Preface Last Updated: 1/31/2003 6:00 PM
The Central African Republic (CAR), with a population of 3.5
million people, is a constitutional democracy with a multiparty
legislature. Ange-Felix Patasse, leader of the Movement for the
Liberation of the Central African People (MLPC), was first elected
President in 1993 and reelected with a narrow majority in September
1999, with Presidential elections next scheduled for 2005.
The CAR has been plagued with political instability over the past
several years, beginning with three military mutinies between 1996
and 1997. On May 28, 2001, former President Andre Kolingba led a
faction of the security forces in a coup attempt. On August 30, the
President named a new cabinet, most of whom are members of his MLPC
party. Salary arrears owed to civilian employees and the military
and resulting strikes continue to impair the functioning of the
Government and the authority of the state to enforce the rule of
The CAR, one of the world's least developed countries, has an
annual per capital income of $310. The nation is agrarian, with some
70 percent of the population working in subsistence agriculture,
producing mainly cotton, food crops, coffee, and tobacco. The timber
and diamond industries are the main source of export earnings. The
country has rich, but largely unexploited natural resources
including diamond, gold, uranium, and other minerals. The country
also has unexploited oil potentials.
The CAR Government has traditionally depended on foreign
assistance for a large part of its operating budget. France and the
European Union, the largest contributors, followed by Japan and
China, together generally contribute over $100 million annually.
U.S. Government assistance to the CAR averages some $500,000
annually through the Ambassador's Special Self-Help Program, the
Africa Regional Democracy Fund, the International Military Education
and Training Program, and the Education for Development and
Democracy Initiative's Girls' Scholarship Program.
The Host Country
Area, Geography, and Climate Last Updated: 1/31/2003 6:00 PM
The Central African Republic, formerly known as the territory of
Oubangui-Chari, was one of four territories of French Equatorial
Africa. It became an autonomous republic within the newly
established French Community on December 1, 1958, and was renamed
the Central African Republic 2 years later. It transformed itself
into the Central African Empire on December 4, 1976, and again
became a republic (Republique Centrafricaine) on September 20, 1979.
The Central African Republic is a landlocked country on a broad
plateau in the heart of the African Continent. With an area of
238,000 square miles, it is slightly smaller than Texas. It is
bordered on the north by Chad, on the east by Sudan, on the south by
the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire) and the Republic
of Congo, and on the west by Cameroon. Most of the country is
between 1,300 and 3,600 feet above sea level, with an average
altitude of about 2,000 feet.
The country is a watershed for the Lake Chad/Chari River Basin to
the north and the Congo River Basin to the south. Although rivers
are numerous, they are small and do not lend themselves to heavy
commerce. The Oubangui River is commercially navigable only
downstream from Bangi, and usually only between the months of July
Vegetation varies from tropical rain forest in the extreme
southwest to semidesert in the northeast. The bulk of the country is
Average monthly temperatures range from a low of around 66°F to a
high of about 93°F. Most of the precipitation in the area of Bangui
occurs between May and October, usually characterized by short,
violent thunderstorms. Although it rains hard at times, the sun
shines almost every day. Dust, generally sunny skies, and warm
weather are the forecast for the dry season (November to April ).
Year-round daylight hours are 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. The country is one
hour ahead of Greenwich mean time. Daylight saving time is not
Population Last Updated: 1/31/2003 6:00 PM
The estimated population is 3.5 million. Almost two-thirds of the
people inhabit the western region, which includes Bangui, and most
of the remaining population live in the central region. The eastern
region has a density of less than one person per square mile. The
country's overall density is 6-8 persons per square mile.
About 80% of the people live in rural areas. Bangui, with about
700,000 people, is the only large city. Five other towns have
populations exceeding 20,000; all are in the western or central
Although many ethnic groups exist, two main groups (the
Baya-Mandjia, who inhabit the western and northern part of the
country, and the Banda, who inhabit the center of the country)
account for two-thirds of the population. A third group (riverine
group of M'Bakas, Mbatis, Yakomas, and Sanghos, located in the
Bangui area and in several areas along the Oubangui River) comprises
about 15% of the population but supplied the first four Chiefs of
State. Pygmies, the country's original inhabitants, live in the
forests of the southwest.
Each ethnic group has its own language, but Sango, the language
of a small riverine group along the Oubangui, is the lingua franca
of the country and the national language. Only a small minority of
the population has more than an elementary knowledge of French, the
country's official language. Catholic and Protestant missionaries
have been active since the late 19th century, and both churches are
well established. According to church attendance records, about 50%
of the population is Christian (roughly half Catholic and half
Protestant). Muslims constitute about 15%-20% and are important to
the trade of the country. The balance of the population adheres to
traditional religious beliefs.
Significant foreign communities in the country include the
Chadian, Cameroonian, Congolese (Kinshasa and Brazzaville),
Senegalese, Sudanese, and Nigerian colonies in the Bangui area. Most
of the country's 1,000-2,000 non-African residents are French
citizens living in Bangui; of the remainder, about 150 are
Americans, mostly missionaries in the interior.
Public Institutions Last Updated: 1/31/2003 6:00 PM
The Central African Republic is a constitutional democracy with a
multiparty legislature, with president Ange-Felix Patasse as the
head of state. The C.A.R. has a very centralized government, with
provincial governments having little if any authority on economic
matters. The political system consists of three branches: executive,
legislative, and judicial. The executive branch includes the
President and the Prime Minister; the latter ostensibly leads the
government. The legislative branch is a unicameral National Assembly
of 109 members. The Judiciary consists of the constitutional court
(the highest court), as well as civil, commercial, administrative,
criminal, and financial courts. Following the military mutinies of
1996-97, free elections for the National Assembly and the presidency
took place in December 1998 and September 1999, respectively, with
moderate government oversight. Of the more than 30 political parties
in the Central African Republic, only 8 are represented in the
For administrative purposes, the country is divided into 16
"prefectures," which in turn are divided into two or more "subprefectures."
Officials of these units ("prefects" and "subprefects") report
directly to the Ministry of the Interior. The army, the gendarmerie,
and the national police maintain public order.
Arts, Science, and Education Last Updated: 1/31/2003 6:00 PM
Cultural and intellectual life is developing. Institutions of
higher education include the University of Bangui, the National
School of Administration and Magistrature, and the National Teachers
Local culture reflects outside influences to some degree,
particularly from neighboring countries. Native dancing is gaining
recognition as an integral part of the culture. The Boganda Museum
in Bangui houses a collection of items of cultural interest,
including ethnic artifacts.
