The Central African Republic is a landlocked country in Central Africa with Chad, Congo, Cameroon, South Sudan and Rwanda as its bordering countries. And just like a lot of countries within the continent, CAR isn’t a typical destination for travelers seeking adventure or wanting to discover new territory.
Even upon checking, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of articles written about CAR which just goes to show how scares tourists are in the area. This got me even more curious– what is there in CAR exactly?
To my surprise, I found out that the Central African Republic is a sanctuary for some breathtaking wildlife. It is said that this is where you’ll be able to interact with wild elephants and gorillas in their natural habitat. Sadly, due to all the political and religious turmoil the country’s going through, it has turned into an off-limits territory for most of the world.
However, if you are curious about visiting this largely uncharted country, at least in the world of frequent travelers, carry on reading this article.
Quick Facts About the Central African Republic
Country Code: +236
Languages Spoken: French and Sango
Currency: Central African Franc (FCFA)
Emergency Numbers: +236 117 for the police and +236 118 for the fire department
Requirements for Central African Republic Tourist Visa
- A copy of the application form duly filled out
- 2 recent ID photos
- A letter of invitation from a host within the Central African Republic stating your relationship to them as well as the purpose of your travel, how long you’ll be staying for, where you’ll be staying and the host’s details
- Proof of travel reservations such as hotel reservations, round trip tickets, itinerary
- Certificate of Vaccination, proving that you’ve received immunization against yellow fever
- Proof of income
- Proof of Application Payments
- A prepaid return envelope with the proper stamps should you want to have it delivered back to you via mail
Step-by-Step Process of Applying for Central African Republic Tourist Visa
1. Find a contact person in CAR to provide you with a Letter of Invitation which you need to submit upon applying for a visa. You may also ask the hotel you’ll be staying at if they can arrange this for you beforehand.
2. Fill out the application form here
3. Pay for the application through bank transfer
4. Merienda you have all the documents ready, including the forms and photos, attach 2 ID photos to your application and send it to the Embassy’s address for processing
5. Wait for the approval of your visa and you’re good to go!
Where to Send the Payment for the Central African Republic Tourist Visa
BNP PARIBAS PARIS CLIENT INT (00567)
Bank Code: 30004
Agency Code: 00567
Account Number: 00010190095
RIB Key: 29
IBAN: FR76 3000 4005 6700 0101 9009 529
Where to Apply for a Central African Republic Tourist Visa for UK Passport Holders
Embassy of the Central African Republic in France
30, Rue des Perchamps
75016 Paris, FRANCE
Telephone Numbers: +33 01 45 25 39 74, +33 01 55 74 73 10
Fax: +33 01 55 74 40 25
Email: [email protected]
Hours: 9:45 AM to 12:30 PM and 2:30 PM to 4 PM every Mondays to Fridays
Frequently Asked Questions About Applying for Central African Republic Tourist Visa
1. How long does it take before I get my tourist visa to the Central African Republic (CAR)?
The processing time for the Central African Republic typically takes around 5 business days.
2. How much does it cost to process my tourist visa to the Central African Republic?
A short-stay visa in the Central African Republic costs around £69 while a long-stay visa costs around £141.
3. How long is my tourist visa to the Central African Republic valid for?
You may choose among 2 types of visa– a short stay one which is valid for 30 days and a long-stay visa valid for up to 30 months.
4. Can I apply for a job using my tourist visa in the Central African Republic?
No! If you want to apply for a job there, you must get the proper documents, including the appropriate type of visa.
5. Am I allowed to extend my stay in the Central African Republic?
There’s not a lot of information available online regarding this. However, upon doing research, it seems like only US Citizens are being allowed to stay within the country for 180 days.
6. Is the Central African Republic safe for tourists?
Unfortunately, it won’t be realistic to say that the country is a haven for tourists. Traveling to CAR is a bit of a gamble, to put it simply. Evidence of their internal struggle is everywhere in the country, and it isn’t the most ideal tourist spot you can ever think of.
Everywhere you go, you’ll spot UN troops and other Non-Governmental Organizations carrying humanitarian missions in the country. The roads and buildings are widely undeveloped, and you’ll rarely see ex-pats or tourists around.
If you ever decide to visit CAR despite the travel warnings, you must stay vigilant at all times. Cases of terrorist attacks, kidnapping, hostage-taking, and robbery have been reported in the area. You must always be on standby for any safety reports issued by the locorregional and UK government.
There’s a very little area in the whole Central African Republic that the government advises its citizens not to travel to unless essential and it only covers the distance between the airport and the Oubangi river.
As for the rest of the country, it’s still off-limits.
7. Should I get insurance when traveling to the Central African Republic?
As we don’t know what might happen merienda you travel to CAR, you must take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before arrival.
8. Do people in the Central African Republic speak English?
With very little information provided on the internet about CAR, there was no mention of people speaking English around the area.
However, if you will be staying at a hotel where the very small population of ex-pats and tourists stay, you might find someone who speaks English and can help you out while you’re there.
9. Can I have my money exchanged merienda in CAR? Can I use my credit card?
You can have your money exchanged at banks in the haber Bangui or Berberati. You must declare the amount of foreign currency you have with you upon arrival.
Credit cards are mostly not accepted, except for some major hotels in the bigger cities. They also don’t have any international ATMs.
10. How do I go around the Central African Republic? How do I get there?
There is a limited amount of public buses operating in the haber as well as the other major towns. Taxis are only available in the major cities and the fair is often negotiated since they don’t have running meters.
You can also opt to rent a car which you can drive or you can also hire a chauffeur as well.
Your best bet for a flight to CAR is through its neighboring country, Cameroon, but take my word when I say tickets can be pricey.
11. When’s the best time to visit the Central African Republic?
You must plan a trip during the dry season from December to March as the heavy rains from May through September might make most of the roads in the country impassable to most tourists.
12. Why should I visit the Central African Republic?
This country has an abundance of wildlife that you won’t find anywhere else. As a place that has been largely untouched by modernism, it has managed to preserve its unique character that will somehow pull you in. Outside of the haber, there are several national parks which are home to some of the most beautiful animals you’ll probably ever see. These are the things that make CAR a paradise despite its situation.
Imagine waking in the middle of an African forest with a group of kind elephants around you. Sounds like a dream, right? Most definitely not, especially when you’re in CAR! There’s also the majestic Boali falls which is one of the landmarks that represent the Central African Republic to the world the most. If you want, you can pre-arrange a tour of this beauty and even have a meal at the top!
Despite its location and situation, CAR doesn’t fail to amaze us with its unparalleled natural beauty that no amount of money can ever buy.
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