Before traveling to Africa, travelers, especially from Europe and North America, question whether it is safe to travel to Africa. It is no surprise that they question the continent’s safety as the media has generally focused on the negative side of Africa and forget the beauty, the friendliness, and the love that comes from it. Even though there are a few unsafe countries, there is still a long list of safe countries in Africa to choose from. So in this post, we are going to look at some of the safest African countries to visit.
Pro tip* Even though these countries qualify to be on the list of the safest places in Africa, it doesn’t mean that you completely have to ignore the general safety travel tips as you enjoy your safari.
Traveling to Africa for the very first time? Here is everything you need to know before you go
Safest African countries to visit
Having been listed as one of the friendliest countries in the world by BBC, Uganda definitely qualifies to be among the best countries in Africa to live in.
It might not seem like a palpable fact to consider Uganda the safest place in Africa to visit when you look at all the media fracas, but when you take a closer look you’ll realize that it is actually a safe place.
I have personally lived in Uganda for all my life and I’ve had the opportunity to travel to different parts of the country and I can vouch that I’ve never felt unsafe in any way.
Regardless of the petty and street theft that can literally happen even in the biggest and safest countries in the world, it should not stop you from enjoying this pearl of Africa.
If you’re convinced that Uganda is actually one of the safest African countries to visit, then check out this post about the best places to visit in Uganda.BUY THIS TRAVEL GUIDE FROM AMAZON TO LEARN ALL ABOUT UGANDA
Contributed by Jess Drier from Unearth the Voyage. Follow her on Instagram to find out what she’s up to
I traveled to Tanzania in Spring 2014 and had such an amazing time. I would have to say Tanzania is definitely the safest country in Africa because of the experience I had there. I never at any point during the 6 weeks I was there felt unsafe. I traveled as a solo female traveler and went through a volunteer company called IVHQ. At the beginning of my trip, the volunteer company gave us an orientation to the country and how to get around. We were given instructions on how to get cell phones as well as recommendations of vetted taxi drivers. Having a cell phone as well as a list of taxi drivers definitely helped make me feel safer in the country. Because I went through a volunteer organization, I also never really went anywhere alone. Some women, as well as men, volunteered at organizations on their own so they would go back and forth from the volunteer house to their placement every day on public transportation alone, and no one ever had any problems.
I do have a few recommendations on ways to stay safe while you’re in Tanzania, the first is to never go anywhere alone at night. Find a few taxi drivers who you feel comfortable with and call them if you’d like to go out for dinner or even out dancing! We went out to different dance clubs and restaurants almost every night until very late at night, but always stayed in at least pairs, and always got a reputable taxi driver to take us home. The second, women should make sure they wear modest clothing and always cover their knees. A few fellow volunteers who wore short dresses out during the day always got a lot of unwanted attention such as cat-calling, and lots of stares.
There are so many amazing things to do in Tanzania, such as climbing Mount Kilimanjaro or going on a safari. When you do both of these activities, you will have a tour guide so you shouldn’t have any issues with safety. In my experience, the Tanzanian people are extremely friendly and your guides are there to look after your safety and make sure you have a great time. As long as you follow a few simple safety precautions, Tanzania will be one of the peaceful countries in Africa for you.BUY THIS TRAVEL GUIDE FROM AMAZON TO LEARN ALL ABOUT TANZANIA
It might seem like an oxymoron to suggest Kenya as a safe destination given that the East African country has come under terror attacks multiple times in the last few years. However, once you realize that even the so-called safe countries in Europe have faced the same problem you begin to let go of your apprehensions and instead, go to enjoy Kenya for what it truly is – a rich and biodiverse country that affords you a chance of going back to nature in a way few other places can.
I visited the country some months before the Westgate attacks and found an incredibly warm country. I visited the Masai Mara reserve, strolled around Kenya city as well as the sprawling Kibera and never felt threatened even once. I realized that if I applied some common sense and smiled often, I was likely to be more welcomed. The simple act of not hurrying through this vast country but to actually sit and listen to the locals endeared me to everyone I met. The proof? At least one free Tusker beer every night!