Commerce and Industry Last Updated: 1/31/2003 6:00 PM
The economy is predominantly subsistence agriculture. Manioc,
millet, and sorghum are the leading food crops. Light industries
located in the Bangui area include plants for processing
agricultural products; one cigarette factory; a brewery; a factory
producing cooking oil and soap; a sawmill; a sugar refinery; a palm
oil plant; cotton de-seeding plants; and a diamond-cutting facility.
The country has no heavy industry. Leading exports are diamonds,
coffee, timber, and cotton. Uranium deposits exist, but they are
located in a remote area and are not regarded as exploitable in the
near future. Petroleum exploration has resulted in no exploitable
discoveries. French and Lebanese businesses control much of the
commercial activity of the country, and France is responsible for
about 40% of the CAR's foreign trade. U.S. trade with the Central
African Republic for 2000 amounted to some $1 million in exports and
$2.7 million in imports.
As a former French colony and an associate member of the European
Union (EU), the Central African Republic receives substantial
foreign aid from France and the EU's European Development Fund. In
addition, Germany, Japan, China, and the U.S. provide more modest
levels of technical and project assistance. The UNDP, UNICEF, UNHCR,
and other UN agencies have important development projects here.
Automobiles Last Updated: 1/31/2003 6:00 PM
Privately owned vehicles and taxis are the main means of
transport. A car is almost indispensable for getting around town.
The Embassy tries to assist with transportation pending the arrival
of personal vehicles, but it can provide only limited assistance
during office hours. Given the limited public transport and the high
cost of car rentals (between $48 and $110 a day minimum), you will
need a car, so ship it in advance to ensure early arrival in Bangui.
You can also purchase a car locally. Shipment from the U.S. takes
All accredited diplomatic personnel may import one car duty free
from the U.S. or elsewhere, or may purchase one duty-free car per
family from local dealers. All personnel are entitled to sell cars
locally, but the buyer must pay customs and import taxes before the
employee can transfer the car. Staff personnel should contact the
Embassy for instructions prior to shipping a vehicle.
The best cars for Bangui in terms of servicing and parts are
Peugeot and Renault. Some models of Toyota, Mitsubishi, Nissan,
Citroen, and Mercedes are also available and can be serviced
locally. They can be purchased new and tax free in Bangui. The price
includes cost of shipping from the factory, so tax-free vehicle
prices in Bangui are considerably higher than regular vehicle prices
in the U.S. or Europe. Used cars generally cost more than similar
models in the U.S.
In choosing a vehicle for Bangui, options to consider are
heavy-duty shocks, highroad clearance, undercoating, and four wheel
drive for city streets and for upcountry trips. Manual transmission
is more practical than automatic; Bangui has no repair shops for
automatic transmissions. Privately owned vehicles may be any color.
Tires with inner tubes are strongly recommended, given the poor
roads in Bangui.
Repair services are expensive but generally satisfactory for cars
with which local mechanics are well acquainted and for which spare
parts are available locally. If you bring a car without easily
obtainable spare parts, ship a supply of these as well.
Super and diesel fuel are available locally, but supplies are not
always plentiful. Unleaded gas is not available. Super sells for CFA
650 (about 90 cents) a liter plus tax in Bangui or about CFA 2,366
($3.24) a gallon. The tax-free price is about CFA 400 (55 cents) a
liter or about CFA 1,460 ($2.00) a gallon. Diesel costs about CFA
1,600 ($2.20) a gallon tax-free or CFA 2,080 ($2.85) a gallon with
tax. These are valid throughout the country.
Gasoline and diesel fuel is not always available outside of
Bangui, so you must carry sufficient fuel for round-trip travel. An
extra spare tire, tire pump, and patches are also suggested for long
stretches of road where service is unavailable. Traffic moves on the
right and French traffic rules prevail; i.e., at an intersection or
at a traffic circle, the vehicle on the right has the right-of-way.
Cars are registered upon arrival. Third-party liability insurance
is mandatory, and rates from $89 to $120 yearly for a small car to
$164 and above for larger cars. Coverage is arranged with a locally
licensed company. American or international driver's licenses are
Local Transportation Last Updated: 1/31/2003 6:00 PM
Bangui has limited public bus service; inter-city minibuses,
which are infrequent and dangerous, connect principal towns.
Regional Transportation Last Updated: 1/31/2003 6:00 PM
Air transport is expensive, but generally reliable. Bangui
airport handles scheduled passenger and cargo flights. Air France
operates between Paris and Bangui, with weekly flights also stopping
in N'djamena, Chad. Cameroon Airlines operates flights between
Bangui and Douala, and Sudan Airways operates between Bangui and
Karthoum. Irregularly scheduled internal air service and small
charter planes are available.
The water transport route from the Atlantic Ocean to Bangui
begins with a long railroad trip from Pointe Noire, Congo to
Brazzaville where cargo is transshipped on barges up the Congo and
Oubangui Rivers to Bangui. Above Bangui the Oubangui is navigable
only by shallow draft barges in the rainy season. Motorized
"pirogues" (African dugout canoes) and a vehicle ferry cross the
Oubangui River at Bangui to the town of Zongo in former Zaire.
The principal land transport route from the Atlantic to Bangui
goes from Douala and Yaounde, Cameroon. Roads also connect to
neighboring Chad and Sudan. Except for roads connecting Bangui with
Baoro (185 miles), Sibut (68 miles), and M' Baiki (64 miles), many
roads outside Bangui are unpaved. Even Bangui has many unpaved
streets. Road surfaces deteriorate in the rainy season, so a
four-wheel-drive vehicle with high road clearance is a distinct
Most freight for Bangui is shipped by truck from Douala,
Cameroon. A small amount of trans-Sahara road traffic, mostly
overland tourists, pass through Bangui on travels further south or
Telephones and Telecommunications Last Updated: 1/31/2003 6:00 PM
SOCATEL, the local parastatal telephone company, has a capacity
of 12,000 lines. Other phone services include CARATEL (1,000 lines),
TELECEL (10,000 lines) and Telecom Plus (2,000 lines). Overseas
direct dialing is available. Basic monthly charges for a telephone
are about CFA 8,800 ($12). Subscribers are billed about CFA 241
(33˘) for each local call.
Calls to the U.S. of usually good quality are routed through
Paris. A long-distance call costs about CFA 2,360 ($3.23) per
minute. Commercial telegrams are available to the U.S. and are
routed via Paris. Embassy staff who regularly call to the U.S.
subscribe to callback services. Internet service is available and
Mail and Pouch Last Updated: 1/31/2003 6:00 PM
Most international airmail to Bangui is routed via Paris.
