Top 10 Attractions in the Central African Republic: The Central African Republic is a landlocked country in Central Africa bordered by Chad, Sudan, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Congo, and Cameroon. Covering a total area of 622,984 square kilometers, the country is divided into four regions: Southwest Central African Republic, Southeast Central African Republic, Northwest Central African Republic, and Northeast Central African Republic, with Bangui serving as the capital and largest city.
Central African Republic is one of the rich African countries in natural resources such as uranium, crude oil, gold, diamonds, timber, hydro power, and arable land, though it is one of the world’s poorest countries. The Central African Republic’s economy is based on mineral exports, agriculture, and a few small-scale enterprises.
Nonetheless, the country boasts a range of remarkable safari destinations and though it is one of the less visited African countries, the country offers spectacular safari attractions that are worth exploring. Central African Republic is one of Africa’s most populous countries and like many other African countries, this country is rich in culture, variety, and, most importantly, wildlife. It’s a melting pot of cultures and ethnic groupings in addition to natural magnificence. It is a naturalist’s dream beyond imagination, teeming with wildlife, birds, and spectacular physical features. Below are the top 10 tourist attractions in the Central African Republic;
Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park
Manovo-Gounda St Floris is the biggest park in the Central African Republic, spanning an area of 17,400 sq. km. Located in the northeastern area of the country, Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park is significant because of its diverse flora and fauna, which spans two biological zones. The Park was established in 1988 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was later listed as one of the endangered monuments in 1997. Managed by the African Conservation Trust; together with the national government, the park is home to over 57 mammal species including various black rhinos, elephants, hippopotami, and red-fronted gazelle, as well as other substantial herbivore populations.
Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park is separated into three primary zones by the Bahr Aouk and Bahr Kameur rivers, which form a grassy floodplain in the north. The southern zone is dominated by the Chaine des Bongo plateau, while the central zone is characterized by the rare granite inselberg and forested bushy savannahs, all presenting magnificent scenery. The park is mostly hot and dry all year, thus grass fires are common; however, the wet season lasts from June to November. Other wildlife such as Sudan cheetahs, buffaloes, giraffes, and leopards among others can also be found in Manovo-gounda St Floris National Park. This puts the park at the top of the Top 10 Attractions in the Central African Republic.
Bamingui-Bangoran National Park
Bamingui-Bangoran National Park is another major national park in the Central African Republic and is among the Top 10 Attractions in the Central African Republic. Established in 1993 as both a national park and biosphere reserve, the park lies in the northern area of the country and it is a component of the Guinea-Congo Forest biome. The Park lies west of the Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park though it has a higher density of wild animals compared to Manovo-Gounda.
Bamingui-Bangoran National Park covers over 11,191 sq. km in size and is located in the Central African Republic’s mid-Sudanian phytogeographic zone. The park lies on a plateau at elevations ranging from 400 meters to 500 meters above sea level and its watercourses flow northwest to join the Chari River. The park consists of diverse habitats including tropical dry or deciduous forests, with the principal habitats, being dry forests, forested savannas, edaphic savannas, and gallery forests. It is home to a variety of wild animals including the largest population of hippos recorded in the world. More notable animals in the park include the African Wild dog, cheetah, African manatee lion, and Central African lion, among others. The park is also an important birding area in the Central African Republic, boasting over 350 recorded bird species, 250 of which are residents in this area.
Dzanga Sangha National Park
Dzanga Sangha is one of the most significant national parks in the Central African Republic, located in the country’s southwest area. Also known as the Dzanga-Sangha Forest reserve, the park was established in 1990 and encompasses a total area of over 6800 sq. km. The park is outstanding for its dense lowland rainforest and strategic location close to the Sangha River, one of the Congo’s major tributaries. Dzanga-Sangha is home to a variety of large mammals including bongos, chimpanzees, western lowland gorillas, elephants, sitatungas, water buffaloes, red river hogs, and giant forest hogs, to mention but a few. Safari activities in the park include gorilla trekking, saline tours, net hunting, and evening cultural encounters with the Ba’aka tribe. This includes it on the list of the Top 10 Attractions in the Central African Republic.
Andre Felix National Park
This is yet another fascinating safari destination ranked among the Top 10 Attractions in the Central African Republic. Adjacent to Sudan’s Radom National Park in Sudan, the park covers an area of 951 sq. km. Andre Felix National Park was established in 1960 and it is divided into two sections: a lowland in the north and a highly wooded, hilly section in the south. The park is home to a savannah jungle forest with Bambusa, Isoberlinia, and Terminalia. It is also home to a wide range of wildlife including Ostriches, buffaloes, crocodiles, elephants, giraffes, hippos, lions, panthers, and wild boars, among others.
