All travel comes with some risks, but many African countries are far safer than people might imagine. These are 10 of the safest places to visit in Africa:
Rwanda is arguably the safest country in Africa, which is immediately apparent upon arrival in the relaxed and sophisticated capital Kigali. Though there’s a lot of security around, this doesn’t add tension; rather, the opposite.
In 2017, Rwanda was listed as the ninth safest country in the world. Rwanda’s response to the genocide of 1994 was to pull the country together, rather than further dividing it. Today this has the effect of a solid safety record for tourists and Rwandans, with an emphasis on security.
When to visit Rwanda
June to September is the dry season, though you can travel to tropical Rwanda at any time. Image Travel operate a wide range of Rwanda Safari Tours.
It’s rare for tourists to experience crime in Botswana, largely due to the political stability of the country. Maun – the gateway to the Okavango Delta – experiences low levels of crime. Safaris are well-managed and highly experienced guides keep guests safe in potential wildlife encounters.
Travelers will usually be heading to wilderness areas with very few people. There is little corruption and the tourism industry is well-established.
When to visit the Okavango Delta
Wildlife viewing in the Okavango Delta and Chobe National Park is during the dry months of May to October. You can witness the zebra migration in the Makgadikgadi Pans during the green season of December to March.
One of the safest places to visit in Africa, this island nation is perfect for relaxed holidays where security is of minimal concern. It’s a multicultural country where people live happily side by side. Families love Mauritius and the many beach resorts also help nervous tourists to feel safe.
Port Louis is one of Africa’s top 10 wealthiest cities – less poverty traditionally means less crime. Throughout the island, a shared history (most people’s ancestors arrived here as slaves or indentured laborers) has helped Mauritians bond as a country, creating a safe and welcoming atmosphere.
When to visit
May to November are the driest and coolest months. December to April is hot and humid, with most rain falling between January and March.
A country of vast deserts, Namibia is popular for epic road trips, stargazing, wild safaris and adrenaline experiences from sky diving to quad biking around the adventure capital Swakopmund. The crime rate is low throughout Namibia, and few tourists experience any issues, which makes it ideal for those seeking safe places to travel in Africa.
Namibia benefits from a sparse population and most tourists head to safer areas well outside the cities. Namibia is free of conflict and politically stable.
When to visit Namibia
The weather is fairly consistent all year and there’s nowhere near as much rain as in other Southern African countries. For Etosha wildlife viewing, visit in the dry winter season from July to October.
An idyllic cluster of biodiverse islands in the Indian Ocean, the Seychelles has always been considered a very safe destination for travellers and one of the safest countries in Africa. There is little crime experienced by travellers, especially away from the main islands. Be wary of riptides when swimming in the sea.
The government is stable, and tourism is an established industry. Most people stay in beach resorts, which vastly decreases the chance of encountering any petty or serious crime.
When to visit Seychelles
April/May and October/November are best, outside the rainy seasons and when underwater visibility is best.
For tourists, Ethiopia is one of the safest places to visit in Africa. Serious crime is rare and petty crime rates are low, especially outside the capital Addis Ababa. Although it was associated with famine for years, Ethiopia is now stable and has established much better levels of food security (though it is still one of the least developed countries in the world).
Economic growth has been strong since 2007. The tourism industry has also grown in recent years, which has led to an easier experience for travellers.
When to visit Ethiopia
The driest months of October to April are best, though the rains that fall from May to September do not particularly hinder travel.
Morocco has a good safety record, with few tourists falling victim to serious crime. It has been unaffected by the turbulence seen in many other North African countries and has benefitted from a stable political system. Travelers may, however, experience petty crime such as pick-pocketing and scams in major cities such as Marrakesh, so vigilance is required.
A stable government and lack of conflict within the country helps keep crime in Morocco to a low level. Tourism is also a major industry, so it’s in the citizens’ interests to keep tourists safe.
When to visit Morocco
Morocco gets blazing hot over the summer, so visit in April/May or September/October for some relief from the heat.
This little, mountainous country is land-locked within South Africa. Travelers in Lesotho usually spend most of their time in the rural areas where crime is unusual, making this a destination that will appeal to those specifically looking for safe places to travel in Africa.
The relaxed and easy pace of life in Lesotho’s countryside make it a pleasant place to visit. Crime in these areas is rare. The cities are not as safe, so practice caution when travelling through. It’s best to hike in groups.
When to visit Lesotho
March/April is cool but pleasant for hiking; June to August is best for skiing.
Travelers in Zambia rarely experience any problems, often because they fly straight into wilderness areas. As with most cities, there is potential for theft in hubs such as Lusaka and Livingstone, but the vast majority of tourists are unaffected by this and Zambia is considered one of the safest places to visit in Africa.
The political situation is relatively stable and there has been little conflict. On safari, an experienced guide will know how to maximize safety.
When to visit Zambia
Wildlife viewing is best from May to October. Visit Victoria Falls from June to September when the water volume is lower, allowing better visibility.
Though Kenya has been in the headlines over the years for political conflict or issues along the coast, the country is largely safe for the million-plus visitors it receives each year. The safari industry is the most established in Africa, and an excellent infrastructure enables travellers to easily get around the country. Even within cities such as Nairobi, crime is not an issue for the vast majority of tourists – though, of course, it pays to be cautious. There are travel warnings associated with the Somalian border area and the northern coast, though it’s easy to avoid these regions.
