Central African Republic Risk Report

Security travel advice for Central African Republic

Security information

Threat level: High
Tourists visiting the Central African Republic are advised to remain extremely vigilant and cautious throughout their travels. There is a current warning to avoid all travel to the country as there are active regional war zones and civil unrest. Please seek professional security when planning your journey.

Recent Security Risk Events
The threat level in this country is extremely high due to its instability as a region and as such, all travel to the country is advised against. Despite measures taken by the United Nations to resolve the security situation such as the stabilisation mission, the country remains in turmoil. The Islamic rebel forces "Seleka", which has known affiliation with Jihadist groups in the region, overthrew the government in 2013. A transitional government was installed the following year, however there have been thousands deaths and sectarian violence is prominent, most recently reported in September 2015 within Bangui and Bambari.

There have been further recent reports as of June/July 2016 of disturbances and attacks on humanitarian workers in the country.

Local authorities, embassies and forces cannot guarantee traveller safety or security in the region and support is very limited. Most will not be able to assist in the event evacuation is required, if the security situation decreases further it may make it difficult to leave the area by commercial means also. There have been a number of kidnappings of officials, United Nations and NGO workers, so please take precautions against this if at all possible.

It is advised that if you have to travel to this country, you seek Close Protection Services for African regions and security advice to ensure your welfare.

Security Risks
South western Central African Republic is a popular tourist destination as it is generally more stable than other parts of the country. Petty crime exists along with pickpocketing so you should take basic safety precautions such as hiding wealthy objects and not carrying large amounts of cash on you at any time. Please note that confrontational events have the potential to turn extremely dangerous quickly.

Be aware that at checkpoints you could be asked for payment in terms of bribes, and items can be confiscated and demand of payment for safe return of them such as passports or electrical goods. With armed patrols in Bangui there are roadblocks, of which not all are official. Do not travel alone, and co-operate whenever possible to ensure your safety as there are reports of vehicles fired upon resulting in fatalities, robbery, kidnappings and other violent attacks on travellers in remote areas.

Armed robberies and muggings are very common, as is violent crime frequently in the “kilometre 5” bus station area and even during daylight hours. Looting and reprisal killings are known to have happened. You should take all sensible security measures where possible and be aware of your surroundings at all times.

Do not travel in the evening/dark hours as you will be at a higher risk of all the above.

International Relations
International relations have been established with over 19 diplomatic states, with bilateral donations and support from countries such as Germany, Japan and much of the European Union. Chad and Cameroon are the Central African Republic's closest allies with many of its neighbouring regions working towards stability in the area despite rebel forces and underlying tensions.

Travel considerations
All travel outside of Bangui is highly recommended against as there are only a few paved roads and the alternative dirty tracks are poor throughout the country. Such tracks are heavily affected during Central African Republic's rainy season between May and October. During this period, the roads and tracks are subject to lengthy periods of closure, causing disruption to travels.

You should aim to travel through the country in convoys of at least two vehicles at any given time, with travel undertaken during daylight hours only. There is no foreign assistance outside of the capital and fuel shortages are common place. You should take time preparing any long journey you are planning to make in Central African Republic including have a sufficient supply of food and water.

There are regional areas of war and with this in mind a higher rate of access to weaponry and high risk of banditry and highway robbery. Remain vigilant at all times.

General information

Capital: Bangui
Official languages: French and Sango
Religion: Islam and Christianity
Currency: Central African CFA franc (XAF)
Time now in Bangui:

Visa requirements
A passport valid for at least six months and a Yellow Fever vaccination certificate is also required to enter Central African Republic. Most foreign nationals will need a visa to enter the country which usually has to be applied for in advance to travel. This can be done through your close Central African Republic Embassy.

Immunisations
It is advised that visitors to Central African Republic are up-to-date with primary boosters such as MMR. It is essential that you get vaccinated against Yellow Fever as there is risk of the disease throughout the country. It is an entry requirement that you present a certificate proving your immunisation. This should be completed at least 10 days prior to departure.

It is further recommended that most travellers also get Tetanus, Typhoid and Hepatitis A vaccinations. Check with your local health professional prior to travel if you are unsure.

Other health risks
Please note that the threat of Ebola and the Zika virus is an underlying issue in many African countries. Medical facilities in Central African Republic are poor and serious medical emergencies may require you to be evacuated to South Africa. You should ensure that you have medical insurance that covers the cost of evacuation.

Malaria and waterborne diseases such as cholera are common through Central African Republic especially during the rainy season. It is recommended you take malaria preventative medication and maintain a high standard of personal hygiene.

Consular information

U.S. Embassy Bangui
Avenue David Dacko,
P.O. Box 924,
Bangui,
Central African Republic
Telephone: +236 21610200
Email: BanguiConsular@state.gov
Email Emergency: CARemergencyUSC@state.gov

The British government does not have an Embassy in Central African Republic. All Consular work is carried out by the British High Commission Yaounde, Cameroon.
British High Commission Yaounde (closest)
Avenue Winston Churchill,
Yaounde,
Centre Region,
547,
Cameroon
Telephone: +237 222 22 07 96
Emergency telephone: +237 222 22 33 47
Email: bhc.yaounde@fco.gov.uk

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    Police emergency: 117
    Fire emergency: 118
    Medical emergency: 1220

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