Safest Countries in Africa – A Complete Overview

Safest Countries in Africa 2018 full list
The African continent is the second largest on our planet and is home to 1.2 billion people and 54 independent countries. But with so many troubling news about safety in Africa in the headlines every day, many people are afraid of ever visiting this beautiful and fascinating continent. But which are the safest countries in Africa in 2019 for travelers? We created a safety score for each African country.

The Top 10 Safest Countries in Africa 2019
1) Mauritius
2) Seychelles
3) Botswana
4) São Tomé and Príncipe
5) Namibia
6) Ghana
7) Tanzania
8) Morocco
9) Rwanda
10) Lesotho
Full list of all African countries ranked by safety 2019
How is the safety score calculated?

Introduction – Safest Countries in Africa 2019

Safety for travelers has got so many different facettes. There is not one single aspect of a country that definies how safe it is for travelers. Therefore, we crunched some numbers for you and compiled a list of safe places to visit in Africa. Each country was ranked by four safety factors: Personal Safety, Health, Stability of Government and Vulnerability to Natural Disaster.

Since all these factors can be very subjective, we relied on the numbers calculated from three large international indices. The Ibrahim Index of African Governance 2018 of the Mo Ibrahim Foundationprovides comprehensive data on health and personal safety in African countries. The Fragile States Index by the US think tank Fund for Peace provides a score for the probability of a government to collapse. In addition, our Africa safety ranking includes data from the World Risk Report which describes the vulnerability of a country to natural disaster.

The safest places to visit in Africa in 2019: Summary

Top 10 Safest Countries in Africa for Travelers 2019 Infographic

According to our African safety score, Mauritius is the safest country in Africa in 2019.

Overall, the island nations of the continent are among the safest destinations in Africa to visit. There are three island nations under the top 10 safest places in Africa 2019 (Mauritius, Seychelles, Sao Tome and Principe). The comparably small island nations have more stable governments, lower malaria thread levels and continuous inflow of foreign exchange through tourism.

The safety score also means great news for wildlife enthusiasts. With Botswana, Namibia and Tanzania, some of the best safari destinations in Africa are among the top 10 of the safest places.

Below, you can find more detailed information on the 10 most peaceful countries in Africa. For the comprehensive safety ranking for every country in Africa, click here or scroll down to the lower section. After the overview of the 2019 safety score, we provide a quick overview of the main changes from the 2018 safety scores. Which countries have gained most in safety and which have lost?

Top 10 Safest Countries in Africa by ranking

1) Mauritius

Safety Score: 9.57
Malaria Risk: None

The island nation in the Indian Ocean remains the safest country in Africa to visit also in 2019. Mauritius already lead the safety ranking in 2018. Breathtaking beaches, incredible resort hotels and colorful temples and buildings are just some of the amazing things that are waiting for you on one of the safest islands to visit in the world.

According to the studies our safety score is based on, Mauritius is the country with the best personal safety in Africa. Also, its government is the least likely to collapse. However, Mauritius is considered to be more exposed and vulnerable to natural disasters than the other countries in the top 10 safety list. This is due to the strong cyclone season that runs from November until May. So make sure to avoid the cyclone season and you will have a perfectly safe trip to Africa.

Mauritius safest country in Africa 2018
The hills of Mauritius offer some supreme views over the Indian Ocean. Photo: Flickr

2) Seychelles

Safety Score: 9.18
Malaria Risk: None

The Seychelles are the ideal destination if you are looking for some hard-deserved relaxation – and one of the safest places in Africa. The Seychelles climed from the third place in the safety ranking in 2018 to the second place in 2019. The main island of Mahé is small which guarantees a quick transfer from the airport to your resort hotel. The pristine beaches of the Seychelles are some of the most beautiful on the planet.

While you enjoy the good weather, probably with a refreshing cocktail in your hand, safety is one thing you will definitely not have to worry about.

Seychelles 3rd most peaceful country in Africa

3) Botswana

Safety Score: 8.78
Malaria Risk: Medium

With high levels of personal safety, a stable government and low threads of natural hazards, Botswana is one of the best places to visit in Southern Africa. Botswana is not just a safe nation but also one of the prime safari destinations in Africa.

The best time to visit Botswana Africa is during the dry season from May to September. This time of the year is not only the best safari season but also the risk of malaria will be at its lowest during that time.

4) São Tomé and Príncipe

Safety Score: 8.70
Malaria Risk: Low

São Tomé and Príncipe is the surprise candidate on the list of the safest countries in Africa and remains on the forth position also in the 2019 ranking. It is one of the least visited countries in Africa and is made up of the two small islands São Tomé, the main island, and Principe and is located in the Guld of Guinea off the West Coast of the African continent.

But São Tomé and Príncipe is not just a surprisingly safe country to visit in Africa, it has got a lot to offer to the few travelers who make it there. Incredible beaches, friendly locals and untouched nature are the reward for those who decide to hop on one of the few flights to this tiny island nation.

5) Namibia

Safety Score: 8.58
Malaria Risk: Low-medium

Namibia is one of the most naturally diverse countries in Africa. In the south of the country, the vast Namib Desert offers some of the most beautiful desert sceneries in the world.

