The 10 safest and most beautiful countries in Africa
Africa is the hottest and second most populous continent in the world. Two thousand languages are spoken, hundreds of religions are practiced, and more than eight thousand nationalities live here. The beaches of the azure sea, the endless Sahara Desert, wild tropics and exotic animals – all this is a multifaceted Africa. We have collected for you more than a dozen African countries, where you will have an interesting vacation.
1. Sierra Leone
An unusual contender for tourism is Sierra Leone, aka the country of the “lion’s mountains.” The population of this corner of Africa is equal to the number of inhabitants of St. Petersburg. Here they speak broken English and Creole, the cab is called “puda-puda”, and money is in circulation from the mysterious material “naobia”.
Sierra Leone was once torn apart by civil war, but now, having achieved peace, the local authorities are actively financing tourism. The snow-white sandy coast is lined with hotels for all tastes and pockets, from unpretentious hotels to comfortable resorts.
Most cultural and historical sites are concentrated in the capital – Freetown. Here you can look at the Reconciliation Tree or walk through the stone Royal Gate, which states that whoever passes through the gate, declared a free man. Look for incendiary festivals at Lumley Beach and, if you’re interested in religious architecture, take a look at the local mosque and St. George’s Cathedral.
This tiny African country is so hot that the natives treat rain as the greatest miracle. The locals use the word “rain” as a greeting, the same way the currency in Botswana is called. Botswana has no access to the sea, but there are many national parks. They’re Botswana’s real treasure! This is where the world’s largest population of elephants live and not only: Botswana has the richest and most diverse fauna on the planet.
Much of the country is occupied by the hot Kalahari Desert. Tour guides drive tourists around it to admire the views or experience the spirit of adventure on safari. The Kalahari is home to many exotic predators and is also home to the Bushmen, an African people who have preserved their traditional way of life. You can get acquainted with them, take pictures and buy handmade souvenirs.
Equally popular is the treasure hunt. According to legend, the locals hid their treasures from the British colonizers in the caves of the village Gchvihaba . They also take tours there. The treasure hunt is more of an excuse to show tourists the incredible beauty of the caves with ten-meter high stalactites. The show is worth it!
Multicultural Ghana breaks stereotypes about African countries. Eleven languages have the status of the state, in 2015 the Ghanaians launched an orbiting satellite into space, and 95% of children have school education. And although the name of the country translates as “War King,” it is the safest corner of Africa, and the locals are very friendly to tourists.
Lovers of lazy holidays will appreciate the wild beaches of Ghana. For example, in Busua, you can enjoy solitude, and in Kokrobit try your hand at surfing. Along the coast there are old forts, picturesque ruins and castles. The coastal towns of Elmina and Cape Coast offer plenty of museums, temples, and colonial estates for the curious traveler. Cape Coast has an unusual park with a long bridge surrounded by the crowns of exotic trees – beautiful!
In the reserves arrange a safari. Flora and fauna of Ghana are very diverse: during a tour of the reserves you have a chance to see elephants, cheetahs, antelopes and monkeys. By the way, it is Ghana where it is customary to dance at funerals. Local religious traditions have preserved their authenticity: fortune-telling and witchcraft are taken very seriously, and buses are painted with quotations from sacred texts.
One of the richest countries on the continent, Namibia is wild Africa, only with swanky hotels and comfortable excursions. The country tries so hard to please visitors that it has even launched the Desert Express tourist train which is perfectly furnished and makes many stops for sightseeing.
You can swim and sunbathe on the Atlantic coast. The beaches are mostly wild, secluded – perfect for a romantic weekend. The main attractions are concentrated in the national parks: here you can admire herds of rhinos, the famous Dead Valley or the Coast of skeletons. If you want to be culturally enriched, take a look at the cave paintings in Damaraland and visit the town of Luderitz, where there are many architectural monuments left over from the diamond rush.
And that’s not even the most amazing part! Namibia is home to the oldest desert in the world, Namib Desert, which is a reminder of the dinosaurs. Over the past millions of years Namib has produced unique species of animals that can withstand the harsh climate of the desert. What is unique about Namibia is the local cuisine. You’ll get to try the world’s largest oysters, alligator tails and lion loin.
Uganda has a high safety factor because of its sparsely populated cities and the fact that all the major tourist attractions are located far from the city limits. Therefore the risk of encountering trouble awaiting tourists in crowded places is small. However what really attracts visitors to Uganda is the fantastic nature and the rich cultural heritage.
Here are the highest mountains in Africa: for example, the extreme point of Mount Virunga is four and a half kilometers above sea level. It has snow on top and the slopes are home to rare mountain gorillas. The country also boasts one of the deepest lakes in the world – Lake Albertina, which was formed in the crater of a dead volcano. There is also the beautiful Lake Victoria, so large that it is sailed on.