International airmail from the U.S. to Bangui takes 6-10 days at
best. International surface mail to and from the U.S. takes 2-6
months. Some mail censorship is reported, and pilferage of packages
occurs. The C.A.R. postal system has been on intermittent strike for
the past few years, so service is sporadic.
International mail should be addressed:
Employee's Name Ambassade des Etats-Unis d'Amerique BP 924 Avenue
David Dacko Bangui, Republique Centrafricaine
Mail is sent and delivered to the Embassy via DHL door-to-door
and usually takes 1-2 weeks for receipt and delivery. Mailing of
personal packages from post is prohibited.
Bangui does not have APO privileges. Mail and packages from the
U.S. arrive via Department of State pouch. Letter mail, blank check
forms, exposed film mailers and developed film, and prescription
glasses may be sent by airpouch from the U.S. Items such as
explosives, aerosols, glass, and liquids are prohibited from being
shipped via pouch. Letters may be sent from post via airpouch, but
only packages returning merchandise to the originator may be sent to
the U.S. Bring a supply of U.S. postage stamps. Maximum weight for
any package is 40 pounds. The maximum length is 24 inches and
combined length and girth may not exceed 62 inches. Letters sent
from the U.S. by pouch take 6-10 days or more to reach their
destination. Letters should be addressed:
Full Name 2060 Bangui Place Dulles, Virginia 20189-2060
Packages, magazines, and other third-class mail should be sent to
the same address.
Due to State Department regulations, no insured mail or packages
will be accepted by the State Department Mail Room. Insured mail
will be returned to sender. International package service is
unreliable. DHL service is also available.
Radio and TV Last Updated: 1/31/2003 6:00 PM
The Government radio station, Radio Centrafrique, broadcasts
music, news, and announcements on mediumwave and FM from Bangui in
French and Sangho. Radio France International (RFI) broadcasts news
every 30 minutes. Radio Africa Numero Un broadcasts music and news
in French on the FM band. There is also a private radio station of
the Catholic Church, Radio Notre Dame and Radio N'Deke Luka, and
Radio de L'Evangile.
TV uses the French technical system SECAM/PAL. American sets will
not operate in Bangui, but they can be used to view American
formatted VHS tapes. TV is not available outside Bangui. Broadcasts
in French and Sangho consist of music, news, movies, and imported
programs, mostly in French. Most Embassy houses are connected to
satellite dishes that bring in Armed Forces Radio and Television
Service (AFRTS). Most embassy residences receive Armed Forces Radio
and Television Service broadcast which include six channels of
American variety programming, sports, and a 24-hour news channel.
The Chancery has OpenNet Plus which provides internet access from
your desktop computer.
Voice of America, BBC, and other international services can be
received on shortwave bands.
Newspapers, Magazines, and Technical Journals Last Updated:
1/31/2003 6:00 PM
Several French-language newspapers are published regularly in
Bangui. Some French newspapers, magazines, and books are sold
locally. No English-language publications are sold locally. The
Embassy's Martin Luther King Cultural Center receives copies of
various English- and French-language publications. The Embassy
receives copies of the International Herald Tribune from Paris,
usually 1-7 days after publication.
Health and Medicine
Medical Facilities Last Updated: 1/31/2003 6:00 PM
Bangui has two large government hospitals staffed primarily by
French and Central African doctors; most speak only French. Although
the specialists at the hospital are often consulted, the in-patient
facilities are not used because of the questionable sanitary
conditions and nursing care. There is a private clinic that offers
adequate in-patient care, and the French and Japanese embassies have
medical facilities available to American staff. Several Chinese
clinics are available throughout Bangui, offering both standard and
traditional Chinese medical care. Serious cases are referred to
medevac centers in Côte d'Ivoire or Europe.
Competent emergency dental work is available, but all dental work
should be done before arrival if possible.
Although specialists in ophthalmology, orthopedics, OB/GYN,
general surgery, pediatrics, and ear, nose, and throat problems
exist, they are rarely used. Deliveries are arranged in the U.S. or
Europe in case of complications.
Several local pharmacies are fairly well stocked with French
medicines. Eyeglasses can be ordered from one of the pharmacies but
are very expensive and entail substantial delay. It is advisable to
bring a spare pair of glasses.
Preventive Measures Last Updated: 1/31/2003 6:00 PM
Tuberculosis, sexually transmitted diseases, AIDS,
schistosomiasis, and intestinal parasites are prevalent, but
foreigners rarely contract such endemic diseases if they observe
simple preventive measures. Dysentery (amebic and bacillary), skin
infections, malaria, and hepatitis are a constant risk. Viral
ailments such as colds and flu are common. Those with respiratory,
skin, or sinus problems may find these conditions aggravated.
Local authorities require yellow fever immunizations for entry
into the country. The Department of State advises hepatitis A and B,
tetanus, typhoid, polio, and rabies shots.
Chloroquine-resistant malaria has become a problem during the
last few years. Thus, careful prevention of exposure to mosquitoes
and malaria suppression is essential. Mefloquin, an antimalarial, is
recommended. A weekly dose of Chloroquine in addition to daily doses
of Paludrine is also used by some people. Malaria suppression should
be started 2 weeks before your arrival.
It takes most people some time to adjust to the climate. Children
generally adapt well, but heat rash and childhood diseases can
occur. Moderate physical exercise and active social interests help
maintain good health. Avoid too much sun.
Snakes, scorpions, tarantulas and other spiders, ants, and
mosquitoes make it necessary to take precautions when walking
outdoors, including wearing shoes and using insect repellent,
particularly at night.
Bangui's water is purified in a modern plant, but because of the
condition of the city pipelines, water must be boiled and filtered
before drinking or using for ice cubes. All quarters occupied by
Embassy personnel have three-stage, automatic water filters.
Local vegetables, particularly leafy ones, should be washed in a
detergent or bleach ("eau de javel" in French) solution, or should
be peeled or cooked before eating. Cook local meats thoroughly to
avoid parasites such as trichina or tapeworms.
Treat fruits and vegetables imported from Europe for possible
contamination in transit. They need not be peeled. Fresh milk is not
available, although long-life milk is frequently stocked in local
Employment for Spouses and Dependents Last Updated: 1/31/2003
The host government does not prohibit Embassy dependents from
occupying positions open to expatriates. Work permits are not
required, but most positions require fluency in French. At the
Embassy, part-time, intermittent or temporary (PIT) positions can be
arranged. Dependent children are not currently permitted at post.
