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Is it safe to travel to Africa? You might have wondered the answer to this question. Safety is a primary concern while traveling, especially as you explore new places.
Traveling to destinations in Africa can seem a little daunting, but it doesn’t have to be that way. All you have to do is think of a trip to Africa as a unique way to explore the world. With the right information on the safest places to visit in Africa, you’ll be well equipped with everything you need to have a worry-free and enjoyable trip in one of the safest countries in Africa.
Africa is not a single country contrary to popular belief, but it is a collection of many countries, 54 countries to be exact, and some countries are safer than others.
The snowy mountain tops in Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, the undulating but nearly smooth plains, the vast savannah grasslands dotted with wild games and several species of birds, the beautiful white sandy beaches, the sunny warm African skies, and the tropical climate with palm trees, are just a few reasons why several of the African countries need to be on your bucket list.
In addition, for those that love culture and lifestyle, there are hundreds if not thousands of sumptuous dishes to sample and history-rich places to explore. Africans are generally kind and welcoming to tourists.
List of the Safest Countries in Africa
Ready to explore the most magical and nature blessed countries in Africa? In no particular order, here’s a rundown on the safest places to visit in Africa:
The Top 3 Safest Places to Visit in Africa
This country could arguably be number one of the top safest countries in Africa. It is known for hosting multiple local, national, and international sporting events.
You can trace safety in South Africa earlier than 2010 when they hosted the FIFA World Cup Competition. There was little to no instances of reported issues during the World Cup. Due to the success of the game, South Africa became known worldwide for its safety.
From my own perspective, it is hard to believe that South Africa is still categorized as a third world country. You’ll see where I’m coming from once you arrive at Cape Town, the capital of South Africa. The infrastructure looks like any American city.
South Africa has some of the top sight-seeings and activities in Africa. You’ll get to explore the Table Mountain and Robben Island that’s great for hiking, climbing, and biking, the Kruger National Reserve an immense game reserve, and the Apartheid Museum and Constitution Hill in Johannesburg to name a few attractions.
One of the best parts of traveling to South Africa is that the South Africans are polite and harbor African fame – friendliness to strangers.
It is, however, possible to have some occurrences of petty crimes due to the high poverty levels and unemployment rate. You may experience puny pickpockets, especially if you have visible valuable pieces of jewelry.
Safety tip: practice due diligence in choosing your accommodation before your trip so you’re in an area with a high level of security. To help you get started, here are the top accommodations for South Africa.
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Morocco is among the best places to visit in Africa because you’ll get to experience life in the Sahara Desert.
There’s a ton of activities to do in this Africa destination. Some top places to visit in Morocco include Marrakech, the famous Casablanca, Fez, Essaouira, and Tangier, Morocco. The country has breathtaking sights, landmarks, and museums for various travelers’ tastes. You’ll undoubtedly have a thrilling experience.
Be cautious of imposters posing to help you get more familiar with different cultures, languages or other fun places to visit in Morocco. Another thing to note is since Morocco is a conservative country, prepare to dress accordingly.
Safety tip: get advice from your hotel concierge as they would provide you with the most relevant and reliable information for the area.
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According to Reuters, Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda, is rated as the cleanest city in an African country! The country has legislation in effect to exceed a cleanliness threshold set by the government.
The legislators in Rwanda also ensure that it’s the government’s responsibility to protect human rights among all the inhabitants of its country. That basically means that Rwandans see all people as one, be they, citizens or visitors.
You’ll be able to immediately feel the warmth from locales on your arrival in Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda. When you’re in Rwanda, be sure to visit the Volcanos National Park, Kigali Genocide Memorial Museum, and the Royal Palace in Nyanza.
Tours start from as low as $180 for a once in a lifetime experience. For a safari experience, that is a steal!
Safety tip: even though Rwanda is best known for unbeatable safety, instances of petty thefts may occur. It is crucial to be alert when walking in a crowded area.
