It borders Chad in the north, Sudan in the east, the Republic of the Congo and Dem. Rep. of the congo in south and Cameroon in the west. Most of the C.A.R. consists of Sudano-Guinean savannas but it also includes a Sahelo-Sudanese zone in the north and an equatorial forest zone inthe south. Two thirds of the country lies in the basins of the Ubangi River which flows south in the Congo river while the remaining one third lies in the basins of the Chari river, which flows north into Lake Chad.
since most of the region belongs to the Ubangi and Sari river basins, the French called it a a region Ubangi-Chari.
In the pre-historic period between 1000 BC and 1000AD, Adamawa-eastern speaking peoples spread eastward from Cameroon to Sudan and settled in most of the territory of the C.A.R . During the same period, a much smaller number of Bantu speaking immigrants settled in South western CAR and some central Sudanic speaking populations settled along the Oubangi. The majority of the CAR's inhabitants speak Adamawa eastern languages or Bantu languages belonging to the Niger-Congo family. A minority people speak Central Sudanic languages of the Nilo Saharan family . More recent immigrants include Muslim mmerchants who most often speak Arabic or Hausa.
Until the early 1800s, the people of CAR lived beyond the expanding Islamic frontier in the Sudanic zone of the of Frica and thus have relatively little contact with Abrahamic religions or norther economies. During the first decade of the nineteenth century , however, Muslim traders began increasingly to penetrate the region of the CAR and to cultivate special relations with the local leaders in order to facilitate their trade and settlement in the region. the initial arrival of the Muslim traders in the early 1800s was relatively peaceful and depended upon the support of local local peoples , after about 1850s slave traders with well armed soldiers began penetrate the region . Between c.1860 and1910 slave traders from Sudan , Chad, cameroon, Dar-al-kuti in northern CAR and Nzakara and Zande states insoutheastern CAR exported much of the population of Eastern CAR , a region with very few inhabitants today.