Conflict in Central African Republic Photo by Photo Unit via Flickr Creative Commons

US citizens need to register at the US Embassy and disclose details about their international travel plans prior to departing. You can find more information about the requirements from their website. Everyone needs a visa to enter the Central African Republic, except citizens from Israel and Switzerland. Multiple entry and single-entry visas are available, which usually take two days to process.

Health and Safety

Travelers entering the Central African Republic are required to show a yellow fever vaccination certificate. Health insurance is essential and should cover air evacuation in the event of a serious illness or accident. There are very few medical facilities outside major cities, so travelers are advised to bring their own prescriptions for common ailments like an upset stomach. Pharmaceutical supplies may be difficult to get while in the country.

Drink only bottled water, and use sterilized or boiled water to make ice or brush your teeth. Milk is not pasteurized in the Central African Republic, so it must be boiled before consumption. Tinned or powdered milk can also be consumed. Travelers are advised to eat only well-cooked fish and meat, peel their fruits and cook their vegetables.

Hepatitis B and hepatitis E are common, along with diarrhea. Do not swim or paddle in fresh water to avoid schistosomiasis or bilharzia. Meningococcal meningitis becomes common during the dry season, particularly in the northern areas, so vaccinations are highly recommended. HIV/AIDS is also highly prevalent in the Central African Republic, as well as rabies.

Be aware of potential environmental conditions. Northern areas are affected by dusty, hot winds during the dry season, and floods during the wet season. There are threats of armed robberies, as well as violent crimes in major cities even in broad daylight so always be alert and overly cautious.

Click here to learn about History and Culture in the Central African Republic