American Embassy - Bangui
Post City Last Updated: 1/31/2003 6:00 PM
Bangui, the CAR's only major city, is the country's economic
center and has the only major river port and airport. It is located
in a picturesque setting on the north bank of the Oubangui River,
about 1,100 miles upstream from the Atlantic Ocean.
Founded in 1889 as a French military post, the city takes its
name from a native word meaning "the rapids." It nestles beneath
low-lying hills at the water's edge near rapids that prevent all but
small boats and very shallow barges from plying the river farther
The city is surrounded by a vast savanna of high grass and
thickets of low trees spread over rolling hills to the north and
west. Little villages are strung along the roads like beads. The
nearest heavy equatorial rain forest lies about 2 hours (60 miles)
to the southwest. To the south, across the Oubangui River from
Bangui, lies the former Zaire.
Since Bangui is situated 4° north of the Equator and 1,300 feet
above sea level, its climate is humid and unchanging except during
the brief, violent thunderstorms of the rainy season.
The average high temperature for March, in the dry season, is
92.5°F; the low is 67°F. Average rainfall is 5 inches in January and
6.5 inches in July; August has the greatest average rainfall at 13
Most of Bangui's population of about 700,000 lives in
agglomerations of huts dispersed over a wide area several miles from
the city's modern core. The core consists of European-style
residential districts; the downtown shopping, banking, and office
area; government offices; and river port installations.
The city has a small town appearance. Many main avenues are lined
with huge overhanging mango trees, which bear fruit in the spring,
or the somewhat smaller but exotic "flame" trees with brilliant red
blossoms in season. A substantial percentage of Bangui's foreign
population is French, principally business representatives or those
connected with the government in advisory or technical capacities.
Other foreign nationals include Chinese, Portuguese, Egyptians,
Senegalese, Chadians, Cameroonians, Congolese (Brazzaville and
Kinshasa), Ivoirians, Nigerians, Sudanese, Togolese, Lebanese, and
American missionaries and their dependents reside at their
organizations' stations in Bangui, while others live and work in the
many up-country provinces. A few Americans come to the CAR each year
for photo or hunting safaris.
The Post and Its Administration Last Updated: 1/31/2003 6:00 PM
The American Embassy, the only U.S. Foreign Service post in the
country, has six direct-hire American employees. All U.S. Government
personnel, including Peace Corps volunteers, were evacuated in March
1997 following the military mutinies. The Embassy resumed operations
in June 1998. The Marine Security Guard detachment was deactivated
in September 1994.
The Chancery is a two-story office building, purchased by the
U.S. Government in 1978. It is located on Avenue David Dacko, about
one-quarter mile from the center of town. The Embassy compound also
includes the Cultural Center, warehouses, and three Embassy staff
The Embassy phone number is 61-02-00; the fax number is 61-44-94.
Embassy hours are Mondays to Thursdays, 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and
Fridays, 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
New personnel arrive at Bangui M'Poko International Airport and
are met by the expediter and a member of the Embassy staff.
Permanent Housing Last Updated: 1/31/2003 6:00 PM
Housing for U.S. Government personnel in Bangui is U.S.
Government owned. The Ambassador's residence is spacious but
unpretentious. The living room and dining room, which may be used
individually or as one large entertainment area, open directly onto
a large terrace and garden. A library and small dining room, both
air-conditioned, are provided for family use.
Four bedrooms with adjoining baths on the second floor open onto
a screened porch overlooking a terrace and garden. All the bedrooms
have closets and are air-conditioned. The kitchen is fully equipped,
including two upright freezers, three refrigerators, a four-burner
electric range with oven, a four-burner professional gas range,
washer, dryer, carpet shampooer, and vacuum cleaner.
The residence is completely furnished, including draperies and
rugs. Official china, glassware, some table linens, a limited amount
of kitchen utensils and equipment, bed linens, pillows, and bathroom
towels for guests are provided. A lighted tennis court, a swimming
pool, a large straw pavilion (or paillote in French), and a
vegetable garden area are on the grounds.
The DCM's home, formerly the Marine house, contains four
bedrooms, each with its own internal bathroom, a dining room,
exercise room, ample storage space, kitchen, and a spacious living
room that opens onto a patio with a swimming pool and a backyard
facing the river. The backyard contains a large straw pavilion (or
paillote in French) and an outside grill. The house is
air-conditioned, fully furnished, and well suited for entertaining.
The kitchen is equipped with a four-burner electric range with oven,
refrigerator, freezer, and internal storage room. The washer and
dryer are located on the small back porch near the kitchen.
There are three houses located on the compound adjacent to the
Chancery compound, i.e., 2 one-bedroom houses and 1 two-bedroom
house. There are also three other houses—a two-bedroom house with
storage room and backyard swimming pool, located next door, and
within the compound of the Ambassador's residence.
All residences are provided with security guards for 24-hour
coverage. Most houses offer ample outdoor gardening opportunities.
Vegetables, fruits, and flowers grow easily, given the climate,
although American-purchased seeds often do not germinate.
Furnishings Last Updated: 1/31/2003 6:00 PM
All the houses are fully furnished with air-conditioning, as well
as with major appliances, i.e., refrigerators, freezers, washers,
dryers, electric and/or gas ranges, air-conditioners, dehumidifiers,
vacuum cleaners, and ironing boards. If you own many books and
records or have multipiece stereo equipment or TV and videocassette
recorder, you may need to supplement the shelves or cabinets
provided. The climate is harmful to softwoods and leather and other
upholstery, and rugs are susceptible to mold and mildew. Precautions
must be continually taken against termites and moths.
Furniture manufactured in Bangui, although often attractive, is
expensive and generally made with heavy hardwood that may warp or
crack if taken to a temperate climate.
The post lends new arrivals a Welcome Kit that includes bedding,
linens, towels, pots and pans, china, glassware, table service, and
an iron. The kit is to be returned when your personal household
effects (HHE) arrive.
Except for the Ambassador's residence, linens, silverware,
dishes, glassware, and kitchen utensils are not provided for
permanent quarters. The DCM's residence has glassware, china, and
pots and pans. Bring small kitchen appliances. You may also want to
bring pictures and bric-a-brac to give your quarters a personal
touch. The DCM's residence has glassware, china, and pots and pans.
Bangui has no storage facilities.
Utilities and Equipment Last Updated: 1/31/2003 6:00 PM
All Embassy housing has hot and cold running water in kitchens
and bathrooms. The water is soft. All quarters have water filters.
