The 12 Safest Countries in Africa for Solo Travelers

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Traveling to Africa can be a challenge – especially if you are a solo traveler. 

But the fact that you are going solo shouldn’t stop you from experiencing it as it would be highly rewarding for anyone to explore this continent. And encounter wide landscapes, unique cultures, wild animals, and friendly communities.

What many people are not aware of is that traveling to Africa on your own is almost impossible.

Why? It’s because you are more likely to find new friends along the way. Africa has the nicest and friendliest people in the world. Actually, most countries in Africa pride themselves on their kindness and friendliness to foreign visitors.

Whether you’re on the bus to your next destination, taking a sip of a warm tea at a coffee shop, or simply wandering around the town, expect to meet curious locals wanting to talk to you. And honestly, spending some time with locals and learning different cultures through them is definitely one of the best things you will experience when traveling here. On the top of this, meeting fellow travelers and solo backpackers is also very easy.

Before I make my trip to Africa come to life, my friends and family back home were so worried. They had the same, tiring question: “Are you not afraid?”

I wasn’t afraid because I thought Africa was a dangerous place, but only because it was my first time to there and even though I had traveled alone by myself before, I was clueless about what to expect this time.

 

Where to start exploring Africa?

Probably the best time to visit Africa is when you feel ready to experience its wilderness. But of course, a rough adventure does not mean you have to sacrifice your safety only for you to enjoy what the continent has to offer.

You must keep in mind that, only because Africa has some of the poorest nations in the world, doesn’t mean that it is a dangerous place to travel especially for those who are going solo. Here are my top picks in terms of the safest African countries.

1. Botswana

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Botswana was once a British Colony but since it got freed and became their own nation, Botswana got the steadiest democracy in Africa which makes the place an ideal destination for any kind of traveler.

Exploring the country is safe and easy. Actually, you wouldn’t have a problem getting around here as almost everyone speaks English. During your stay don’t forget to try a “mokoro” ride to have a unique canoeing experience!

Another incredible thing to do here is to watch the everyday life of the zebras, elephants, and hippos in their natural habitats!

2. Namibia

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Next to Botswana, this is another safe destination for solo travelers due to its good governance. Namibia will not fail to offer you an adventure of a lifetime as it is also one of the most stable countries in Africa.

When visiting the country, don’t forget to check out Etosha National Park where you can see 114 families of mammals and over 300 species of birds!

Hire a truck that will make you have closer wildlife encounters and get ready for some epic adventures.

3. Ghana

Another Marvelous country to add to your African itinerary is Ghana. No matter what time of the year you decide to visit, you may expect to enjoy the beauty of its spectacular beaches with the company of friendly locals. It’s not surprising how this nation has progressively become a first point destination for many foreign tourists who are looking to get away from their stressful day-to-day life.
Compared to other countries in West Africa, Ghana is a very safe, stable country. Due to its lower crime rate, the number of annual tourists visiting Ghana is roughly 950,000 and is expected to grow to 1.5 million by the year 2024. Tourism is a real contributor to the country’s growing and developing economy.

4. Malawi

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Not even a decade ago, Malawi wasn’t a good place to travel for foreign adventurers, but because of the new-found government and economic boom, this country is now one of the best African countries to visit.

Most travelers go to the rural parts of the country as getting along with and getting to know the local Malawian can be a one of a kind experience.

5. Seychelles

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Seychelles is another must-visit gem in Africa. The country hardly delivers bad news on TV and the internet and it has beautiful and peaceful places to go like Petite Anse and Mahe where you are able to experience an easy-going lifestyle. Seychelles has converted many of its small islands to national parks. This is the way of their government to keep the picturesque beauty of the country while allowing travelers to see it for themselves!

6. Mozambique

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If you are visiting Africa in hope to spend some time laying down on white sandy beaches, enjoying hammocks, getting shades under the palm trees, sipping fresh coconut juice, and just enjoying the #beachlife, then Mozambique is for you.

On the other hand, you should not expect to ride jet skis, fancy restaurants, and lively nightlife, this is a perfect place to unwind and enjoy nature as a backpacker. You can, however, enjoy discovering underwater as the country has a rich marine life, so make sure to pack your goggles and snorkel!

7. Kenya

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Kenya has always been in the spotlight for the last decades, mainly due to bad news caused by terrorism and natural disasters. But now, with improved security – normally done with a genuine smile – traveling to this place as a solo traveler is safer than ever.

Just like any other country, it is important to look after your valuables as petty crime is still widespread. While in the country, you will feel overjoyed with the kindness Kenyans will offer you during your stay.

8. Rwanda

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Rwanda should be topping this list due to its very low terrorism and crime rates.

This country had a rough and tear-jerking history but eventually, the country thrived into one of the amazing sights in the entire continent. Rwanda also prides itself on having one of the biggest tropical forests in Africa which you can explore for days.

9. Madagascar

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Madagascar is known for its wildlife, thanks to the animated movie of the same name. The animals in the movie including the cute but wild lemurs are seen here.

In general, it’s a safe country in Africa to visit due to the policies and good governance.

10. Morocco

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It is not very likely for you to experience real physical danger when traveling to Morocco, but like other places in the world, it is important to stay vigilant against harassment and petty crime. 

