10 safest countries in Africa for every type of traveller

Eager to explore Africa but worried about safety? We’ve rounded up the safest countries in Africa for every type of traveller, from female and solo travellers to families and couples.

For many, the African continent holds the allure of uncharted terrain, bountiful wildlife and dynamic communities. It is also the oldest inhabited continent on the planet and offers striking cultural and geographical diversity across at least 54 countries. While parts of this beautiful continent are unsafe due to political and social complexities, there are plenty of African nations that are safe for visitors. Keep reading to discover the safest countries in Africa that are well worth travelling for.

Avenue of the Baobabs, Madagascar
Avenue of the Baobabs, Madagascar © Adobe Stock

Methodology

What factors determine what the safest countries in Africa are? The Global Peace Index (GPI) by the Institute for Economics and Peace is an annual ranking of countries based on factors such as political stability, low crime rates, peaceful handling of conflict and effective policy enforcement. In combination with safety advice from Australia’s Smart Traveller website, we have also taken Numbeo’s 2023 Safety Index by Country into account. This index considers perceived crime levels, feelings of safety walking during the day and night, violence, harassment, theft and discrimination.

What are the safest countries in Africa?

Mauritius

Mauritius consistently ranks as one of safest countries in Africa. Located off the east coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean, this picture-perfect island nation was deemed the 23rd safest country in the world by GPI in 2023 – roughly on par with Australia. Politically stable, economically strong and boasting an effective healthcare system, Mauritius gives travellers plenty of reasons to feel at ease – and those pristine beaches are a major drawcard.
Traveller tip: Be wary of taxi scams. You may also want to plan your trip outside of the cyclone season, which lasts from November to May.

Le Morne Beach © Mauritius Tourism
Le Morne Beach © Mauritius Tourism

Rwanda

With petty crimes at a low and inspiring animal encounters at your fingertips, there are many reasons why Rwanda should be on your bucket list. Despite its volatile past, Rwanda has gained considerable ground in terms of safety and is now regarded as one of the safest countries in Africa for tourists.
Traveller tip: Make sure to avoid areas that border with The Democratic Republic of Congo, especially around the town of Gisenyi, as there are armed conflicts.

Gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda
Meet gorillas in Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda © Unsplash/ Paul Longhurst

Botswana

Nestled between Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa, Botswana boasts Africa’s longest continuous multi-party democracy and an abundance of community-based tourism. It’s also home to a wealth of otherworldly landscapes including the Okavango Delta and Linyanti Private Reserve, celebrated for its large elephant herds. If you steer clear of problematic areas near Gaborone Dam and Kgale Hill, you’ll have little to worry about as a tourist in Botswana.
Traveller tip: To avoid waterborne diseases, don’t swim in freshwater lakes and rivers.

Elephant in Botswana
Elephants in Botswana © Adobe Stock

Seychelles

Seychelles is classed green on Smart Traveller’s website, meaning that tourists should exercise normal safety precautions when visiting. Coupled with a relatively low crime rate that rarely affects foreigners, the isolated landscapes of this idyllic archipelago give it a place among the safest countries in Africa. Staying in a resort greatly reduces your chance of experiencing crime and violence.
Traveller tip: Avoid back streets and beaches after dark.

White sand beach and aqua waters of seychelles
Dive into the aqua waters of Seychelles © Unsplash/ Christian Cacciamani

Zambia

Zambia is the land of the famous Victoria Falls and awe-inspiring walking safaris. While it isn’t exempt from crime, it is generally seen as much safer than many other countries in Africa. Exercising common sense when out and about will help reduce the chance of getting stuck in a sticky situation.
Traveller tip: Reconsider travelling to border areas with the Democratic Republic of Congo to avoid conflict zones and be wary of tourist scams.

