What is the safest African country to spend a couple of weeks vacationing in? This is a question I get frequently, and given the news we hear about Africa it's not a very surprising one. But the vast majority of visitors to Africa' experience no problems at all. Tourist hot spots are frequently far away from the big cities and tour companies do their best to keep clients safe. Naturally you're taking a risk by visiting Somalia, Sudan or parts of the DRC, but these are not exactly vacation destinations. Africa is made up of more than 50 countries don't forget, and many are peaceful and stable, but that doesn't sell news.
Tourist destinations that have the worst reputation for violence; terrorism, mugging, car-jacking that type of thing, include Johannesburg and Nairobi. I've had both good and bad experiences in each city.
Some countries like Libya are extremely safe to visit because you can only go on an organized tour and you're kept well guarded from any unlikely nastiness. I think Morocco is an extremely safe country as well, but some (women especially) feel harassed and frightened if they wander around alone in Fes or Marrakech. Egypt has had a number of terrorist attacks aimed at tourists but that hasn't stemmed the flow of visitors checking out the Pyramids and cruising down the Nile.
The poll below reflect my candidates for safest countries to visit in Africa. My idea of 'safe' means I'd travel there alone; I would be careful about my personal belongings but I'd never really fear for my physical safety. Basically, I'd be relaxed enough to enjoy my vacation and get to know the people and the country.
Feel free to comment and tell us your experiences.
Bookseller in the Tunis Medina -- © Anouk Zijlma