Published on: Mar 6, 2020
Africa doesn’t have a sparkling reputation in the media. Most of the news we hear about the continent usually involves dictators, lions mauling people, and extreme poverty. With these, it’s understandable why it’s not in many people’s travel bucket list.
But there is so much more to Africa than the media is showing. It’s a huge continent with 54 countries and thousands of ethnicities and languages. What you don’t get to hear in the news are its awe-inspiring landscapes and a diverse culture that dates back thousands of years.
If you’ve been wanting to visit Africa but are worried about your safety, don’t be. Security concerns might be valid in some places. But many African cities are relatively safer than other first world countries. Here are some of the safest places to visit in Africa, even for solo travelers: (Related: The Benefits of Being a Lone Traveler)
Travel advisories and bans from the US, Canada, and the UK might tell you about kidnappings and robberies in Kenya. But a large part of the country, especially the safari areas, is considered safe for tourists.
Most of the chaos is centered around the country’s capital of Nairobi and along its border with Somalia. While wildlife havens like Masai Mara, Amboseli, Samburu or Lewa, and Laikipia are located along the country’s border with Tanzania. It’s so peaceful that the border is only separated by simple stone cairns.
Bordering some of the most stable countries in Africa, it’s no wonder that Botswana is often dubbed as one of the safest places to visit in Africa. The worst thing that can happen to you as a tourist is getting mugged, which (admit it) is a risk even in downtown L.A.
Botswana’s tourism is also very developed and people are warm and welcoming. But as with most places, it still pays to be mindful of your surroundings and your belongings.
With a small population and relatively stable politics, Namibia is one African country you shouldn’t miss. It also has one of the lowest crime rates in the continent.
Its vast desserts and quiet beaches are a haven for tourists looking for a “less touristy” destination. Though relatively crime-free, tourists have reported incidence of mugging in the capital of Windhoek. So, we recommend you skip the capital and explore the wild, untamed nature of the countryside.
Overall, Morocco is a safe country to visit. Though scams and pickpocketings happen, you’re unlikely to encounter serious crimes.
As any responsible traveler would, just keep your wits about you and don’t leave your stuff unattended. Female travelers, however, tend to attract a lot of unwarranted attention. Thus it’s best for them not to walk alone at night.
Though tensions are high in the country’s borders with Uganda, Burundi, and Congo, Rwanda remains one of the safest countries in Africa. The crime rate is particularly low even in the capital of Kigali. Many travelers also agree that Rwandans are some of the most hospitable people in the world.
It also has a well-established and reliable bus network. So there’s lesser risk of you falling prey to unscrupulous taxi drivers. Just make sure you’re buying tickets from the bus company counter. Scammers are known to hang around bus terminals waiting for unsuspecting tourists.
With crystal blue waters and pristine white-sand beaches, Mauritius is a tropical paradise. Not only that, this tiny island has one of the lowest crime rates in the continent.
Tourism is the lifeblood of the economy. So locals are keen on keeping their place safe to attract more tourists. Most crimes are non-violent. The biggest security concern you’ll probably encounter are pickpockets in tourist areas such as Port Louis, Grand Baie, and Flic en Flac.
Despite its ongoing border-conflict with the Democratic Republic of Congo, many people still consider Zambia as a safe place to visit. Just stick to tourist areas like the safaris and avoid places near the Zambia-Congo border especially around Lake Mweru. Mugging and scams still happen in big cities though. So as a general precaution, don’t wear expensive jewelry and leave your valuables in a safe place.
As a tourist in Mozambique, the main thing safety risks you’ll have to worry about are petty theft and robbery. Violent crimes are not that common. They usually just happen in Maputo and the southern part of the country.
If you’ll take the usual precautions of not walking alone at night and keeping an eye on your valuables, there’s no reason not to enjoy this beautiful country. (Related: How to Make Cheap Calls When Traveling Abroad)
Do you know of any country that should have made it to this list of safest places to visit in Africa? Tell us in the comments!
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