The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of traveling to the Central African Republic (CAR), and recommends against all but essential travel outside the capital, Bangui. Travelers in the CAR should exercise extreme caution. This replaces the Travel Warning of August 19, 2009, in light of the incursion of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) in eastern CAR, and uncertainty surrounding the ongoing Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration process.
Armed rebel groups, bandits, and poachers present real dangers and the Central African government is unable to guarantee the safety of visitors in most parts of the country. There have been repeated attacks on Central African and expatriate travelers in the countryside. Poachers and armed men also pose a threat to game hunters in the north central CAR. The LRA poses a similar threat to hunters in eastern CAR.
Bangui itself, though safer, suffers from elevated crime rates, petty and violent, as well as particularly limited transport and medical options. CAR military and civilian security forces (and people posing as such) staff checkpoints throughout the city, frequently harassing local and expatriate travelers for bribes.
U.S. citizens should avoid public demonstrations because even those intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence.
The small U.S. Embassy staff in Bangui can provide only limited services to U.S. citizens at this time.
U.S. citizens residing in, or planning to travel to, the CAR are strongly urged to register through the State Department's Travel Registration website. U.S. citizens without internet access may register directly with the U.S. Embassy in Bangui. By registering, U.S. citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency. While the Embassy's ability to provide emergency consular services is limited, registration will enable electronic receipt of warden messages.
U.S. Embassy Bangui
Avenue David Dacko,
Tel: (236) 2161-0200
Fax: (236) 2161-4494
Emergency after-hours telephone:
(236) 7554-2276 and (236) 7550-1293
Americans may also obtain updated information from the U.S. Embassy in N'Djamena, Chad, at telephone (235) 51-70-09, 51-92-33 or 51-90-52; fax (235) 51-56-54;
Travelers may obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the U.S. and Canada, or outside the U.S. and Canada on a regular toll-line at 1-202-501-4444.
For information on general crime and security issues, U.S. citizens should also consult the Department of State's Country Specific Information of Central African Republic as well as The Worldwide Caution located on the Bureau of Consular Affairs website.