When people think of traveling they often imagine themselves strolling down wide streets in Europe or exploring the Amazonian rainforest. Although these regions do offer great cultural experiences, there are other places on the globe that do the same without breaking the budget. Africa, often seen as an unsafe continent with several third-world countries, actually offers cultural experiences that rivals many popular travel destinations. There are several African countries that have cities that are much safer than people imagine. And if you are looking for an experience that is new, unique and off the beaten path, Africa offers this and so much more.
Richard Mullin once said, “The only man I envy is the man(or woman, wink) who have not yet been to Africa – for he has so much to look forward to.” Such a clever statement because wherever you step on this bright continent you’re met with magnificent landscapes, unbelievable wildlife, diverse culture, rich tradition and the precious history of a unique collection of people. Not to mention, Africa is a birthplace for most of the black diaspora; a trip back to the motherland is significantly important for black women living globally to reconnect with their lost history through a journey filled with celebration, emotional joy, and rich exploration. with Africa is unlike any other part of the world, and I believe that every black woman should visit it at least once in her lifetime. To get your journey started, here are seven African countries I recommend for your first trip.
Tourists seldom experience any crime in Botswana and this may be credited to the political stability of the country. Safaris are well-managed and highly experienced guides keep guests safe in potential wildlife encounters.
When to visit: Wildlife viewing is best during the dry months of May to October. You can witness the Zebra immigration in the Makgadikgadi Pans during the green season of December to March.
One of the safest places to visit in Africa, this island nation is perfect for relaxed holidays where security is of minimal concern. It is a multicultural country where people live happily side by side. Families love Mauritius and many beach resorts also help nervous tourists to feel safe.
When to visit: May to November are the driest and coolest months. December to April is hot and humid, while most rain falls between January and March.
A country of vast deserts, Namibia is popular for epic road trips, stargazing, wild safaris and adrenaline experiences from skydiving to quad biking around the adventure capital Swakopmund. The crime rate is low throughout Namibia and few tourists experience any issues, which makes it ideal for those seeking safe places to travel in Africa.
When to visit: The weather is fairly consistent all year and there is nowhere near as much rain as in other Southern African countries. For wildlife viewing, visit in the dry season from July to October.
An idyllic cluster of biodiverse islands in the Indian Ocean, the Seychelles has always been considered a very safe destination for travelers and one of the safest countries in Africa. This is also a place well-known for starting offshore businesses due to the permissive conditions. There is little crime experienced by travelers, especially away from the main islands. Be wary of riptides when swimming in the sea though!
Ethiopia is one of the safest places to visit in Africa. Serious crime is rare and petty crime rates are low, especially outside the capital Addis Ababa. Although it was associated with famine for years, Ethiopia is now stable and has established much better levels of food security (though it is still one of the least developed countries in the world).
When to visit: The driest months of October to April are best, though the rains that fall from May to September do not particularly hinder travel.
Morocco has a good safety record, with a few tourists falling victim to serious crime. It has been unaffected by the turbulence seen in many other North African countries and has benefitted from a stable political system. Travelers may, however, experience petty crimes such as pick-pocketing and scams in major cities such as Marrakesh, so vigilance is always required.
When to visit: Morocco gets blazing hot over the summer, so visit in April/May or September/October for some relief from the heat.
Travelers in Zambia rarely experience any problems, often because they fly straight into wilderness areas. As with most cities, there is potential for theft in hubs such as Lusaka and Livingstone, but the vast majority of tourists are unaffected by this and Zambia is considered one of the safest places to visit in Africa.
When to visit: Wildlife viewing is best from May to October. Visit Victoria Falls from June to September when the water volume is lower, allowing for better visibility.
Not ready to travel to Africa alone? Check out our list of the top black travel groups so you can find a new friend to explore this beautiful continent with!
Featured Image: Musesuniform