Is Africa safe for tourists?

Shopping in Stonetown, Zanzibar Island off the coast of Tanzania.

Shopping in Stonetown, Zanzibar Island off the coast of Tanzania.

A trip to Africa is on a lot of bucket lists. For many travelers from the United States, the continent seems majestic and mysterious yet dangerous and uncharted. Much of what is known about Africa is from the media, a land of lions and giraffes, war and poverty. The Africa I know and love is a land of beauty and wonder that I have now dedicated my life to sharing with travelers.

Africa's biggest enemy is the international media who represent all 46 African countries as a single entity and not as unique and individual countries with their own characteristics.

Togolese Women Dancing

Togolese Women Dancing

The stereotype that Africa is unsafe is mostly untrue.  What can cause unsafe conditions outside of your home country are communication/language problems, being unaware of the culture/context (unintentionally offending people), and not knowing your way around (to avoid the areas with higher crime). 

It would come as a surprise to many people to find out that there are in fact areas that are worse off in more developed countries than in the "dangerous" African countries. No country can claim to be 100% safe, and so as with travel to any new or unknown destination, it is advisable to take certain standard security precautions:

  • Keep an eye on your purses, wallets, passports, money and cameras when walking in a crowd. 
  • Avoid walking in the cities at night 
  • Place valuables in your hotel safe. 
  • Choosing a knowledgeable operator 

While staying at African safari lodges and tented camps you are typically far removed from human settlement and crime in the camps is virtually nonexistent, in fact, we have never heard of it and have been traveling to the camps for years.

I would definitely say if you are not used to being in low-income countries, South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya are recommended.  Go somewhere used to tourism and on something planned, if you're concerned about your first time. 

A pic of myself, Saurabh Khetrapal, and my gorgeous wife, Dr. Kavita Gajjar, whilst visiting South Africa. 

A pic of myself, Saurabh Khetrapal, and my gorgeous wife, Dr. Kavita Gajjar, whilst visiting South Africa. 

Choosing a tour operator such as Fair Trade Safaris the best move you could make ,we will plan your ideal itinerary and take care of you every step of the way!

Comment

Saurabh Khetrapal

I am a recovering tech entrepreneur and angel investor. Now, my passions and life's missions are to impact the local communities, the wildlife, and the environment in Africa. I am the founder of Fair Trade Safaris, an organization that offers amazing African safaris and travel experiences and donates 100% of its profits to a variety of community development and wildlife conservation projects in Africa.