If you are looking to learn about what are the safest African countries to visit, whether for a short holiday or perhaps business or education look no further. We take a look at more than ten options.
We also dig in a little to a few countries you might want to avoid.
Table of Contents
What is the Global Peace Index (GPI)?
The Global Peace Index (GPI) stands as a beacon around the globe, illuminating the levels of peace and stability enjoyed by nations worldwide. This comprehensive measure delves deep into an array of factors to paint a vivid picture of peacefulness across different countries.
Those factors include but are not limited to:
- violence levels
- political instability
In doing so, the GPI facilitates valuable comparisons, allowing us to understand how nations stack up against each other.
One of the GPI’s most significant contributions is its ability to identify the safest havens within the large continent of Africa. This continent, often portrayed in the media as a turbulent land through and through, is instead revealed to harbor pockets of peace and security.
The GPI rankings highlight nations like Mauritius, Ghana, and Gambia as shining examples of relative stability and tranquility. These safe havens not only offer refuge but also act as magnets for tourism and investment, fostering economic growth and prosperity.
However, it’s crucial to acknowledge the multifaceted nature of peace and security. Influenced by a complex interplay of various factors, these concepts cannot be fully captured by a single number boiled down from a complex algorithm. Therefore, while the GPI provides valuable insights, recognizing its limitations and engaging in deeper analysis are essential for a nuanced understanding of a nation’s security landscape.
Safest Countries in Africa Ranked
This list of safe African countries is ordered based on the above mentioned GPI. Like anywhere in the world, conditions can change incredibly fast; sometimes overnight. So, make sure to double check your plans if you are booking a trip.
Now, on to the list of the ten safest African countries for travelers to visit.
Nestled off the southeastern coast of Africa, Mauritius isn’t just a beautiful island paradise — it’s also a shining example of safety and stability. This small nation has consistently earned recognition as one of the safest in Africa, attracting residents and visitors alike.
Modern infrastructure, a robust healthcare system, and remarkably low crime rates create a secure environment where people can thrive. Mauritius prioritizes education and sustainable development, further solidifying its foundation for peace and prosperity.
Beyond its impressive safety record, Mauritius captivates with its natural beauty. Pristine well cared for beaches beckon visitors to bask in the sun, while lush forests offer a chance to explore the island’s vibrant ecosystem. Whether seeking adventure or relaxation, Mauritius offers a haven where tranquility reigns supreme.
2023 GPI: 1.570
Ghana, a land of blossoming economy and stable political climate, stands tall as an African success story. Its government’s unwavering dedication to peace and security has yielded a remarkably low crime rate, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the vibrant tapestry of this nation’s cultural heritage, bustling markets, and awe-inspiring landscapes with minimal safety concerns.
Ghana’s commitment to peace extends beyond its borders. Its active participation in regional peacekeeping missions and instrumental role in mediating conflicts within neighboring nations solidify its reputation as a leading force in conflict resolution and peace-building. While localized conflicts and petty crimes may occasionally arise, Ghana remains a welcoming haven for travelers and investors seeking a secure and inviting environment.
Ghana’s allure lies not only in its safety but also in its rich cultural tapestry, bustling markets, and breathtaking landscapes. Visitors can embark on a journey through history by exploring ancient forts and kingdoms like Elmina Castle, be mesmerized by the vibrant colors of traditional markets, or simply unwind on beautiful beaches, basking in the warm embrace of Ghanaian hospitality.
Ghana is more than just a safe destination; it’s an experience, a cultural immersion, and a haven of peace in a vibrant continent. Discover its magic for yourself.
2023 GPI: 1.759
Gambia, a small jewel nestled on Africa’s western coast, captivates visitors with its breathtaking natural beauty and vibrant cultural heritage. Diverse wildlife, vibrant bustling local markets, and stunning river landscapes weave a tapestry of unforgettable experiences. While smaller than other African nations, Gambia has made significant strides in ensuring peace and stability within its borders.
This peaceful country boasts a remarkably low crime rate, thanks to the government’s robust security measures that protect both locals and tourists. Additionally, Gambia’s unwavering commitment to democracy and the rule of law fosters a stable political environment, allowing visitors to explore its treasures and immerse themselves in its rich culture without worries.
