10 safest countries in Africa

By , K24 Digital
On Wed, 19 Jul, 2023 06:00 | 4 mins read
Photo illustrator of one of the beaches in Mauritius. PHOTO/Pexels
Photo illustrator of one of the beaches in Mauritius. PHOTO/Pexels

The Institute for Economics and Peace recently released the Global Peace Index (GPI) 2023: Measuring Peace in a Complex World report.

The findings indicate that the world became less peaceful for the 13th time in the last 15 years, with the average level of country peacefulness deteriorating by 0.42 per cent over the past year. Kenya ranked 29th and 117th in the continent and globally, respectively, with Iceland ranked safest in the world


Mauritius is the safest country in Africa. Its location undoubtedly contributes to the island nation’s safety, as it shares no borders with any other nation, but so do its stable political situation and low crime rate. Safety improved in the Indian Ocean island country between 2022 and 2023, as it moved up five places to rank at position 23 worldwide with a GPI score of 1.546.

Widely considered a safe country for international travellers, Mauritius also has a lot to offer. Stunning beaches, lagoons, reefs, and mountain hikes are just some of the ways visitors can enjoy the natural beauty of the island.

2. Botswana

Botswana has a reputation as one of the safest countries in Africa, and it’s well earned. Even though safety declined from 2021 to 2022, it fared well between 2022 and 2023 to rank second safest country in Africa. The stable political climate and relatively low crime rate are major contributors to safety in the country.

Tourists visiting Botswana are unlikely to experience any violent crime, but petty, opportunistic crimes do happen. It’s important for travellers to remain aware of their surroundings in crowded places and to keep valuable items mostly out of sight. On overall, Botswana ranks 42 globally with a GPI score of 1.762.

3. Sierra Leone

The West African nation was a non-mover in the Institute for Economics and Peace Global Peace Index 2023. It ranked third in Africa and 47th in the world, with a score of 1.792. In the years that have passed since the end of the Sierra Leone Civil War in 2002, the country has made significant progress in becoming safer and more politically stable.

Despite persistent poverty and high unemployment rates, Sierra Leone is generally considered safe for visiting tourists. Violent crimes against tourists are rare, though it’s important to watch out for petty crime in crowded areas. The US Department of State has many times issued a travel advisory suggesting increased caution due to violent crime and civil unrest, especially in the capital Freetown.

4. Ghana

The West African nation is mostly safe for visiting tourists. A relatively low crime rate and stable political situation are the largest contributing factors to safety in Ghana. Since 1992, Ghana has had peaceful transfers of power between its two main political parties. As is the case with most places in the world, instances of petty crime still exist in Ghana, and it’s important for tourists to exercise normal safety precautions.

Violent crime directed at tourists is a rare occurrence. In the recent rankings, it ranks fourth safest nation in the continent and 51 in the world with a GPI score of 1.799, moving down eight places from last year’s global ranking.

5. Senegal

Senegal moved up four places in the latest GPI ranking to position 52 in the world and fifth in Africa, with a score of 1.827. The West African nation is generally considered safe, although it became slightly less safe overall from 2021 to 2022. It’s prudent to remain aware of occasional nationwide protests that can happen in the country, such as those inspired by high-profile court cases and the forthcoming general elections.

6. Madagascar

The island country lies off the southeastern coast of Africa. It is the world’s fourth-largest island, the second-largest island country and the 46th-largest country in the world. Madagascar benefits from lower crime rates than many of its African counterparts, and petty theft is the most likely danger for visiting tourists. In 2023’s ranking, the country was up 10 positions in Africa and a non-mover globally at position 55, with a GPI score of 1.846.

7. Namibia

This year, the South African country moved up two places to rank as the seventh safest country in the continent.

Globally, it climbed six places to rank at number 56, with a GPI score of 1.859. Namibia is generally considered safer and more peaceful than many other countries in Africa. While it doesn’t have the lowest crime rate on the continent, it does benefit from relative political stability. This has reduced poverty in the country in recent years, although socioeconomic inequalities are still an issue.

The Gambia

There are many reasons to visit The Gambia, a small country in West Africa. Among these is the fact that it’s the eighth safest country on the continent. Violent crime against tourists is rare, and the country enjoys some political stability.

Tensions can escalate during elections, however, when it’s prudent to exercise increased caution. In overall The Gambia became a little unsafe in 2023, dropping five places from the previous ranking in 2022, but it’s still considered safer than most other countries in Africa. Globally, the GPI ranked The Gambia at position 59, with a score of 1.888. Beautiful beaches, amazing wildlife, and lush landscapes are some of what draws people to The Gambia.

9. Zambia

Safety went south in Zambia as per the latest index. It dropped three places in Africa and four places globally at position 63 with a score of 1.898, making it the ninth safest country in Africa in 2023. Political stability is one factor contributing to overall safety and peacefulness in Zambia. In a 2023 survey, the majority of Zambians reported being satisfied with the democracy of their government and were optimistic about the future.

10. Liberia

As with Angola, Liberia was also going through a civil war at the turn of the century. Since the end of the war in 2003, Liberia has made significant strides in creating a safer, more peaceful environment. The political parties running for office in the 2023 General Election slated for October 10 have pledged to have peaceful elections.

Safety in the country improved, as it moved up four places in Africa, as compared to the previous ranking. Globally, it moved up eight places to rank at number 70 together with Trinidad and Tobago, and Kosovo. Liberia is still one of the poorest countries in Africa, so economic hardship could lead to crimes such as petty theft and pickpocketing.

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