In fact, I extended my trip to go and visit the Lamu island and Mombasa simply because I was having such a good time. Everywhere, locals took me in and tried (unsuccessfully) to teach me Swahili, gave me khat to chew on while talking world problems and ensured that it became one of my favorite countries not just in Africa but the world.BUY THIS TRAVEL GUIDE FROM AMAZON TO LEARN ALL ABOUT KENYA
Contributed by Fiona Berry from Passport and Piano. Follow her on Facebook to find out what she’s up to
Botswana is one of the safest countries in Africa to visit. It has had a stable democracy for longer than any other country on the continent, and there’s little corruption. It’s often considered as a luxury travel destination and that’s unlikely to change much in the future. The country has an excellent conservation record, and most of the resorts are eco-lodges. Recycling, reducing carbon footprint, solar energy and supporting the environment all play essential roles in the tourist industry here.
I was in Botswana during April 2018 when I spent two weeks on a self-drive safari around several national parks and Zambia. I was traveling with my cousin, and I can honestly say we never felt any danger at any point. Even at crossing the border, people were very helpful and kind. As you might expect locals were trying to sell us travel souvenirs at these points, and like many other countries they did tend to follow us. However, they were only trying to make a living.
The most significant danger in Botswana is the animals as none of the reserves are gated. It’s, therefore, best to drive only during daylight hours and follow locals’ advice if you’re camping in the bush. The main roads are paved so getting around is not a problem although you do have to watch out for the potholes.
Unfortunately, I can also vouch for the quality of healthcare. I ended up visiting the hospital in Kasane after being severely bitten by insects and suffered an allergy. The facilities were outstanding as was the aftercare.
The doctor sent my notes to the hospital in Zambia and booked me in for a checkup visit the following week at a medical center in Livingstone. To avoid getting bitten by insects, make sure you cover up at all times as well as using insect repellent. (You can buy the insect repellant from here).
Enjoy your travels through Botswana, it’s a beautiful country and the wildlife is magnificent – I can’t wait to go again later this year.BUY THIS TRAVEL GUIDE FROM AMAZON TO LEARN ALL ABOUT BOTSWANA
Contributed by Wendy from Empty Nesters Hit The Road. Follow her on Facebook to find out what she’s up to
Often, when I tell friends that I’m headed to Rwanda, they respond with the question, “Is it safe?” I’m not sure if they are referring to the genocide that took place 25 years ago, or think that Africa, in general, is unsafe. But either way, my answer is an emphatic one, “yes!” After two trips to Rwanda, first in 2016 and again in 2019, I can assure everyone that this is a safe country to visit in Africa
But don’t just take my word for it. According to Gallup’s Law and Order Index of 2018, Rwanda is the second safest country in Africa. 83% of Rwandans have confidence in their local police and feel safe walking alone at night. In comparison, the U.S. ranks just one percentage point higher at 84%. During both of my visits to Rwanda, I felt safe traveling throughout the country in big cities and tiny villages and meeting hundreds of locals.
So now that we’ve covered safety, let’s talk about what to do in Rwanda. First, since most people arrive in the capital of Kigali, spend some time in this vibrant city. Be sure to visit the museums, markets and art galleries. And if you’re a coffee lover like me, hang out in one of the cafes drinking some delicious, strong coffee.
Next, choose one of three national parks for wildlife viewing. I chose to head North to Volcanoes National Park for a golden monkey trek, but this is also a popular location for gorillas treks. It was here that Dian Fossey studied the mountain gorillas and launched an international effort to save them.
If time permits, check out the two other national parks; Akagera and Nyungwe Forest. The first is a great destination for large animal viewings like elephants and zebras, while the second is well-known for chimpanzees.BUY THIS TRAVEL GUIDE FROM AMAZON TO LEARN ALL ABOUT RWANDA
Contributed by Maria from Tigrest.com. Follow her on Facebook to find out what she’s up to
My last trip to Hurghada, Egypt was in March 2019. I visited with a female friend. We surely had some doubts about it being safe for two females traveling on their own, but in the end, there was no reason to worry. We spent many hours walking the streets of old Hurghada and never experienced any problems with locals. Most of the men approaching us were simply trying to invite us into their stores and sell us some souvenirs. A few guys tried to make friends, but we turned them down politely.
