Safest Countries to visit in Africa: Africa is one of the most interesting places to visit in the whole world. This is due to the fact that most of its wildlife, local cultures, geography, history remains unexploited.

More and more people from all the other parts of the world have travelled to Africa and had wonderful experiences. Even when the number of tourists has more than doubled in those last years, the questions of security and safety still comes to mind.

For so long, Africa as the continent has been described with diseases, war, poverty and various states of insecurity. This description is however unfair because it bundles up all 54 different countries as a single place of chaos.

To help the traveller who is interested in taking an African Safari – but is till wondering whether Africa is safe to visit, we have made this article. This article lists all African countries in the order of Most Safe to Least Safe.

We are using the data collected by the Global Peace Index – which utilizes statistics from 99.7% of the entire world’s population. The ranking in this data goes back more than 10 years ago.

For this specific article, our ranking shall be based on the latest data from 2019. References shall be made to historical data of each individual country where necessary. Some 4 countries do not appear on the list because we couldn’t find research-backed data.

We’ll mention some other countries out of Africa for comparison – based on the same data.

Before we look at the list of safest countries in Africa, let us first look at the criteria used to rank countries as safe or unsafe. The ranking is based on assumptions of the following.

  • Minimal incidences of terrorist acts & violent demonstrations.
  • Low Rates of Crime
  • Stable political scene
  • Internal peace or refugees elsewhere
  • Good relations with the neighbouring nations

The above points are broken down into more than 20 sections across which countries are rated.

Now that we know how the ranking is done, let us take a look at Africa’s Safest countries to visit according to 2019 reports. We start from the Safest country and go on from there.


1. Mauritius

Mauritius is best known by tourists for its beaches, lagoons, reefs and rare wildlife. Mauritius is now ranked as the safest country to visit in Africa according to 2019 data.

Crime towards tourists is almost non-existent except for some few cases of petty theft.

2. Botswana

Botswana is one of the African countries with the most established tourism industries, especially wildlife tours. With such highlights such as the Okavango Delta and Chobe National Park Botswana remains a great destination.

As far as your safety is concerned, the overall risk is low. Crime towards tourists is very rare and the people are welcoming.

3. Malawi

Nick-named “the warm heart of Africa”, Malawi ranks number 3 in Africa just above Italy in the whole world. Tourists go to Malawi for wildlife experiences such as seeing the Big 5 in Majete National Park.

As far as safety is concerned, the risk is very low and in some isolated areas, you will have to be more cautious.

4. Ghana

Ghana ranks as the 4th safest country in Africa. Globally, this puts it in a position just above the UK.

Ghana is very well known for Gold, Cocoa and a rich history that dates back to the 15th century. While the tourism industry isn’t ‘wildlife heavy’ there are still many opportunities for visitors to explore.

The people are very welcoming and willing to help you out. Like in Malawi, you might need to be cautious of petty crime in some parts of the country.

5. Zambia

With around 1 million estimated tourists every year, Zambia. Blessed with Victoria Falls – which is one of the 7 wonders of the world, Zambia offers great wildlife safari experiences in its several national parks.

The crime levels in Zambia are similar to those of general Europe and you will find that Zambians are very friendly people.

6. Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone has a history of violence from the 1990s but has since turned a new leaf. While it isn’t one of the top tourist destinations, there is always something to be said for an unbeaten path as regards the local history and culture.

As far as crime is concerned, be cautious of petty crime and stay away from scams revolving ‘gold or diamond miners’.

7. Tanzania

Tanzania offers one of the top wildlife safari experiences and receives millions of tourists each year. With Africa’s Tallest mountain (Kilimanjaro), several national parks and Zanzibar Islands, Tanzania provides so much more for any traveller wanting to explore Africa.

Safety-wise, it is advised to be cautious of some places especially at night especially in bigger cities. Globally, Tanzania is ranked just above South Korea.

8. Madagascar

Madagascar is blessed with extraordinary plant and animal species most of which exist nowhere else on the planet. Madagascar generally safe to visit but you should check for the most current information from local news outlets to know about the political situation.

You are also highly advised to use a reputable local tour operator who really understands the place.

9. Senegal

Senegal is one of Africa’s most politically stable countries. Blessed with a rich history, you will enjoy the various museums and historical monuments, beaches and scenic national parks. The people are very hospitable and welcoming.

