Ever think you’d travel the world at some point in your life? Well, there are a few countries you may want to avoid. The WEF ranks the safety of the 136 countries around the world that are acceptable to travel to. While ranking these countries, they also analyze the risks that tourists may cross paths with. We’ve rounded up the 20 most dangerous countries based on safety and security…or lack thereof.
The Democratic Republic Of Congo
The Congolese armed forces are notoriously violent as well as other armed groups and bandits throughout the region. Since the Congolese military operates all throughout the country, travelers are likely to come across hostile troops, armored vehicles, and attack helicopters, making The Democratic Republic Of Congo an unsafe country to visit.
Southern Thailand is the most dangerous part of the country. If you visit Thailand, the area you’ll want to avoid are the provinces of Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat, and Songkhla. In the past 13 years, more than 6,500 violence-based deaths have occurred in these areas, with less law enforcement than one might expect. There’s also a martial law in effect in the region, making the area more hostile with military enforcement.
Like many towns, cities, and countries, there will always bee good areas and bad areas. The same can be said for Jamaica as the difference of two blocks can make a major difference in appearance. Violent crime and shootings are still rampant in some parts of the country, like Kingston and Montego Bay. Even guests staying in resorts can be affected, although there are currently no tourist advisories for Jamaica at the moment.
Tourists should mainly avoid Johannesburg, and even some areas throughout Cape Town. Although, Cape Town is generally a pretty safe area to roam the streets freely. High crime rates in South Africa have led many locals to hire private security guards to protect them. Rape and murder occur frequently, especially in the more remote townships and settlements, where you would visually see corrugated tin homes.
Guatemala can appear to be safe during the daytime, but as soon as the sun sets and the streets unsettle, crime often ensues. Unless you’ve had your hotel arrange a taxi for you, don’t risk getting in one. There are many fake cabs in the area that are notorious for rapes and robbery. The country also had the fifth-highest homicide rate in Latin America and the Caribbean last year. Other common crimes include carjacking, armed robbery, and theft.
Terrorist extremist organizations such as ISIS and Al Qaeda are all active in Chad. It’s presumed that this isn’t a safe country to visit because, in the past, attacks by these extremists targeted civilians and security forces alike, injuring foreigners in the process. Border crossings, specifically Chad’s borders with Libya and Sudan, can be dangerous too because of minefields.
Bangladesh is at risk for both terrorist attacks and the threat of multiple types of natural disasters. The Asian nation experiences tropical cyclones, flooding, and sometimes earthquakes. So, if you’re looking to visit an exotic country, this doesn’t seem to be the first place to start.
In Mali’s capital, Bamako, as well as in other parts of northern and central Mali, there is a high risk of terrorist attacks. Hotels and restaurants are often the targets of these attacks, targeting unsuspecting civilians in a packed area; in November 2015, numerous people were made hostages and killed at a Radisson Hotel in Bamako.
Bombings happen frequently here because multiple extremist groups are active in Lebanon. It’s also typical for protests and smaller disputes between neighbors or families to escalate and turn violent, causing harm to bystanders. This is a very aggressive area, which would make for a less desireable location to visit as tourists couldn’t be prepared for this type of lifestyle.
In recent news, there were was open gunfire let loose in Manila Casino. On top of that, kidnappings are common throughout the Sulu Archipelago and the southern Sulu Sea. Foreigners are often the targets of these kidnappings because they aren’t familiar with the area, culture, and risks throughout their community.
Civilians continue to get caught up in the fighting between Ukrainian armed forces and Russian-backed armed separatists, which is common in both the eastern and southeastern regions of the Ukraine — more specifically, the regions of Donetsk Oblast, Luhansk Oblast, and Crimea.
With one of the highest murder rates in the world, Honduras is by no means a safe place to travel. The department of Gracias a Dios, in particular, is plagued with crime and drug trafficking. Without strong law enforcement or military presence, areas such as Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula, and La Ceiba are extremely dangerous areas.
The threat of terrorism is still high inside of the city of Nairobi. Bombings with grenades as well as shootings and stabbings are common forms of attacks. Kenya may seem to be a lawless place, and for tourists, it may as well be. This is a very dangerous location to be a tourist, which is why it’s highly advised that tourists avoid this one.
Egypt happens to be one of the most dangerous places in the world, and that’s all thanks to the terrorist group, ISIS. The groups have also been known to target various modes of transportation, which is something a tourist would heavily rely on while visiting a foreign country. When transportation goes out the door, why bother…but when you risk the threat of a terrorist attack, all the more reason to avoid.
Shortages of basic goods such as water, food, medicine, and electricity have lead to much social unrest and crime throughout Venezuela. The country has one of the highest crime rates in the world; armed robbery, murder, kidnapping, and carjacking are all common forms of violence in much of the country. The US Department of State warns against travel to Venezuela.
Two extremist groups, Boko Haram, and the Islamic State West Africa, are responsible for much of the violence that occurs in Nigeria, and they commonly target heavily populated areas like churches, schools, restaurants, hotels, and entertainment venues. The US Department of State says visitors “should be vigilant at public gatherings and locations frequented by foreigners” and to “exercise extreme caution throughout the country due to the threat of indiscriminate violence.”
Religious conflict has plagued Pakistan for years, and violence against certain religious groups is still common throughout the country. Pakistan’s government also greatly limits freedom of speech and forbids foreigners access to numerous places throughout the country.
Besides having one of the world’s highest homicide levels, El Salvador is also known for its many gangs, which are known as maras. Gang violence includes everything from extortion to arms and drug trafficking.
Rebel groups based in Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, continue to both target and detain US citizens. Extremist groups such as Al Qaeda are also active in the country, and because of land mines and airstrikes, much of Yemen’s population lacks basic necessities like food, water, and medical assistance.