Unfortunately, it’s sometimes not the spectacular scenes of gorillas in the mist or the Great Wildebeest Migration which first come to mind when Africa is brought up. Instead, it’s thoughts about safety. Many people have a negative view of the continent, which doesn’t come close to the truth. So that’s why we’re writing this post – to inform you (or remind you) that there are safe countries in Africa to visit!
Why Safaris Make a Great Choice for Worry Free Vacations in Africa
Safaris differ across the continent. What rarely differs is the fact that going on a safari is one of the safest ways to explore Africa. Safari goers are not only far away from city centers where much petty criminality takes place, but also in secure compounds that take their security very seriously.
And when it comes to the wildlife, you have little to worry about their either. Predators such as lions and leopards don’t see humans as a target, and will only ever attack if they feel in danger. Likewise, elephants, rhinos, and buffalos will only ever threaten to charge when provoked. Pay these animals the respect they deserve and nothing bad will happen to you!
Safe Countries in Africa for Safaris
Which are the safe countries in Africa we would recommend for a safari? As you’ll see, east African makes the perfect starting point. This is because of the range of wildlife options available and the impressive safety records of many of its countries. Here’s our pick of east Africa’s safest safari destinations.
If you work in Uganda’s tourist industry, you’ve got a lot to boast about. Fly into Entebbe international airport and you’re just a short distance from many of the country’s most important cultural attractions in and around Kampala. You’re also very close to the relaxing waters of Lake Victoria. It’s Africa’s largest, and has a fine selection of resorts on its shores, alongside flamingos, hippos and even the odd croc.
Also on Lake Victoria you’ll find the source of the River Nile, while elsewhere there are national parks that rival any on the continent. For game drive-style safaris on the plains, head to Queen Elizabeth or Kidepo Valley National Park, while for boat-based adventures head to Murchison Falls National Park. However, the star of the show has to be Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, one of just a handful of places in the world where it’s possible to encounter mountain gorillas.
Having left behind it’s dodgy reputation, which was largely the result of ill-advised backpackers getting themselves into trouble, Kenya is another of our safe countries in Africa to consider. Highlights of the country include the Maasai Mara, which shares part of the Great Wildebeest Migration with Tanzania. But you can also pit your wits against the second tallest mountain on the continent, and opt for a range of Kenya safari experiences.
What’s more, Kenya’s location gives it two further attractions. The first is its Indian Ocean coastline, which gives it mile after mile of soft white sand beaches and a good number of snorkeling and scuba diving opportunities too. The second is the chance to stand on the equator, which roughly divides the country into two halves.
Two decades ago, few would have though of Rwanda as being in the running for a list of safe countries in Africa. But since the ethnic strife of the early 1990s, an entire generation has grown up looking to avoid the mistakes of the past.
In doing so they have created a country which regularly hits the top spot not only in safety but in breaking people’s expectations – for the better. Like in Uganda, the main reason to consider a Rwanda safari is the chance to see endangered mountain gorillas in the wild. But it’s also well worth extending your stay to admire the plains species that occupy Akagera National Park, and spend a couple of days among the galleries and cafes of Kigali, the capital.
A huge country with very little civil strife, Tanzania has remained a steadfast member of the safe countries in Africa to visit on safari for year after year. That confirmed, you’ll want to know exactly what you can see if you visit Tanzania for yourself.
As well as delightful mainland beaches, Tanzania also has the Zanzibar Archipelago, sometimes known as the Spice Islands. Their northern coast is the place to head to soak up the sun, while Stone Town further south is a prime example of a city with medieval origins. Dominating the north of the mainland is Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak on the continent and a popular walking target, while much of the annual Great Wildebeest Migration also takes place in Tanzania, making Tanzania safaris unmissable!
Best of the Rest
Okay, given our history, we’ve covered east Africa’s safest destinations in relative depth. Is there anywhere else we would recommend as safe countries in Africa ripe for discovery?
Although it is often not thought of as being part of Africa, Egypt occupies its northeast corner. One of the oldest civilizations on the planet let alone the continent, there’s no shortage of history attractions. You don’t need us to introduce the Great Pyramids of Giza or the Sphinx. A visit to the Siwa Oasis provides a very different view of Egypt, while the resorts of the Red Sea are another good spot for those looking to top up the tan! The biggest threat you’ll face if visiting Egypt is overzealous salesmen in souks and souvenir stalls, who are easy to defeat with a firm ‘no.’
No Shortage of Safe Countries in Africa
There are certainly no shortage of safe countries in Africa to visit. When crimes do occur, they rarely affect visitors and tourists, creating an unfair picture of these countries in the eyes of the world. It’s also important to remember than Africa is a huge place, several times the size of the United States – yet no one would think twice about visiting New York because something terrible may have happened in California.