The very center of the African continent, with one edge stretching towards the equator, and with the other spreading along the waters of the Atlantic, Central Africa is the land of savannahs and plateaus, heat and humidity, waterfalls and volcanoes. The region includes nine countries and one overseas territory (where citizens of the UK can easily go without visas and formalities – almost like a suburban Moscow … or rather, a suburban dacha). A tourist has never set foot on most of the Central African land, occasionally the local population steps on it and the hooves, paws and legs of numerous inhabitants of the animal world regularly step.
As for the tourist destiny of Central Africa, so far it cannot be recognized as outstanding. There are several reasons for this: the climate is not very suitable for voyages of pale-faced people pampered by civilization – constant high temperatures and high humidity throughout the year, as well as a large number of wetlands inhabited not only by toothy cold-blooded animals (they can still be avoided), but also all sorts of bad blood-sucking, such as tsetse flies – you can’t get away from these (so don’t forget about insurance ). Add to this a long and expensive flight with a transfer, which takes at least 12 hours.
But animal diversity breaks all records – only to enjoy it, you have to become like Gerald Durrell or Nikolai Drozdov, that is, endure all the hardships of the surrounding reality with the fortitude of a born naturalist.
The main objects of tourist interest in Central Africa are natural attractions. Consider that there is no historical “excursion” here: the founders of the African empires of the past (such as, for example, Mali or Ghana), as well as more modern European sovereigns, considered it unreasonable to build cities in the tropical jungle – it would be too difficult to get to them through the swamps. Among the wonders of nature that attract tourists to the countries of the region, it is worth mentioning the Congo River basin, whose emerald exotic expanses are home to a good half of the African beast, the “four-thousander” volcano Cameroon, which belched out a huge amount of lava and ash just 10 years ago, Lake Chad is one from the great lakes of Africa and many national parks and reserves.
Standing apart among the countries of Central Africa is the island state of Sao Tome and Principe, located 360 km from the continent, in the Gulf of Guinea. There are no swamps and marshes here, but there is a breathtakingly beautiful nature of volcanic islands, picturesque towns with many buildings of the Portuguese colonial buildings, ancient forts and mansions of European nobility, as well as absolutely ridiculous prices. It is also the best place to look at baobabs and feel like a planter, walking in a pith helmet through the cocoa fields. Of the items of “souvenir” interest, authentic ritual masks, musical instruments, figurines – everything carved from wood, as well as pretty ceramics in the spirit of African primitivism deserve attention.
By the way, Christianity is very common in the states of Central Africa (Europeans, of course, planted it) – so the continent turns out to be not so alien as it seems from distant Russia.
According to Countryaah, Central Africa has the following countries:
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Republic of the Congo
- Sao Tome and Principe
- Central African Republic
- Equatorial Guinea