Travel.State.Gov > International Travel > Learn About Your Destination > Central African Republic International Travel Information
The U.S. Embassy in Bangui does not provide consular services at this time. Contact the U.S. Embassy in Yaounde.
Avenue Rosa Parks
P.O. Box 817
Telephone: +(237) 22220-1500 ext. 4341/4023 (Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. local time)
Emergencies: +(237) 22220-1500, ext. 4531 or +(237) 22222-25-893
COVID-related travel requirements are subject to change. Please visit the Embassy’s COVID-19 page for more information on entry/exit requirements related to COVID-19 in the Central African Republic.
Travelers entering CAR are required to have:
The Central African Republic does not require visas for visits under 180 days by U.S. passport holders. However, not all airlines will board U.S. passport holders without a valid visa, so travelers are advised to check with their carrier.
For visa and entry requirement information contact:
The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of CAR.
The U.S. Department of State advises against all travel to CAR. U.S. Embassy Bangui cannot provide consular services to U.S. citizens in CAR at this time. U.S. citizens in need of assistance should contact the U.S. Embassy in Cameroon.
U.S. citizens should carry all proper paperwork at all times, including their passport.
Demonstrations occur spontaneously. They may take place in response to political or economic issues, on politically significant holidays, and during international events. Mob violence targeting those implicated in crimes or road accidents can occur. Harassment of foreign nationals is common, as are demonstrations against international organizations and interests.
Armed Conflict: There are ongoing military operations throughout CAR; armed groups remain active in large parts of the country. Outside Bangui, criminals and various armed actors frequently perpetrate violence against civilians to include foreigners and humanitarian workers; road travelers and those operating outside Bangui are especially vulnerable. Armed robberies, physical and sexual assaults, ambushes, homicides, illicit taxation and extortion, arbitrary search and seizures, unlawful detentions, and kidnappings of civilians are common. Armed actors in northwestern CAR have increasingly used landmines and other explosive devices along roads and in areas near the Cameroonian border. Outbreaks of intercommunal violence and armed conflict can happen without warning anywhere in the country including Bangui.
Crime: Crime in Bangui is common. Beware of:
Victims of Crime: U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault are encouraged to contact the U.S. Embassy in Cameroon for assistance.
Report crimes to the local police at 117 (local equivalent of “911”) or the Gendarmerie at 2161-2200 and contact the U.S. Embassy in Cameroon at +(237) 22220-1500 ext. 4341/4023. Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime. Victims of crime in Bangui may have to pay to send a vehicle to pick up police officers due to the shortage of police vehicles and fuel.
See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.
The U.S. Embassy in Cameroon can:
Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the U.S. Embassy in Cameroon for assistance.
Tourism: No formal tourism industry infrastructure is in place. Tourists are considered to be participating in activities at their own risk. Emergency response and subsequent appropriate medical treatment is not available in-country. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws and penalties. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Individuals establishing a business or practicing a profession that requires additional permits or licensing should seek information from the competent local authorities prior to practicing or operating a business.
Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy in Cameroon immediately. See our webpage for further information.
Identification: Local law requires passports to be carried on your person at all times. Failure to produce your passport may result in detention and/or a fine.
Drugs: Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in CAR are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines.
Photography: Taking photographs of police or military installations, airports, or any other government buildings is prohibited. Unauthorized photography will result in the seizure of photographic equipment and detention of the photographer, by CAR authorities. Police or other government authorities can provide information and grant permission for photographing a particular subject or location. Locals in CAR may be very sensitive to all photography; you should obtain permission first.
Corruption: Corruption remains a serious problem among CAR security forces, some members of which have harassed travelers for bribes. At night, the roads in the capital are often manned with impromptu checkpoints, at which police or soldiers ask motorists and travelers for money.
Banking: Banking infrastructure remains limited in CAR, and facilities for monetary exchange exist only in the capital. There are few ATMs in CAR. Exchange bureaus and banks normally accept dollars and euros, with the exception of West African Francs (CFA). Credit cards are not widely accepted in CAR, and purchases of goods and services, including hotel rooms and airline tickets, are cash transactions.
Faith-Based Travelers: See the following webpages for details:
LGBTI Travelers: The penalty for "public expression of love" between persons of the same sex is imprisonment from six months to two years or a fine. When one of the participants is underage, the adult may be sentenced to two to five years imprisonment or a fine.
Travelers with Disabilities: The law in Central African Republic does not prohibit discrimination against persons with disabilities. Social acceptance of persons with disabilities in public is not as prevalent as in the United States. Expect accessibility to be limited in transportation, lodging, communication/information, and general infrastructure.
Women Travelers: Sexual assault and domestic violence are widespread in CAR. See our travel tips for Women Travelers.
Please visit the Embassy’s COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 in the Central African Republic.
For emergency services in the Central African Republic, dial 117 (local equivalent of “911”) or 2161-2200 (the Gendarmerie.)
Ambulance services are:
U.S. Embassy Bangui does not pay medical bills for U.S. citizens. Be aware that U.S. Medicare/Medicaid does not apply overseas. Most hospitals and doctors overseas do not accept U.S. health insurance and often medical facilities in CAR require payment before treatment.
Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most healthcare providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage. Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more information on the types of insurance you should consider before you travel overseas.
We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.
Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription.
Medical facilities are extremely limited in CAR, and the quality of care is unreliable. Sanitation levels are low. Many medicines are not available. You should carry a sufficient supply of properly labeled prescription drugs and other medications with you for your entire visit.
The following diseases are prevalent:
Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information about Resources for Travelers regarding specific issues in the Central African Republic.
Vaccinations: Be current on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Further health information:
Air Quality: Visit AirNow Department of State for information on air quality at U.S. Embassies and Consulates.
Road Conditions and Safety: Road conditions are extremely poor. Watch out for:
U.S. Embassy Bangui advises against:
Traffic Laws: If you are involved in a traffic accident, you should wait until the police or the Gendarmerie arrive unless your health or safety is threatened. There are currently no distracted driving laws in effect in the Central African Republic, but police may pull over drivers who talk or text while driving for not following safe driving procedure.
Public Transportation: The city of Bangui has a public transportation system consisting of green buses and yellow taxis, though these vehicles are often dangerously overcrowded and very badly maintained.
See our Road Safety page for more information.
Aviation Safety Oversight: As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in CAR, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of CAR’s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.