Yenta – The technical meaning is a woman that is a gossip or a busybody. No exact masculine word exist, but I think blabbermouth will suffice. I don’t really want to be a blabbermouth, because I do not like speaking ill of anyone, but I feel that there are a few countries in the world that don’t deserve a place on my good list and in my opinion, these are the worst countries to visit in Africa. From corruption and extreme violence to diseases and illnesses so bad that these countries have the lowest life expectancy rates in the world.
This list is in no particular order. I’ll start on the bottom and work my way up from there.
I know there are far worse, more corrupt and much more dangerous countries in the world than Zimbabwe, but it makes my list purely because I have Zimbabwean friends that were put out of their home and forced to leave the country. For that reason alone I will not visit Zimbabwe and I will not encourage anyone else to go there. That being said, Zimbabwe is still a beautiful country and you will have plenty to see and do when you do go there. At the height of Zimbabwe’s decline, their economy had crashed completely. As a tourist, you would have become a billionaire by exchanging just a few dollars or pounds for their currency. My friends used to tell me stories and at one stage they had to take a duffle bag full of cash to the shop just to buy a bread. Since then it sort of stabilised, but it’s still a long way off from where it used to be.
Malawi is one of the smallest countries in Africa and Lake Malawi, having been described as one of the world’s richest fauna-rich lakes, covers almost a third of the entire country. Even seeing that might still not be worth going there. One of the world’s least developed countries, the vast majority of the population (17 million people) live in rural areas and are plagued by AIDS. They do have a few wildlife reserves, so I’m kind of on the fence with this country. For now I would stay away, because there are other better countries worth visiting. You got to pick your battles, but if you are one of the lucky people in the world that can travel 20 times a year, then by all means, go for it.
Angola have the fastest growing economy in Africa due to its natural resources and the capital, Luanda, have been named the most expensive city in the world to live in for a couple of years already; even beating notoriously expensive countries like Switzerland. It also has one of the worlds highest infant mortality rates and lowest life expectancies, which is why it makes my list. As a parent, I will not in good conscience take my little ones somewhere like that. This country is plagued by cholera, malaria, rabies and African hemorrhagic fevers; it has high incidence rates tuberculosis and HIV and then dengue, filariasis, leishmaniasis and onchocerciasis are also a big problem. The fact that I couldn’t even spell or pronounce most of these diseases tells you how bad it is.
Democratic Republic of the Congo
This is the second largest country in Africa and also one of the most dangerous countries in the world. I checked through plenty of lists and it constantly makes the most dangerous lists. Apart from that, corruption is also out of control and not even the great biodiversity of their fauna and flora will make me want to visit, which is not in great shape anymore due to the civil wars that devastated the country through many years. Instances of child labour and forced labour had been reported to the U.S. Department of Labour and child soldiers have been used on a large scale. You’ll be better off taking on Chucky in ‘Child’s Play’ then any of their deadly children.
Although this country is the richest in Africa per capita, its wealth is very unevenly distributed. The country’s government has one of the world’s worst human rights records and human trafficking is a major problem. Again, no way can I take my children to a country like this where there is no telling if we all would return safely back home.
1 in every 15 adults are infected with the HIV virus and most government sites even advised against going there. That’s good enough for me to stay away.
Somalia has a very long coastline and it lies on the equator, so they have a warm climate and an abundance of fauna and flora. They have plenty of wildlife reserves, heritage sites and places for tourists to visit, but even that won’t convince me to go there. If you want to meet a pirate, go and look up Captain Hook. These Somalian pirates are anything but friendly and nothing like the Neverland Pirates. It’s not difficult to see why Somalia is the 5th most dangerous country in the world. Even the leopards are walking around in groups of 5 or more, for fear of being abducted. Then to top it off, they have continued affiliation with the terrorist group, Al Qaeda.
2 words – Stay away!
1 in 20 people are infected with HIV and if that is not enough, this country is plagued by a string of diseases. To top it off Boko Haram has actively targeted foreigner residents and tourists and the country poses a high risk to all sorts of violence including murder, kidnapping and suicide bombings. Government websites are issuing strong warnings for all their citizens to stay away. This is enough to give anyone nightmares just thinking about the country.