Safety-wise, make sure to be cautious of petty crime especially in the bigger towns and crowded beaches.

10. Liberia

Liberia is ranked as number 10 among the safest countries in Africa. For visitors to Liberia, the interests are usually to explore the local culture as well as visit the cities and beaches.

As far as your safety, you are advised to be cautious of petty crime in some parts of the cities.

11. Namibia

Namibia is a very peaceful country and hasn’t been involved in any type of unrest for a long time. It is popular for Namib desert which is great for Desert Safaris in southern Africa. There are other national game parks for wildlife such as desert lions.

You are advised to be cautious of petty crime such as pickpocketing and purse snatching especially in the big cities when it is late in the night.

12. The Gambia

For visitors, Gambia is known for activities such as spotting crocodiles and monkeys, spending time at the beach and exploring the local history.

The Gambia is generally safe to visit. The protests which started at the end of 2019 do however raise some questions and if you must go, then get the best possible information and use the best possible local operator.

13. Equatorial Guinea

Equatorial Guinea is generally safe for visitors who come to see the wildlife, landscape and experience the rich history.

There have been very few and isolated cases of crime involving tourists. You are however advised to be cautious of petty crime especially in local shared taxis if it is during the night time.

14. Benin

Visitors to Benin are always attracted to the very rich history and vibrant local culture as well as wildlife such as cheetahs, hippos, and birdlife in the National Parks up north.

Benin is peaceful and safe for visitors. You are advised to take caution especially in places that might seem sketchy to minimize the risk of petty crime like purse snatching.

15. Swaziland (Eswatini)

Swaziland – now Officially Eswatini is a very safe place to visit and incidents involving tourists are very rare. people visit Swaziland for wildlife such as Rhino, Lions and other Savannah favourites – as well as the exploration of the local culture and history.

The global ranking puts Eswatini right above Argentina as far as the Peace index is concerned.

16. Angola

Having suffered from a civil war from 1975 to 2002, there isn’t so much tourism going on in Angola despite its rich natural resources. That being said, Angola is blessed with great wildlife and landscapes to make for an incredible African Safari.

Generally speaking, safety has greatly improved but you are still advised to be cautious especially at night and use the services of someone who understands the place.

17. Rwanda

Rwanda has risen from the ugly ashes of the 1994 genocide to establish itself as one of the safest places to live and visit in the whole of Africa. Rwanda is now regarded as a top tourist destination for activities such as seeing gorillas, chimpanzee, wildlife and historical sites.

For your safety, Rwanda is very safe and crime involving tourists is almost nonexistent. Like any other place, exercise caution especially against petty crime.

The global ranking places Rwanda right above Peru which is also another great tourist hotspot.

18. Tunisia

Tunisia has recently gone through its own set of political and safety troubles and good times are starting to come back. As a famous travel destination, it has had to adopt as a way of ensuring the safety of its visitors. Much of the country is safe for travel except areas near the borders with Libya and Algeria.

Visitors go to Tunisia to explore the rich and extensive history of museums, historical sites and local culture as well as relax on the beautiful Mediterranean beaches.

The biggest caution again is to avoid some of the bad areas mentioned and of course petty theft which can happen in the crowded places.

19. Morocco

Morocco is also a well-known tourist destination with popular activities such as hiking, desert safari, cultural and historical tours as well as surfing at the coast. Areas close to the borders with Western Sahara and Algeria are considered very unpredictable and should be avoided.

Other parts of the country are safe for tourists and all you have to be is cautious of petty crime such as pick-pocketing.

20. Mozambique

Mozambique is most notably known for its beautiful Indian Ocean beaches, islands and Archipelago as well as a rich history that dates back by centuries.

Mozambique is safe and tourist shouldn’t have any troubles. You have to be cautious of some few areas as a precaution to petty theft.

21. Gabon

Gabon is popular with visitors who want to see wildlife both from the jungle of the Congo basin and the Atlantic coast. In Gabon, you will also see the western lowland gorillas (different from mountain gorillas) along with other primates.

For your safety, you should be more cautious of some areas, especially in the big cities. Stay away from demonstrations and be on the lookout for petty crime like pickpocketing.

