Central African Republic, Africa - Stein Travel
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Central African Republic

With a history of turmoil and ongoing internal conflict, Central African Republic (CAR) is not a particularly safe travel destination. Years of tyranny under the Bokassa regime has rendered it one of the poorest countries in the world. However, it does have friendly locals, natural splendour and amazing wildlife. From Bangui, the capital city, adventurous visitors travel to see gorillas or elephants in the Dzanga-Sangha National Park, or visit the Toutoubou Falls near Berberati. A cultural feature worth looking into is the local belief in the mythical African Mbuti Pygmies. Most of the republic's environment is made up of savannas, but there are also equatorial forests and the vast basins of the Ubangi River. The climate is generally wet from May to November and drier from November to April, although the dry season lasts a bit longer in the south.

Information & Facts

Customs

Local customs and culture in the Central African Republic are split between the relatively equal Muslim and Christian populations, so conservative dress is a good idea in all areas, including covered thighs and shoulder for women. In rural areas it is customary for people to eat with their hands, but one should never eat, shake hands, or offer someone money with their left hand. Always ask permission before photographing a military or government building.

Duty Free

Travellers to the Central African Republic are allowed the following: five bottles of alcohol and five bottles of perfume. Men may import up to 1, 000 cigarettes or cigarillos/250 cigars/2kg of tobacco, while women may only bring cigarettes. Firearms must be declared. All animal skins and diamonds must be declared on departure.

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