Electric current is 220v, 50-cycle, AC. Transformers for furnished
appliances are provided along with one or two spares. Obtain
transformers for any appliances that will be permanently placed,
such as a stereo. Transformers are sold locally for double the U.S.
Phonographs, electric clocks, and other items designed to operate
on 60 cycles must be adapted to 50-cycle operation. Do this before
leaving the U.S. or bring the necessary parts with you since such
parts are not available in Bangui. Inexpensive converter plugs used
with U.S. electric equipment in French-style sockets are available
here. In deciding what equipment to bring, remember that repair
facilities are limited, of limited quality, and often expensive. As
power levels fluctuate during the dry season and frequent power cuts
occur, make sure to bring a voltage stabilizer for stereos, TVs, and
VCRs. Also, bring a small UPS if you are bringing a personal
Phones are installed in all quarters, and service is good.
Occupants are billed regularly.
Food Last Updated: 1/31/2003 6:00 PM
The Embassy has no commissary. Local vegetables and fruit are
fresh, reasonably priced, and good, but seasonally limited. Produce
must be carefully washed, soaked, and cooked. Carrots, green onions,
cabbage, string beans, eggplant, lettuce, tomatoes, squash, and lima
beans are sold in season. Cassava (manioc) is always available.
Locally grown potatoes are available, but are somewhat costly. Local
fruit, some of it seasonal, includes bananas, pineapples, papayas,
mangoes, avocados, oranges, grapefruit, guavas, passion fruit, and
custard apples. Home gardening is popular and African seeds are
available. Other vegetables usually do not do well because of the
Several stores carry imported goods from France and South Africa,
such as canned fruit and vegetables, flour, salt, sugar; dried
beans, noodles, packaged cookies and candies, paper goods, soap, and
cleaning products and toiletries. There are occasional shortages and
prices can be extremely high.
Pasteurized fresh milk is not available. Sterilized cream and
whole and low fat milk in paper cartons or bottles are imported but
are only irregularly available. Powdered and evaporated milk, fresh
eggs, butter, and cheese are also available.
Beef, pork, lamb, smoked meats, and a good selection of cold cuts
are carried in the supermarket. The best local fish is the capitaine,
a large (and expensive) river fish with firm white flesh. Fish,
shrimp, lobsters, oysters, and other seafood arrive once a week in
season from France and the African coast. Also included in the
weekly arrival are fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables at very high
The most widely available fresh bread is of the French "baguette"
type. Croissants, pastries, and some sandwich-type bread may be
purchased at a reasonable price.
Because of the high prices and the shortages, it is wise to ship
canned items, paper goods, and cleaning products via consumables
order or HHE, or order them directly from export houses in Europe. A
2,500-pound consumables allowance is authorized, but you must order
within your first year of arrival at post. As previously mentioned,
explosives, aerosols, glass, and liquids are prohibited from pouch
Wines, liquor, imported beer, and soft drinks are sold locally.
Beer, soda, water, and soft drinks, including Coca-Cola, are bottled
locally. U.S. Government personnel may buy cigarettes, cigars, wine,
liquor, and imported beer duty free through local suppliers.
Clothing Last Updated: 1/31/2003 6:00 PM
Bring only enough winter clothing for travel to colder climates.
Winter clothing mildews easily in Bangui. Since bedrooms are
air-conditioned, bring appropriate sleepwear. Bring all sports
clothing and footwear, as none are available in Bangui. Day trips
and travel into the bush are popular activities in the C.A.R., for
which sturdy walking shoes and/or tennis shoes, khaki shirts, and
skirts or pants are recommended.
Men Last Updated: 1/31/2003 6:00 PM
Lightweight summer clothing is worn year round. A set of woolen
clothing is useful for traveling or for very occasional chilly
weather. Men wear long- or short-sleeved shirts, ties, or sports
shirts. They wear slacks in the office and don jackets to make calls
outside the office. Wash-and-wear clothing is most practical.
Drycleaning is available but very expensive, slow, and of dubious
quality. Daytime wear is usually in darker rather than lighter
shades. Dark blue or gray suits are worn in the evenings. Except for
the Ambassador and DCM or their spouses, dinner jackets are not
necessary. Most invitations read detente or decontractee (casual),
which means long- or short-sleeved shirt and no tie. Loose fitting,
open-neck sports shirts are practical but should be in conservative
prints or color for eveningwear. European style men's clothing is
available but expensive.
Women Last Updated: 1/31/2003 6:00 PM
Light, informal washable dresses, skirts, and blouses are worn
year round. Dressy cottons, informal dresses, and pants are often
worn at informal functions, and some more elaborate dresses (light
and informal silks) are desirable for official functions. For more
formal occasions, bring one or two formal dresses. Attractive but
expensive women's clothing in limited variety is sold locally, and
dresses can be made locally from attractive local fabrics. Bring a
few sweaters and long-sleeved dresses and blouses for cool weather.
Coats are needed only for traveling in colder climates. Bring a
lightweight, nonplastic raincoat if you have one, but an umbrella is
usually sufficient. Pool chemicals cause bathing suits to wear out
quickly. If you plan to swim frequently, bring several suits. Gloves
and stockings are rarely worn. Hats are needed for sun wear. Slacks
and shorts are quite acceptable for sports or other informal
occasions within the community. Bring some khaki shirts, skirts, or
pants for bush trips and a good supply of shoes. Sandals with or
without heels and regular summer footwear are worn most of the time.
Bring a good supply of clothing and shoes as they wear out quickly
here. If you sew, bring patterns, materials, and notions,
particularly buttons, zippers, and thread; local supplies are costly
Children Last Updated: 1/31/2003 6:00 PM
While including information on clothing for children may be
useful as a part of the Post Report, one should also note that no
dependent children are authorized to be posted in Bangui at the time
of this writing.
Bring a complete child's wardrobe, if possible. Children's
clothes are expensive and quantities limited. Mail-order purchases
are an alternative. Each child should have a few sweaters, a large
number of T-shirts, and some flannel pajamas. School-aged boys wear
cotton shorts or blue jeans and shirts; girls wear simple cotton
dresses and shorts. Sandals and sneakers are sold locally at U.S.
prices but are only of fair quality, and sizes are limited. Children
dress as they would in the U.S. No school uniforms are worn in
schools likely to be attended by Embassy children.
Make arrangements to order shoes from the U.S. for growing
children, since fitting problems cannot be resolved here. Clothes in
subteen sizes, particularly for girls, are hard to get locally and
are expensive. Bring clothes for children's sports.