22. Guinea

Travellers visit Guinea for the wildlife, beach and local culture. Due to a long history of political instability, the tourism sector is not well developed but off the beaten track visits can be enjoyable.

Guinea is regarded as unsafe because of a history of political instability which leads to widespread criminality. You are advised to be cautious and use common sense and using a local guide will prove very important.

23. Lesotho

People visit Lesotho for history, cultures and hiking as well as skiing adventures. As a country that is entirely 1000 metres above sea level, the landscape is like no other.

Lesotho is relatively safe and rarely has any incidents relating to visitors. It is so much safer than South Africa Which surrounds it from all directions.

24. Burkina Faso

Until very recently, Burkina Faso has been one of the friendliest and safest countries in Africa. The increased risk of violent attacks and terrorism means you should be extremely cautious. If you are to visit, you should get the services of an experienced local professional and limit your travels to safer areas.

While the tourism sector is greatly undeveloped, Burkina Faso has great opportunities for exploring the local culture, history and wildlife.

25. Uganda

Uganda is known as the pearl of Africa and that stems from the hospitable nature of the people. Tourists come to Uganda for activities such as viewing wildlife, seeing mountain gorillas, the Nile and exploring the many and diverse local cultures.

Here is a more extensive article with more than 35 things you can do and see in Uganda.

As far as safety is concerned, Uganda has been very stable – especially since the Kony rebels were driven out of northern Uganda. Incidents involving tourists are rare and very isolated. Like any other place, you will have to be cautious of petty crime in some sketchy areas.

In the areas where you would go as a tourist, you will be safe and your tour guide from the company will always be there to assist you when necessary.

As a Ugandan Safari and Tour operator with over a decade in experience, we encourage you to talk to us about any queries you might have in regard to visiting Uganda – and we shall help as much as we can.

26.Cote d’Ivoire

Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) often visited for activities such as wildlife, Atlantic beaches as well as the rich cultural history.

There are few incidents of problems involving tourist, but you are advised to be cautious in some areas as well as be on the lookout for petty crime especially in Abidjan.

27. Togo

People visit Togo to enjoy activities such as hiking, viewing wildlife, chilling on the beach as well as exploring the culture and history. The people are friendly and generally pleasant.

Togo has a low crime rate and is mostly safe. You are cautioned about public beaches and shady areas in big cities such as Lome.

28. Djibouti

Djibouti is often visited for the local culture, shoreline activities like scuba diving and the landscape and geology. Being located along one of the most pirate prone coasts near Somalia and Eritrea hasn’t allowed for much growth of the tourism sector.

Visitors are advised to take caution when travelling outside of the Capital city. Occasional heavy rains and flash floods from the Indian Ocean might occur.

29. Algeria

While Algeria’s recent history has been one of the civil wars, the order is gradually being restored and the well-developed tourism industry is already resuming full operation. People visit Algeria for the ancient ruins that depict great history that dates farther back than the Roman era.

While going to Algeria, be cautious of some areas especially closer to the borders. A local tour operator is best suited to guide you with any specific information you might need.

For context, Algeria ranks just below China on the Global Peace Index rating.

30. Guinea Bissau

There is very little tourism in Guinea Bissau but visitors usually partake in visiting the Bijagos Islands as well as exploring the local culture.

Because of a very volatile security environment travelling to Guinea Bissau is advised against and if you must go, take extra caution and use an experienced local service provider.

31. Kenya

Kenya is a top tourist destination and has some of the best game reserves for seeing the very best of Africa’s wildlife. Beyond the wildlife, Kenya offers great beach holidays and cultural and historical sites to tie everything together.

Kenya is considered safe for travellers except for some parts especially towards the border with Somalia. While in the big cities, be cautious because some areas do live up to the saying “Nairobbery”.

That being said, millions of people visit Kenya each year and have a great time with no difficulties.

32. Congo (Republic)

The Republic of Congo is not to be confused with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The Republic of Congo is often referred to as Congo-Brazzaville while DRC is referred to as Congo-Kinshasha using their Capital cities as a differentiating factor.

Congo – Brazzaville is often visited for culture, exploration of river Congo as well as wildlife including the lowland gorillas. The country is safe for travellers and crime targeting foreigners is rare. In big cities such as Brazzaville, be cautious of petty crime like pickpocketing.