Uganda boasts many attractions, from the oldest national park in Africa, built under Queen Elizabeth, to the luxurious botanical garden Entebbe, where the movie Tarzan was filmed. In addition to sightseeing tours of natural beauty, popular bars and discos. Prices do not bite at all, the cocktail list is diverse. You can try coconut and coffee gin, and alcohol based on Matoka – unsweetened bananas, which Ugandans use, as we do – potatoes. Matoka dishes are in every café and restaurant. Bananas are fried, boiled, mashed, and used as a dessert.
6. Cape Verde
An island state located six hundred kilometers off the coast of Africa has long been popular with tourists. Cape Verde combines European service and rich entertainment program with a mesmerizing nature of the islands. It is one of the world’s largest centers for windsurfing and sport fishing; experienced divers love to come here, and surfers get a chance to tame their “special wave”.
The beaches of Cape Verde are wide, sandy, mostly secluded and sparsely populated. They are open to all comers, no extra charge for admission – instead, you will be given a free deck chair! Spa holidays are practiced on all islands without exception. Surfing is popular on Santiago, and Santo Antão is famous for its views of the mountain ranges. On the islands of Sal and San Vincente developed infrastructure, in the evenings roll up noisy parties and work coastal discos.
If you want to try your hand at diving, sports centers in Cape Verde are enough, they are almost on every island. Dive sites boast a variety of landscapes: shipwrecks, reefs, rocks, grottos, and among them – motley fish and octopuses.
You can read more about Cape Verde in our own reports:
Trip to Boa Vista Island (Cape Verde) Sharing Your Impressions!
Cape Verde inside out: what is left out of the tourists’ picture?
A non-trivial beach holiday, spectacular savannah safaris and diving in the Indian Ocean – Kenya guarantees a rich vacation program. Its nature is a true calling card of Africa. Hundreds of thousands of zebras and half a million gazelles migrate through Kenya every year, so trips through the national parks are really exciting. The local government carefully protects the natural heritage, and for good reason: the country is home to 40% of animals and 35% of birds, which are not found anywhere else in the world.
And there’s also the world’s only Giraffe Manor hotel with real giraffes, which offers a stunning view of the African prairie. Sounds like a Tarzan and Jane tale or another Indiana Jones adventure.
Kenya is rightfully considered a great destination for a leisurely resort vacation. Blue waters of the ocean, clean beaches with soft sand and developed infrastructure. Diving in the local waters is gaining popularity from year to year: the moray reef, coral mazes, sunken ships “Mida” and “Denmark”, giant turtles and colorful fish – there is something to see.
For cultural and historical attractions tourists go to the capital. Here sparkles with the silver domes of the Marble Mosque, there are museums with life-size models of dinosaurs, forts and mausoleums. Restaurants serve meat of antelope and crocodile, banana salads, and for dessert, sweet coffee liquor.
Home of the legendary Freddie Mercury and Mount Kilimanjaro attracts travelers with its authentic culture, rich nature and clean ocean beaches. The locals are friendly with tourists, though they speak little English – their native language is Swahili. But the guides speak excellent English and Russian. You will have no problem to arrange a safari with a Russian-speaking guide.
In a unique protected forest Jozani you will see the last colony of colobus monkeys and other exotic animals, near the bay Kizimkazi – take pictures of dolphins swimming out of the water. Prepare to have fun with the locals in Dar es Salaam, where on weekends there are dances. Go on a photo hunt in the reserve Ngorongoro. Spread out in a huge crater of a volcano, it became a haven for twenty-five thousand different animals and birds: lions, buffalo, flamingos, zebras.
Tanzania is famous for its deep-sea fishing. We advise to go into the ocean with a guide. They ply boats near the islands. Believe me, you will not be left without a catch! And if you want to get acquainted with the local culture, go to the Makonde Plateau, where the art of ancient African woodcarving is still demonstrated to all comers.
Paradise island Madagascar, unlike the rest of Africa, welcomes travelers with baobab groves, coral reefs, clean beaches and bays. This picturesque place is ideal for tourists who are not looking for luxury resorts, but for a new experience. The vents of extinct volcanoes, mountains, rivers and deserts are no place for sun beds and cocktails.
First of all we recommend you to visit the island Nusi-Be. It is famous for its beaches, the park Lemuria-Land and Lukube Reserve full of wild exotic animals. Snorkeling enthusiasts flock to Ifati and Nosi Iranja, and golfers flock to Fulpointe. The Anaco coast is good for surfing, but Tulear is popular for diving.
The capital city of Antananarivo demonstrates the architectural beauty: palaces, park complexes, cathedrals. As in many cities in Madagascar, there is a park of lemurs – these animals are found everywhere on the island, they are very cute and friendly. Be sure to check out the port town of Tuamasina: Creole houses on stilts, the bustling Bazari-Be market and banana groves will be a highlight in your photo album.