For infants mothers suggest using cloth diapers during the day
and disposable diapers for nighttime and outings. If you plan to use
disposable diapers, ship an ample supply; local prices are very
Supplies and Services
Supplies Last Updated: 1/31/2003 6:00 PM
Some cosmetics and toilet articles, facial tissue, toilet paper,
and feminine hygiene supplies are sold in Bangui at double or more
than U.S. prices. If you have favorite brands, bring a supply.
European cigarettes and a few American brands are sold but are
expensive. Pipe tobacco can be found, but it is generally not packed
for the tropics and suffers accordingly.
The following miscellaneous items either cannot be found locally
or, if available, are expensive and often of poor quality:
Books and magazines (in English) Baby furniture and equipment
(cribs, high chairs, playpens, strollers) Children's toys Candles
(bring partly used ones too, since they can be used during power
outages) Children's birthday party supplies Christmas trees, lights,
and spare bulbs Decorations for holidays and birthday parties Small
gifts and gift-wrapping paper Greeting cards Picnic supplies (paper
or plastic), including charcoal grill, cooler, and thermos Sewing
notions (buttons, zippers, material, patterns) Shower curtains
Favorite household and laundry cleaning products. Golf, tennis,
fishing, and other sports equipment insect repellent, flashlights,
See Transportation for information on vehicle fuel supplies.
Basic Services Last Updated: 1/31/2003 6:00 PM
There are a few beauty salons in Bangui where the quality of
service is good by U.S. standards. Laundry is done in the home by
domestic employees. Shoe repair work is often slow, expensive, and
Spare parts for American (and often foreign) equipment usually
cannot be found. Local merchants who advertise as agents for
name-brand products (GM, Sony) are generally agents for sales only
and do not stock parts or honor guarantees.
Americans have used the services of local dressmakers but with
varying results. Photo developing is available at prices slightly
higher than in the U.S. It is best to purchase prepaid mailers and
pouch exposed film to the U.S. for developing.
See Transportation for information on car repair services.
Domestic Help Last Updated: 1/31/2003 6:00 PM
Domestics (who normally do not live in) are readily available,
but trained help is hard to find. Gardeners earn about CFA 74,750
($75) a month, houseboys CFA 58,400 ($80), and cooks CFA 65,700
($90) and up. Servants need close supervision. It is possible to
hire men or women to look after children, but they require
supervision and a great deal of training.
All servants should have complete physical examinations before
employment and periodic checkups thereafter.
Employers pay an amount equal to 20% of their servants' total
earnings into a Social Security system. The government provides
medical care under the Social Security system. Medicines must be
purchased, and employers usually assume this responsibility.
Servants are entitled to 18 days leave annually. Servants speak
Sango and French; few know English.
Religious Activities Last Updated: 1/31/2003 6:00 PM
Catholic and Protestant churches in Bangui hold services in
French and Sango. American missionaries (Baptist and Grace Brethren)
have informal services in English once a week.
At Post Last Updated: 1/31/2003 6:00 PM Presently, post is
restricted from having dependent children, but the following
information is given should restrictions be lifted in the near
No English-language primary or secondary education is available
in Bangui. Children attend Charles de Gaulle Primary School, which
follows the French curriculum, is accredited by the French
Government, and supervised by the French Embassy in Bangui. A
preschool program is offered as well as kindergarten through grade
6. Other students are European and African. Teachers are French,
mostly spouses of French aid personnel. The cost is about CFA
500,000 ($685) per trimester. A one-time registration fee, plus cost
of books and other materials, is all covered by the education
On the same compound is the Lycee (high school) Andre Malraux,
with grades 7 through baccalaureate (graduation). The school is open
to Central Africans and other foreigners. All classes are in French,
with English taught as a foreign language. The system is geared to
prepare students for entry into higher educational institutions in
The school year runs from October through mid-June. School is
held 6 days weekly, Monday through Saturday, 7:30 a.m. to noon. The
quality of education in both schools is good and comparable to
schools in metropolitan France, but many subjects normally available
in American schools are not offered.
Another preschool, Ecole Nicolas et Pimprenelle, offers a morning
program for children 2 to 6 years old for CFA 150,000 ($205) per
trimester, with a CFA 30,000 ($41) registration fee.
The College Preparatoire International (CPI) offers an English
program for kindergarten through grade 12, in addition to their
regular French curriculum.
Away From Post Last Updated: 1/31/2003 6:00 PM In the past,
teenage dependents of personnel at post usually attended boarding
school in the U.S. Information about such schools is available at
the Family Liaison Office (FLO) in Washington.
Higher Education Opportunities Last Updated: 1/31/2003 6:00 PM
According to demand, and subject to availability of funds, the
Embassy has sponsored a French-language program in the past based on
FSI material. Tutors can be privately engaged to instruct adults and
children in French and give general tutoring help to children after
Recreation and Social Life
Sports Last Updated: 1/31/2003 6:00 PM
Tennis, swimming, squash, boating, horseback riding, and golf are
available. Soccer is played locally. The Embassy staff can use a
tennis court and a swimming pool at the Ambassador's residence at
certain hours. They are lit for evening use.
The Rock Club, on the Oubangui River, has a clubhouse with lounge
and snackbars, tennis (four hard courts) and squash courts, table
tennis, large swimming pool, small boat marina, and classes in
ballet, gymnastics, and judo for adults and children. It costs CFA
75,000 ($103) to join, with dues ranging from CFA 81,000 ($111) per
trimester for individuals to CFA 115,000 ($158) per trimester for
The Tennis Club of Bangui (TCB), has five clay courts that are
fairly well maintained and lit. Tennis lessons range from CFA 2,000
to 5,000 or about $3 to $7 depending on whether or not you are with
a club member. First-year dues for new members are CFA 230,000
($315) and CFA 180,000 ($247) each year thereafter. Monthly dues are
CFA 25,000 ($34) and 65,000 ($89) per trimester.
The Club d'Equitation de Bangui offers horseback riding
instruction. Only English saddles are used. Riding lessons are CFA
70,000 ($96) for 10 lessons. Annual membership costs CFA 60,000
($82) for individuals and CFA 100,000 ($137) for families. Monthly
dues are CFA 20,000 ($27).
The country's only golf course, amidst rolling hills, is about 6
miles from the city center, and has 18 holes with rough grass
fairways and sand greens. Cost to join is CFA 100,000 ($137) for new
members. Monthly dues are CFA 30,000 (around $41) per person.
Boating is almost exclusively outboard motorboating, since the
hills near the river, the swift current, and many whirlpools make
sailing impossible and canoeing hazardous.