This spectacular waterfall is located about 100km northwest of Bangui capital in the town of Boali. Best enjoyed during wetter weather conditions, the falls are located along the seasonal M’bari River which runs through disturbing the calm of the woodlands and providing a visual feast drop nearly vertically from a schist rock. During the dry season, the Boali Falls do not have much water, and trees are growing amid the huge cliffs; however, during the rainy season, the falls fill with water and become quite forceful and majestic, burying most of the little trees.
The Boali falls are approximately 164 ft tall and 820 ft wide, providing the most spectacular waterfall views in the country. Besides teeming with a plethora of crocodiles which is a major tourist attraction to the falls, there are also two hydroelectric dams on the M’Bari River, one before and one after the waterfalls. These two dams provide energy to Bangui, the capital city, and are one of the most important sources of pressure resources to the Central African Republican government. This awards it a place on the Top 10 Attractions in the Central African Republic.
Bangui is the capital city of the Central African Republic and it is located on the northern bank of the Ubangi River. Home to a variety of safari attractions, the capital is always bustling with activity. Bangui is home to the Presidential Palace which is worth seeing, the Ubangi river front which thrives with numerous water activities, and the Notre Dame of Bangui cathedral which is recognized for its incredible architecture and history, among many others. Bangui is a fascinating city worth visiting while on an African safari to the Central African Republic.
Kembe falls are the most beautiful waterfalls in the Central African Republic portraying the perfect African natural splendor. Situated at the country’s border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the falls are located in the small town of Kembe. Kembe is a largely tribal territory characterized by thatched roofs and mud brick-structured dwellings. Next to the rural town of Kembe, the Kembe falls roar all day, and all night, interrupting the tranquil stillness of the rain forest and the softly flowing Oubangui River. The village youngsters play in the creek, riding the currents perilously near the crashing waterfalls. Kembe, at large is a beautiful and authentic village and whereas its people are not well known, it would be interesting to dive deep and learn about their way of life while visiting the gorgeous falls.
Unfortunately, the Central African Republic has had wars and a run of terrible rulers in the past and it is one of the few unsafe African countries to visit. Nonetheless, the country still allows travelers to explore its remarkable attractions such as the Kembe falls.
Boganda National Museum
The Boganda National Museum is one of the greatest sites in the Central African Republic where travelers ought to learn about the country’s culture and history. This museum is located in the capital city of Bangui’s downtown district. It has an extensive collection of antique objects such as cooking utensils, musical instruments, ivory sculptures, jewelry, and ebony statues, as well as traditional games. There’s further a portion of the museum that depicts the lifestyle of the Baka pygmies that live in this nation.
Cultural Visit to the Baka Pygmies
The Central African Republic is home to a diverse range of ethnic groups and tribes, including the Baka pygmy people who dwell in the Lobaye region near Dzanga Sanga National Park, about 100 kilometers from Bangui, the capital. These indigenous hunters and gatherers live in modest low-rise homes that are roofed with leaves and built with lianas (a type of climbing plant with thick Woody stems commonly found in tropical forests). More so, this region of the nation where these folks dwell is well-known for its abundant coffee output. During your guided culture excursions to the Baa communities, you will get the opportunity to visit some of the plantations, meet and engage with the local pygmies, and see them going about their daily lives.
Central African Republic Cuisines and Languages
A country’s cuisines and language are what most portray its culture and traditions and is one of the Top 10 Attractions in the Central African Republic . When it comes to cuisines, the majority of the population in the Central African Republic consumes vegetables, meat, fish, and insects, among other sauces, and staple foods are starches such as millet, rice, sesame, and sorghum. Some of the most common traditional dishes in the country include muama de galinha, fufu, foutou, chichinga, spinach stew, muamba, Fulani boullie, kanda ti nyma, and a few others. Thus, it offers a variety of African cultural and food tours.
The official languages of the Central African Republic, on the other hand, are French and Sangho; there are around 120 additional languages in the nation; and the majority of this population is Christian (Protestant, Roman Catholic) followed by Muslim and Animist.
Central African Republic can be visited any time, all year but the best time to visit is from December to March. The climate of the Central African Republic is typically tropical, with the rainy season from May to October and the storm and dry season from December to March. Wildlife viewing is always good during the dry season.
Central African Republic is a landlocked country connected by major highways to surrounding countries. Bangui is the country’s primary transportation center, and from the city, one may board a bus to all important places in the country and outbound and move about the country by bus, minivan, and vehicle.
With over 47 airports, only three of the country’s airports are operational and the main entry into the Central African Republic is through Bangui M’Poko International Airport, which is located in Bangui. Bangui M’poko International Airport is the country’s major airport and handles regular flight services to Brazzaville, Cotonou, Douala, Kinshasha, Malabo, N’Djamena, Pointe-Noire, Yaounde, Paris, and other cities.
The Central African Republic is supplied by a river port in Bangui, from which ferries to Brazzaville and Zongo towns depart. Thus, traveling by ferry is also common in the Central African Republic.
With those Top 10 Attractions in the Central African Republic, be sure to visit as your embark on your Africa safari tour
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