Top 5 safe countries in Africa for sole female travelers
There are probably hundreds of millions of travelers in the world with plans or dreams to travel to Africa; Africa and its countries can be a place for an exotic honeymoon for someone, place of another peak that will be conquered by someone, or it can be a “real” addition to the list of countries traveled, etc. The specific countries associated with all these dreams and plans vary according to the profile, budget, worldview and special small tastes of these people. And, of course, Africa itself, as the continent with many countries in the world, is variegated regionally and has a wide variety of entertainment and adventure options that can be offered to anyone who wants to travel. But the truth is that, although Africa has many attractive options to offer to a tourist, the countries of the continent are not always economically or politically stable. In this case, the country turns to a dangerous destination, not only for tourists but even for residents. It is better to have a look to the Global Peace Index prepared by the Institute for Economics and Peace, the largest research center in Australia, to have more accurate view: Although some African countries are in the top 50, the dominance of African countries in the bottom of list and in last 10 places may already indicate that going unprepared to these countries can be dangerous for women as well as men. However, it would be severely unfair to say no to Africa for the risks that can be prevented by proper research, measures, and choices, so in this article you will find Africa's safest countries that, in general, fall to the world's top 50 safest countries list, and what you can do on your solo journey as a woman there.
Africa and women: More than half of the African population is women, and although more than half of all domestic production is at the expense of women, the vast majority are not compensated for their labor, and at the state level, such women's basic rights are not protected. Nevertheless, women's entrepreneurship has been inspired by the West in recent times and has grown rapidly. Unfortunately, in some countries, not only economical but even vital safety of women is seriously neglected. For instance, a brief glance at the South African media, which is considered as the only developed African country, shows that there is a high incidence of violence and murder against women in this country and, unfortunately, such cases are increasingly accepted “ordinary” by the public. For these reasons, women planning a solo trip should choose the countries where tourism is supported at the state level, and the main tourist areas are secured by the police.
After choosing a country where you will be secure at the state level as a female tourist, you must make personal arrangements to be careful. The diligent beggars who will follow you wherever you go, the jugglers you can meet on the road or in public transport, or the local criminals with guns who would like to take your expensive pieces of jewelry or the wallet can cause a problem for you in the country you travel to. Therefore, anyone planning to go to this large continent is advised on the abovementioned cases: for example, you need to keep very little cash in your purse, carry cards that are not valid anymore, so when you meet the criminals with the gun not to bargain for your money instead of life. Or try not to use ATMs on the streets if not required, or keep an eye on your card while giving it to the waitress for payment at the restaurant. It also has the benefit of not being alone in the streets with fewer people during a day and not to go out during the evening. If there is an emergency, it is best to use Uber taxis available in many large African cities.
Which countries can you travel bravely and fearlessly after reinforcing these initial measures? According to the 2018 Global Peace Index, the five most secure African countries are (if you are scared of this, then it should be noted as a comparison that Azerbaijan, Russia, Turkey, Georgia, and America are not even in first 100):
- Mauritania, 20th
- Botswana, 29th
- Ghana, 41st
- Malawi, 44th
- Zambia, 48th
Each African country has its own shades, and these 5 are no exception. Take a look at the safe country that suits your tastes with the heading 'Why travel to!'
Why travel to Mauritania? The classic Hollywood scene is familiar to everyone: somehow the character lost consciousness and the waves of the ocean bring him to the coast, and the camera then shows from his half-opened eyes first the palm tree, the sun, and at last clean ocean and golden coast –this is Mauritania! Perhaps, because of the island's such reputation, it is possible to see the couples who often spend their “dream” honeymoon here. This island, situated just south of Madagascar, in the Indian Ocean, has almost pleasant air all year long; the lowest temperature is 26-280C in June-August. As it is the rain season between January and March, tourists who are looking for just sand and sea should take this into account. Any type of water-related entertainment can be found in Mauritania: scuba diving, surfing at Blue Bay Marine Park, etc. Tourists interested in the African history should definitely go to visit the Aapravasi Ghat monument, the country’s only monument in the capital of Port Louis included to the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The monument is home to one of the world's largest worker migration; so between 1834 and 1920, about half a million Indians and cheap laborers from the Caribbean, Australia migrated here to work under the harsh conditions at the British sugar plantation, and these people became the ancestors of future Mauritanians. Although Buddhists are now prevailing in the country, it is possible to see temples of various religions in the capital city: the Chinese “Nam Sun Tin How” Temple, Juma Mosque in the Central Trade market, the Port Louis temple, etc. And if you want to witness one of the British cultural influences on the country, then you can spend time watching the horse race at the second oldest hippodrome in the world - Champ de Mars Racecourse – on Saturdays in winter.
