capital city of the Central African Republic


Travel Warning WARNING: Most western countries advise against all travel to CAR due to ongoing violence, including in Bangui. Bangui is generally more stable than the rest of the country, but is still unsafe and has a high risk of further outbreaks of violence. See the Central African Republic page for more details.
Government travel advisories
(Information last updated 15 Aug 2020)

Bangui (pronounced: bang-EE) is the capital of the Central African Republic. Bangui lies on the northern banks of the Ubangi River just below a series of rapids that limit major commercial shipping farther upriver, on the southern border. The navigable Ubangi River turns sharply south below Bangui and connects to the Congo River just south of the Equator near Brazzaville as its chief northern tributary. The river marks the border between the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The Congolese town of Zongo sits opposite the river from Bangui.

UnderstandEdit

Modern Bangui was founded in 1889, but archaeological studies in and around Bangui have yielded at least 26 ancient Iron Age sites that contain many metallurgical tools and objects, illuminating the pre-European history of the city and surrounding area.

ClimateEdit

See also: Hot weather
Bangui
Climate chart (explanation)
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Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation+Snow totals in mm
Bangui has a tropical savanna climate (Aw) with dry winters
Imperial conversion
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Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation+Snow totals in inches

The Central African Republic is just north of the Equator and consequently throughout the year daily high temperatures rarely fall below 30 °C (86 °F). The rainy season lasts from May until October. Bangui, being in the south of the country and thus closest to the Equator, is slightly hotter and wetter than the northern parts of the country.

Get inEdit

By planeEdit

Visas are required for all European (and probably most other) travellers, and should be obtained before arrival.

The arrival procedure is a bit long, requiring at least two queues to get all necessary visa stamps. Exit from the arrival hall is through "Things To Declare", with customs officers picking out passengers randomly for baggage check. Security guards check the luggage tags on the way out.

Be careful of pickpockets outside the terminal building, including people claiming to provide assistance.

By ferryEdit

Barges run all day across the Oubangui river from Zongo in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Get aroundEdit

 
Map of Bangui

0°0′0″N 0°0′0″E

SeeEdit

 
A pedestrian short cut in Bangui
 
A street performance in Bangui

The city centre lies near the river and features a large triumphal arch dedicated to Bokassa, the Presidential Palace and the central market. Lying 5 kilometres (3 mi) further north, the heart of the residential area has the largest market and most nightlife. North of the city lie rolling hills.

  • 1 Boganda National Museum (Musée national Barthélemy Boganda), Avenue Barthélemy Boganda. The national museum.    
  • 2 Cathédrale Notre-Dame-de-l'Immaculée-Conception of Bangui (Notre-Dame de Fatima). The largest cathedral in Bangui.    
  • 3 Renaissance Palace (Palais de la Renaissance). The presidential palace, can only be viewed from the outside.    

BuyEdit

Buy beautiful wood carvings, but do not be tempted to buy rare African Grey parrots that are being traded illegally. You will be arrested if you do.

  • Polo Market.
  • Bangui Mall.
  • Log base PX.
  • Bangla PX.
  • Starmarket.
  • Marche Ouango.

EatEdit

The city has a community of French expats, which translates into one of the best ice cream parlours in Africa; a supermarket that sells international (mainly French) delicacies, e.g. foie gras; and a really good Italian restaurant.

  • Coin Grill.
  • Marche 3B - Chez Philbert.
  • Le Delces de Vinght Mille Places.
  • Coin Grill.
  • La Casa Chinese Restaurant & Hotel.
  • Restaurant Le M'.
  • Relais des Chasses.
  • Cuisine A.
  • Restaurant Belle Vue.

DrinkEdit

Mocaf is one of the better local beers, heap and good quality. Comes in a big 650 ml bottle.

  • 1 Sewa Rock Bar, +236 75 08 41 14. Riverfront bar that doubles as a sports venue with swimming pool and gym during daytime. Popular with the tiny elite in Bangui and expats.
  • Tringoulee.
  • Complexe Tinam.
  • Sewa Bar.
  • Royal Beach Hotel.
  • La Sirene.

SleepEdit

  • JM Residence, Rue Joseph, +236 72 08 92 23, . Check-in: 12, check-out: 12. Basic accommodation with clean and air conditioned rooms. A basic restaurant is serving food all day. Electricity goes out sometimes. CFA 65,000/night.
  • 1 Oubangui Hotel, Boulevard du Général de Gaulle, +236 77 77 30 38. The closest you can get to "luxury" in Bangui. A high-rise just next to river Ubangi offering some spectacular views. As expected, due to the ongoing conflict, there are several shortcomings in service and standards. From US$80 per night.
  • Hotek Gloria.
  • Namkoisse Domicle.
  • Ledger Plaza Bangui.
  • Hotel Levy's.
  • La Quangolaise.

ConnectEdit

Four GSM-900 mobile telecommunications companies, Telecel CAR, Nationlink Telecom RCA, Orange CAR and MOOV CAR operate out of Bangui. State-owned Socatel is the principal telecom in CAR and Bangui, and is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the communications infrastructure.

Internet cafes with fair prices and speeds are available. MOOV provides GPRS/EDGE Internet access with USB sticks for reasonable prices in whole Bangui and in major cities of CAR as well.

Le Grande Cafe in the city centre has open free Wi-Fi and serves coffee and food.

MOOV and Orange phones can access GPRS/EDGE networks if properly configured. Configuration is provided free at the telecommunication offices at PKZero. Speeds may vary. GPRS is available in Bangui centre, but fades out by PK12.

Stay safeEdit

As of March 2020, the UK government advises against all travel to most parts of Bangui and all but essential travel to "central Bangui between the Airport and the Oubangui river". Other governments including the United States recommend against all travel to CAR, including all parts of Bangui.

The KM-5 district has a particularly high crime rate.

A colour photocopy of your passport can be certified at the Hotel de Ville for a few dollars and is much safer to carry around than your passport.

CopeEdit

Embassies and consulatesEdit

  •   1 France, Boulevard Charles-de-Gaulle, +236 21 61 30 00. May be able to provide assistance in emergency situations to citizens of other EU countries with no embassy in the CAR.
  •   Romania, 139 route de Ndress Boyrabe, Boite postale 1895, +236 70 19 00 00, . Honorary Consulate (Does not provide consular services. Instead, Romanian citizens in need of assistance should contact the embassy in Khartoum, Sudan or the embassy of another European Union member state.)
  •   Russia, 108, avenue Gamal Abdel Nasser, BP 1405, +236 21 61 03 11, +236 70 15 21 73 (mobile), fax: +236 21 61 56 45, .
  •   2 United States, Avenue David Dacko, +236 2161-0200, fax: +236 2161-4494. Does not provide consular services. U.S. citizens in need of assistance should contact the embassy in Yaounde, Cameroon, instead.

Go nextEdit

  • Zongo – A Congolese town, on the opposite side the Ubangui River, on the left bank. There is no road across the river.
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