- Reviewed: 12 October 2016, 17:05 NZDT
- Still current at: 20 August 2017
There is extreme risk to your security in Central African Republic (CAR) due to the unstable security situation, activities of armed rebel groups and the high level of violent crime. We advise against all travel.
New Zealanders currently in CAR are advised to depart as soon as it is safe to do so.
New Zealanders who remain in CAR against our advice should avoid any unnecessary travel, keep a low profile, maintain a high degree of personal security awareness and take all possible security precautions to protect their safety. We recommend ensuring you have adequate stocks of essential supplies on hand, and monitor media reports and local information sources closely to keep up to date on the security situation.View Larger Map Close/Open map
Civil Unrest/Political Tension
There has been sustained violence in CAR since 2013 and the security situation remains unstable and dangerous. Rebel activity and lawlessness is prevalent throughout the country and despite the presence of international peacekeeping forces the potential for sectarian violence remains high.
The security situation in the capital, Bangui, remains fragile and there continue to be reports of violence, killing and looting.
In the absence of effective law and order, levels of violent crime in CAR, including armed robbery and sexual assault, are very high. Foreigners, including aid workers, have been the targets of violence and kidnapping in the past. We strongly advise against travelling after dark or walking alone in isolated areas.
Travel outside Bangui is dangerous. Armed patrols operate in many areas and there have been attacks on travellers, vehicles and convoys, resulting in deaths. Illegal road blocks are used in some areas to extort money from travellers through bogus fines or intimidation. Road block operators may resort to violence in attempts to obtain money or possessions.
The security situation in border areas, especially with South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), is particularly dangerous. The borders with Chad and the DRC are closed and other land borders may close at short notice.
General Travel Advice
As there is no New Zealand diplomatic presence in CAR, the ability of the government to provide consular assistance to New Zealand citizens is severely limited. New Zealanders travelling or living in CAR should have a comprehensive travel insurance policy in place that includes provision for medical evacuation by air. You should check that your travel insurance policy covers travel to CAR as exclusions are likely to apply.
Due to the ongoing situation in CAR, access to medical treatment is limited and there are shortages of even the most basic medications and medical supplies.
New Zealanders who decide to travel or live in CAR against our advice are strongly encouraged to register their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
See our regional advice for Africa