What are the safest countries in Africa to travel to? Let’s find out!
Africa is the second-largest continent in the globe and has loads to offer travelers. It has numerous National Parks, natural diversity, unique local cultures, and abundant scenery.
The very idea of visiting Africa conjures up images of travel adventure and vibrant culture for some and others – danger.
This needn’t be the case, though. Africa is home to some of the most peaceful people and safe havens of raw beauty.
Bask under the African sun and wallow in all that flourishes because of it. Keep reading to find the safest places to visit in Africa.
Before we start our list of the safest countries in Africa, remember that even when traveling to a safe place, anything can happen. So here is a precious piece of advice:
Don’t forget your Travel Insurance! You don’t want anything to ruin your trip, right? So don’t take the risk! Reliable travel insurance can help you in case of travel issues, from accidents to health problems, travel delays, and lost luggage.
Safest African countries to visit
The Global Peace Index (GPI) uses three determining factors to score countries: ongoing domestic and international conflict, social safety and security, and militarization. The lower the rating, the safer the country.
If you dig deeper into the GPI figures you will be surprised how many countries we think are safe, but actually are quite low on the thanking. The safest country in Africa has a better GPI than some European Nations, like France or Italy.
I bet by now you are curious to discover what are the safest and most stable countries in Africa. So more than just listing them along with their safety ranks, we’ll give you a quick view of why they are the least dangerous countries in Africa, why you should visit them, and the main tourist attractions in each of them.
Here are the safest African countries to visit according to the GPI:
10 Safest Countries in Africa and why you should visit them
1 – Mauritius: the safest country in Africa
White sandy beaches and clear blue waters are pure bliss and make for picture-perfect Mauritius photos. According to the GPI, the island nation of Mauritius has been ranked the safest country in Africa.
It has a GPI score of 1.570 and an overall ranking of 28. This means the country is the 28th safest place in the world, as a comparison the USA is 129th on the list.
Located in East Africa, it is one of the safest countries to travel to because it’s one of Africa’s wealthiest and most politically stable. The overall crime rate is meager, and it is known for being a very peaceful place.
The few crimes that do occur tend to be non-violent, minor theft, and opportunistic crimes. You’ll mostly need to worry about yourself–emptying your wallet over the beautiful saris and thriving fruit and veg available.
When you visit Mauritius, be sure to explore Port-Louis. Mauritius’ capital, located in the Indian Ocean, also happens to be one of the safest cities in Africa. Mauritius has an incredible cultural heritage, a wide variety of adventure activities, and sublime landscapes.
Must-see places and attractions in Mauritius
When traveling to Mauritius, there’s more than just beach lounging to do; there’s also:
2 – Ghana: most peaceful country in Africa
Ghana is a place that can be enjoyed all year round due to its tropical climate and fascinating fauna. It has a rich cultural history that extends back to the 18th century.
With a GPI score of 1.759, Ghana is the 40th safest country to visit in the world. Given its gold wealth, it is one of the most stable African countries with significant growth potential and a low crime rate compared to other African nations.
Especially advised for travelers who have never traveled to Africa; this is a very hospitable nation. People here are friendly, welcoming, and eager to assist.
Levels of crime like pickpocketing and bag snatching are on the increase, so take sensible precautions. Avoid carrying large sums of money or valuables as you should when traveling worldwide and visiting popular destinations.
Must-see places and attractions in Ghana
If you’re heading to Ghana, make the most of this beautiful country with these unique places to visit:
- Paga Crocodile Pond
- Elmina Castle
- Aburi Botanical Gardens
- A guided city tour of Accra
- Surfing at the beaches of Accra
3 – The Gambia: the 45th safest country in the world
The Gambia is renowned for its friendly people, beautiful beaches, and abundant wildlife. It’s a unique chance to see rare birds and wild animals in their natural habitats–provided by affordable safari tours.
The Gambia has a GPI score of 1.792. It is the 45th safest country in the world.
This beautiful country is one of West Africa’s most peaceful and safe locations for travel. There aren’t many violent crimes in The Gambia. Bumsters and pickpockets pose the most significant threats.
Must-see places and attractions in The Gambia
If you’re heading to The Gambia, make the most of this beautiful country with some, or all, of these things to do:
- The capital of Banjul and Albert market
- Makasutu Culture Forest
- Kachikally Crocodile Pool
- Kotu Beach
- Embark on a safari tour
4 – Botswana: safest African safari destination
This is one of Africa’s undiscovered gems. It’s a landlocked country neighboring South Africa and renowned for its breathtaking scenery and thriving wildlife.
Botswana has a GPI score of 1.801, placing this particular country as the 48th safest country in the world to visit and the 4th safest African country.
This is one of the safest places in Africa for travelers. Botswana has one of the lowest crime levels on the continent. Famous cities like Francistown, Gaborone (one of the safest African cities), and Maun hardly ever see severe crimes of any kind.
Travelers to this country should be aware of the possibility of encountering minor crimes, such as petty theft. You should also avoid going out at night alone or going to neighborhoods with higher poverty rates.
Must-see places and attractions in Botswana
When in Botswana there are some fantastic things to see and do, but these should be at the top of your list:
- A Chobe National Park day trip
- Okavango Delta region
- CARACAL Biodiversity Center
- Three Chiefs’ Statues
- Camping and wild breakfast at Moremi Game Reserve
5 – Sierra Leone: a safe coastal nation in Africa
Another sanctuary for travelers who prioritize safety is this small seaside nation.
With a GPI score of 1.803, this country is the 5th safest country to visit in Africa. However, this country does not come without crime issues, so it is essential always to be mindful of safety and exercise common sense when out and about.
The urban parts of Sierra Leone, where most crime occurs, are known for their nightlife and festivities, especially around holidays like Christmas and Easter. The rest of the country is comparatively crime-free.