As we didn’t have a huge budget, we decided to book ATV safari with a local company we found online. The price was almost too good to be true. When the car came to pick us up, there were only us and four Egyptian men. We had a short panic attack, but it was a great tour in the end. Basically, the tour was just for two of us, as no one else had booked on that date. The guys ended up being very nice and polite, although they still tried to sell us photos.
If you are traveling to Egypt on your own, I recommend using common knowledge, as you would anywhere else in the world. There is no danger in booking tours with local companies or with street agencies. Also, don’t forget that it is a Muslim country, so wear modest clothes covering your shoulders and knees- that’s the way you can avoid unnecessary attention. No need to wear hijab, though- Egyptians are used to tourists, especially in resorts and near famous historical landmarks.
Egypt is a fantastic country with lots of different activities for any taste. I recommend visiting historical landmarks, such as the Pyramids of Giza and Luxor temples. Heading to Luxor? Check out this post about Luxor day trip from Hurghada for all the details. Desert tours are also very interesting, and you get a chance to drive an ATV or buggy. If you enjoy swimming, you can enjoy fantastic beaches on the Red Sea with lots of corals and colorful fish. With such a scenario I went through with my friend, I am confident to say that Egypt is one of the safest places to visit in Africa.BUY THIS TRAVEL GUIDE FROM AMAZON TO LEARN ALL ABOUT EGYPT
Contributed by Danielle from Live in 10 countries. Follow her on Twitter to find out what she’s up to
Even though it might be hard for some people to believe, Morrocco is one of the safest places in Africa. I traveled to Morocco in the toasty heat of September and spent some time exploring not only the capital, Marrakesh but also more isolated areas around the Atlas Mountains. It’s a place where the culture is incredibly vibrant and I felt safe because I traveled in a women-only group and we were all able to go out in the evenings, wander around and felt OK.
It’s always important to respect the local culture and cover up appropriately – that’s on you! But, popping on a long sleeved shirt and no low collar line with long trousers or a long skirt was all I needed to do. That kind of respect is key to maintaining good relations with the locals and staying safe.
You should definitely book a tour of the Atlas area’s incredible waterfalls and save some spending money for the eclectic souqs. Lovely afternoons can also be spent drinking mint tea in cool courtyards around the city. To keep yourself safe while you do all of that, don’t carry a lot of cash or flashy valuables and register with your government or embassy to let them know the dates of your trip.
If you’re a queer traveler, unfortunately, Morocco isn’t a safe place for you and you’ll be better off exploring LGBT friendly destinations in Europe.BUY THIS TRAVEL GUIDE FROM AMAZON TO LEARN ALL ABOUT MOROCCO
Contributed by Wendy from The Nomadic Vegan. Follow her on Instagram to find out what she’s up to
I visited Malawi in 2017 as part of a three-month journey around southern Africa. While I definitely had safety concerns about some of the other countries I visited on that trip, I was generally not worried about safety while I was in Malawi.
The people of Malawi have a reputation for being exceedingly kind and friendly, and I found this to be true during my stay there. Indeed, the country is known as the “warm heart of Africa” for this very reason. The crime rate is very low, especially compared with some other countries in the region.
Even so, I still advise taking the usual precautions in cities, especially at night. After dark, it’s best to take a taxi rather than walking, even for short distances.
Lake Malawi is the main tourist attraction in the country that you should visit. There are also several towns you can visit along the lake; I chose Cape Maclear, which is a friendly, and relaxing place to chill out for a few days.
I also highly recommend visiting Livingstonia, which is a historic town founded by missionaries from Scotland in the 19th century. The hospital, church, and schools that the Scots founded are all still operating and offer valuable services to the local people. Manchewe Falls, the tallest waterfall in the country at 125 meters, is also close by.
When visiting Livingstonia, I recommend staying at the Mushroom Farm Eco-Lodge. They offer affordable and unique accommodation and serve up some of the best food in Malawi.BUY THIS TRAVEL GUIDE FROM AMAZON TO LEARN ALL ABOUT MALAWI
Contributed by Amanda from A Dangerous Business. Follow her on Instagram to find out what she’s up to
If you’re looking for a country to visit in Africa that’s tropical, exotic, AND very safe, then you don’t need to look any further than Seychelles. The Seychelles is a group of 115 small islands in the Indian Ocean that are home to just under 100,000 people. The islands are the epitome of a tropical paradise, with pristine white sand beaches, warm turquoise water, towering palm trees, and even giant tortoises.