33. Niger

While the tourism industry is less developed, Niger is the only place in West Africa where you will see herds of giraffes in the wild. People also visit Niger to explore the local history and the elaborate markets.

In regard to safety, Niger has had many years of political instability and widespread lawlessness. This is especially so in the northern parts of the country. The capital Niamey is relatively much safer but various governments still advise high caution.

34. South Africa

South Africa is another popular tourist destination in Africa. People visit south Africa for wildlife, culture and history. With attractions such as Kruger National Park and Table mountain, South Africa is probably the biggest tourist destination in Africa.

While the political system of South Africa is notably stable, the biggest problem is the high rate of violent crime. There are areas which are very safe and rarely associated with any difficulties to the people and visitors. For context, South Africa ranks just above the USA.

There are thousands of experienced local tour operators and their guidance will keep you safe as you have a wonderful time in South Africa.

35. Ethiopia

Ethiopia has risen from bad times of constant famine and is currently one of the most promising nations in Africa. Many visitors go to Ethiopia for the rich and extensive history and culture as well as incredible geographical landscape.

Serious crime is rare especially towards travellers especially outside of Adis Ababa the capital. You are advised to be cautious in areas which seem shady and if possible use a trusted tour operator.

36. Zimbabwe

While the first thought of Zimbabwe might not be as a tourist destination, the country is blessed with amazing wildlife, rich history from the Iron ages and incredible physical features such as the Victoria Falls – that is shared with Zambia.

Unlike the international reputation (and sanctions) Zimbabwe ranks very well among the African countries with the lowest rates of crime. Travel is generally safe and you have to exercise a normal amount of caution. Using a reputable agent should make your trip worry-free.

37. Eritrea

Visitors come to Eritrea to see the various historical sites such as the Debre Bizen – a hilltop monastery with a library that dates back to the 12th century.  There are a number of coastal activities especially around the northern coast and archipelago where you can explore the stunning marine life.

Eritrea is generally safe for visitors at any time of the day or night. Be cautious of bad road users (drivers and cyclists) and stay away from large gatherings if you don’t know the situation at hand. Gatherings are broken up by police.

For Comparison, Eritrea ranks just above the Philipines on the Global Peace Index.

38. Burundi

Burundi is one of the East African countries whose tourism sector is undeveloped. Burundi still gets many visitors who are interested in local culture and history. You will see other wildlife such as chimps, crocodiles, leopard and snakes as the Musee Vivant in Bujumbura.

A visit to Burundi can often be coupled together with a cross country safari from either Rwanda, Uganda or Tanzania.

While there is relative stability, some areas are prone to petty crime and caution should be exercised. You should also know that there are curfew laws and plan your evenings/nights accordingly.

39. Egypt

Egypt is regarded at the start of modern civilization and much of its tourism revolves around the historical, cultural and archaeological sites such as the pyramids and various temples. The incredible Pyramids at Giza make the highlight of any trip to Egypt.

Since the revolution in 2011 during the Arab Spring, Egypt has been politically fragile and this has driven down their safety ratings. The situation is improving and a trusted travel company could make your Egyptian trip enjoyable without any difficulty.

40. Chad

As a semi-desert country, Chad’s tourism is less advanced but still charming. Visitors come to see the various geographical features such as lakes, rock formations, as well as wildlife and the local history.

Chad is consistently plagued by civil wars and rebel attacks. Activities outside of the Capital of N’Djamena are not the easiest to enjoy but the Capital city is relatively safe for visitors.

41. Cameroon

Cameroon is a beautiful country with so much to see, do and experience as a visitor. From Wildlife such as lions, cheetahs, elephants and more to great historical and geographical features. Cameroon’s Lake Nyos is one of 3 such lakes in the world where Carbon dioxide has to b pumped out to prevent a limnic eruption disaster.

Violence is rare in Cameroon but you should know that Boko Haram militants have been known to operate in the northern part of the country. Any Activities toward the northern part of Cameroon should be prepared with extreme care.

42. Mali

Before the instability caused by jihadism in recent years, Mali was visited by many people who were interested in African history especially in regards to the trade across the Sahara desert. Timbuktu was a major tourist attraction but the old sites have been destroyed due to conflict.

