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Central African Republic

Driving Directions Central African Republic

The CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC is a landlocked country in central Africa bordered by Chad in the north, Cameroon in the west, Sudan in the east, and the Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo in the south. The terrain consists mainly of undulating plateaux (610-915 meters or 2,000-3,000 feet high) but with dense tropical forests in the south and southwest.

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The plateaux support dry, open woodland and savannah grassland and grade into arid scrub and semi-desert in the far northeast. In the northwest and extending across the Cameroon bor­der, mountains reach about 1,410 meters or 4,600 feet in height.

The tropical forests contain some commercially valuable trees, such as mahogany, and the country’s varied landscape and vegetation are home to a wide variety of African wildlife. The climate is tropical, with little variation in temperature throughout the year. The wet months are May, June, October, and November. Floods and tornadoes can occur at the beginning of the rainy season.

Most of the population live in the west and the hot, humid south and southwest. Over 86 percent of the working population are subsistence farmers, and the main crops grown are cassava, groundnuts, bananas, plantains, millet, and maize. Livestock rearing is minimal because of the prevalence of the tsetse fly. Gems and industrial diamonds mined, and deposits of uranium, iron ore, lime, zinc, and gold have been discovered, although they remain relatively undeveloped. The country’s main exports are coffee, diamonds, cotton, tobacco, and timber, although a port’s distance hampers this. The Central African Republic achieved independence in 1960, but its political and economic fortunes have been very mixed since widespread corruption and violence.

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Most of the country consists of a large plateau that separates the basin of Lake Chad to the north from that of the Congo River to the south. The dominant features of the landscape are the Bongo Mountains in the eastern part of the country and the Karre Mountains, otherwise known as Yadé Massif, to the west. The Central African Republic is landlocked.

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