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Like South Africa, Kenya is a top travel destination in Africa and is visited annually by a large percentage of tourists.
Kenya has outstanding security measures implemented by the government to boost tourism and that’s the reason it made it to our list of the Safest Places to Visit in Africa.
This country is blessed with diverse points of interest for travelers including African safari trips. It’s no surprise that Kenya is a hotspot for many travelers to African countries.
Nairobi is Kenya’s capital. You’ll most likely arrive in the country at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
The last time I had a layover on my way to the Congo (DRC), I was very impressed. The airport is very organized. They have several food options in the food court upstairs and some stores to purchase locally made gifts and artifacts on the main level.
Some top Kenya tourist attractions include the Maasai Mara, also known as the Masai Mara National Reserve is a large game reserve, Amboseli National Reserve, and Tsavo National Park where you’ll get to see wildlife indigenous to the area.
Another part of the country you should get to visit is Lamu Island with a rich history that dates back to the 12th century, and for the bird lovers, Lake Naivasha which is in the Great Rift Valley is an outstanding option.
Safety tip: it is far much safer when you travel by air, or rail and avoid Mombasa road at all costs. If you’re traveling by road, it is better to go with a reputable group tour company. Sometimes, congestion caused by traffic can lead to some unsafe interactions with thugs.
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With lots of deserts and sand dunes for desert racing activities, it is exhilarating to visit Namibia. This Southern African country has a sparse population of approximately 2.5 million people; that’s the equivalent of the number of people that live in the state of New Mexico, USA.
Is Namibia safe? The answer is yes! Safety is an extra benefit of visiting this safe destination in Africa because the crime rates are insanely low.
A few of the top Namibia destinations and attractions include the Etosha National Park, a wildlife reserve; Sossusvlei an area with red sand dunes, Atlantic beaches, Swakopmund, Damaraland, Skeleton Coast, Kalahari, Twyfelfontein, Windhoek, Deadvlei, Luderitz and Kolmanskop.
Safety tip: as a tourist, you need to be careful, especially when moving around the deserts. You could encounter some poisonous animals like snakes and venomous scorpions on your adventure.
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Tourism in Zimbabwe is among the most treasured sources of earning GDP for the country. As a result, the company takes tourists’ safety seriously.
The reason Zimbabwe is a top tourist destination is that it houses one of the wonders of the world – Victoria Falls Zimbabwe.
In addition to visiting Victoria Falls, there are a lot more things to do in Zimbabwe including visiting the Great Zimbabwe Ruins, Hwange National Park, Mana Pools National Park, Matobo National Park, and Harare to experience the dramatic landscape and diverse wildlife.
Zimbabweans are friendly people, and most times, asking a question from the tour guides can get a warm response.
Safety tip: try not to look like a novice when exploring the area so people don’t use the opportunity to hike prices on items when you’re shopping on the street markets.
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Did you know there are several islands that are part of the Africa continent? Mauritius is one of them. This island is ranked as one of the safest places in Africa. It should be on your list for your next travel destinations in Africa because of its sunny, sandy, and white beaches.
Although Mauritius is known for its beaches, there are several other things to do in different parts of the country. For nature lovers, you may have heard of the Mauritius National Botanical Garden that houses over 600 plants, you’ll definitely want to check it out.
You should start from the inland and center of the country and walk your way to Ile aux Aigrettes nature reserve and several museums in the South & South-East, then for scuba diving and snorkeling in Rodrigues, next to the shopping at the Grand Bay and Pamplemousses Botanical Garden in the North and finally the Black River Gorges National Park and the 7-colored earth of Chamarel in the West / South-west.
Also, don’t forget to try as many local seafood dishes. You’ll be amazed by how tasty Mauritian food is.
A trip to Africa especially Mauritius can’t entirely be explored on paper. You’ll have to set foot on this safe destination to truly appreciate its magnificent beauty.
Safety tip: the country is one of the safest places to visit in Africa. However, be sure to check for any travel warnings from the U.S. Department of State website.