Sossusvlei Namibia tree dead vlei. 5th safest country in Africa

In the northern part of Namibia, the Etosha National Park offers some prime game spotting opportunities. The best time to visit Namibia is during the dry season from May to October. At this time of the year, the thirsty animals flock to the few water holes and you can find them easily. Also, the risk of malaria is much lower during the dry season.

Want to read more about Namibia? Click here to read about our adventures of driving through the Namib Desert with a 2WD car.

6) Ghana

Safety Score: 8.31
Malaria Risk: Medium to High

Ghana is one of the top tourist destinations in West Africa. Especially with young travelers, the country has gained in popularity over the last years. Also in terms of safety, Ghana is showing a steady upward trend and jumped from position 12 to 6 in the safety ranking.

Ghana offers some supreme game viewing options like Mole National Park in the north of the country or the Shai Hills Game Reserve close to the capital Accra. Make sure to wear mosquito repellent in the mornings and evenings to prevent malaria.

Vacation destinations quiz question 2 nature

7) Tanzania

Safety Score: 8.11
Malaria Risk: Medium to High

Tanzania, one of the largest countries in Africa, is an incredibly diverse nation. In the northeast of the country, you can climb Mount Kilimanjaro at an elevation of nearly 6,000 m a.s.l. – the highest point in Africa. The Seregneti National Park in the east of Tanzania is one of the best safari destinations on the continent. If you are looking for relaxation, head straight to the island of Zanzibar.

8) Morocco

Safety Score: 8.02
Malaria Risk: None

Morocco is one of the politically most stable countries on the African continent. With over 10 million international tourists per year, Morocco is the most visited country in Africa. In addition to high safety standards, Morocco is also one of the cheapest countries to travel in Africa. Head to Marrakesh if you want to experience one of the best cities to visit in Africa. The smells of spices and the impressions of a walk through the medina (old town) feel like what life must have been centuries ago.

Morocco 7th safest country in Africa
A trip to Morocco will be an experience for al your senses. Photo: Flickr

9) Rwanda

Safety Score: 7.83
Malaria Risk: High

Rwanda has come a long way since it has made grueling headlines in 1994. But after the terrible genocide, the country has seen an incredible development in terms of safety and economic growth. Rwanda has become one of the first countries in the world to completely ban plastic bags in 2006 to reduce waste production. Its capital Kigali has become one of the cleanest and safest cities in Africa.

Rwanda is home to the world’s largest mountain gorilla population. Hiking through the thick bushes of the East African jungle just to find yourself eye to eye with these majestic creatures is a memory no traveler will ever forget.

The risk of malaria in Rwanda is high throughout the country.

10) Lesotho

Safety Score: 7.81
Malaria Risk: None

Lesotho is another surprise nation on the list of the top ten safest countries in Africa. The small nation in southern Africa is the only country in the world that is entirely above 1,000 m a.s.l. The highlands of Lesotho offer some prime hiking opportunities.

Due to the high altitude, the best time to visit the country is during the summer months from October to April.

List of African countries by safety 2019 

Ranking 2019CountryOverall Safety ScorePersonal Safety (IIAG)Health (IIAG)Fragile States IndexNatural Disaster Index
4Sao Tome & Principe*8.7065.080.972.13.35
11Cape Verde7.7154.785.668.011.52
12Sierra Leone7.5463.151.589.111.49
27Côte d'Ivoire6.7052.468.994.68.28
31Burkina Faso6.3646.570.286.59.82
34Equatorial Guinea5.7738.
35South Africa5.7633.576.872.95.75
51Central African Republic2.9017.738.9111.16.44
52Democratic Republic of Congo*2.328.960.5110.77.19
53South Sudan*1.907.342.8113.47.99

*No World Risk Report data available. As a fallback, data from neighboring countries or last year’s risk report has been used. Due to the low weight of the world risk report data, it does not distort the overall safety score.

How is the safety score calculated?

The overall safety score for African countries was calculated using several indices for safety indicators. The highest weight (60%) was given to the Personal Safety Indicator of the 2018 Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG). This score includes indicators on the safety of the person, police services, social unrest, crime, political violence and human trafficking.

The second highest weight (20%) was given to the Health Indicator of the IIAG. If something were to happen to you in Africa, you want to make sure to be in a country with a good health system. Since several indicators of the health score of the IIAG focus on domestic health issues, it is weighted less high in our score.

The third input, for our safety score is the Fragile States Index published by the Fund For Peace and the magazine Foreign Policy (weight: 10%). The index predicts the vulnerability of a country to armed conflicts or to collapse.

The fourth input variable for the score of the safest countries to visit in Africa is the 2018 World Risk Index with a weight of 10%. This index describes the risk and vulnerability of countries to natural disaster.

This is the list of the most peaceful countries in Africa to travel in 2019

Do you want to read more about our African adventures? Check out our other articles:

Have you traveled to Africa before? Did you have any safety issues? Let us know in the comment section.

Make sure to also read our overview of the safest countries in South America.

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Safest Countries in Africa – A Complete Overview

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