Mali remains dangerous and several governments advise against visiting northern Mali and areas near the border with Mauritania.

43. Nigeria

Nigeria is Africa’s biggest economy and most populous nation. Visitors to Nigeria go for the historical and cultural attractions as well as various forms of art including their vibrant film industry.

Because of the activities of the Boko Haram and other smaller groups, most governments advise against going to Nigeria most especially the northeastern region of the country.

44. Sudan

While Sudan has been plagued by civil and is still faced by violence, it is rich with cultural heritage and warm and welcoming locals. Sudan is well known for pyramids, ancient mosques and temples.

You are advised to take extreme caution because there is a high risk of terrorism, especially in the southern areas. The northern areas of Sudan that are closer to Egypt are relatively safer but still need caution.

45. Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

The Democratic Republic of Congo has seen more than its fair share of conflicts, violence and various internal wars. The tourism potential of DRC is unbelievable and has only been hindered by the instability in much of the country.

In DRC, you can see mountain gorillas, lowland gorillas, the active Mount Nyiragongo, the Congo river and so much more in terms of culture and incredible geography.

Because of safety reasons, you are advised to be very cautious and take extreme care. While some tour operators from Uganda and Rwanda do offer tours to Congo, the decision needs to be made with enough information and great caution.

According to the GPI data, Congo is just below Russia in the ranking.

46. Libya

Visiting Libya is great for cultural and historical experiences as well as the relaxing beaches on the Mediterranean coast. Some of the historical sites dating back to 630 BC.

Although Libya is becoming more stable, it is still regarded as dangerous to visit because of a high likeliness of crime, terrorism and many armed conflicts.

47. Central African Republic (CAR)

Visiting the Central African Republic (CAR) is quite expensive because it is landlocked, remote and lacks air access. CAR has wildlife such as elephants as well as some lowland gorillas.

The Central African Republic is highly unstable with violent crime and some parts are controlled by armed warlords.

Most world governments have issued explicit warnings to not visit CAR under any circumstances. If you must visit, exercise warzone safety caution.

48. South Sudan

South Sudan is blessed with an unknown potential for wildlife tourism. It has several National parks and game reserve, most popular of which is Boma National Park.

In South Sudan, you can see anything from Elephants, hippos, oryx, cheetah, lions and so much more. Boma national park is thought to have the largest wildlife migration.

Since South Sudan broke off from Sudan to become an independent country, it has been awash with violence and armed conflict. You are advised against visiting because of safety risks – especially if you intend to visit on your own without any local guide.

49. Somalia

Somalia is known for the instability that has defined the country since the early 1990s and this is why it ranks last on the Global peace index.

In Somalia’s Kismayo National Park you will see elephants, zebras, giraffes and Hartebeest. You can also explore the beautiful beaches and cultural sites.

Most governments advise against going to Somalia because of the activities of the al-Shabaab. Independent travel is very risky and might result in death in most areas. Even though the situation is slowly improving, extreme caution is still advised.


And that is the whole list (according to the data available).

This list doesn’t pick and choose the top tourist destinations, because each country actually has something to offer and each person has their own interests.

While some of these lists are made every now and then, they do lack a standard measure and procedure. This is why we used the Global Peace Index report. Because it is using the same procedure and standardized format.

Another reason why the GPI is a good indicator, is it measures the standard of life for the people living in the country. If those people are faced with life-threatening situations, the chances are that you will be faced with such bad situations as a visitor too.

The final observation is about why some countries mentioned might rank below your expectations. This is because at times a certain region is dangerous and that factors in the general ranking. Looking for specific information based on what you want to see and do in any country will give you the most concrete idea of whether to go there or not.

In this big article, we have tried to highlight what is available in each country along with the safety and security advice we got directly from government websites of various countries. Checking your government’s website will give you current information – especially about the embassies in the area.

The GPI research findings are not our own, but given its previous record and the fact that it covers more than 99% of all the world, we do trust it as a reliable way to determine which countries are safe for you to live in, travel to, as well as do business in. This is to give you context. Here is the actual PDF GPI report for 2019, just in case you want to look at everything in deeper detail.

Thanks for reading this massive piece. It took us time and we hope the information is well worth your time. Feel free to share with your friends.


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