Do not travel to Central African Republic (CAR) due to crime, civil unrest, and kidnapping.
Country Summary: Violent crime such as armed robbery, assault, sexual assault, carjacking, and homicide is common throughout the country. Large areas of the country are controlled by armed groups fighting for control of territory. They regularly commit serious crimes, such as assault, kidnapping, and murder.
Large gatherings and extrajudicial mobs can form quickly and become violent. Authorities may close airports, land borders, and roads with little or no notice.
The U.S. government has an extremely limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in the Central African Republic due to the lack of permanent consular presence. U.S. government employees are subject to a curfew and limited movement. They must obtain special authorization to travel outside of Bangui.
Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.
Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.
If you decide to travel to Central African Republic (CAR):
- Have evacuation plans that do not rely on U.S. government assistance.
- Make contingency plans to leave the country.
- Draft a will and designate appropriate insurance beneficiaries and/or power of attorney.
- Discuss a plan with loved ones regarding care/custody of children, pets, property, belongings, non-liquid assets (collections, artwork, etc.), funeral wishes, etc.
- Share important documents, login information, and points of contact with loved ones so that they can manage your affairs, if you are unable to return as planned to the United States. Find a suggested list of such documents here.
- Establish your own personal security plan in coordination with your employer or host organization, or consider consulting with a professional security organization. Your plan should include sheltering in place, maintaining outside communication, and a personal evacuation plan via commercial means.
- Develop a communication plan with family and/or your employer or host organization.
- Be sure to appoint one family member to serve as the point of contact with hostage-takers, media, U.S. and host country government agencies, and Members of Congress, if you are taken hostage or detained.
- Establish a proof of life protocol with your loved ones, so that if you are taken hostage, your loved ones can know specific questions (and answers) to ask the hostage-takers to be sure that you are alive (and to rule out a hoax)
- Leave DNA samples with your medical provider in case it is necessary for your family to access them.
- Erase any sensitive photos, comments, or other materials from your social media pages, cameras, laptops, and other electronic devices that could be considered controversial or provocative by local groups.
- Leave your expensive/sentimental belongings behind.
- Avoid demonstrations and crowds.
- Enroll your trip in the State Department's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).
- Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.
- Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
- Review the Crime and Safety Report for Central African Republic (CAR).
- Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
Last Update: Reissued after periodic review with updates to information on crime, civil unrest and the “If you decide to travel” section.