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Botswana is a southern African country considered one of the safest countries in Africa. It is well known as one of the top safari destinations in Africa so you’ll spot a wide variety of wildlife on your trip. The country has a booming travel industry!
Natural landscapes and incredible terrain are among other spectacular and iconic things to see that this great country has to offer.
Some top things to do in Botswana include the Okavango Delta / Okavango Grassland – the largest inland flood plain of islands, palm trees, and wildlife. You should also check out Kalahari Desert, Chobe National Park, Moremi Game Reserve, Central Kalahari Game Reserve, and the Rock Art.
With as many as 289 safari tours in Botswana, there is something for everyone regardless of your budget. From a luxury to a budget-friendly tour, Botswana has it all!
Safety tip: petty theft may occur but that’s a rare occurrence. Basic common sense goes a long way.
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Mozambique is a southeastern country stretching from the coastal waters of Tanzania to the warm waters of South Africa. There are hardly any negative or worrying news in the media concerning this coastal country, proving as one of the safest and best countries to visit.
I bet you’re wondering, what are the top things to do in Mozambique? The Bazaruto Archipelago is a great starting point. It is a group of six islands that you’re going to fall in love with.
You’ll get to watch dolphins, whales, and other sea animals, in the wild as you relax and soak up the sun in the beautiful sandy beaches or island-hop from one to another.
For locally made items, visit Machilla Magic where various handicrafts and artworks are sold.
If you’re a water lover, you absolutely need to visit Bazaruto National Park for snorkeling, swimming and other water sports, and Fort Sao Sebastian for a beautiful and extensive view of the sea.
Macuti Lighthouse and Shipwreck is an excellent place to get a great view of the skyline and the wrecks of the ship which didn’t make it to the shore.
For more in-depth cultural history, visit the National Money Museum which has a collection of old and current currency, and Nampulaan ancient Portuguese architectural homes.
Safety tip: plan to avoid road travel outside the city after dark. Most of the common crimes are street crimes like purse-snatching, and pick-pocketing. Be vigilant when in crowded places.
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Algeria is an Arabic Country in North African bordering the Mediterranean and the Sahara Desert.
It is the only country on our list that is the closest to West Africa.
The country is relatively peaceful, however, there has been civil unrest because of the current political atmosphere. That doesn’t mean it is unsafe to visit. In fact, it is one of the safest destinations when traveling to Africa.
Here are the major points of interest in Algeria. Ancient Roman ruins in seaside Tipaza, Martyrs’ Memorial, Notre-Dame d’Afrique, Jardin d’Essai du Hamma, Beni Hammad, and the Botanical Garden of Hamma.
The fantastic Arabian architecture and beautiful landscapes are worth seeing. They also have tasty dishes that you’ll enjoy.
Safety tip: visiting any of the major cities is safe. Areas near the eastern and southern borders should be avoided due to unrest.
Seychelles is the pride and jewel of Africa. It is a safe country for vacationing and the perfect destination for a honeymoon.
This is the ultimate country to visit in Africa as it is a gorgeous and full of abundant coastal life.
The climate is tropical and perfect for snorkeling, swimming, surfing, diving, and bird watching. You can visit Seychelles all year-round as the weather and climate are favorable.
Seychelles has numerous beaches, coral reefs and nature reserves that you wouldn’t want to miss. This country is also home to rare animals such as giant Aldabra tortoise; a must-see.
Some other things to do in Seychelles include Morne Seychellois National Park for hiking, Vallée de Mai National Park in Praslin a birding hot spot to spot the endangered black parrot, hiking, and the opportunity to see the captivating giant bronze gecko, and 14 endemic reptile and amphibian species.
For more history, check out the National Museum of History where you can learn more about the Creole culture and the Magic of Traveling for low budget trip ideas.
I’m certain you can travel to the country worry-free because it’s one of the safest countries in Africa.
Safety tip: the crime here is very low and is usually non-violent. Exercise usual precautions when in Seychelles.