Imagine yourself basking on pristine beaches like the famous Bojo Beach and Kokrobite Beach. Their golden sands stretching before you as turquoise waves beckon. Venture into lush forests teeming with diverse wildlife, elephants trumpeting and giraffes gracefully browsing. Glide down the majestic Gambia River, its serene waters reflecting the vibrant markets bustling on shore.
Savor the vibrant tapestry of Gambian culture, its music pulsating with life, its dances mesmerizing, and its art captivating the eye. Explore bustling markets overflowing with colorful fabrics and traditional crafts, each piece telling a unique story. Immerse yourself in the warmth of Gambian hospitality, experiencing the joy of community and the genuine smiles of the people.
Gambia’s peaceful ambiance and commitment to safety create the perfect destination for an unforgettable African adventure. So, let the rhythm of Gambia guide you, and discover the magic that awaits in this West African gem.
2023 GPI: 1.792
Nestled in the heart of Southern Africa, Botswana stands out among many of its African neighbors due to its peace and stability. Its unwavering commitment to democracy, respect for human rights, and robust institutions have earned it a well-deserved reputation as one of the safest countries on the continent. With minimal domestic conflict and incredibly low crime rates, Botswana offers a safe place to both live and visit.
Beyond its peaceful aura, Botswana boasts an awe-inspiring natural landscape, captivating the hearts of nature lovers and adventurers alike. The crown jewel of this landscape is undoubtedly the Okavango Delta, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a marvel of nature.
This sprawling inland delta, one of the largest in the world, is a vibrant tapestry of verdant vegetation, meandering waterways, and diverse wildlife. From majestic elephants and graceful giraffes to elusive leopards and playful meerkats, the Okavango Delta is a haven for an incredible array of animal life, making it a premier destination for wildlife enthusiasts and safari aficionados.
Beyond the Delta, Botswana’s vast array of national parks and reserves, including the iconic Chobe National Park and the vast Central Kalahari Game Reserve, offer unparalleled opportunities for unforgettable safari experiences. Imagine yourself traversing the open plains, spotting herds of zebras and wildebeest thundering across the landscape, or witnessing the majestic lions basking in the golden sunlight.
Botswana’s natural beauty extends beyond its wildlife. Soak in the breathtaking panoramas of the Makgadikgadi Pans, a vast salt flat that glistens under the African sun. Or, explore the dramatic landscapes of the Tuli Block, where ancient baobab trees stand sentinel against the rugged terrain.
With its unwavering commitment to peace, captivating natural beauty, and diverse wildlife encounters, Botswana offers an unforgettable African adventure for those willing to make the journey.
2023 GPI: 1.801
5. Sierra Leone
Emerging from the shadows of a turbulent past, Sierra Leone, nestled along the West African coast, is now a nation brimming with potential. Though bearing the scars of a devastating civil war that ended in 2002, Sierra Leone’s spirit of resilience and unwavering recovery has propelled it forward. Years of rebuilding have witnessed the gradual but steady restoration of infrastructure and the revitalization of the economy.
However, the journey towards peace and stability remains paved with challenges. Poverty and corruption continue to cast a shadow over the country’s development. High poverty rates and the pervasive influence of corruption demand unwavering attention and effective solutions.
Undeterred, Sierra Leone’s government, working hand-in-hand with international organizations, is actively tackling these obstacles.
2023 GPI: 1.803
Situated in the heart of southern Africa, Zambia is one of the safest destinations on the continent of Africa. Its government is committed to maintaining harmony has earned it a prestigious position on the Global Peace Index, solidifying its reputation of safety.
However, Zambia’s journey is not without its challenges. Poverty and limited access to healthcare remain pressing issues that demand ongoing attention. But the Zambian spirit, characterized by unwavering resilience and a deep commitment to progress, refuses to be daunted. The government, in collaboration with dedicated organizations, is actively working to improve the lives of its citizens. Programs aimed at strengthening the education system, enhancing social services, and promoting sustainable development are paving the way for a brighter future.
As Zambia continues to move forward, its breathtaking landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and unwavering spirit offer a truly unique and unforgettable experience for visitors.
2023 GPI: 1.841
7. Equatorial Guinea
Nestled on the western coast of Central Africa, Equatorial Guinea holds within its borders both immense potential and lingering challenges. Rich in natural resources, particularly oil and gas, the nation harbors the seeds of significant economic prosperity. However, this potential remains largely untapped due to deeply rooted issues in governance and human rights. Corruption and political instability have cast a long shadow over the country’s progress, hindering development and impacting the lives of its citizens.
