First (only) visit: September 2007
Now how does this unknown country make it to the Top 100, just missing the Top 50? I was terrified going there, the place is supposed to be one of the most unstable politically in an already unstable continent. And yet Bangui is lovely and has charm. Even the police seemed smiley rather than intimidating to me. There is a great central cafe where you feel you are in Paris; then there is the river, which borders DR Congo, and its pirogues. And then there is Mr. Levy, a story himself, the Israeli who married a local and has lived here for 30 years owning a small (and pleasant) hotel. It's interesting that even here, the Muslim areas are a complete mess, whereas the Christian ones only a bad mess... What will my parents say when I tell them I am coming here again?
Highlight: The slums of Bangui, children waving at you innocently.