Tourism and places to visit

The Central African Republic, as the name suggests, is located right in the heart of the African continent. It is bordered by Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo and Chad. It situated right on top of an incredibly vast plateau, which is bordered by a scattering of hills. The weather here can be very hot, dry and humid. But you will be willing to deal with all that because if you're a wildlife lover, this place is an answer to all your prayers, as it has one of the finest collection of flora and fauna to be found anywhere in the world.

The best time for tourism in the Central African Republic is from November to April when it doesn't rain as much as in the rest of the year, and the weather is reasonably pleasant. The people here are some of the nicest you'll meet anywhere on your travels, very helpful and friendly to a fault, which is deeply gratifying because they are also among the poorest people in the world. The currency here is the Central African Franc (CFA Francs). Unfortunately the country has been ravaged by hyper inflation, and so the CFA Franc is incredibly cheap. A single US dollar will fetch you 488 CFA Francs at the time of this writing. There are no ATMs in the whole country, so if you wish to exchange your dollars for the local currency, you may only do so at the banks in the two main cities here, Bangui and Berberati.

Here are the best places to visit:

Manovo-Gounds St. Floris National Park: This huge wildlife sanctuary has one of the most precious collections in the world of a vast variety of flora and fauna, and is listed as a UNESCO's World Heritage site. It's open only from December to May. In the rest of the year this national park is kept free from human visitors as this is the mating period for animals, which need peace and quiet during this time. Understandably so!

Bamingui-Bangoran National Park: This is another vast wildlife sanctuary located at the north-east of the country and is known for its lions, leopards and rhinos.

Dzanga-Sangha National park: This national park is right at the heart of a vast rainforest and is a must visit for all wildlife enthusiasts.

Chutes de Baliis: This is an incredibly HUGE waterfall that has a height of over 50 meters, as it drops at a great height from high up on a mountain. It's quite an extraordinary site during the rainy season and is said to be stronger in terms of the thickness of the water than even the Niagara Falls. In full flow, the Chutes de Baliis is an extraordinary sight that has been captured in many movies filmed in Africa.

Ma Baiki: This beautiful little village is right in the middle of a huge coffee plantation and is only a half an hour drive away from the city of Bangui. As a tourist, you will simply love the thick aroma of coffee and you may have as many cups of coffee you want to, as you relax in the pleasant ambiance of this cozy little place.

Ubangui River: The Ubangi is the biggest river in the Central African Republic and you may traverse the length and breadth of this deep river on the commercial boats and barges that dot its landscape. Don't forget to bring your best camera along, as you sail through the river and find yourself surrounded by thick forests on either of its banks.
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