It is recommended to contact a tropical medic and to assemble a first-aid kit.

Vaccinations:

  • yellow fever (obligatory),
  • typhoid,
  • hepatitis A and B,
  • meningitis A + C (strongly advised),
  • all vaccinations obligatory in your country up-to-date.

Tropical diseases:
Most tropical diseases can be encountered in Central African Republic. The country is classified as an R3 concerning malaria. It is therefore recommended that before departure a tropical medicine clinic is contacted to obtain ample effective prophylaxis to cover the duration of the stay. HIV is prevalent, 18% of the population are infected with peaks of 20 to 40% in some sectors of the population. Safety is of the utmost necessity.

Useful numbers:
There is no British Embassy in the Central African Republic. The nearest British diplomatic mission is the High Commission in Yaoundé, Cameroon. We encourage visitors staying longer than one month to register with the British High Commission in Yaoundé.

Contact details:
British High Commission
Avenue Winston Churchill
BP 547
Yaounde
Tel: (++237) 222 05 45 / 222 07 96
Fax: (++237) 222 01 48
Email: BHC.yaounde@fco.gov.uk
http://ukincameroon.fco.gov.uk/en

In case of emergency, the French Embassy in Bangui can offer some consular assistance (tel +236 613 000; +236 610 584). The Embassy Socio-Medical Centre: 61.29.68 Open 7:30 to 13:00, and 15:30 to 18:00 including Saturdays from 13:30 to 13:00. Closed Saturday afternoons, Sundays and holidays. A French emergency doctor is on-call around the clock at 50 48 99. For more information, you can visit the Medical Information Committee website (CIMED) that will inform you on the country's health status, or the websites of the Lille or Paris Pasteur Institutes.

Addresses of the French embassy and Consulate General in CAR:

Bangui Embassy Adr.: Boulevard du Général de Gaulle - BP 884
Tel: [236] 613 005 to 010 - 610 985
Fax: [236] 617 404
Web: http://www.ambafrance-cf.org

Bangui Consulate General Adr.: Boulevard du Général de Gaulle - BP 784
Tel: [236] 613 000
Fax: [236] 610 602

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the traveller's country of origin cannot, in any case, be held responsible for incidents occurring during their stay. The information reproduced on this website is liable to changes with one point in exception, risky situations are often difficult to predict and can progress rapidly. The purpose of this information is to help travellers make travel decisions in good knowledge. It does not guarantee their safety. Potential travellers are solely responsible for their decision to enter a foreign country.