Despite these obstacles, Equatorial Guinea has undertaken initiatives to address critical social needs. Investments in healthcare and education have shown progress in recent years, albeit with further improvements necessary to ensure a more inclusive and equitable society.
While the nation boasts relatively low rates of violent crime compared to its neighbors, petty theft and street crime, especially in urban areas, warrant vigilance from travelers. Exercising caution, such as avoiding solo excursions at night and safeguarding valuables, is crucial. Additionally, remaining informed about travel advisories and adhering to local laws and customs is essential for a safe and enjoyable experience.
Equatorial Guinea presents a complex picture, a nation grappling with the contradictions between its resource wealth and its socioeconomic realities. While steps towards improvement are evident, addressing the fundamental issues of governance and ensuring greater transparency and accountability remain crucial for the country to unlock its true potential and build a more stable and prosperous future for all its citizens.
2023 GPI: 1.863
Nestled in the heart of southeastern Africa, Malawi captivates with its breathtaking landscapes and the warmth of its people. Though facing various economic challenges, the nation has made remarkable strides in promoting peace and stability. A deep commitment to democracy shines through as the country consistently holds peaceful elections, ensuring a smooth transition of power. This dedication is further strengthened by measures aimed at tackling social inequalities and fostering social cohesion.
Education stands as a cornerstone of Malawi’s journey towards peace. Recognizing its transformative power, the government has prioritized increasing access to quality education for all its citizens. Education empowers, equipping individuals, particularly the youth, with the skills and knowledge necessary to actively contribute to the nation’s development. It also fosters tolerance and understanding among diverse ethnic and religious groups, paving the way for a peaceful and inclusive society.
As Malawi continues on its path of progress, its focus on education and commitment to democracy illuminate a bright future. With unwavering dedication and continued efforts to address its challenges, Malawi paves the way for a more prosperous and peaceful nation for its people.
2023 GPI: 1.895
Namibia, nestled in the embrace of southwestern Africa, casts a spell on travelers with its captivating landscapes and unique wildlife. Nature lovers, prepare to be enthralled by the vast desert plains that stretch across the country, the crown jewel being the renowned Namib Desert, considered one of the oldest on Earth. Towering sand dunes, like the mesmerizing formations of Sossusvlei, rise majestically against the vastness of the desert, offering a surreal backdrop for photographers and adventurers alike.
But Namibia’s natural beauty extends far beyond its deserts. An array of national parks and reserves, teeming with diverse wildlife from the large African buffalo to the adorable ground pangolin, awaits exploration.
Beyond its natural wonders, Namibia holds a treasure trove of cultural experiences. The country boasts a rich tapestry of indigenous tribes, each with its distinct traditions, languages, and way of life. Immerse yourself in the fascinating heritage of the Himba and San people through cultural tours, and learn about their unique customs and beliefs.
Namibia’s colonial history adds another layer to its cultural tapestry. Architectural marvels and landmarks like the coastal town of Swakopmund, with its distinctive German influence, offer a glimpse into the past.
From its breathtaking landscapes and diverse wildlife to its rich cultural heritage and intriguing history, Namibia offers an unforgettable travel experience. Whether you seek the thrill of adventure in the desert or the wisdom of ancient traditions, Namibia has something to captivate every soul.
2023 GPI: 1.908
Senegal, pulsating with vibrancy and cultural diversity, beckons travelers to its shores on the western coast of Africa. This land, steeped in rich history and deep-rooted traditions, offers an unparalleled experience. From the unrivaled energy of Dakar’s markets to the serene beauty of Saly’s beaches, Senegal flawlessly blends modernity and tradition. Its people, renowned for their warmth and hospitality, readily embrace visitors, making Senegal a truly captivating destination for those seeking an authentic African adventure.
One of Senegal’s most profound attractions is its breathtaking natural beauty. The Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary, home to countless rare bird species, and the majestic Senegal River, winding its way through the land, are just two examples of the country’s captivating natural wonders. Diverse wildlife, both on land and in the vibrant waters, further enhances Senegal’s allure. The stunning coastline, boasting pristine beaches, provides opportunities for relaxation and thrilling water sports.