Travelers will generally be on safari in wilderness areas where the only risks are associated with wild animals (and with a good guide, these risks are minimal).
When to visit Kenya
Wildlife is best viewed July to October when it’s dry, which also coincides with the wildebeest migration arriving in the Masai Mara. Take a look at the latest selection of handpicked Kenya safari packages.
Which countries in Africa are not safe to visit?
Traveling in these countries on your own is not recommended and you should be guarded by local police guide. Somalia, South Sudan and Central African Republic are considered as the most dangerous countries in Africa in 2020, according to the Global Peace Index. The rank is based on current economical, political, governmental situation and crime statistics.
Which country has the lowest crime rate in Africa?
Africa is the second-largest continent and second-most-populous continent on Earth. Africa spans over 11.7 million square miles (30.3 million square kilometers) and has a population of about 1.276 billion people. Africa is comprised of 54 countries, according to the United Nations.
What is the nicest country in Africa?
The best African countries to visit depends on what you are expecting from your trip. For those interested in wildlife, the ideal destinations are Botswana, Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya, and South Africa. However, Tanzania, Mozambique, Mauritius in southeast Africa are renowned for marine life. West Africa is known for its distinct colonial architecture.
Some African countries are much safer to visit than others.
The Global Peace Index
The Global Peace Index is an annual report that measures and ranks the peacefulness of 163 countries around the world. The report is published annually by the Institute for Economics and Peace, who uses 23 indicators of peace to determine the rankings broken down into three categories: Ongoing International and Domestic Conflict, Societal Safety and Security, and Militarization.
GPI indicators include:
- Number and duration of internal conflicts
- Relations with neighbouring countries
- Political instability
- Level of violent crimes
- Level of perceived criminality in society
- Based on these factors, each country is given a calculated score. The lower the score, the more peaceful the country is,
As the safest country in Africa, Mauritius has a Global Peace Index ranking of 24. Mauritius is a multicultural island nation that is family-friendly and secure. Mauritius has a very low crime rate overall and what little crime occurs tends to be petty theft and non-violent. Mauritius has a Level 1 travel advisory issued by the U.S. Department of State to exercise normal precautions.
Botswana is the second-safest country in Africa. Ranked at position 30 on the GPI, Botswana is a popular tourist destination with attractions such as Chobe National Park, game reserves, and the Tsolido World Heritage site. Botswana has a Level 1 travel advisory from the U.S. Department of State.
Malawi, the second-safest African country, has a GPI ranking of 40. This puts Malawi just one position below Italy. Crime in Malawi is generally low, with purse-snatching and petty thefts being the largest threats. It is advised to avoid demonstrations and large crowds, specifically in Mulanje district. Malawi’s rank on the Global Peace Index makes it safer than other population travel destinations such as the United Kingdom, Vietnam, Greece, and France.
Ghana is the fourth-safest country in Africa and sits at position 44 on the Global Peace Index. Although Ghana is still considered safe, it is falling in rankings on the GPI, moving down five positions between 2018 and 2019. Ghana is considered to be safer than Argentina, the UK, South Korea, France, Greece, and other popular travel destinations. Ghana has a Level 1 travel advisory and is generally safe to travel according to the U.S. Department of State.
Zambia’s GPI ranking is 48, tied with Timor-Leste. Zambia is Africa’s fifth-safest country. Safety is not a concern among travelers, who typically fly into wilderness areas. Cities are where most people experience higher levels of theft. The political situation is relatively stable in Zambia as well. Zambia has a Level 1 travel advisory from the U.S. Department of State.
6. Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone is a coastal nation in East Africa. The country has a GPI ranking of 52, a ranking that fell 18 positions from 2018 to 2019. While Sierra Leone is still generally safe to travel to, the U.S. Department of State has issued an advisory to exercise increased caution. Violent crime, such as assault and armed robbery, is common in Sierra Leone and local police lack the training and capacity to effectively respond to violent crime incidents.
Tanzania is Africa’s seventh-safest country. Tanzania is ranked 54 on the Global Peace Index. Tanzania’s most popular attraction is the Serengeti Plains, offering tourists the ultimate safari experience. Tanzania has a Level 2 travel advisory. It is recommended to avoid isolated areas, especially at night, and to take taxis that are empty of other passengers and from established taxi companies.
Image Travel regularly take adventurers on unforgettable Tanzania safari holidays.
Madagascar is tied with South Korea on the GPI at position 55 and is the eighth-safest country in Africa. Although the overall crime rate in Madagascar is lower than most other African countries, it has seen a recent increase, particularly with muggings and robberies, since the fallout of the political turmoil has led to higher rates of unemployment. Madagascar’s travel advisory is at Level 2; however, it is still safer than other popular tourist destinations such as Vietnam, France, and Greece.
Senegal is the ninth-safest country in Africa. At position 58 on the Global Peace Index, Senegal is just one position below Vietnam and is safer than France and Greece. Senegal has relatively low levels of crime and disease and has a population known for being generous hosts to tourists. Senegal has a Level 1 travel advisory.
Liberia tops the list of the ten safest countries in Africa. Liberia’s rank on the GPI is 59, just one below Senegal and one above France. The Liberian police are known for being corrupt, while at nowhere near the level they used to be. A tourist visa is required for those visiting Liberia and as well as a yellow fever vaccine.