Victoria Falls, Zambia
Victoria Falls, Zambia © Adobe Stock

Ghana

Considered one of the safest countries in Africa according to GPI and Numbeo’s Safety Index, Ghana is a democratic country known for its warm, hospitable people. Explore the hustle and bustle of vibrant markets, admire stunning whitewashed castles and witness antelope and buffalo in Ghana’s Mole National Park.
Traveller tip: Take extra care around Accra, Ghana’s capital, where tourists can be targeted for scams or robbery.

Local fishing village in Ghana
Small fishing village in Ghana © Unsplash/Yoel Winkler

Namibia

From the surreal savannahs and starry skies of Etosha National Park to eerie shipwrecks and ghost towns, Namibia is an amazing destination for curious globetrotters. Besides petty crime that mainly occurs in urban centres, Namibia poses few threats to tourists.
Traveller tip: Medical facilities are limited in Namibia, so ensure your travel insurance includes medical evacuation, which will likely be to South Africa.

The Hardap Region of Namibia
The Hardap Region of Namibia © Unsplash/ Arne Smith

Madagascar

Recognised for its low terrorist and military activity, Madagascar is an exciting and safe travel destination to consider for your next adventure. From visiting the famous Baobab Alley to spotting humpback whales or relaxing on golden beaches, this island country has no shortage of activities and is considered one of the safest countries in Africa.
Traveller tip: Avoid demonstrations or large public gatherings as protests can quickly turn violent.

A lemur swinging through the trees
Get up close and personal with lemurs in Madagascar © Shutterstock/ Martin Mecnarowski

Morocco

Morocco is a kaleidoscope of colours, sounds and tastes that has lured tourists for decades. It’s seen as one of the safest countries in Africa for tourists looking to experience beautiful architecture, cuisine and landscapes. However, crime rates increase in remote regions, so don’t hike alone in isolated areas. Instead, go with a tour guide and be wary that women may experience mild street harassment.
Traveller tip: It is best to travel in small groups when out walking, particularly at night.

Morocco architecture city on a hill
Architectural delights in Morocco © Unsplash/ Cristiano Pinto

Tanzania

Often the best way to increase your safety is to distance yourself from urban life, and an escape to nature is exactly what Tanzania offers. While staying in the cities presents some risks, including bag snatching and robberies, Tanzania’s natural offerings are unparalleled. The African country’s main attractions are its big game safaris around Serengeti National Park and Mount Kilimanjaro.
Traveller tip: Avoid travel near the Mozambique border in the Mtwara region and exercise extra caution around Arusha.

Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania with zebra
Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania © Adobe Stock

The safest countries in Africa for female travellers

Cultural norms in African countries can affect women differently to men. The safest countries in Africa for female travellers to visit are Mauritius, a peaceful country where Buddhist culture is prevalent, as well as Botswana, Gambia and Rwanda. No matter which African country you are in, female travellers may consider dressing conservatively and should conform to local behavioural standards. 

The safest countries in Africa for solo travellers

The safest countries in Africa for solo travel are Seychelles, Botswana, Ghana, Rwanda and Ghamba. In these nations, tourism is a fast-developing industry, stable government policies are in place and locals are generally friendly and helpful to visitors.

The safest countries in Africa for LGBTQ travellers

LGBTQ travellers should be aware that, in many countries in Africa, same-sex relations are punishable by jail time and, even if not illegal, are not widely accepted by the public. It is safest to avoid public displays of affection and research the local laws and cultural norms before arriving. Non-binary gender is also not legally recognised in most African countries and is often a point of discrimination. The safest countries in Africa for LGBTQ travellers are South Africa, the only country in Africa where same-sex marriage is currently legal; Mauritius, one of the few countries where LGBTQ rights are protected; and Botswana, Mozambique and Madagascar, where same-sex relations are decriminalised. Some of the most dangerous countries in Africa for LGBTQ travellers are Nigeria, Mauritiana, Uganda, Somalia, Tanzania, Zambia, Sudan and Sierra Leone.

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