Fish trap on the Uele River in the Central African Republic http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Uele_river.jpg Julien Harneis
Central African Republic is a landlocked national in the heart of Africa. This sparsely populated country covers 622,984 sq km (240,534 sq mi) and has a population of just 4.4 million people (2011 estimate). The capital and largest city in Bangui.
The Central African Republic is bordered by Chad to the north, Sudan to the east, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of the Congo to the south, and Cameroon to the west.
The official languages of this country are Sango and French. Cars are driven on the right side of the road here. The phone IDD code is +236. The official currency is the Central African CFA franc. In 2009 Central African Republic has a nominal GDP of $1.986 billion, which works to a nominal GDP of $447 per capita. The per capita GDP at purchasing power parity is $745. It is one of the poorest countries in the world.
The climate of the Central African Republic is tropical. Much of the country comprises Sudano-Guinean savannas. However, there are some desert landscape in the north and rainforests in the south.
Central African Republic was formerly a French colony known as Oubangui-Chari (or Ubangi-Shari). It gained independence on 13 August, 1960. For the three decades following independence, the nation was ruled by presidents who welded their powers as dictators.
The first multi-party democratic elections were only held in 1993 under the supervision of the UN Office for Electoral Affairs. It brought Ange-Félex Patassé to power, but he was later overthrown in 2003 by French-backed General François Bozizé, who later won the elections of 2005. Due to the many problems plaguing the country, the political climate of Central African Republic remains volatile.
Bangui Town Hall, Central African Republic http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bangui_city.jpg Afrika Force
Planning your visit to Central African Republic
Casual tourists are discouraged from visiting the Central African Republic due to the ongoing rebel activities and political unrest.
All visitors to the Central Africa Republic require a visa except for the citizens of Switzerland and Israel. Visas cost $150 and take two days to process.
The most common way to enter the country is by taking the bus from a neighboring country. There are also boats on the Ubangui River, which flows into the Congo River, enabling boat rides from Kinshasa and Brazzaville.
The Central African Republic ratified the World Heritage Convention on 22 December, 1980. At time of writing, only one site has been included in the World Heritage list. However it is also on the List of World Heritage in Danger. The Central African Republic also has another ten properties submitted, presently on the World Heritage Tentative List.
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