While the country is often thought of as a honeymoon hot spot, the Seychelles islands are also great for families, groups of friends, and even solo travelers. And this is mostly because the islands are laid-back and extremely safe for any kind of traveler.
I visited the islands as a solo traveler at the end of 2017, spending one week in the Seychelles traveling between the islands of Mahe, Praslin, and La Digue. I traveled on my own, often with a local guide/driver to see some of the most popular spots and beaches. The islands are well developed for tourism, with good roads, plenty of hotels, and English as one of the country’s three official languages.
Safety-wise, the biggest danger in the Seychelles is from the ocean! Several beaches are not safe to swim in because of strong currents. But otherwise, there are few safety concerns; very little violent crime, and not even any malaria to worry about. As a solo traveler, I took the normal safety precautions I follow when traveling alone (not wandering anywhere unfamiliar at night, not carrying more valuables on me than was necessary, not over-indulging in alcoholic beverages, etc.) and felt very safe the entire time.
Some of my favorite things I did in the Seychelles included spending a day at the famous Anse Source d’Argent beach on the island of La Digue, meeting some native Aldabra giant tortoises, and visiting the Vallée de Mai, a national park and UNESCO World Heritage Site on the island of Praslin that’s home to the coco de mer nut, the largest nut in the world!
So if you’re looking for safe countries to visit in Africa, The Seychelles should definitely be on your list.BUY THIS TRAVEL GUIDE FROM AMAZON TO LEARN ALL ABOUT SEYCHELLES
Contributed by Laura & Charlie The Travelling Stomach. Follow them on Facebook to find out what they’re up to
Like many of its neighbors, Mozambique has emerged from the dark past of its civil war and has had issues shrugging off that stereotypical dangerous image of Africa. However, nowadays that couldn’t be further from the truth and is now the ultimate destination for a luxury coastal retreat, with the likes of the Bazaruto Archipelago and Tofo offering some of the most jaw-dropping diving and beaches in the world.
Extending far along the coastline of southern Africa, Mozambique is a country that showcases the best of the Indian Ocean and African culture, challenging even the likes of Mauritius and the Seychelles as the go-to beach destination. Like most places around the world, of course, vigilance is key – be sensible in booking taxis through your hotel and avoid traveling at night. Mozambique, in particular, does have terrible roads with minimal street lighting, so traffic accidents at night are a regular occurrence.
Nevertheless, One of the most famous spots in Mozambique, the Bazaruto Archipelago of six islands, with Bazaruto itself and Benguerra being the two largest, is the ultimate island paradise. Dotted with a small number of beautiful boutique resorts fronting out to the turquoise waters with incredible underwater life beyond. Stay at Azura Benguerra and soak up the sun by the pool and then spend your mornings diving or snorkeling the magical 2-mile reef!
Even after the dark past, Mozambique has now emerged to be one of the best countries in Africa to live in.BUY THIS TRAVEL GUIDE FROM AMAZON TO LEARN ALL ABOUT MOZAMBIQUE
Contributed by Andrea from Happy Days Travel Blog. Follow her on Facebook to find out what she’s up to
Having traveled widely on the continent of Africa, Ethiopia remains one of our favorite destinations. We first visited in 2016 when we spent three months traveling throughout this amazing country, and we have recently returned from our second trip.
Undoubtedly, there are dangers in Ethiopia. Currently, the UK government and others are advising against all travel to the border areas with Eritrea, Kenya, Somalia, and South Sudan. We, however, experienced no problems and never felt threatened or nervous at all. The main reason for this is the Ethiopian people, who showed us nothing but kindness, friendship, and generosity wherever we traveled.
Tips to staying safe in Ethiopia
- Check with the latest government advice issued in your country before traveling to Ethiopia. Stay away from any areas identified as being potentially dangerous.
- As in all countries, cities in Ethiopia have their share of petty crime and tourists could be seen as an easy target. If you are in Addis Ababa or any other sizeable city, take the same precautions you would anywhere:
- Try to always tell someone where you’re going.
- Don’t walk alone after dark.
- Stick to well-lit areas.
- Know the number for emergency services (911 is the general emergency number in Ethiopia).
- Lock your valuables in a hotel safe where possible and only carry a small amount of cash and one debit/credit card.
