The Central African Republic currently has a Level 4 travel advisory from the U.S. state department, a stern “Do Not Travel” warning it shares with countries like Iraq, Syria, and North Korea. Tensions between rebels and the ruling government have persisted for years, and though the verdant jungles and abundant wildlife may sound inviting, most of the people who come here work for NGOs or are doing other humanitarian work.

That said, should the situation stabilize, you can find hippopotami in great numbers in Manovo-Gounda St. Floris National Park and rich concentrations of other wild game in Bamingui-Bangoran and Dzanga-Sangha parks. The latter is known for its large groups of lowland gorillas as well. People-watching can be equally as fascinating here too, with indigenous forest tribes about 60 miles outside the capital city of Bangui. Again, now is not the time to go out and explore it, as much of the country outside the city is under no form of control. But, hopefully, better times are ahead.