Whether exploring the vibrant cities or venturing into the untouched wilderness, Senegal’s natural landscapes leave a lasting impression, forever etched in the memories of those who experience them.
2023 GPI: 1.916
Just because a country doesn’t break the top 10 in GPI rating doesn’t mean it’s a no-go zone, especially in a continent that has over fifty countries. You might want to look into visiting one of all three of these African countries too.
Rwanda, nestled in the heart of East Africa, captivates visitors with its breathtaking landscapes and remarkable biodiversity. Lush green forests, like the captivating Nyungwe National Park, teem with diverse flora and fauna, offering a haven for nature enthusiasts. Expansive savannas, such as the Akagera National Park, provide a glimpse into the wild heart of Africa, where lions, giraffes, and zebras roam free. Picturesque lakes, like the serene Lake Kivu, with its turquoise waters and enchanting shores, offer a tranquil escape for relaxation and reflection.
The crown jewel of Rwanda’s natural wonders is undoubtedly the iconic Volcanoes National Park. This protected area is home to a precious population of endangered mountain gorillas, majestic creatures that inspire awe and wonder. Rwanda’s unwavering commitment to conservation is evident in its dedicated efforts to protect these magnificent creatures and their habitat. Witnessing these gentle giants in their natural environment is a truly unforgettable experience, making Rwanda a top destination for wildlife enthusiasts.
Beyond its natural beauty, Rwanda’s cultural tapestry is equally captivating. The country boasts a rich heritage, woven from the traditions and customs of various ethnic groups, including the Hutu, Tutsi, and Twa. Visitors have the opportunity to immerse themselves in this vibrant culture through engaging with local communities, learning traditional dances like the Intore, and exploring the colorful art and crafts markets.
Rwanda’s history, while marked by tragedy, is also one of remarkable progress and resilience. The country has made significant strides in healing and rebuilding after the devastating events of the 1994 genocide. Today, Rwanda stands as a beacon of hope, recognized for its strong governance, commitment to social development, and unwavering dedication to peace and reconciliation.
From its breathtaking landscapes and diverse wildlife to its rich cultural heritage and inspiring story of recovery, Rwanda offers a truly unique and unforgettable travel experience.
2023 GPI: 1.945
Morocco, nestled in North Africa, enchants visitors with its captivating blend of cultural heritage and natural beauty. Diverse landscapes, ranging from the vast Sahara Desert to the majestic Atlas Mountains, offer a playground for outdoor enthusiasts, inviting them to embark on thrilling treks, explore ancient ruins on camel-back, or simply bask in the awe-inspiring scenery.
Vibrant cities, including the regal Rabat and the bustling Marrakech, pulsate with life. Their bustling souks, overflowing with a kaleidoscope of colors and aromas, tempt visitors with an array of traditional crafts and delectable local cuisine. The warm hospitality of the Moroccan people, their traditions passed down through generations, further enriches the cultural experience.
Beyond its natural beauty, Morocco boasts a rich history and architectural wonders. Intricate Islamic design graces the country, evident in the elaborately decorated mosques, such as the iconic Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, a testament to human ingenuity and artistic expression. Ancient cities, like Fes and Meknes, stand as living museums, showcasing stunning examples of traditional Moroccan architecture. Their narrow, winding streets, adorned with vibrant blue ceramic tiles and ornate details, transport visitors back in time. The enchanting city of Chefchaouen, also known as the “Blue Pearl,” is a visual feast, its blue-washed buildings creating a picturesque backdrop for exploring its hidden alleys and vibrant markets.
Whether wandering through ancient medinas, marveling at centuries-old Roman ruins, or immersing yourself in time-honored traditions, Morocco offers a captivating journey through time and culture. From its breathtaking natural landscapes to its rich history and vibrant cities, Morocco beckons travelers to discover its unique charm and create lasting memories.
2023 GPI: 1.969
Nestled on the western coast of Africa, Liberia vibrates with its rich history and cultural diversity. With a population exceeding 5.4 million, this dynamic nation offers a unique tapestry woven from tradition and contemporary development. From the bustling streets of Monrovia, its vibrant capital, to the breathtaking natural landscapes that stretch beyond its borders, Liberia boasts an irresistible charm for every traveler.
