Is It Safe To Travel To Africa?

Whenever one wants to visit a place, the security of the area remains to be an issue of concern. No one would wish to visit a place which has a history of rampant insecurity.

Africa remains to be a safe destination for anyone looking forward to visiting. However, it differs from one country to another. Some countries such as South Africa and Algeria have a history of high crime rates while others such as Mauritius are considered to be safe.

If you are planning to visit a particular country it is important to do adequate research on it. There are many aspects which tend to hamper the security of a country as outlined below.

Accra Central, Accra, Ghana
Accra Central, Accra, Ghana

What Is The Nature Of The Safety Threats In Africa?

Africa continues to experience various security threats with each passing day. Let us dig deeper into the different safety threats in Africa.


With the rising cases of pandemics and epidemics all over the world, Africa has also been greatly affected. The COVID 19 pandemic has spread throughout all the countries and continues to affect many people. Apart from the COVID 19, there are epidemics such as Ebola which is most prevalent in West Africa.

Violent crime

The rate of violent crime in Africa remains very high. Some of the violent crimes in Africa are robbery, rape and assault. The leading country in Africa in terms of violent crime is the Democratic Republic of Congo and it is followed closely by Nigeria.

Opportunistic Crimes

Some crimes in Africa such as petty theft occur without any prior arrangements. These people are mostly driven by desperation due to poverty and they steal items like jewelry from home or even money.


Some places in Africa are considered to be crime hotspots and it would be highly insecure to reside there. In recent years hotels and lodges have experienced this and it has led to the loss of many lives.


The rate of kidnappings in Africa has been on the rise over the recent past years. The kidnappings involve both the children and adults. South Africa leads in the rate of kidnappings in Africa with kidnapping becoming a major crime in the country.


Many Africans have fallen victim to fraud and scam reports. There are many get-rich-quick schemes which tend to lure Africans to invest their money in them and they end up losing their money. Due to the increased digitalisation in Africa, fraudulent organizations are using the internet to scam innocent people. Nigeria leads in the fraud incidences in Africa.

Being drugged

This is most common in the urban areas in Africa. As people interact and engage in their activities they may end up being drugged by unknown people and are robbed of their items. In most cases, these people find themselves in far-off places. One should be careful with the people they interact with in these places.

Drinks on Table
Drinks on Table


Terrorism is the main security threat in Africa. The rate of terrorism continues to rise steadily and many people have become victims and even lost their lives. Due to the high rate of unemployment in Africa, many people end up engaging in terrorism to earn a living. Somalia is the leading country in Africa in incidences of terrorism.

Political/Social Unrest

Political and social unrest have been common in African countries, especially in South Africa. Protests and demonstrations have been taking place stemming from civil unrest caused by poor governance and issues of corruption. A lot of property has been destroyed, people died and others displaced from their initial areas of residence. 

Road/Rail/Water supply (Driving permits)

Many regions in Africa lack road and railway networks and others have an inadequate water supply. This is widespread mostly in rural areas. You should ensure that you have an international driver’s license when visiting African countries if you wish to drive.


Interruption To Utilities

People depend on utilities such as electricity, gas and the internet in their daily lives. Interruption of such utilities can cause outrage from the public and pose a security threat in a country. Many parts of Africa experience power blackouts and water shortages to this date. Other regions are not connected.

What Contingencies Are Available?

Despite the various security threats in Africa, various ways have been devised to mitigate the effects of the safety threats.

The introduction of travel insurance and the availability of emergency assistance are some of the contingencies African countries have come up with.

Read on as we explain more about the contingencies.

Travel Insurance in Africa

If you are planning to visit Africa, you must apply for travel insurance. Anyone can apply for it irrespective of their age.

Travel insurance caters for medical and hospital costs, delayed departure, accommodation costs, legal costs, personal accidents and liability. These are just some of the things covered by travel insurance.

Emergency Assistance

African countries offer emergency aid to the people whenever a deep crisis occurs irrespective of the nationality of the people.

Many countries have set up a contingency fund which is used in times of an emergency. International and humanitarian organizations normally such as USAID liaise with the government to help the people.

How Can Tourists Minimize The Risk Of Safety Threats Before They Occur?

To reduce the risks and safety threats, tourists can enroll in a smart traveler program or even seek travel advice, help and support.

This is essential as the tourists will have prior knowledge of the areas they wish to visit. It will enable them to avoid any safety threats which may be lurking.

Smart Traveler Enrollment Program

Smart traveler enrollment program is a US-based program which assists and advises US citizens and other nationals when they intend to visit somewhere. It is a free program and all that you have to do is register with them on their website. You are advised accordingly depending on the country you wish to visit.

Travel Advice, Help And Support.

This is offered by the government of the United Kingdom(UK). In case of any help, you may go to the nearest British embassy and you will be guided appropriately.

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