Spectator sports are soccer and basketball matches, bicycle
racing, tennis tournaments, volleyball, and occasional boat racing.
Marathon races are sometimes sponsored throughout the city.
Touring and Outdoor Activities Last Updated: 1/31/2003 6:00 PM
One-day trips can be made by car to the falls at Boali, 62 miles
northwest of Bangui along a good, paved road (except for the last 3
miles). Pygmy villages, 1-2 hours southwest of Bangui via a paved
road, can also be visited. Since air travel is the only feasible
mode of transportation for a comfortable trip of any distance from
Bangui, frequent changes of scene and relief from climate are not
economical or practical.
Entertainment Last Updated: 1/31/2003 6:00 PM
Public entertainment is limited. Several restaurants offer fair
to good French cuisine at high prices. Several restaurants
specialize in African food, and one in Lebanese dishes. No local
legitimate theater exists. Concerts are very rarely given, so music
lovers should bring a good collection of records, tapes, or CDs.
There are two movie theaters that show French or French-dubbed
films, some current, some older. Admission prices, as well as
quality of sound, vary. The French Cultural Center sponsors several
concerts and other events throughout the year.
For your home entertainment, we suggest that you bring a
multisystem TV and VCR. Embassy employees own almost exclusively VHS
video systems. There are several video clubs in town that stock
SECAM or PAL tapes (in French). Cassettes are also exchanged
individually, since many people have lined up an exchange with
friends and family in the U.S. You may want to bring a voltage
stabilizer for any electronic equipment such as stereos, TVs, and
A TV and videocassette player is located in the Cultural Center
and also in the Chancery lobby, where tapes may be viewed anytime
after office hours. Sets are provided for the Ambassador's residence
and the DCM's home. The Chancery also has access to AFRTS, CNN and
Three European-style discotheques operate in Bangui. In
non-European quarters, several nightclubs offer open-air dancing,
sometimes with live bands.
Good but expensive European photo equipment is sold locally.
Camera enthusiasts should bring a good supply of film, flash bulbs,
Among Americans Last Updated: 1/31/2003 6:00 PM Most entertaining
is in the home. Informal dinners, buffets, and cocktail parties are
International Contacts Last Updated: 1/31/2003 6:00 PM Social
activity in the Central African and European Communities occur, but
consists mainly of receptions and small dinner parties at home. It
is necessary to speak French. Social affairs are generally informal,
with only a few more formal functions annually.
Hotels have facilities that can be rented for large receptions
and dinner parties. Catering services are also available but
expensive. The Rotary and Lions Clubs are active. Most recreational
clubs occasionally sponsor special social events for members and
Nature of Functions Last Updated: 1/31/2003 6:00 PM
The Ambassador and DCM usually receive invitations to national
day celebrations. In some cases, such invitations are extended to
all diplomatic officers. Dress for most official dinners and
receptions is suits for men and street-length or long dresses for
Standards of Social Conduct Last Updated: 1/31/2003 6:00 PM
Senior Mission officers make calls on government officials and
members of the diplomatic corps. Since the calls expected from newly
assigned officers' spouses vary, details can be obtained on arrival
at post. It is possible to have invitations and cards printed
locally, but prices are higher and quality varies. Staff personnel
should bring a small supply of informal cards. No engraving is done
locally, but printing service is acceptable.
Special Information Last Updated: 1/31/2003 6:00 PM
Road travel in the central part of the country is risky due to
the presence of highway bandits. Well-armed poachers sometimes
threaten hunters in northern parks. When taking photographs,
exercise discretion. Local authorities are often sensitive about
photos being taken, which they believe would compromise the
country's security or reflect unfavorably on the country. Avoid
these subjects: the Palace, private residences owned by the
government, airports and military installations, as well as beggars,
physically deformed people, and bare-breasted women.
Post Orientation Program
The Administrative Section is responsible for coordinating the
arrival, settling in, and briefing of newly assigned personnel.
Newcomers are met at the airport and orientation materials made
available at the outset.
Orientation sessions are generally scheduled for newcomers and
adult dependents with the Ambassador, DCM, administrative officer,
and others, as appropriate, within the first 2 weeks. A sponsor is
also assigned to assist during the settling-in period, showing
newcomers where to shop and generally introducing them to life at
Notes For Travelers
Getting to the Post Last Updated: 1/31/2003 6:00 PM
Airfreight from the U.S. takes 3-6 weeks to arrive in Bangui. Be
sure to follow up with the State Department Transportation Office
before departure and try to get an airway bill number if possible.
Use your accompanied baggage (UAB) allowance to bring clothing and
special food (dietary food) that may be required in the first weeks
after arrival. Pack airfreight very thoughtfully. If a holiday or
birthday occurs within that period, bring what you need to
celebrate. Consign airfreight to the American Ambassador, American
Embassy (owner's initials), Bangui, Central African Republic—routed
via Paris if coming from Washington, South America, or the Far East.
No special restrictions exist for such shipments.
HHE, consumables and UAB sent by surface shipment should be
packed in sturdy boxes, crates, or lift vans lined with waterproof
paper. Surface shipment to Bangui takes from 2 to 4 months from the
U.S. East Coast or other parts of the world. HHE are routed to
Douala or ELSO Antwerp and air freighted from Douala or Paris to
Bangui. All surface shipments must be marked as follows and
forwarded at the earliest possible date to arrive within the first 6
months of your tour of duty:
American Embassy (Owner's Initials) Bangui, Central African
Republic Via ELSO Antwerp in transit
Maximum dimension of crates for Bangui is 84 inches in height, 72
inches in width, and 160 inches in length. Do not exceed this size,
since neither location does repacking. Vehicles are shipped to the
Upon arrival in Douala, the vehicle is cleared and forwarded to
Bangui usually via land. Vehicles should be containerized, as they
are trucked from Douala on open trucks. Average transit time for
vehicles is 2 to 5 months. Small vehicles may be airfreighted.
Embassy warehouse personnel pack well under supervision, and a stock
of packing materials is maintained. You may wish to retain special
packing cartons or materials.
Customs, Duties, and Passage
Customs and Duties Last Updated: 1/31/2003 6:00 PM
U.S. Government personnel are permitted duty-free entry of
personal effects up to 6 months after their arrival at post. Contact
the post regarding the importation of vehicles by staff personnel.