Must-see places and attractions in Sierra Leone
Known for being a haven of natural beauty, things to see and do when in Sierra Leone that should be top of your list are:
- John Obey Beach or River Number Two Beach
- Gola Rainforest National Park
- The Cotton Tree
- Bunce island
- Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary
6 – Zambia: a country in Africa with a low crime rate
A trip to Zambia in South-Central Africa is known for being “wild”, with little trace of modern influence. The number of game farms (safaris) in Zambia is relatively tiny.
Zambia has a GPI score of 1.841, making it the 6th safest country to visit in Africa. It is one of the few secure nations in Africa with crime rates on par with Western nations.
Travelers should take routine safety precautions. Despite Zambia being a safe country, pickpockets occur frequently; therefore, you should always exercise caution.
Must-see places and attractions in Zambia
When visiting Zambia, be sure to add these to your list of things to see and do while there:
- The Victoria Falls – a UNESCO World Heritage site
- Kafue National Park
- The lower-Zambezi National Park
- Lake Tanganyika (the world’s longest freshwater lake)
- Zambezi River (the longest east-flowing river in Africa)
7 – Equatorial Guinea: the 59th safest country in the world
It is known for the interiors of heavily forested areas, sandy beaches, and gorgeous blue waters. This is a must-see place if you’re looking for peaceful countries to visit in Africa. The mainland and the islands are separated into two sections.
Equatorial Guinea has a GPI score of 1.863, putting it 7th on the list of safest countries to travel to in Africa and 59th in the world.
This country is, for the most part, a safe country to visit. Numerous military and police checkpoints are heavily used to curb crime in cities. Significant occurrences involving tourists or foreigners have been reported in minimal numbers.
The most you need to worry about is when in the city, for things such as muggings and petty theft.
Must-see places and attractions in Equatorial Guinea
Be sure to add these trips to your list of things to do and see when visiting Equatorial Guinea:
- The colonial quarter in the capital city of Malabo
- Monte Alen National Park
- Hiking and visiting beaches on the island of Bioko
- Ilachi Waterfalls
- See Lakes in Craters
8 – Malawi: a safe country in Africa with an amazing lake
This stunning country is a must-see when looking for safe places to visit in Africa—dotted with lakes, scenery, incredible wildlife, and rich culture.
A GPI score of 1.895 put Malawi 8th on the list. One of the safe African countries to visit for travelers, not only known for its external beauty but its friendly, smiling inhabitants too.
Overall, Malawi has very little risk of crime. Petty theft and purse snatching provide the most significant hazards.
Must-see places and attractions in Malawi
If you’re traveling to Malawi, make the most of this beautiful country with this list of things to see and do:
- Mulanje Mountain
- Lake Malawi
- National parks and game reserves
- Lilongwe Wildlife Centre
- Kumbali Cultural Village
- Big Five at Majete Wildlife Reserve
9 – Namibia: safe and with incredible nature
The vast plains of the country make it an excellent travel destination. The Atlantic Ocean surrounds the region to the west and the oldest desert in the world to the east.
Namibia’s GPI score of 1.908 makes it the 9th safest country to visit in Africa. Namibia is generally fairly beautiful and secure. Since fewer people live there than in urban areas, crime is effectively prevented in the country.
The majority of the country is safe; however, tourists are more likely to become victims of violent or minor crimes in populated towns and cities like Windhoek.
Must-see places and attractions in Namibia
When visiting Namibia, be sure to:
- Namib Desert and Sossusvlei
- Visit the semi-nomadic Himba tribe
- Kolmanskop ghost town
- Spitzkoppe Rocks
- Fish River Canyon
- Etosha National Park
10 – Senegal: the 10th safest country in Africa to travel to
Senegal is the pearl of West Africa and is distinguished by various natural landscapes, a distinct colonial legacy, and a dynamic culture.
Scoring a GPI rating of 1.916, this is the 10th country on the list. Still fairing better than the United States regarding country-wide safety. And it’s better than some of the safest countries in South America (check the list here)
Senegal does experience some petty crime and few instances of violent crime in major cities. But you shouldn’t let it stop you from visiting this beautiful country and its tourist destinations.
Must-see places and attractions in Senegal
Be sure to add these stops to your Senegal itinerary:
- The pink lake of Senegal (Lake Retba)
- Madeleine Island
- Lagoon La Somone
- National bird sanctuary of Djoudj
- Gorée Island
Final thoughts on the safest countries in Africa to visit
So there you have it, the 10 safest and most peaceful countries in Africa as rated and scored on the Global Peace Index. And for sure they are incredible countries to visit, some with popular tourist destinations.
But it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t visit other African nations that didn’t make this list. The whole continent is packed with popular tourism destinations, and while they might not be as safe as the 10 listed above, they are still worth visiting.
As long as you follow the travel advisory for these countries, be mindful of your surroundings, plan your trip wisely, and follow normal precautions, you will probably be safe and have tons of fun.
My recommendation before traveling to any country in Africa is to always research the political stability of the nation. If it has a stable government at the moment, and if any armed conflict is happening.
If you are really serious about safety, you can even check the criminality rate of the country and if there is any terrorist activity going on.
As you search for things to do in a place, you can also search for safety information. However, always read the info and news with a pinch of salt. People tend to overreact, and the media is not 100% accurate all time. Keep in mind that most of the countries are populated with friendly and hospitable people.
Safety and fun should be your biggest concern when traveling, it doesn’t matter the destination.
Remember that no matter where you’re heading–keep your wits about you and never walk around with unnecessary belongings out on the show.
I hope this little guide has helped you pinpoint your dream African location–now, onto the travel planning (click here to see all the websites, companies, and services we use on our travels)!
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