Safety in Africa
Safety. One of the most prime topics to think about when anyone travels. Domestic or International. Ask any traveler and safety is what concerns them the most during any travel. This is one factor that determines if the trip is well worth the effort or not, and a lot of decisions are based solely on this. Safety is one factor without which no one will want to travel. If, at all they do, they will after carefully considering and evaluating all the criteria and risk factors.
When we talk about safety, it’s often connected to something. So safety is a relative term and is usually connected to your life and limb or monetary assets. It can be w.r.t riding on a motorbike without a helmet, traveling without insurance, eating unsafe food, etc. It’s pretty much obvious that you think more about your safety during travel than any other place, and this has to do with the main w.r.t the place you are traveling to more than anything else. For example, if you want to talk about travel to the United States and travel to Africa, anyone would instantly realize that traveling to Africa has a much higher risk factor than the United States.
Reasons for the fear perception can be generally classified as below, and most are self-explanatory.
- Traveling in unknown or remotely traveled areas. People fear to travel off the beaten path
- Negative news and media reports
- Incorrect or even unavailability of the right information
- Some countries are not a tourist destination like some other countries
- Safety for women and families
- Inadequate healthcare and medical facilities
- Not enough government, tourism boards, and police support
- Weather and climatic changes (e.g. floods, landslides, cyclones, extreme heat, etc.)
- Political instability, internal and external aggression, poverty, and crime levels
- Past incidents involving travelers
Safest countries in Africa
Africa is a gem of a place and one of the most economically underdeveloped (but inhabited) continents on the planet. Africa boasts of more than 50 countries on its list. Though technically Mauritius and Seychelles are part of Africa, we will not include them as a part of this list as they are highly developed and rich tourist economies making them safe. They are also off the African mainland, so we choose to keep them off this list. Concerning the information shared above, we have drawn up a list of relatively safe countries in the African subcontinent and can easily plan your travel there.
Namibia offers excellent weather throughout the year, a well-developed tourism economy, and a politically stable climate. Also, the crime levels are low even for tourists. Though remote and long, its tours are still quite famous and you will never be alone on any. The government and police administration is helpful and also ensure tourists are not troubled in any way. Apart from this, the only risk is traveling too far out without planning properly, which will leave you are the mercy of the elements and falling sick. The country has nothing but nature to offer to tourists, and the outdoors can bring with them bugs and mosquitoes, which can make you fall sick and spoil your trip.
Though medical facilities are good, you will be traveling and exploring in the far remote lands oftentimes. So be careful and be careful to safeguard against poisonous snakes and venomous scorpions, among others. Also, tropical diseases are less frequent but don’t take your chances and carry the necessary repellents. Apart from this, the country is beautiful and waiting to be explored any time of the year. The country is a marvel, with amazing sand dunes, bright blue skies, seafront, beaches, wildlife safaris, lagoons, dry river beds, etc. With a sparse population and plenty of wildlife, it’s a truly amazing destination.
Botswana has good political stability, low corruption levels, well-developed roads and infrastructure, good medical facilities, and a good public administration system, making it the second on our list. All these factors and also low unemployment rates have ensured that the crime rates are low. This country is based in Africa’s southern part, with almost 40% of its area consists of nature reserves and wildlife parks. Apart from the highly diverse wildlife, it also boasts of the highest number of elephants in Africa.
Its tourism industry is well developed and keeps the unemployment and, therefore, crime levels low. Also, there is very little crime in any tourist area. This makes it a safe country apart from the wonderful natural beauty it offers. It has the amazing Kalahari Desert, many diverse wildlife safari tours, diversity in terrain, a wide range of outdoor activities, and epic photographic views at every moment of your journey. You also get the opportunity to view the buffalo, leopard, lion, elephant, and rhino, commonly known as the Big 5, during its safaris.
Swaziland (now Eswatini)
Swaziland is an extremely small country with a population of just 1 million inhabitants. Yet, it has good public and private infrastructure to support safe tourism. Since its rules by an absolute monarch, there is a stable administration, and so is the political stability. All this results in good administration and keeping the crime levels and instability factors low. The only issue here will be the medical facilities are not widespread, so you may be out of reach if you are too far away in the rural areas.
Overall the citizens of Swaziland are welcoming, caring, and extremely friendly. Being a small country getting from one part of the country and touring is easier and more comfortable. Therefore it is a family and child-friendly country. It has a wide range of wildlife ranging from crocodiles, hippos, buffalo, giraffes, antelope, and also the black and white rhinos. These are housed in several natural reserves and wildlife parks around the country. The local culture is vibrant, and people are courteous, and you will experience true African hospitality.
