map of Africa and CAR

How does CAR compare with NZ? Well, one similarity I’ve found is that internationally, people know very little about either!


Size sq km 622,941   (NZ 268,000 square kilometres)


Lat 2⁰ – 11⁰   (Wellington 41 S 174 E )
Land type Much of the country is flat or rolling plateau savannah. 8% covered by forest.


Where am I?  Dzangha-Sangha National Park -south-western CAR- a tri-nation (CAR/Congo/Cameroon) protected rain forest area around the Sangha Rier – part of Congo river basin.  Best known for its populations of forest elephants, gorillas and the local indigenous Pygmy tribes.

Temp 21° C – 34° C  (Bay of Islands 10° – 30° C)

Rainfall 178 cm (Bay of Islands 150 – 200 cm)

Population 4.8M  (NZ 4.79M )
Age Distribution 0-14       40%      (NZ 20%)

15 – 24   20%

25 – 54   32%

55 – 64   4%

65+        3%   (NZ 60+ 18% and by 2050 predicted to be 29%)

Currency Central African Franc (CFA ) also used in Cameroon etc
Literacy male 51%      Female 24%
Life Expectancy 52 years   (NZ females 84 / males 82)
Internet users: 4.6% population
 Infant mortality:   88 deaths per1000 live births  (NZ 4.1 per 1,000)
Pollution In 2008 CAR was recorded as the world’s least light pollution affected country
Exports Diamonds are the most important export (40-55% of export revenues) but it is estimated 30-50% of those produced each year leave the country clandestinely.
Religion 80% Christian 15% Muslim.   (Religious tensions between Muslims and  Christians are high and many Muslims have fled the country in recent years to neighbouring Chad.)
Women Approx 68% of girls marry before they turn 18.

4th highest maternal mortality rate in world.

Approx 25% of women have undergone female genital mutilation.

Fertility Rate (2014) 4.46 children born/woman  (NZ 1.92)
Health Malaria endemic – one of the leading causes of death.

HIV/AIDS prevalence (2009 estimate) 4.7% of adults  15 – 49.

Government expenditure on health (2006) US$ 20 per person (10.9% total govt expenditure)  (NZ $US 3328 per person)

Higher Education University of Bangui includes a medical school and Euclid International University are the two Institutes of Higher Learning.

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