Morocco is a country of contrasts – from the bust Djemaa el-Fna Square to the High Atlas Mountains, deserts, and the friendly Berber people, the safety it offers is not the only reason travelers must visit this country. Here’s an article on why it might be the best place to live in Africa

11. Tanzania

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If you are a solo traveler looking for a country with the kindest and friendliest locals, Tanzania is probably the place you are looking for. “Ujamaa” or communism saves the country from horrible and negative crimes. It is that mentality what helps it to be the perhaps the safest place to travel in Africa these days.

If you are a brave heart looking for some challenges, make sure not to miss climbing Africa’s highest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro.

12. Zambia

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Again, petty crimes and devious scammers do occur here too, but as far as the level of violent crime in Africa goes, Zambia is nowhere near that. Since you don’t have to worry about your safety when traveling alone in this country, all you should do is – for instance – enjoying one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World, Victoria Falls.

You won’t also get problems looking for accommodation as there are lots of budget hotels and hostels scattered around Victoria Falls.

 

So, is Africa a safe place to travel solo?

Yes.

Africa doesn’t have a positive reputation in terms of safety but be well aware that a lot of stereotypes you might have heard are derived from false deceptions and there are tons of safe places to travel in Africa.

But then again, this reputation did not come completely just out of the blue; however, these countries mentioned above offer a better safety to both locals and foreign visitors than it had before.

Do you think is it safe to travel to Africa? Would you add any other safe African countries to the list? Let us know in the comments below. This list of safe countries in Africa is updated regularly.

Visit the author’s website: www.fortravelista.com.




There are 35 comments

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  1. Raven Henderson

    I was thinking of moving to an African country. What country do you think would be the best type to go to?

    • Inma

      Hi Raven!
      That one has many answers for sure! I’d highly advise you to ask this to a expats in Africa community, for instance on Facebook.
      Good luck!

  2. [email protected]

    I guess those are the only African countries you’ve visited and decided to give it your review. You missed some very safe African countries in your review and I highly encourage you to visit more African countries to find out what you’ve missed e.g. Cape Verde, Cameroon, Senegal etc.

    • Inma

      Hello Joel
      This was written by a guest author. However, due to its popularity, we are thinking of adding other countries soon as well as we have removed some others due to the latest ‘ foreign travel advice ‘ updates.
      Thanks for your comment, we’ll keep your suggestions in mind.

  3. Edward

    Yey Zambia makes the list!:D I’m Zambian and I totally agree with you!
    I can add to say that I have never been pick-pocketed here, even at the busiest markets and bus stations in Lusaka. I go to these busy places daily. I have been scammed once when I was in college, but nothing since.

  4. Damani Baraka

    I have a friend who’s been to Ethiopia twice. The 1st time he had only minor problems but the last time- a couple of years ago he was restricted to the hotel his last 3 days because of street unrest. 2 people ignored the restrictions and ventured out because they owned a business 2 blocks away. One was killed and the other was hospitalized with life threatening injuries. I’ve been to Ghana twice and loved it. It best and less expensive if you live with American repats or in a guest house.

  5. Rolo Gomez

    A very good read. I’m looking for a winter getaway to Africa and this article helped a lot. I just wish the information was more detailed. It seemed just a little too vague to be 100 % trustworthy. Sometimes the vibe I got is like “hey we’ve been to these places so just take our word for it” instead of actually convincing you that you would be safe. But all in all, it gave me all new ideas for destinations and confirmed some doubts about the truly wary parts of the continent. Thanks for a good article.

  6. Kylee

    I highly recommend checking out Freedom House, org (just google it) for their annual report on global freedom by nation. They are highly reputable & a great tool for travelers too. They give an annual, unbiased report on all things regarding freedom such as violence, terrorism, and political protests. Due to my findings on Freedom House, I personally would not enter Ethiopia at this time & potentially Rwanda. Any country where the government is killing their own people, I’m not risking it. The rest listed here I would deem safe based off of Freedom House. Although it’s important to note “freedom” doesn’t always correlate to safeness, but it’s worth looking into the reports! Thanks for the article, it was very helpful!

    • Inma

      Thanks for the suggestion! Ethiopia has been removed from the list. As for Rwanda, the official website of the UK government states the following: Rwanda is generally safe and crime levels are relatively low, but street crime does occur.

  7. Micaela

    Hi! Can i ask you which ones you’ve visited and are have been excluded from the list on purpose? Because im a female travelling solo next year and for example Uganda was in my wish list. Thanks!

  8. Pierre

    I appreciate your sharing. Truly your shared all these places are the best way for having fun and tourists can enjoy some time with buddies. I also enjoyed myself while I was visiting this kind of places. I hope your shared information would be useful for other travellers.

  9. Don

    Zimbabwe is the safest country in Africa despite the current economic climate. You can never go wrong. Everyone is literate. Everyone speaks English fluently and in a good accent.

  10. Greta Ivarsson

    I appreciate your goal to boost tourism in Africa but a little disappointed that North Africa isn’t included, and that the listicle didn’t call out that it was only referring to sub-saharan Africa. Egypt, Algeria and Morocco were just ranked by Gallup as among the safest nations in the world, with Egypt topping Africa. I’ve visited North and sub-Saharan African countries several times and I’ve felt safe all over but I had a very soft spot for Egypt and Ethiopia.

    If interested: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-44467975


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