As a lover of travel, the thrill that comes from discovering new exotic destination is just something beyond any one’s wildest expectations. The goal for most travelers is to visit as many of these unique destinations as they possibly can in one lifetime, this means travelling from one country or continent to another. One big challenge that most travelers are forced to face or are required to consider prior to visiting certain countries is safety. As you plan for travel, be it business or travel, you need to consider how safe or welcoming your destination is in terms of general security and societal norms that are strictly followed. If we are being truly honest, the security apparatus of countries varies and the way foreigners are handled is also different form country to country.
Every year, the WEF (World Economic Forum) releases annual Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report. This body is able to provide the report after doing studies on the travel and tourism sectors in 136 nations around the world. The report provides information pertaining to different features of a country one of them being rankings on security issues. The ranking does not include petty crimes but looks at the entire security apparatus and how its ability to protect businesses and tourist who visit.
However, our list will not follow any particular order.
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO (DRC)
DRC has had some tough years caused by heightened political temperatures since its independence. This has resulted to poor governance thus further affecting the security of the nation. The nation is known to have a high prevalence of politically inclined bandits who are well armed and spread out in most of the regions within the country.
As a tourist, coming across attack helicopters, armored vehicles and armed troops is daily almost certain. The nation’s capital, Kinshasa, is notorious for its high crime rate, make sure to avoid areas deemed risky by locals and don’t trust anyone who offers you any kind of help especially if you haven’t requested for it.
Thailand’s southern provinces of Yala, Songkhla, Pattaya and Narathiwat are well known to be regions notorious incidences of crime. Pattaya is known to be a heaven for muggers using motorcycles in pretense of being motorbike operators. Gangs comprising mostly of young boys have given these regions a bad reputation. With mortality rates of 6500 people resulting from criminal activities and acts of violence has resulted in some of the regions being ruled under martial law.
Chad is in central African and suffers mainly due to its proximity to Sudan and Nigeria. The country is a target of extremist groups like ISIS, Boko Haram, Al-Qa’ida. These terror groups are known to target foreigners and sometimes even locals.
Because Guatemala shares a border with Mexico, human and drug trafficking is very the case in this small nation. The country has also been ranked among countries with highest homicide rate in South America for several years running. Robberies are very prevalent and as a tourist its preferred you carry all your precious belongings, documentation and money always in your back pack or your money belt. Robbery is considered gender-neutral here.
Mali’s capital, Bamako, as well as other regions of the country often suffers from terrorism attacks. Most attacks are carried out at hotels and restaurants. An example the unfortunate incident at Radisson hotel back in 2015 that claimed the lives of several people.
Although Jamaica does not have a travel advisory, shootings and other violent crimes are common in some regions such as Kingston and Montego Bay, make sure to always keep vigilant to your surroundings immediately after landing.
This African country is mugged with cases murder and rape. Due to this it is advised that when visiting the country always stay in areas that provide security guards especially if you are in the remote settlements. The country is however quite beautiful.
Bangladesh is located right in the heart of the Middle East meaning the risk of terrorist attacks is very likely. The country also experiences extreme weather conditions, which have caused natural calamities in the past. Such calamities are caused by flooding, earthquakes, and cyclones. However, in contrast, the natives are very friendly and hospitable.
The Eastern and South Eastern parts of Ukraine remain insecure since the escalated fighting between the Ukrainian army and Russian-backed army separatists. Even civilians got involved in the war. Some of the well-known affected areas include Donesk oblast, Crimea, and Luhansk oblast.
Lebanon has dipped into political crisis after its conflict with Saudi Arabia that contributed to the prime minister’s resignation. The country is seen as a base for many extremist groups. However, its capital has remained one of the safest in the volatile Middle East region.
Known to have breath taking natural scenery to see and experience, Kenya has however more recently had its share of terror attacks. Although it doesn’t happen often, extremists form the Al-Shabaab have targeted establishments such as hotels, shopping malls and restaurants where foreigners commonly visit. There is also a rise in violent crime in some urban centers, with stabbings being common.
With among the highest murder rates in the world, Honduras has a wanting police and military presence. Approximately 70% of homicides in the country, occur in the districts of Tegucigalpa, La Ceiba, and San Pedro Sula.
Kidnappings involving foreigners are frequent mostly in the Sulu Archipelago and southern Sulu Sea regions of the country. Shootings and fire incidences are also common. Some of the areas to keep a watchful eye on include Metro Manila, Marawi, Joho province, Basilan province, and Cotabato province.
Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, is used by many rebel/terror groups as a base. These groups manly target foreigners (mostly Americans) and detain them for ransom. Extremist groups such as Al-Qa’ida are very active here. Lack of basic amenities such as water, food, medicine is caused by the frequent air strikes and mines.
The two main extremist groups operating within the borders of Nigeria are the Boko Haram and the Islamic State West Africa. They have claimed responsibly for kidnapping, mass murder, bombings and other violent acts that occur in the country. Northern Nigeria is especially a hot bed of terror. The groups mainly target areas with dense populations like schools, restaurants, hotels, and even churches.
The major reason for insecurity stems from religious conflict, that has been experienced here for decades. Some religious groups are persecuted by others. Freedom of movement and speech for foreigners while within the country’s borders is limited greatly.
The country is plagued with frequent shortages of basic goods like water, electricity, medicine and food. These shortages result in social unrest and the frequency in criminal activities such as murders, car jackings, robberies and kidnappings. Venezuela is among the nations with the highest crime rates. Foreigners are considered easy targets as you are viewed as having more than the locals. The justice system is also wanting and very few crimes end up being prosecuted.
Colombia boasts of Medellin for being recognized as the best tourist destination in South America. However, the countries long history of harboring drug cartels from the long dead infamous drug lord and cartel leader, Pablo Escobar awards it a place in our list. Drug trafficking, heavily armed gangs, criminal groups and enterprises like the BACRIM are very much operational and a risk to travelers. Robberies occur in most areas of the country.