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Swaziland (now Eswatini): The Top 12 Safest African Countries to Visit
Last and certainly not least is Swaziland. This is a small landlocked country in the southern part of Africa. Swaziland is a safe country in Africa because of its small population and landmass.
Swaziland is known to be an outstanding location for family travel or family safari trip. Since the country mass is small, it is easy to get around town with children which makes it a child-friendly country.
People are nice and courteous so it tends to provide a better overall experience when you vacation here. They pride themselves in showcasing travelers the “true” African culture of hospitality.
One of the best places to visit in Swaziland is the Mkhaya Game Reserve wildlife reserve. It is known for its black and white rhino populations, antelope, giraffes, buffaloes, hippo, and crocodiles.
Mlilwane Wildlife sanctuary, Hlane National Park, Mbuluzi Game Reserve, Nisela Safaris Wildlife Reserve, Sibebe Rock, and the National Museum are among the very many places to visit.
The Lobamba traditional hut is a must stay. You’ll experience vibrant Swaziland’s culture like a local. If you’re able to visit during the annual festivals, it is a must! If you’re like me, you’ll enjoy the cultural experience.
One last place to visit is the Ngwenya Glass. It is regarded as Africa’s most prestigious glass factory.
Safety tip: exercise normal precautions as you would in any other country you’re visiting.
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Conclusion: Safest Places to Visit in Africa
This roundup with the 12 safest places to visit in Africa is unison between the spirit of adventure and safety. You should be confident traveling to any of the countries listed above.
Since the political tension of a country can change at any time, be sure to check for updates information on the U.S. Department of State website.
We have extensively explored the top safe countries in Africa to visit, then there shouldn’t be any reason for you not to travel and explore Africa!
Share your experience about your past and upcoming African trip(s) in the comments below. What other safest places to visit in Africa would you recommend? We would love to hear about your experience.
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Never been come to this country. i look from this post and the pictures is very interesting to visit. Hope i can go this country one day
Algeria? You sure about that?
Hello Tony, I second that! That’s one of the countries we need to take off the list. We’ll be sure to do that when we update the post.
Noooo way you think South Africa is amongst the top 10 safest countries in Africa, I’m a Motswana and I know my neighbours are not safe. Do your research well on South Africa, it’s really not amongst the safest. Even if you had a safe experience, you can’t disregard what others have experienced, you were just lucky to not have any bad experience at night, just go to the real areas and you’ll experience it.
Hello Kabelo, I value your comment, and you bring up an important point. It’s not our intention to disregard other people’s experiences. In fact, we welcome them! Your statement, “…just go to the real area and you’ll experience it.” tells me that those areas are not for tourists. Even if you paid me, I wouldn’t go to the “real area” in Chicago or New York. So I agree with you that not all of South Africa is safe and that Botswana is significantly safer than SA. However, our audience is visiting Africa to experience the authentic African culture and customs, so our suggestion still holds for their use case.
Hello can you tell me which African countries are not good concern to safety and crime so we can never add those countries in our bucket list of Africa.
Hi Saurabh, thanks for stopping by. The political and economic climate for countries is in constant flux. So to list out African countries to NEVER add to your bucket list of Africa will be a disservice to Africa. Instead, bookmark this page as we’ll keep it updated with new information we find: some countries might be added/removed over time. I hope this sorta answers your question.
xo ~ Louisa
If you’re not fluent in French, you will stick out like a sore thumb in non-Anglophone Africa. Much of rural North Africa remains extremely dangerous – ask any professional archaeologist or oriental rug merchant. Ghana is ranked higher on the Global Peace Index than France or the UK – why is it not talked about? Read a lot more, before traveling or buying a home….
