Central Africa

Best Time: December - April Read More

Budget: Expensive

" The Land of Distinct Landscapes and Culture"

Central Africa Tourism

Situated over the Equator, Central Africa or often referred to as Middle Africa is a region defined by many distinct topographic areas and diversity of nature. Comprising of total nine country members including Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and Sao Tome and Principe, Central Africa is a potpourri of cultures. One can enjoy the barren deserts and dense rain forests to pristine coastlines. With great diversity and challenges of its own, Central Africa offers a dream vacation for its visitors.

Central Africa Photos

Holidify's Opinion

What's Great?

Varied landscapes. Amazing scenic beauty. Vibrant collection of cultures. Pristine coastline. Exquisite handicrafts.

What's Not So Great?

Many areas are prone to civil wars. Many active Islamist groups target westerns or non-Muslims. Not so good hygiene standards. Good amount of bargaining.

For Whom?

Those who are looking for off the beat destinations. Those who embrace distinct cultures. Shopping lovers. Nature buffs.

Details of Central Africa

About places in Central Africa

A small portion of African continent, Central Africa is united not only by its geographical position but also by being drained mainly by the Congo River system. Each country in the region adds to the flavour with Angola once being the Portuguese colony, has slowly risen on the tourism ladder whereas Central African Republic is a fusion of arid land and dense forest is mostly off the visitorÕs radar. Cameroon also known as Africa in Miniature is all about beautiful landscape from dense rain forest and arid desert to high plateau and mountains, Gabon offer high biodiversity, Republic of the Congo with great potential for eco-tourism while still rising from the wicked effects of war and Democratic republic of Congo, although poor country is blessed with choicest of natureÕs beauty. Equatorial Guinea, Sao Tome and Principe and South Sudan are other members offering great beaches, and serenity with less population.

Stay Option in Central Africa

There are variety of good hotels in Central Africa from expensive and exclusive ones to budget hotels and options for backpackers. The better accommodation comes with air condition and swimming but will be hard to find outside the major cities. There is also an option of guesthouses that are available in smaller towns as well. Camping facilities in Central Africa is available but mostly depends upon safety from country to country. While many members allow camping at national parks while others are simply unsafe with a risk of robber or attack by wild animals. Yet another option of accommodation in central Africa is that of lodges within forested areas or national park areas.

Food in Central Africa

The food of Central Africa has two main core ingredients including cassava and plantains served with spicy sauces and grilled meat. The dishes are prepared based on traditional methods retaining the local taste and flavour. Other quite common items that form major part of the dishes are tomato, peppers, chillies, onions, spinach, and peanut. Other than that, sweet potatoes, yams and maniocs are served widely. Fufu, spicy stews, bambara, beef and chicken are some of the favourite dishes. Fish is major source of proteins eaten with spicy sides or dried to be consumed later. Palm wine or millet beer serve as traditional mealtime drink in many countries along with ginger and honey beers.

Culture, Religion & Language of Central Africa

The culture of Central Africa holds great significance for music, arts, crafts, dance, cuisine and clothing. Community celebration is quite common in the region with great fervour. Christianity is the predominant religion in the region followed by African Traditional Religion and Islam. Country members of central Africa have their own official language such as Portuguese is the official language of Angola as well as Sao Tome and Principe, French and English in Cameroon, French in Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo and Gabon. French and Spanish serves as official language of Equatorial Guinea, French and Sangho of Central African Republic whereas French and Arabic are official languages of Chad.

Tips for visiting Central Africa

Ask for permission or show caution before photographing any person in the region. Make sure not to photograph military areas, uniformed officials or government buildings. Lately, some Islamist and jihadist groups in connection with al-Qaeda operating in central African region have targeted westerners or non-Muslims. Make sure to carry mosquito and insect repellents. Take along a first aid kit, an abundant supply of regular medications, and anti-septic creams. A pair of sunglasses, sun screen lotion, toiletries, flashlights and spare batteries. It is strongly recommended to avoid travelling alone after dark. For summers carry loose cotton clothes, and full sleeve shirts while pack woollens for winters.

Shopping in Central Africa

Just like other African countries, the members of Central African region are known for its exquisite art, handicrafts, and jewellery. Check out the earthenware bowls, delicate pottery, dishes and trays, woodcarvings, decorated pots jugs, bottles and cups. Rugs woven from grass, colourful clothes with intricate beadwork, objects made from butterfly wings, knives, bracelets, gold jewellery etc. are other objects to look out for.

Festivals in Central Africa

Festivals in Central Africa region are celebrated with great fanfare and zeal. New Years Day is one of the major festival throughout the region with many individual festivals for each country. Other than that, Easter, Christmas, Ramadan, Independence Day, Army Day etc are also celebrated with equal joy and enthusiasm.

Hygiene in Central Africa

It is advised to avoid buying medicine from pharmacies, as there are many phony and counterfeit drugs in the market and better carry a first aid kit. Medical facilities in Central Africa are available at good standards in some of the major cities but very average outside it. It is strongly advised to all the visitors to acquire a health insurance. Tap water is not fit for drinking, so always use bottled water or sterilised water in the country. It is recommended to get the vaccinations for tuberculosis, rabies, hepatitis B, typhoid, Diphtheria, and if required then for malaria and yellow fever as well.

Customs of Central Africa

Mostly the people of Central Africa are of relaxed and friendly demeanour but one need to respect their beliefs and customs. Handshake is the customary ways of greeting someone meeting for first time. In most of the countries, casual and informal way of clothing is common however dress conservatively in Muslim areas. Avoid using left hand in Muslim areas. Try to confine wearing beachwear to poolside or beachside only. Tipping is usually practiced in the region but make sure that service charge is not already added. About 10 percent of the amount is welcomed by the servers.
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