The Central African Republic is a landlocked country in central Africa. It borders Chad in the north, Sudan on the east, the Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo on the south, and Cameroon on the west. Most of the CAR consists of Sudano-Guinean savannas but it also includes a Sahelo-Sudanese zone in the north and an Equatorial forest zone in the south. This French colony became a semi-autonomous territory of the French Community in 1958 and then an independent nation on 13 August 1960.
For over three decades since independence the CAR was ruled by presidents who were not chosen in truly democratic elections or who took power by force. The first fair democratic elections were held in 1993 and brought Ange-Félix Patassé to power, but President Patassé was overthrown by General François Bozizé in 2003. General Bozizé won a democratic election in May 2005 and remains in power today.
Subsistence agriculture, together with forestry, remains the backbone of the economy of the Central African Republic (CAR), with more than 70% of the population living in outlying areas. The agricultural sector generates half of GDP. Timber has accounted for about 16% of export earnings and the diamond industry, for 40%. Important constraints to economic development include the CAR's landlocked position, a poor transportation system, a largely unskilled work force, and a legacy of misdirected macroeconomic policies.
The Central African Republic (CAR) is endowed with virgin rainforests and has some of the highest densities of lowland gorillas and forest elephants in Africa. But despite this tourist potential and the CAR's agricultural, water and mineral resources, it is one of the least-developed countries in the world.
Visitors are strongly advised against all non-essential travel to the Central African Republic (especially outside Bangui) and visitors should check with the latest government risk assessment.
PASSPORTS: Passport valid for six months after entry into the Central African Republic required by all.
VISAS: Required by all except the following:
(a) nationals of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Congo (Democratic Republic of), Congo (Rep), Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Israel, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Mauritius, Monaco, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Sudan, Switzerland and Togo provided travelling from their own countries;
(b) transit passengers continuing their journey by the same or first connecting aircraft provided holding valid onward or return documentation and not leaving the airport.
Types of visa and cost: Tourist/Business and Transit: €50 (for stays of up to 30 days); €152 (for stays of up to three months). Fees paid in other currencies depend on exchange rates. Validity: Tourist and Business visas are valid for stays of maximum three months. For transit through the Central African Republic, enquire at the Consulate (or Consular sections at Embassy).
Application to: Consulate (or Consular section at Embassy). Application requirements: (a) Two application forms. (b) Fee. (c) Two passport-size photos. (d) Return/onward ticket. (e) Letter from company stating that applicant will resume work on returning. (f) Yellow fever vaccination certificate. (g) Stamped, self-addressed envelope.
Working days required: Normally two unless application is referred to the authorities in the Central African Republic.
Tanzania is anoter African country, situated on the east coast of Africa. Tanzania is a peaceful, welcoming and friendly country, which has much to offer the tourist. Firstly there is the concentration of wildlife. It is quite possible to see elephants, rhinos, wildebeest (gnu), lions, leopards, giraffes, cape buffalo and cheetahs, all within the space of an hour, or less! Secondly, there is the stunning landscape - magnificent acacia trees, open planes, forested areas and the huge African skies. For those tourists who want to go on Tanzanian safari (Swahili word meaning journey), the game viewing in Tanzania is considered by many to be amongst, if not the best in Africa.