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Africa travel safety advice


Africa travel safety advice

Africa has a bad reputation for genocidal dictators and while most of Africa is safe for travel and nearly all tourist attractions on the continent are far from conflict, there are a few regions in which conflict and/or general lawlessness exists. Somalia, where warlords have fought for control since the collapse of the central government in 1993, and the Central African Republic, where general lawlessness and rebels exist throughout most of the country, should only be visited by experienced travellers who are very competent regarding the dangers that exist. Otherwise, these areas should be considered no-go regions. Exceptions are Somaliland which is de facto independent and quite safe and the CAR's isolated Dzanga Sangha National Reserve. The Democratic Republic of the Congo is home to the second largest jungle after the Amazon and most of the country is impassable by land. The eastern and northeastern regions are home to rebels and general lawlessness and have recently been home to the bloodiest conflict since World War 2. Safe regions are the west (incl. Kinshasa), south (near Zambia border, incl. Lubumbashi), and a few spots on the border, such as Goma, Bukavu, & Virunga National Park. The Central Sahara is host to numerous problems, notably that a growing presence (or at least impact) of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb in much of Saharan Algeria, northern Mali (north of Timbuktu, east of Gao, and near the Nigerian border), and far eastern Mauritania has resulted in several kidnappings (incl. one Briton beheaded, kidnapped near the Mali-Niger border) and a couple of suicide bombings in Nouakchott. A Tuareg uprising has left much of the area around Agadez, once a popular tourist destination, off-limits and unsafe. Several borders in the Sahara are closed or very unsafe as a result of banditry: Libya-Sudan (closed), Libya-Chad (closed), Chad-Sudan (unsafe due to Darfur conflict), Chad-Niger (banditry), Libya-Niger (banditry), Mali-Algeria (no road crossings, AQIM), Algeria-Mauritania (AQIM), & Algeria-Morocco (closed). Portions of Cote d'Ivoire, Sierra Leone, Liberia, & Chad are home to rebels and it is important to obtain up-to-date information on which parts of these countries are safe to visit (see warnings on those pages). Nigeria has a poor reputation for conflict largely based on events 20+ years ago and, at present, only a small region around the Niger Delta is unsafe to visit. Similarly, in Sudan, only the western Darfur regions and south-central "boundary" between the conflicting North-South are dangerous. As of February 2010, the authoritarian governments of Eritrea & Guinea have been hostile to the West following harsh condemnations of authoritarianism, massacres of civilians, & refusal of food aid. Niger had a coup in February 18 2010 and instability (especially in the capital) is possible in coming months. While it is physically safe & possible to visit these countries, beware of political unrest. As of 2011, the states of North Africa have been swept by a wave of popular unrest, with Egypt and Tunisia experiencing revolutions and Libya descending into a civil war, and all other countries going through some sort of unrest. While travel to much the region is perfectly safe now, protests still sometimes turn violent, and travel to Libya should be avoided.

The Most Frequently Asked Travel Questions about Africa


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Africa Travel Guide from Wikitravel. Many thanks to all Wikitravel contributors. Text is available under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0, images are available under various licenses, see each image for details.

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