Thanks for sharing your feedback. Our monthly visitors are not professional archaeologists or oriental rug merchants but families with kids or couples that want to explore Africa. Just like how I can visit New York but wouldn’t want to stay in the Vinegar Hill (Brooklyn), all countries have places you simply don’t want to be if you love your life. With that said, our goal is to share the most relevant information on our site at the time of writing. We’re not the US Department of State of the CDC, so we frankly can’t keep our site up to date with the constant change of the 50+ countries in the motherland. That’s why I refer people to government websites like those to confirm the state of the countries before they visit.
The most recent Global Peace Index was released on 10/2020. These African countries are ranked the top 3 in order:
We still have the top 2 on our post so it’s a great start!
Can you tell me about Rwanda? How safe is Rwanda and the cost of visiting for a month?
Hello Nkese, we almost went to Rwanda in April of this year, but the quarantine cost and restriction made us change our mind. I have friends that have visited Rwanda, and they love the country, and it’s one of the top safest countries. However, you’ll want to avoid going close to the border of the neighboring countries because they tend to have some unrest. I encourage you always to do your due diligence and check out the US Department of State website for the most up-to-date information.
Let me know if you have any other questions.
It’s full of blacks so not safe
Myth: “It’s full of blacks so not safe.”
Response: Buckf you really need to do some research before sharing inaccurate information and using derogatory words on the internet. Educate yourself a little so we can have a more constructive dialogue. Wishing you all the best!
Glad to have read this post. There have been some apprehensions though, but I really want to visit wildlife safaris there. It encourages me more now to plan a trip to Africa.
Hello Neha, having some concerns is normal. In fact, most people do especially since Africa feels so far away. If it’s your first time visiting Africa, I encourage you to start with popular tourist destinations like Morocco, Kenya, Botswana, Ghana, or South Africa. These countries focus on tourism, and their process from applying for a visa if needed to transportation within the countries is well thought out and friendly for first-time African visitors.
Hi, glad to see Namibia on the list, but isn’t it located in southern Africa instead of north Africa?
Hello Edmund, you’re right! That was an oversight on our part and have made the changes. We appreciate your feedback! Please let me know how we can continue to improve our site. Cheers, Lydia
When were you in South Africa. I was there for all of August. Crime is rampant. The army had taken over patrolling the townships outside of Cape Town. All the homes have heavy security measures. Private armed patrols cars sit in the neurons provide ares response.
I drove the Garden Highway to Durban then on to J’burg. Everyone regardless of race cautioned that is should only drive the highway during the day and never ever stop on the road for any reason.
It seemed to me that the country is collapsing.
I have traveled to 45 countries as a solo traveler or with my wife. SA was a solo trip and I would need a really good reason to go back with my wife.
I go to El Salvador 1,2 times a year and though cautious I feel comfortable.
I agree with you about Zimbabwe. And I found Zanzibar lovely.
I appreciate you sharing your experience. I’m glad you enjoyed Zimbabwe and Zanzibar.
We were just in South Africa from November – December. Frankly, SA reminds me of CA. We were neighborhood next to each other where you go from wealth to extreme poverty and it’s sickening to see the economic disparity within a spot mile radius. Typically, it’s those poorer townships that have safety issues so I would only stick to touristy areas.
We walked from downtown Cape Town and V & A Waterfront to our Airbnb at night several times without any issues. As with any travel, always check the US Department of State website about safety because things can change in a country with a flick of a finger.
Please keep the comments and feedback coming!
I am considering visiting South Africa in the next few weeks, but I heard there is some unrest currently going on. What are your thoughts?
Hello Charee, that’s a great question! I did read about the unrest in the news a few days ago. From what I read, most of the demonstration is targeted towards businesses in the area and not tourists so you should be fine. I encourage you to always check the US Department of State website for updated information when traveling internationally. I hope I answered your question!
A lot of these countries are at the absolute top of my bucketlist. It’s a kind reminder that I have a lot more exploring to do in Africa!
Hello Chris, you’re not alone! Most people, in my opinion, need to explore Africa more, myself included. I’m glad you enjoyed the post.
