The continent with the most countries in the world (54 sovereign states), Africa is a very diverse continent; with each country, and sometimes even each part of a country having its own unique culture. From the wildlife watching safaris of Kenya to the sand dunes of the Sahara, Africa has a lot of experiences to offer to its adventure-seeking travelers.

But Africa is also known for being a region of ever-lasting conflicts, high crime, natural disasters and health hazards. City Safe has compiled information from numerous sources to offer some advice to people travelling in the region, but always check the latest news coverage before travelling to Africa to get the latest safety advice.


Safety Index: Dangerous 

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Africa Travel Safety Advice

Below is some useful information for travelling safely in African Countries. Learn about more dangers and threats by going on the country or city page

The large majority of travelers to Africa return home without encountering any serious problems. That said, be aware of potential problems by checking country details on CitySafe. Nearly all tourist attractions on the African continent are far from conflict zones.

Some countries like Central Africa Republic, Sudan, Somalia or Libya are among the world’s most dangerous because of conflicts, crime and terrorist attacks; and should be avoided at all costs. The Central Sahara region is now partly controlled by Al Qaeda : in northern Mali (near the Nigerian border) and Mauritania several kidnappings have occurred, as well as a couple of suicide bombings in Nouakchott.

In other regions, common safety advice should be followed:

  • Carry as little cash as you can
  • Don’t keep your wallet in your back pocket
  • Beware of individuals who act strangely and who try to divert your attention in order to steal your belongings.
  • Pay special attention while seating on restaurants and café terraces, when you are withdrawing money from ATMs or near tourist attractions
  • Never keep your mobile phone or wallet on the table of a café or restaurant.
  • Don’t wear expensive jewellery in an ostentatious way
  • If an attacker tries to snatch your bag, don’t try to stop them as you will risk being injured
  • Protect your personal belongings at all times, especially your ID and passport. Petty crime, like bag snatching and pick pocketing, is a serious problem around touristic areas and on public transport.

For more details, see country specific advice or take a look at our travel articles.

Below is a  danger  / safety map for African countries (in French)

20160311_fcvregional_afrique_cle893c4b-073c8Yellow: Stay Alert
Orange: Not Recommended unless for specific reasons
Red: Strongly Not Recommended is a useful website that can help you know if you need a visa or not based on your nationality and the country you’re visiting.

There are currently four customs unions in effect in Africa that will help you travel without needing to apply to several countries:

  • West Africa (Nigeria, Senegal, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Burkina Faso, Cote D’Ivoire, Togo, Benin, Niger, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone)
  • East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi)
  • Southern Africa (South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland)
  • Central Africa (Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Equatorial Guinea, Republic of the Congo, Gabon)

Make sure your passport has at least six months’ validity from your planned date of return to the country you’re visiting.

In the Rankings section you can find the safest and most hazardous countries in Africa.
As for any region, we advise travelers to get a travel insurance that covers not only medical problems but also theft and loss of personal items. Learn more on our travel insurance page

Countries in Africa

Select a country to see if it’s safe or dangerous, get advice on its cities dangerous areas and threats and tips on how to stay safe