Your guide to being an expatriate in Central African Republic

Caffeinate Your Central African Republic Expat Journey: Find Essential Info and Connect with Expatriates Today!

The Central African Republic, also known as CAR, is a small nation located in Central Africa. It shares borders with Cameroon, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and South Sudan. The country achieved independence from France in 1960, and since then, it has experienced political turmoil and violence. CAR's geography includes dense tropical rainforests, savannas, and large rivers such as the Ubangi and Sangha.

Central African Republic

Expat destinations in Central African Republic

Demographics of Central African Republic:

Ethnic groups

Central Africans (Baya, Banda, Bissa, Gbaya, Mandjia, Mboum, Mbro), Sudanese (Fula, Gourmantche, Koyraboro Senni), European (French, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish)


French (official), Sangho (Bantu languages), Arabic (trade language, mainly spoken by Muslim Sudanic population)

Religion Overview

The majority of the population in CAR is Christian, with significant minority religious communities. Approximately 80%-90% of people follow Christianity, with French and European missionaries playing a significant role in spreading the faith during the colonial period. Muslims, mainly Sudanic, make up around 10% of the population, and indigenous religions are still practiced by some in rural areas.

Major Religions


CAR experiences a tropical climate, with moderate rainfall from March to June and heavy rainfall from October to December. Temperatures generally hover between 23°C and 27°C, with occasional periods of drought being a typical occurrence.

Economy Overview

The Central African Republic's economy is heavily dependent on agriculture, contributing approximately 47% to its Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Crop cultivation involves Cash Fruits (Katschnafrucht), for example, Coconuts are still processed and sold for export. Other agricultural exports include rubber and timber. Exploration for minerals such as uranium, gold, and diamonds is ongoing, but these industries still have a low contribution to the overall economy.

Key Industries

  • Agriculture (Cocoa, Coffee, Cotton)
  • Forestry (Logging)
  • Mining (Gold, Diamond, Uranium)

Major Companies

  • La Clarisse
  • Societe des Mines d'Amédio
  • Centrafrique Development Company (CDC)

Culture and Language Overview

CAR's culture is a blend of traditional ethnic groups, Christian colonial influence, and a significant population of Muslims from Sudan. Traditional festivals are celebrating mostly rural areas and involve dance ceremonies (festivals) representing fruits, cash crops (for export), and rice to represent abundance.

Cultural Highlights

  • Guelleh Rhum: This is a traditional dance dedicated to the spirits of the ancestors, which is a blend of dance, chants, and local music. The Guelleh Rhum is performed mostly for traditional ethnic groups.
  • P’engo: The P’engo festival symbolizes prosperity, and it is celebrated mainly in the southeast region. This festival involves music and dance, and men wrap their bodies with woven grass wires and a grass necklace used for dance performances for prosperity.
  • Danse de la Mège:
  • Danse de la Mège" involves dancing among the Songho and M'Bourmo ethnic groups, and it celebrates newborns during the dry season.

Geography and Landmarks Overview

The Central African Republic shares borders with Cameroon, Chad, the DR Congo, and South Sudan. The country's landscape is characterized by dense tropical rainforests, swamps, and grasslands. CAR's major rivers are the Ubangi, Chinko, and Sangha Rivers, which flow southeastward into the Congo River.

Notable Landmarks

  • Basilique Notre-Dame de la Paix: Located in Bangui, this church is famous for its traditional African and European architecture. It's also known for its role as a culturally significant symbol of peace during the civil war in 1997.
  • Mausolee Poupel: Located in Mbaiki, Teluka Poupel is the burial place of Barthelemy Boganda's mortal remains. It's also the starting point of the pre-independence movement that resulted in CAR's independence from France in 1960.
  • Grande Mosquée: Located in Bangui, this mosque features two minarets that overlook the city, and it's distinguished by its white color and red-tiled roofs.

National Holidays

  • New Year's Day (January 1)
  • Independence Day (August 13)
  • Labor Day (May 1)
  • Assumption Day (August 15)
  • All Saints' Day (November 1)

Political Stability

The Central African Republic has a presidential system of government, and following the 2015 presidential election, Faustin-Archange Touadéra was elected as President. The Central African Republic remains deeply troubled by socioeconomic instability and political unrest, characterized by widespread violence and insecurity that has forced many citizens to flee their homes.

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