Somehow you forgot Cape Verde Islands. One of the safest and most politically stable countries in Africa. That besides the fight for independence it has never seen civil unrest. 10 small islands of the west coast of Africa, boasting of several international airports with frequent flight and gorgeous landscapes, beautiful people and great culture.
Hello Alfredo, it sounds like you’ve been to a few of the Africa islands; that’s awesome! I agree with you. The good news is we plan on expanding the list to include other safe African countries. Most people don’t even know there are more than 12 safe destinations in Africa. Caper Verde, the smaller islands, and Tanzania will be added to the second part of the post. Thanks for the feedback, we do appreciate it!
I have heard a lot of safety concerns when it is related to Africa. I am glad to come across this blog where you have detailed about the places that can be considered safe to visit in Africa. Morocco and Rwanda are in my list since long. I feel good to know that they are safe. I have already visited Kenya and I really feel there was no safety issues there.
Way to go Shreya for taking the first step! How did you like Kenya? Just like most countries, there’re say and not so safe parts. However, the countries featured here the safest African countries for sure. Did you decide on Morocco or Rwanda? We found the airfare to Rwanda to be considerably more expensive than Morocco. A round trip ticket to Morocco was about $700 so if you would like to keep your travel cost low, I would choose Morocco. I hope this extra bit of information makes your decision a little easier.
Awesome information! I’ve long long since wanted to travel to South Africa and Morocco but have felt hesitant about going. Now I don’t feel to too scared to make the trip.
Aww Brittany, you just made my day! I can relate to how scared you were because my in-laws had never traveled outside the US until three years ago. Their first trip abroad was to Africa. Ever since they’re hooked on going to Africa. My in-laws have been to Kenya, the Congo, and Nigeria and keep bugging us to set our next Africa destination so they could tag along. The media doesn’t always portray Africa in the most favorable light, and some of it but not all of it is true. However, once you get to experience the real Africa, you’ll be hooked for life!
Add me in your list
Hello Maurice, thanks for your interest in joining our mailing list. Frankly, that’s an area we’ve neglected, but we keep getting similar requests from our readers. So, we plan to launch our email list soon to share exclusive photos and content that’s not on the blog. Stay tuned, and I’ll be sure to reach out personally when we launch.
Thanks to both of you lovely ladies for your knowledge and insight. Add me too if you are compiling a list ?
Thanks for your positive comment, Wendell! We’re so glad you like it and look forward to reaching more readers. Will definitely add you to our mailing list once we start one.
I’m so glad I came across this article! I was just starting to plan a major 2020 Africa trip and I wanted to start with some safe, touristy places before I explore the continent in more depth. This was very helpful and it’s a great resource for starters. Thank you for sharing and keep up the great work
Thanks for the feedback, Daniel! I would love to hear about your trip. Please let us know how we could be of resource for you as you plan your Africa trip. If there’s something, we’re missing that you would like to learn about, feel free to reach out directly and we will be more than happy to be of support!
We’ve never been to Africa but exploring this amazing country is definitely on our list. I find this to be a very helpful guide in planning a trip with the right mix of adventure and safety for visitors to Africa. Amazing photographs as well! Thanks for sharing all the details and the safety tips. Will refer back to your post as we plan our trip to Africa.
Our pleasure Aditi! If you decide to travel to Africa, please let us know and be sure to share your experience with us. Cheers!
Interesting article but I’m surprised that Tanzania didn’t make it into your list. Can I ask why? I found it the safest country during my year around Africa
Hello Roshni, excellent point! You make the point that there’re more than 12 Safest African Countries to Visit. Guess what? I agree! We plan on writing a part two to this post, and Tanzania will make it on this list.
That shot of Table mountain behind the cities of South Africa is so epic ! I am planning a trip to Morocco and Algeria. I do see alot of Arabic influences in Algeria ! I’ll take note on the dress code when in Morocco ! Thanks for the tips ! =)
Our pleasure Jeremy! We’re glad we could be of help. We would love to hear about your experience in Morocco and Algeria when you get back. I hope you have a blast!