The mesmerizing wilderness of Africa with the legendary Victoria Falls and Lake Kariba awaits in Zimbabwe. Hunting is allowed in the vast savannahs and special ranches, a rare occurrence in Africa, which is forbidden in most countries of the continent. Not every day you get a chance to bring home a souvenir in the form of buffalo horns or leopard skin. There are many places for extreme rafting and fishing, and there are also casinos, where it’s nice to relax after a day’s safari.
In the national parks you can watch elephants, rhinos, antelopes, hippos and other exotic wildlife. Fishing is allowed on Lake Kariba, yachting and water skiing are popular.
Victoria Falls, a favorite “attraction” for all tourists, is one of the most beautiful and largest waterfalls in the world. If you want to see all sides of this natural wonder you can rent a small plane and admire the breathtaking scenery from a bird’s eye view! For the extreme, there is a bungee ride on Victoria.
The island state of Mauritius is a small cozy place, more like an exotic Asia than a sultry Africa. The state is really small: the total land area is 2 thousand square kilometers, there is only one university, and there is no official language at all. And yet it is the richest country in Africa: the cost of rest here is not inferior to the Seychelles or the Maldives. Azure waves, white sand, sprawling palms and a rare underwater world – just the beginning of the list of why tourists love Mauritius.
Those who come here to improve health and appearance will appreciate local thalasso clinics, spas and ayurveda centers. The country is home to a large number of Hindus, so you can also count on yoga courses. For fans of extreme sports here is free: surfers love Tamarina Bay because of the high waves, divers rush to the island of Rodrigues and the northern lagoons. Another popular activity is fishing in the open sea. You can catch barracuda or hammerhead fish!
Cultural and educational program does not do without a trip to the colorful dunes “Chamarel” or to Tru-o-Serf – a picturesque extinct volcano. Attractions are evenly scattered across the island, for example, in Triole you can look at the largest Hindu temple Mahesvarnath Shivala, near Kyurpipe – park with rare birds.
And in conclusion.
Before you fly to Africa, you should prepare carefully. Be sure to have all necessary vaccinations (their list is available on the websites of the embassies of the host countries), take anti-malarial pills and insect repellent. Do not drink raw tap water, and avoid raw food.
Top 5 safest countries in Africa
The African continent is a tourist paradise for visitors from all corners of the world. Tourist destinations of cultural value, rich and varied fauna, and natural wonders are some of the attractions Africa has to offer. What is common, however, is that the continent suffers from social ills such as crime, political instability, xenophobia and the growing threat of terrorism.
However, this does not mean that the continent does not have competitive, safe and welcoming tourist destinations. Below are five African countries with world-class hospitality.
Botswana, a country located in the south of the African continent, is one of the safest tourist destinations in Africa and the world at large. Thanks to its relatively stable political environment, the country ranks first among many countries in the world when it comes to safe hospitality and recreation.
Almost 40% of its territory is occupied by wilderness areas and natural parks. It also has the largest population of elephants in the world. In terms of the Global Peace Index (GPI), Botswana is considered a safer tourist destination than the UK.
This African island with its lagoons and beaches is the safest destination in Africa. According to the GPI statistics, the country is safer for tourists than France and Greece. Crime in Mauritius is very low, and the only incidents that occur there are usually petty thefts.
Thus, it is definitely a safe African country to travel to and definitely worth considering for your next vacation plans. Visiting Mauritius ensures that tourists’ journey will not be interrupted by life-threatening risks.
With a GPI of 1.776, Ghana is considered the third safest country on the African continent. Also known as the “jewel of West Africa,” Ghana is home to stunning coastal cities, thriving metropolises and spectacular natural landscapes. According to the Global Peace Index, Ghana is ranked 44th safest in the world, making this West African country a tourist destination to consider without fear of losing lives or valuables.
4. Seychelles Islands
An idyllic cluster of biodiverse islands in the Indian Ocean, the Seychelles have always been considered a very safe place for travelers and one of the safest countries in Africa. Tourists encounter almost no crime, especially away from the main islands. The government is stable and tourism is a developed industry.
Most people live in beach resorts, which greatly reduces the risk of petty or serious crime. The only real risk tourists should beware of is the strong coastal current when swimming in the sea in the Seychelles.
Eswatini is also known among travelers as one of the safest countries in Africa because despite its modest size, the country has a well-deserved reputation for being friendly and hospitable. The country of Eswatini is considered the jewel in the crown of vast tourist Africa, a paradise for its many soothing forests and tourist attractions.
As in any other country, if the traveler takes the necessary precautions, he can be safe. Therefore, it is advisable not to leave valuables unattended.
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