Which African countries are safe to visit as a tourist?

“Which are the safest countries to visit in Africa as a tourist?” is a question that you will come across often. A few years ago, if you had asked me if I’d ever want to visit Iran, I’d answered with a resounding no. Kenya has been a target of terrorism, and I would be insane to want to visit a country portrayed as a hotbed of terrorism. Now, Iran is among my top destinations to visit soon. It’s a bonus that as a Kenyan, I can get a visa on arrival.

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Like Iran, the media highlights Africa as poverty, hunger, disease-stricken continent laced with war and insecurity which is usually not the case.

How the media jumps into conclusions regarding the African continent

Are you well informed?

In my opinion, lazy, uninformed people with a skewed perception of the continent curate the travel advisories to Africa. I read this on trip savvy’s travel warnings for countries in Africa.

“Level 3 travel advisory in Nigeria issued due to crime, terrorism, and piracy. Violent crimes are common in Nigeria, while terrorist attacks target crowded areas in and around the Federal Capital Territory and other urban areas.”

Level 3 translates to you should reconsider traveling to Nigeria. I was in Lagos, Nigeria recently and while on this trip someone asked and I quote “I see you are in Nigeria. I heard it’s not safe there.”

Chances are that this person in question came across the above advice. Now, let me break it down to you. Nigeria is home to 36 states, and most of these states are not under terrorist attacks. I was in Lagos not so long ago, and the only terrorizing thing about Lagos was the traffic and hooting. Haha. If Nigeria was a place to reconsider travel because it’s unsafe would  traveling in Nigeria be well documented travel blogs like travel with a pen ? Information is power. If you keep relying entirely on such travel advisories, the African continent will always be unsafe to you. Reach out to people that have been there recently or those that live there.

justrioba lagos
After a whole day of being terrorized by traffic in Lagos, Nigeria

Which countries are safe?

No matter where you are in the world, you are always alert. Right? Unforeseen occurrences happen any time anywhere so if you are looking for the safest place to travel to, you will not find it on earth. No one can assure you 100% safety. The above travel advisory says anyone that plans to go to Kenya should proceed with caution.

I will wholeheartedly agree that when I am walking in some parts of the Nairobi CBD, I am fully alert and in a rush to leave because of pickpockets and scammers. Does this mean that you should not visit Kenya because the CBD is unsafe? That’s like me saying I will not go to the USA because of the reports on several mass shootings and prejudice against black people. Just like these aspects do not represent the entire United States, a troubled region does not constitute a whole country.

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For emphasis, I am not saying that there are no danger zones on the African continent. I am saying Africa is gigantic being the second largest continent and home to 54 countries. These countries are then broken down to different regions, counties, and states. It is ridiculous to come up with a list titled “the safest countries in Africa” when you have not been to every region in Africa leave alone every single country. I am saying what you hear or read might be exaggerated, skewed or untrue. Be informed.

Zebras proceeding with caution at the Tsavo park, Kenya.


Health Hazards

Get your immunization, drink bottled water and avoid street food Jane. You will be fine.

With that said, I can only speak for the regions I have traveled to in the 17 countries I have been to so far. You can find guides and my experiences here.


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Which African countries are safe to visit


  1. ‘After a whole day of being terrorized by traffic in Lagos’ haha! Safety is a valid concern when travelling in Africa or anywhere else. But it is ignorant to just dismiss an entire region without doing a bit of research. That said, Iran is on my list too and we get a visa on arrival as well – we bless the Lord!

  2. LOL at the “How the media jumps into conclusions regarding the African continent” photo! I must say I try to read “Western news” daily and journalists are doing a better job at portraying Africa in a positive light… I’m more unimpressed with members of the travel community: from “influencers” who only go to the same spots or visit Africa for mission/ volunteering trips to travel blogs/ magazines that rarely showcase African countries… They kind of put a damper on efforts to promote travel in Africa – especially to lesser visited/ supposedly-but-not-really dangerous countries. PS: “security” issue aside, (to me) Iran is a more attractive travel destination than Nigeria lol ||

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