Why travel to Botswana? The delta of the magnificent Okavango River is in the 1,000th place of UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here, along with local guides, you can get the mokoro canoes and observe the wildlife of Africa: elephants will drink water around you, and the hippos will continue to live in the water as always. If you want to get even more into elephant life, then don't miss the chance to see more than 10,000 elephants which like to swim in the water, antelopes, wild cats and wild birds in the Chobe, the country's first national park, during the winter of May-September. Botswana's government takes into account the economic importance of the country, its nature, and takes initiatives to protect nature. Therefore, professional tour guides are very accessible and strive to provide high-quality services to ensure your comfort and safety. Botswana's tourism industry is trying to please every tourist arriving in the country and offers a lot of luxury hotels in addition to cheap options, and even these luxury hotels try to keep in mind African nature - the design and the rooms reflect local motives in a minimalist way. Another important thing about Botswana is that it hosts the second largest zebra migration in the world after the Serengeti ecosystem in Tanzania. To do this, you should visit the Nxai Pan National Park in November at the start of the rainy season and then you will witness how about 25,000 zebras have to travel 1,000 kilometers for water resources. If you are lucky, you will see antelope flocks, lions hunting them, hyena and cheetah along with zebras. One of the added benefits of the Botswana tour services is that it offers you the opportunity to discover such a safari experience on horse riding.
Why travel to Ghana? Ghana must be proclaimed Africa's undiscovered pearl; the history of the country which has the continent's most democratic and stable economy today is related to the powerful Ashanti Empire, which existed in the 17th and 19th centuries. The current name of the country comes from the Soninke, a native African language, meaning “warrior ruler”, which is a proud 'comeback' step after the British's political intervention in the empire was over. Ghana is considered as “Gold Coast of Africa” because of its rich gold reserves. Playing the role of the gate because of its location near the Equator and the Gulf of Guinea, Ghana has lived a more prosperous life than its predecessor neighbors, due to its strategic position and its trade and economic advantages. In the midst of all this prosperity, the Ghana people have lived a pleasant and exciting life, and have always found reasons for entertaining festivals in colorful dresses: rice festival, the Aboakyer deer hunting festival, River Goddess festival to prevent the flood, etc. Moreover, as Indians, Ghana people also like dancing, music and their cuisine is also full of spice, and you can try it in street foods. Not only the cultural and historical heritage but the nature of Ghana is loyal to the “Africa” - the national parks, where the waterfalls, mountains, butterflies, and monkeys are protected, are also a good choice for adventurous spirits. And most importantly, this country is not full of tourists as other countries, and you can experience all these wonderful experiences with fewer budgets.
Why travel to Malawi? Unfortunately, Malawi is not as rich as Ghana and its economy is gradually developing, but as compensation, Malawi can offer you superb hospitality. Even Malawi, which is sometimes called the most humanist country in the world (!), takes its name from the 16th-century kingdom, which means 'flame'. It is not a coincidence, as one of the important events in the country is the sun rising over the Malawi lake (known also as Nyasa lake) as a flame and it has become the symbol of the country and is reflected on the flag. Lake Malawi is located between Tanzania and Mozambique and is home to many rich creatures. Tourists are offered canoeing, surfing and other types of water sports and entertainment. However, although the lake is considered safe even for swimmers, swimming in the Shire River is quite a different topic, more precisely it is equal to death. Because in this section where the river begins there are many crocodiles and hippos; there is even a local rumor that “to be killed by which of these animals will be more scare?” It depends on whether you want to die directly or gradually. A person who escaped the crocodile has less chance to escape the hippo with a strong jaw. The reason for the crocodile's reputation is that it has wider place than its rivals. However, it is worth worrying when you swim in the dark, inhospitable places full of cane; try to stay away from where the river starts and runs down. The part of the lake in Malawi is very quiet and safe; it is considered safe even for those who are just learning to swim deep in the transparent waters abundant with fish. Malawi is distinguished from other countries in the continent for its cuisine; seafood is dominated than meat in the national cuisine. This is because there are more than 600 species of fish in the lake. In the end, it is best to come to this country during winter that is May-September, to avoid the hot and humid weather.
Why travel to Zambia? Undoubtedly, those who come to Zambia will not miss seeing the world's largest waterfall, Victoria, and they are right. But we should not be attracted to Zambia only for such popular spots; If you don't feel frightened, it would be a fun experience to see how 10 million bats migrated to Kasanka National Park in October-December. Zambians' dark shades do not end here; you can see off exhibitions in the section for witchcraft and wizards in the Lusaka national museum. Your African trip will be ideal if you do canoeing on the Zambezi River, watch the Victoria Waterfall with a helicopter from above, a cruise ride in the Zambian Riviera, and watch the night animal hunting with off-road cards after sunset in the national parks. And lastly, of course, Zambia is also an African classic and is ideal for safari. Safari officers across the country are going through hard tests on this specialty, so your chances of not being satisfied with your guide will be very low.
One of the most important issues when traveling to distant lands is the vaccine, there are certain vaccinations for those who travel to Africa, the use of which are considered important. For example, against for diphtheria, tetanus, hot cough, and polio. However, these types of vaccinations generally can vary depending on the country of destination, the vehicles you use, the sanitation conditions and the length of stay. You should have received these vaccinations at least 1 month before your journey to ensure that the immunity is ready.
Travelers who like real adventure and Africa will certainly demand more and will turn their attention to dangerous countries. But for this, you need to be an experienced traveler. If you still have not had enough time to explore and learn, it is advisable to always take precautions and choose safe places so you can enjoy the journey and return home safe and sound. Anyway, I wish you healthy and fun trips!