While the world is becoming increasingly globalized and travelling opportunities are plenty, many of us are fortunate enough to have access to amazing foreign experiences. But with this exposure comes a whole lot of responsibility as well.
The Central African Republic, in particular, is a less explored country but is gradually gaining popularity due to its impressive wildlife and fascinating culture.
But for those travelling there, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s an underdeveloped country which is slowly building its economy despite many hurdles. Therefore, you have the unique chance of making a difference by being a more thoughtful and respectful tourist.
Research on The Culture Before You Arrive
The Central African Republic has a population of 4.745 million people, which mostly lives in the capital or surrounding areas. The country has been fraught with political tensions, and many local people have very little exposure.
Their culture is fairly modest; being a responsible tourist means respecting the modest outlook and dressing and behaving modestly in public. Also, try to pick up some common words and phrases in Sango and French. Small gestures like thanking them in their own language are common courtesy. Also, don’t take photos of people and children without asking, it’s very rude and inconsiderate!
Also, while you’re at it, read up on the Baka people and their history and culture!
Support the Local Businesses
The Central African Republic ranks pretty low on the UN Human Development Index, which means that most of its local population is poor. As a tourist, you can help.
You can do this by simply shopping at Marche Central, which is the central marketplace in Bangui. This could help some local businesses. Additionally, the local population is very crafty and creative; you could buy handmade souvenirs from them as well.
Another great way to help the locals is by eating at locals’ restaurants instead of opting for fast foods, and if you choose to leave the capital for nearby tourist spots and smaller towns, spent the night in local inns and hotels.
Don’t Forget the Environment
Wildlife is a huge tourist attraction in the region, but it’s also severely endangered. So, make sure you protect their habitat while you explore it. This means reducing all kinds of pollution and taking care not to litter.
Make sure you buy local products whose manufacturing doesn’t involve animal cruelty. And also try to avoid using transport where you can walk.
But most importantly, don’t forget to have a great time on your trip and let everybody know about your visit—focus on the positives!
You can now apply for an online visa to the Central African Republic through the official RCA E-Visa website.
Get in touch with us to learn more.