Liberia’s natural beauty is an undeniable highlight, captivating visitors with pristine beaches and lush rain forests. National parks, such as the expansive Sapo National Park, teem with an incredible diversity of flora and fauna, inviting exploration and unforgettable encounters with rare wildlife. Whether you seek adventure in the heart of diverse ecosystems or relaxation on the sun-kissed shores, Liberia’s coastline offers a haven for discovery and enjoyment. This West African gem truly has something for everyone, beckoning you to experience its unique blend of history, culture, and natural wonders.
2023 GPI: 1.973
3 Countries to Avoid
There are a total of 54 countries in Africa. The above 13 are all fairly safe compared to those not included. That doesn’t mean all of the other countries are extremely dangerous.
However, there are a few that you should probably avoid if you are concerned with your personal safety. Here are three of the more dangerous countries in Africa.
1. South Sudan
South Sudan, a young nation in East-Central Africa, has faced a complex and tumultuous journey since its independence in 2011. Struggling with political instability, economic decline, and ongoing armed conflict, the country grapples with immense challenges in ensuring the basic well-being of its people. The devastating civil war, raging since 2013, has resulted in widespread displacement, loss of life, and a severe humanitarian crisis. Compounding these issues are persistent poverty, food insecurity, and limited access to healthcare and education, further exacerbating the hardships faced by the South Sudanese population.
Despite these seemingly insurmountable obstacles, a flicker of hope remains. International organizations and neighboring countries have played a crucial role in providing humanitarian aid and facilitating peace talks. Additionally, efforts focused on poverty reduction and economic development are being implemented to help rebuild the nation. While progress remains fragile and setbacks are frequent, South Sudan holds immense potential. Its resilient people, imbued with the spirit of perseverance, continue to strive for a brighter future, one where peace, stability, and prosperity prevail.
2023 GPI: 3.184
2. DR Congo
The Democratic Republic of Congo, a land brimming with natural resources, harbors immense potential. Vast deposits of minerals like copper, cobalt, diamonds, and gold hold the key to unlocking significant economic prosperity. Yet, despite its abundant riches, the people of DR Congo remain plagued by poverty and instability, the lingering scars of years of conflict and rampant corruption.
The ongoing conflict in the eastern regions continues to cast a dark shadow, forcing displacement and inflicting suffering on countless civilians. Armed groups, fueled by ethnic tensions and vying for control over the mineral-rich land, have committed unspeakable acts of violence, including the horrific use of sexual assault as a weapon of war.
While the government and the international community have undertaken efforts to address these issues, the path to lasting stability and prosperity remains arduous and uncertain for DR Congo. The journey towards a brighter future necessitates a resolute commitment to peace-building, addressing the deep-rooted causes of conflict, and ensuring equitable distribution of the nation’s wealth to benefit all its citizens. Only then can DR Congo truly unlock its immense potential and build a brighter future for all its people.
For decades, Somalia, nestled in the Horn of Africa, has battled a myriad of challenges. Political instability casts a long shadow over the nation, its history marked by armed conflict and a persistent absence of a functioning central government. This lack of effective governance has created a fertile ground for the proliferation of armed groups and extremist organizations, further hindering the establishment of security and stability for its people.
Compounding these challenges is the debilitating grip of widespread poverty and chronic food insecurity. Somalia has repeatedly been ravaged by droughts and famines, exacerbating an already dire situation. Limited agricultural resources and a struggling economy leave many Somalis struggling to meet their basic needs, including access to food, water, and healthcare. These harsh realities have forced many to flee their homes, seeking refuge within the country or in neighboring nations, leading to a large-scale displacement crisis.
Despite these formidable obstacles, the spirit of the Somali people remains resilient. Hope for a brighter future flickers amidst the hardship, fueled by ongoing efforts to address these issues. The international community and various organizations continue to provide crucial humanitarian aid and support, while initiatives aimed at strengthening governance, promoting economic development, and combating poverty are slowly gaining traction. The journey towards a stable and prosperous Somalia is long and arduous, but the unwavering determination and resilience of its people offer a beacon of hope for a peaceful and prosperous future.
2023 GPI: 3.125
Africa is a massive continent with lots to explore. From vibrant cultures to both beautiful natural sites to exciting cities, you can spend a lifetime getting lost in all it has to offer.
We hope this list helps you get started on your African journey.