The Central African Republic is the place to get that face to face with an elephant without paying the high prices of a safari or guided jungle tour. Unfortunately, travel to the Central African Republic is often discouraged because of violence along the borders with Chad, Sudan and Cameroon. Travelers should check travel warnings and the news carefully before and during their trip.

What to do

Despite its bustling cities, most of the attractions in the Central African Republic are natural attractions that bring folks into the outdoors. The UNESCO recognized Manovo-Gounda St. Floris National Park is a beautiful area full of wildlife and a diverse selection of flora and fauna on the savannah. In it you'll find all the usual suspects in terms of animals: cheetahs, gazelles, rhinoceroses and maybe even a gorilla.

Getting there

There are flights to the Central African Republic from Paris, Amsterdam and London to the CAR and many international flights from within Africa. Visas are required for entry by citizens of most nations as is proof of a yellow fever vaccination.

Where to stay

The Central African Republic has several cities with numerous hotels and accommodations for travelers. Although you might expect hotels in Africa to be at the cheaper end of the spectrum, hotels in Bangui run as much as $100 a night. Hostels are more reasonable but can be harder to find.

For more information on traveling in the Central African Republic or other countries in Africa, check out the message boards or read a travel story about the weird and wild adventures that others have had.