The Central African CFA franc (XAF) is the currency of six independent states in Central Africa - Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. The currency was introduced to the previously French colonies in Equatorial Africa in 1945, replacing the French Equatorial African franc. The currency continued in use when these colonies gained their independence. Equatorial Guinea, the only former Spanish colony in the zone, adopted the CFA franc in 1984.
In several west African states the West African CFA franc (currency code XOF) is in circulation, such as Benin - West African CFA franc. The West African CFA franc is of equal value to the Central African CFA franc.
Both XAF and XOF currencies are referred to as the CFA franc.
XAF News, Forecasts and Trends
The Central African CFA franc has a fixed rate of exchange with the euro (and previously the French franc) set at 1 euro = 655.957 CFA francs.
The CFA franc is characterised as a credible and stable currency, a significant virtue given the experience of most currency-issuing African nations.
The below interactive chart shows the USD to XAF exchange rate, trend and recent alerts for the last 90 days.
Recent USD to XAF 90-day trend
ALERTS:4-DAY▼1.7% | 30-DAY LOWS |
USD/XAF at 591.64 was trading 1.4% belowAVG:599.87 with LO:573.21 and HI:615.33 (90 days). ALERTS: USD/XAF was DOWN 1.7% this 4-DAY period and also dropped to 30-DAY LOWS.
US Dollar to Central African Franc - Historical Rates
The Republic of the Congo uses the Central African Franc (CFA) as its currency but often travellers do not get to use it. Brazzaville’s international hotels and the country’s few wilderness lodges accept US dollars, GB pounds and Euros.
It’s true that the DRC is a deeply troubled country. Beginning with the arrival of Europeans in the late fifteenth century, and the subsequent colonisation in 1885 by Belgium, extensive pillaging of the country’s rich natural resources, slavery and war mar its history.
Although the DRC enjoyed some prosperous years in the 1950s, the country fell apart again after independence in 1960 and continues to face waves of violence and war, kept at bay only in some regions by the huge UN peacekeeper presence.
It’s possible to visit parts of the DRC safely. The safest and most touristed areas of the country are Goma, Virunga National Park and Bukavu in in the east, and the capital Kinshasa in the west. Given that there are still serious security threats in the DRC for tourists, it’s best to visit with a tour company who will know how best to keep you safe.
Getting around in Congo.
The combination of long distances and terrible roads means flying is often the best (and sometimes the only practical) way to reach many towns in DRC. While the country is not known for its strict safety regulations, things have improved considerably in recent years. CAA Congo, KIN-AVIA and Congo Airways are generally considered to be the best of the domestic airlines. Air travel is not cheap, however.
Buses are available where the roads are good enough, but they are very much the lowest rung in DRC travel. Currently it's hard to advise taking local long-distance bus services as they're cramped, uncomfortable, and prone to delay, breakdown and ambush.
Despite a road-repair binge, most roads in DRC are still dirt, which means that rainy-season travel is slow and difficult. A 4WD car is a must almost anywhere, and it's not normally possible to drive yourself as a tourist.
Trains in DRC are slow and unreliable, and in general not a good way to get around. One exception to that rule is the rail link between Kinshasa and Matadi, where there's now a regular and relatively reliable service.
Do I need a Visa for the Congo?
With the exception of citizens from neighbouring countries, all visitors require a visa to enter the Republic of the Congo; visas are not issued at the airport. The 15-day single entry tourist visa is usually sufficient. On arrival, your passport must be valid for six months and you may be asked for proof of your tour, lodge or hotel reservation – a physical copy of your booking confirmation is acceptable. A yellow fever certificate is required by all visitors except infants under a year old.
Travel money for Congo
Save money and time by Ordering your Central African Franc online from Travelex, you get better rates and can pick
up the XAF cash locally or even on travel day at the airport.
Another popular option is to
use a Pre-paid Travel Card. Your Debit/Credit Card provider will charge you 2% from market mid-rate,
but your bank may also charge an extra 3% as an “Overseas Transaction Charge” plus “Overseas ATM” fees for withdrawing cash.
For card purchases if offered a choice of currencies always select to
Pay in Central African Franc otherwise you may get much worst exchange rates.
Sending money to Congo
When searching around for information on how to get a good exchange rate when sending money to Congo you need to start with finding out the latest
Central African Franc foreign-transfer exchange rate.
Then compare your bank's exchange rates to several licensed FX providers exchange rate and fees to see how much
you can save (we make that calculation easy here).
Get a better deal for foreign transfers to Congo
When sending money to Congo it’s important to compare your bank’s rates & fees with those we have negotiated with our partner money transfer providers.
To get a better deal you should follow these 4 simple steps :
Open an account with a BER reviewed FX provider (id docs may be required)
You specify the local or Central African Franc amount you want to transfer
Make a local currency domestic transfer for the requested amount to the provider's bank account in your country
Once your funds are received by the provider the converted XAF amount will be transfered to the recipient account you specify in Congo.
Use our Send to Central African Franc calculator to compare the exchange rates of FX specialist providers rates versus your bank's standard rates you can hopefully save around 5% and maybe more -
end result is more Central African Franc deposited into the recipient bank account and less margins and fees kept by the banks!
General advice: The information on this site is of a general nature only. It does not take your specific needs or circumstances into consideration. You should look at your own personal situation and requirements before making any legal, accounting or financial decisions. The foreign exchange rates and products compared on this page and website are chosen from a range of products that bestexchangerates.com (BER) has access to and are not
representative of all the products available in the market.
We may receive referral fees in relation to your activity on the BER website however this doesn't affect the exchange rates or fees you are charged.
The use of terms "Best" and "Top" are not product ratings and are subject to our disclaimer.