Fast Facts:

1. Central African Republic is a landlocked country located in the center of Africa (commonly shortened to CAR).

2. It’s the 21st largest country in Africa and the 44th largest country in the word.

3. Its capital and largest city is Bangui.

4. Major ethnic groups: Baya (33%), Banda (27%), Mandjia (13%), Sara (10%), Mboum (7%), M’Baka (4%), Yakoma (4%), other (2%)

5. Major languages: Sangho and French (both official); CAR is one of the few African countries to have an African language as their official language.

6. Major religions: Christianity (80%), Islam (10%), Indigenous or other beliefs (5%), no religion (5%)

7. Today’s CAR has been inhabited for millennia, but its current borders were established by France, which ruled the country as a colony beginning in the late 1800s.

8. CAR gained independence from France in August 1960.

9. Despite its significant resources, such as uranium reserves, crude oil, gold, diamonds, cobalt, lumber, and hydropower, CAR is one of the least developed African countries and among the 10 poorest countries in the world.

10. CAR has diverse and beautiful landscapes, which include grasslands, deserts, waterfalls, rainforests and mountains.

11. Things to do in Bangui include the national museum – Musée Ethnograhique Barthélémy Boganda, Central Market, Notre Dame Cathedral, the presidential palace, and canoe rides on the Oubangui River.

12. The two biggest tourist attractions are the Chutes De Boali (164-foot waterfalls) and Dzanga-Sangha National Park (home of western lowland gorillas and forest elephants). Visits and stays with the local Pygmy communities are also popular.

13. CAR is one of the least visited countries in Africa and not currently considered safe for travel due to ongoing civil war.

Map of Central African Republic
Map of Central African Republic
Video credit: CBX Studios