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 whenever 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 countries in the continent.
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 in order 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!
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.
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.
This country is making a lot of noise lately for its boosting tourism. But unfortunately, not a lot of people are aware of how beautiful it is.
Violence in Ethiopia is almost non-existent. Extremely visitor-friendly – you may still expect some predictable hassle and scams along the way. But this happens almost anywhere in the world, doesn’t it?
Update: Ethiopia has been removed from this list of safe African countries recently. Please do your own research before traveling there as the situation has changed.
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.
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 preserve the picturesque beauty of the country while allowing travelers to see it for themselves!
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 rich marine life, so make sure to pack your goggles and snorkel!
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.
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 for having one of the biggest tropical forests in Africa which you can explore for days.
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.
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 why travelers must visit this country.
If you are a solo traveler looking for a country with the kindest and friendliest local, Tanzania is probably the place you are looking for. “Ujamaa” or communism saves the country from horrible and negative crimes. Having this kind of mentality is what supports the country as one of the safest countries in the continent.
If you are a brave heart looking for some challenges, make sure not to miss climbing Africa’s highest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro.
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 accommodations as there are lots of budget hotels and hostels scattered around Victoria Falls.
So, is Africa a safe place to travel solo?
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.
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.
Visit the author’s website: www.fortravelista.com.