Packages addressed to U.S. Government employees are normally
cleared duty free by the post office and no special restrictions
apply. But when packages are delivered through the local post
office, a small fee, which covers air transportation or surface mail
from Douala to Bangui, is often charged. International mail service
is unreliable; send packages to post through Department facilities
Passage Last Updated: 1/31/2003 6:00 PM
Visas are required for entry and can be obtained from a Central
African Republic embassy abroad or from a French embassy. In
emergencies, airport visas can be issued if the Embassy is advised
in advance but should be obtained, whenever possible, before
To enter the country, travelers must have the standard
international certificate of vaccination or its equivalent and
yellow fever and occasionally cholera immunization certificates.
(Note that the yellow fever immunization does not become effective
until 10 days after injection.) Those with diplomatic passports
encounter no problem with customs formalities; other may be required
to submit to baggage inspection.
Pets Last Updated: 1/31/2003 6:00 PM
No quarantine requirements exist for pets. They must have a
rabies vaccination certificate and a certificate of good health.
Pets must be shipped as accompanying baggage, and are normally
cleared and delivered to the owners immediately upon arrival of the
plane carrying them. Limited veterinary service is available.
Employees are able to have local pets.
Firearms and Ammunition Last Updated: 1/31/2003 6:00 PM
U.S. Government personnel assigned to Bangui may import up to two
sporting firearms (rifles and shotguns only; no handguns) with
advance authorization from the Ambassador or Chargé d' Affaires.
Write well in advance of arrival with make/model/caliber/serial
number for authorization. Shipping restrictions and local laws must
be strictly observed.
Currency, Banking, and Weights and Measures Last Updated:
1/31/2003 6:00 PM
The unit of currency is the CFA (Communaute Financiere Africaine,
African Financial Community) franc issued by the Banque Centrale des
Etats de l'Afrique Centrale et du Cameroun (Central Bank of Central
Africa and Cameroon). France guarantees unlimited convertibility of
the CFA franc into metro francs at the rate of 700 francs CFA to 1
Euro. The current exchange rate is US$1=655 francs CFA.
The metric system of weights and measures is used.
Recommended Reading Last Updated: 1/31/2003 6:00 PM
These titles are provided as a general indication of the material
published on this country. The Department of State does not endorse
History and Politics Kalck, Pierre. C.A.R. Failure in
Decolonization. Pall Mall: London, 1971
O'Toole, Thomas. The Central African Republic. Westview Press:
Boulder, Colorado, 1986. (These two books are by far the best on the
history and politics of the C.A.R. Kalck goes up until the late
1960s, and O'Toole brings matters up to date.)
Lerner. Central African Republic in Pictures. Visual Geographic
Series: 1992. (Available from the bookshop at the Museum of African
Art in Washington. Aimed at older kids, but suitable for all.)
Kalck, Pierre and O'Toole, Thomas. Historical Dictionary of the
C.A.R. Scarecrow Press: 1992. (This is a compendium of name and
events. It is an excellent reference with a terrific bibliography).
West, Richard. Congo. Holt, Rinehart, Winston: 1972. Also
published in the U.K. as The River Congo. (West describes European
exploration of the Congo and Oubangui rivers; an excellent study of
Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza).
Pakenha, Thomas. The Scramble for Africa. Random House: 1991.
(The encompassing work on European colonization of the continent.
The chapters on Brazza and the French are relevant).
Shoumatoff, Alex. African Madness. Knopf: 1980. (A fascinating
chapter on Bokassa).
Decalo, Samuel. The Psychosis of Power. Westview Press: Boulder,
Colorado. (A more academic look at Bokassa).
Gide, Andre. Travels in the Congo. Translation by D. Bussey.
University of California Press: Berkeley, 1962 (Gide investigated
colonial oppression in Oubangui Chari in the early 1920s).
Weinstien, Brian. Ebou. Oxford University Press: New York, 1972.
(A biography of Felix Ebou who served as a colonial official in
Oubangui Chari for 20 years. As governor he led Equatorial Africa to
the Free French during WWII).
Fiction Maran, Rene. Batouala. African Heritage Series. (This
novel won the Prix Goncourt, France's highest literary honor, in
1923, the first by a black author [Mayan was Antillean]. A colonial
administrator in Grimari, Maran's novel deals with values in flux as
traditional society confronts the modern world).
Gary, Romain. The Roots of Heaven. (This novel set in Chad and
northern Oubangui-Chari delves into the impact Africa has on the
souls of Europeans who have cast heir lots in Africa.)
Conrad, Joseph. Heart of Darkness. (The classic story of personal
change wrought by the jungle.)
Adventure Sarno, Louis. Songs from the Forest. (Seeking
enlightenment via pygmy music, Sarno came to the C.A.R. and was
adopted by a pygmy band. His story.)
Stevens, Steve. Malaria Dreams. Atlantic Monthly Press: 1992. (A
cynical description of a visit to Bangui to retrieve a Land Rover
and drive it back to England).
Nugent, Rory. Drums Along the Congo. Houghton Mifflin: 1993. (An
entertaining albeit cynical story of one man's quest for Central
Africa's remaining dinosaur. Although set in the neighboring Congo,
the forest is much the same).
Mattiessen, Peter. African Silences. Vintage: 1992. (Has a
chapter on his visit to the Bayanga reserve to locate pygmy
Guidebooks Newton. Central Africa. Lonely Planet Guidebooks:
1992. (Guidebooks for those on a shoestring; nonetheless the most
comprehensive and up-to-date guidebook available on the C.A.R.).
In French Pean, Pierre. Bokassa Premier. Thierry Jacques Gallo.
N'Garaqba Maison des Morts. L'Harmattan: Paris.
Hochschild, Adam. King Leopold's Ghost.
Kapuscinski, Ruzard. Under the African Sun.
Kingsolver, Brabara. Poisonwood Bible.
Rong, Michela. In the Footsteps of Mr. Kurtz.
Additional Reading Hochschild, Adam. King Leopolds Ghost.
Kapuscinski, Ruzard. Under the African Sun.
Kingsolver, Barbara. Poisonwood Bible
Local Holidays Last Updated: 1/31/2003 6:00 PM
New Year's Day January 1 CAR/USA Martin Luther King, Jr. January
21 USA President's Day February 18 USA Anniversary of President
Boganda's Death March 29 CAR Easter Monday April 1 CAR Labor Day May
1 CAR Ascension Day May 9 CAR Whit Monday May 20 CAR Memorial Day
May 27 USA Independence Day July 4 USA Republic Day August 13 CAR
Assumption Day August 15 CAR Labor Day September 2 USA Columbus Day
October 14 USA All Saints Day November 1 CAR Veteran's Day November
11 USA Thanksgiving Day November 28 USA Independence Day* December 1
CAR Christmas December 25 CAR/USA
* Holiday to be observed on the following Monday.