Central African Republic
Although this country has amazing wildlife, I wouldn’t even want to go to any of their neighbours, because this country is the 7th most dangerous in the world and government websites are even urging their citizens to stay 40mi away from their borders. Murder, kidnapping and looting are just a few of the horrors that await any foreigner going there.
Listed as the 2nd most dangerous country in the world, South Sudan has all the golden oldies. From HIV (1 in 30 people are infected) and other diseases to murder and kidnapping. They have one of the worst human rights records on earth and locals are being raped, tortured and killed. And those are their own people; imagine what they would do to you and me. No thank you.
Although Ethiopia has plenty of wildlife and over 850 known bird species, making them a global centre of avian diversity, I still wouldn’t go there, for two reasons. As with Zimbabwe, Ethiopia engages in land grabbing and to date have forcibly removed over 1.5 million people from their homes and farms to make way for agricultural plantations. This is hitting a little too close to home for me. And then secondly, Ethiopian Airlines have a horrible record. The list of accidents and incidents are as long as your arm. I like to reach my destinations alive, thank you very much.
Maybe I’m just a scaredy cat, but there are other countries more worth visiting. As stated before, you can visit a country like Djibouti when you have visited most other countries and have time to spare. Before entering you are advised to get vaccinations for Hepatitis A and B, Typhoid, Meningococcus, Rabies and a few more, so that already puts me on high alert. Crime is not really a problem, although they are a predominantly cash only country. So you need to travel with large wads of cash. How can anything go wrong? Then to top it off, Djibouti have been declared mine-safe. Thanks, but I don’t want to walk around in a mine-safe country. I like my limbs. And it doesn’t even mean that they have removed all the mines; it’s just been identified and marked.
Although the governments are not issuing official warnings to stay away, plenty of tourists have left reviews online, regretting visiting Senegal. With this country you have to weigh the pros and the cons and in this case the cons outweigh the pros. Senegal just doesn’t have that wow factor that would make you put it on your bucket list. What it has to offer, you can live without. The cons in this case are the bandits. The country is full of them and tourists are getting robbed all over the place.
Tourists are targeted by bumsters; locals that will take advantage and scam you. The country has nothing really to offer which you can not find somewhere else. It’s up to you if you want to go there.
Zika Virus. Enough said.
Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone
These three countries were at the core of the 2014 Ebola outbreak. It’s enough to keep me away.
Ivory Coast, Mali, Burkina Faso
Governments are urging its citizens to stay away due to Islamist gunmen operating in the countries and there is also a high risk of other terrorist groups. They had me at gunmen.
Malaria is a very big problem in Benin. Although you can get medicine to prevent it, the country really doesn’t have enough to offer for me to visit. I’d rather go somewhere else.
Currently in the top 15 of most dangerous countries, governments are warning their citizens to stay away due to the high risk factors of murder, kidnapping, robbery and other armed attacks. Boko Haram operates there and I have no intention whatsoever of meeting any of them. A friend of mine, which was from there, that I met in 2011 once told me that the easiest way to become a millionaire in Nigeria, was to go into politics. Their government is so corrupt, it makes Robert Mugabe look like a Sunday school teacher.
Boko Haram. I can elaborate, but I’m sure you know where this is going.
The Islamic State of Iraq, al Qaida, Boko Haram and others are terrorist organisations targeting Westerners. Governments are warning their citizens to stay away. I wonder why?
This country is so dangerous that it easily made the top 10. Terrorism, armed conflict, kidnapping and violent crimes are just a few things that governments are warning their citizens about. Terrorist groups are intend on harming westerners through suicide operations, kidnappings, bombings and apparently anything that they can think of. Walking around with a bullseye on your back wont even make a difference, because as soon as you set foot in the country, you become a target.
Governments are waring their citizens to stay away due to the neighbouring countries. You can go there, but stay away from the borders. I think that I will stay away altogether.
Western Sahara, Mauritania, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya
As with so many other countries in Africa, there is a high threat from terrorism in these countries. Al Qaida operates there, so go there at your own peril.
And that is it for the worst countries to visit in Africa folks. In the next post I will cover the rest of the world. I want you to feel safe when you travel and in my personal opinion, backed up by plenty of facts, you won’t feel safe going to these countries. Imagine trying to relax, but jumping out of your skin every time you hear a loud sound. That is not a holiday. A holiday is there for you to forget all your troubles and worries and feel refreshed when you return to the real world.
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Safe travels. 🙂