The best things to do in Ethiopia
Be blown away by the stunning scenery. Spend time exploring the Simien Mountain National Park, the Blue Nile Falls, and the Bale Mountains National Park. If you’re lucky, you’ll see the incredible gelada baboons, Ethiopian wolves, and Walia ibex.
- Spend a few days in Addis Ababa. Don’t miss the National Museum where you can meet ‘Lucy’ the world’s oldest hominid. Take in an Abyssian cultural show and marvel at the ‘shoulder dancing’.
- Enjoy delicious Ethiopian cuisine and drink the best coffee you’ll ever taste.
- Visit the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela. While you’re in town, dine at the coolest restaurant in Ethiopia – Ben Abeba, aka ‘The Spaceship Restaurant’.
- Go to Aksum to see the northern stelae field, as well as the carefully-guarded chapel which houses the legendary Ark of the Covenant.
- Stay in Gondar where you’ll see European-style castles and palaces.
- Take a boat trip across Lake Tana to visit some of the monasteries of the Zege Peninsula.
- Buy some hand-crafted souvenirs to remind you of the incredible country of Ethiopia.
Contributed by Philip from Zen Travellers. Follow him on Instagram to find out what he’s up to
In 2019, I traveled to the island of Sal in Cape Verde. Cape Verde is a beautiful archipelago of volcanic islands about 460km off the Western coast of Africa. Sal is the most developed for tourism of the ten islands and most of its small population is supported by tourism. I considered it to be safe as it has no major crime issues aside from petty theft. As in many countries, one should pay attention to their valuables and avoid flashing them about, especially if you’ve had a cocktail or two on the beach.
But realistically you can expect a warm welcome from locals in Cape Verde. The slogan that you’ll hear repeatedly is “No Stress”. Indeed, why would you stress if you lived in Cape Verde? It’s a beautiful tropical paradise with many kilometers of beaches, a great variety of marine life, and a laid back vibe.
If you get tired of lazing about on the beach you can do any number of activities in the ocean including Kite Surfing, Kiteboarding, Stand Up Paddleboarding, Scuba Diving, Snorkeling, or Surfing. There are also a handful of tourist sites on land, including salt pools, the “blue eye” cave, and lagoon, seeing lemon sharks, visiting local fishing villages, or exploring the desert on a horse or 4×4. Indeed Cape Verde is one of the most peaceful countries in Africa that you should visit.BUY THIS TRAVEL GUIDE FROM AMAZON TO LEARN ALL ABOUT CAPE VERDE
Contributed by Jyoti and Nirmal from Story at Every Corner. Follow them on Facebook to find out what they’re up to
We have lots of peace, and that’s all we have”, our driver in Zambia said when we asked the safety question. He was pretty accurate. Zambia has been politically stable and peaceful. The economy is slow and unemployment is high in many parts, but the people are very peaceful and non-violent.
We traveled to Zambia as part of our 14 day trip of Southern Africa in July 2018. We stayed in Livingstone as our base to explore Zambia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe. We chatted with our local guide, the staff at the resort, other travelers and other locals we met on our trip to get a sense of lifestyle in Zambia. Everyone we met was wonderful and vouched for complete safety in Zambia.
Encouraged by all the feedback, we ventured out to town and walked across the border to Zimbabwe and we never faced any challenges along the way.
There is a lot to see in Zambia, but we had only 3-4 days. So we picked a few highlights –
We stayed on a resort on Victoria Falls, the largest waterfall in the world(by volume) so we got full free access to the falls.
We walked over to Zimbabwe to check out the local scene and to see the falls from the Zimbabwe side.
We took a day trip to Chobe National Park in Botswana for an amazing land safari and a boat safari in the Chobe River.
On the resort, we spent time walking around the property and took a horseback safari into the national park.
Like any place, be mindful of what you’re carrying and displaying, plus, keep your valuables concealed.
Overall Zambia was amazing, we did not get any safety threats and we would definitely recommend it as one of the safest countries in Africa to visit.BUY THIS TRAVEL GUIDE FROM AMAZON TO LEARN ALL ABOUT ZAMBIA
Now that you know all the safest countries in Africa to visit, it is time to book your flight to this 2nd largest continent in the world and enjoy the adventure of a lifetime.
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