The health risk information presented here is summarized from Shoreland Travax®, a decision-support tool used by health care providers to perform a detailed health risk analysis based on specific locations, individual travel styles, and traveler risk behaviors. Travax provides practitioners current, independently researched malaria risk and prevention recommendations in a map-based format that goes beyond the annual WHO and CDC statements included here. Not included here are current reports from Travax of disease outbreaks or environmental events that may pose elevated risks to travelers’ health and safety. The Providers section of this site offers a directory of health care providers who utilize Shoreland Travax for travel health counseling. Learn more about the detailed reports and maps available from these practitioners (includes links to samples).
The Central African Republic is a developing nation in the lowest 25% of the world's economies. Located south of Chad in central Africa, its climate is tropical with hot, dry winters and mild to hot, wet summers.
See also: Library article for Yellow Fever
- Requirement: A vaccination certificate is required for all travelers aged ≥ 9 months.
- Official Status: listed by WHO as a country where YF transmission risk is present.
Depending on your itinerary, your personal risk factors, and the length of your visit, your health care provider may offer you vaccination against hepatitis A, hepatitis B, influenza, measles, mumps, rubella, meningococcal meningitis, rabies, or typhoid fever. Routine immunizations, such as those that prevent tetanus/diphtheria or "childhood" diseases, should be reviewed and updated as needed.
See also: Library article for Malaria
The following is current information as reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC):
WHO—International Travel and Health (current online update, Country List)(2013) Malaria risk due predominantly to P. falciparum exists throughout the year in the whole country.
- Recommended prevention: C – Risk of P. falciparum malaria, in combination with reported chloroquine and sulfadoxine–pyrimethamine resistance. Mosquito bite prevention plus atovaquone–proguanil or doxycycline or mefloquine chemoprophylaxis (select according to reported side effects and contraindications) a
aAlternatively, for travel to rural areas with low risk of malaria infection, mosquito bite prevention can be combined with stand–by emergency treatment (SBET).
WHO Country List footnote: When available, the date of the most recent update or confirmation is indicated in parentheses in the country list. If no date is indicated, the most recent update or confirmation was provided before 2013.
CDC—Health Information for International Travel (current online edition)Areas with malaria: All.
- Estimated relative risk of malaria for US travelers: High.
- Drug resistance4: Chloroquine.
- Malaria species: P. falciparum 85%, P. malariae, P. ovale and P. vivax 15% combined.
- Recommended chemoprophylaxis: Atovaquone-proguanil, doxycycline, or mefloquine.
4 Refers to P. falciparum malaria unless otherwise noted.
See also: Library article for Travelers' Diarrhea
High risk exists throughout the country, including in deluxe accommodations. Food and beverage precautions may reduce the likelihood of illness.
Travelers should carry loperamide for self-treatment of diarrhea and, if risk is moderate to high, an antibiotic to add if diarrhea is severe. Consult a knowledgeable health care provider regarding which antibiotic is appropriate for you and most effective for your destination.
Insect- and Arthropod-Borne Diseases
Other Disease and Health Risks
The material below includes information from the U.S. Department of State (DOS), U.K. Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO), Global Affairs Canada (GAC), and Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), as well as from additional open-source material. Standard safety precautions that apply to all international travel can be found in the Library article Safety and Security.
Consular Travel Advice
Due to ongoing security concerns, U.S. (DOS) and Australia (DFAT) advise avoiding all travel to this country. U.K. (FCO) and Canada (GAC) advise reconsidering travel (or avoiding nonessential travel) to Bangui and avoiding travel to the rest of the country.
No intrinsic risk of attack by terrorist groups exists, but unforeseen attacks are possible.
Risk of kidnapping by terrorist groups exists throughout the country. Targets may include foreigners (especially Westerners), journalists, nongovernmental organization workers, missionaries, and aid workers.
High risk of violent crime (armed robbery) and petty crime exists throughout the country, especially in Bangui and outlying residential areas.
Scams involving false identity (such as criminals posing as police officers) have been reported.
Protests and demonstrations occur throughout the country, especially in Bangui, and have the potential to turn violent without warning. Bystanders are at risk of harm from violence or from the response by authorities. Disruption to transportation, free movement, or the ability to carry out daily activities may occur.
Bandits, militias, and armed group activity throughout the country threaten the security of residents and travelers. Travel in the interior is strongly discouraged.
Travelers should not go to the KM5 market in Bangui.
Significant risk of traffic-related injury or death exists. The road-traffic death rate is > 24 per 100,000 population, the highest risk category. Carefully assess the safety of transportation options before any road travel. Speed laws are poorly enforced. Driving at night is not advised. Seek local advice before traveling on roads outside urban areas after dark.
Traffic flows on the right-hand side of the road. Travelers (including drivers and pedestrians) accustomed to traffic moving on the opposite side should be vigilant when navigating traffic.
The rainy season is from May through October. Floods, mudslides, and landslides may occur.
Sandstorms and dust storms occur from October through March in northernmost areas.
Selected Embassies or Consulates in Central African Republic
- United States: [+236] 2161-0200; cf.usembassy.gov
- Canada: [+236] 70-50-22-39; travel.gc.ca/assistance/embassies-consulates/central-african-republic
- United Kingdom: U.K. does not have an embassy or consulate in Central African Republic.
- Australia: Australia does not have an embassy or consulate in Central African Republic.
Central African Republic's Embassies or Consulates in Selected Countries
- In the U.S.: rcawashington.org/
- In Canada: Central African Republic does not have an embassy or consulate in Canada.
- In the U.K.: Central African Republic does not have an embassy or consulate in the U.K.
- In Australia: Central African Republic does not have an embassy or consulate in Australia.
HIV testing is not required to obtain a tourist, work, or residence visa.