Central African Republic
If you want to get away from the Africa of souvenir sellers and slick willy tour operators, the Central African Republic (CAR) may be the place for you. It has pristine forests and lively cities - but also a lawless countryside and crumbling roads.
If you can manage to get to it, the CAR's national park is one of Africa's best. Pygmies guide you through forest that's home to elephants and rare lowland gorillas. Dense rainforests explode in riots of colourful butterflies, and out on the plains you can spot elephants, lions, leopards and rhinos.
The towns and cities have bustling markets, palm and banana wine for sale by the side of the roads, green hills and giraffes close by, and beer halls to do a Bavarian proud. Unfortunately, muggings, petty theft and police extortion are commonplace.
Facts for the traveller
Money & Costs
Off the beaten track