You would be surprised that we picked up this country at the top of the list of safest countries, but don’t worry. We have done our research. For those who come in late, Rwanda has experienced some worse moments of civil unrest movements in Africa and the world. This included genocide among a lot of other crimes against humanity. However, it has transformed into a beautiful and calm nation today which has none of the incidents that were put into the news for all the wrong reasons. A civil peace movement, along with a lot of foreign aid, has helped the country recover.
It’s now one of Africa’s safest countries with a relaxed atmosphere and very low crime rates. You will be able to enjoy the local hospitality with the friendly, ever-smiling, and warmhearted locals. Not just the outdoors and the wildlife, you will also be able to enjoy modern cities like Kigali, which is also rated as the cleanest city in Africa. The government and administration are not just stable, but (considering its past) they are more focused on safeguarding the human rights of even the locals. Medical facilities are also quite good, and you will be safe in this country. You will also help support its local economy by visiting this beautiful country, which truly deserves your help after some of the worst moments in its history.
Kenya is located on the eastern coast of Africa and is quite a developed country in the African subcontinent. This country has featured in news and media for the wrong reasons several times in the past. Terrorism, civil unrest, political issues, and even disputed election results have occurred in the recent past. But these incidents are isolated and not really connected. Such is nowadays common to even developed countries and tourists should not worry about them. Overall the political and administrations are responsible, and they take good care of the country to keep it safe not just for the tourists but also for the inhabitants.
Even the medical facilities are modern in the cities, and you will have to depend on rural medical offices when touring the countryside. There’s a beautiful coastline along with a few beautiful islands too. One particular island named Zanzibar is particularly famous for its upmarket feel, excellent beaches, and good nightlife. Known for its diverse nature, wildlife and safari’s you will enjoy and have a good time here. It’s one of the most developed economies in Africa with good infrastructure.
You probably may not have heard about this landlocked country named Malawi. Locked on all sides by Tanzania, Mozambique, and Zambia, Malawi has been nicknamed the Warm Heart of Africa due to the friendly, smiling, and welcoming locals. Though an economically poor country, Malawi is extremely safe to travel (even among solo travelers) and probably the only country in Africa which didn’t have a civil unrest movement to date. That should build your confidence.
Even the crime rate is low and lower than all of its neighbors, which is even more surprising but true. Even the World Economic Forum has rated Malawi to be one of the safest countries in Africa. The incredibly rich wildlife, flora, and fauna will leave you mesmerized, and there is certainly a special charm to travel to Malawi. Malawi has a good tourism infrastructure, and you will not face any problems here. By traveling this country, you will also help their economy.
The African names can surely get confusing, so do not confuse this country with Namibia. While Namibia is on the western coast, Zambia is a centrally located and landlocked country in Africa. Overall it’s a safe country for tourism with relatively lower levels of crime, a stable political and administrative setup, and good policing. This makes the law and order system conducive to travel. The public and tourist infrastructure are good, and so are the medical facilities.
The quality of medical infrastructure will be lower as you travel to the rural and wildlife areas. The capital city is quite developed, and you will be able to see good nightlife with several bars and clubs. It has some of the best safaris, nature parks, and wildlife areas from a tourist perspective. You will be able to see cape buffaloes, elephants, rhinos, leopards, lions, and much more. It’s a beautiful country waiting to be explored.
Senegal is an extremely safe and quite modern country. You can enjoy nature, wildlife and also urban life, including the nightlife. People are warm and welcoming and more than eager to share their culture with you. They treat tourists with respect and love. There are petty crimes in the country, but overall the crime levels (especially against tourists) are quite low. It has a politically safe climate, and policing is quite strong and efficient. Even the medical facilities are good here.
We have shared with you some tips to help choose a safe country in Africa
- Choose a stable country.
- A country with a well-established tourism economy.
- Choose popular tours and don’t go off the beaten path.
- Avoid traveling to remote areas unless you are in a group or safe.
- Choose the right adventure. Don’t go extreme.
- Check the weather and see if it suits you.
No matter how safe a country we or anyone tells you, be on the alert as a tourist, the same way you would be in your home country. Be aware of your surroundings and what’s happening around you, safeguard your valuables, do not roam alone in remote areas, and have someone know what you are up to and when.
Crimes such as pickpockets, robberies, and snatching valuables are common in even developed countries. But if you have a sense of awareness and are generally alert at all times, the chances of any untoward incident happening are quite remote. If you follow the tips and information we shared in this article, you will be very safe in all these countries and anywhere else.