Which Countries Do British Passport Holders Need A Visa For?

Applying for a visa can be the killjoy of every potential holiday. Thankfully being a British passport holder can be quite a powerful thing, it is ranked as the third best in the world to have due to the visa-free or visa on arrival access that’s available.

Although British citizens can easily step foot into 175 different countries there’s another 41 that make life a little bit more difficult. This list is a bit like my nemesis, my aim is to visit all of them but sadly some are far more complicated than others. Let’s take a look at where they are and how you can visit these entry restricted places.

*This list does not include the easy e-visa or visa on arrival countries

Afghanistan

Band-e Haibat lake, Afghanistan. Photo source: Wikipedia

Band-e Haibat lake, Afghanistan. Photo source: Wikipedia

Tourist visas for Afghanistan can be a bit of a faff, thankfully they can now be purchased for 90 days, however you must attend an appointment at the Embassy in London with all the required elements including an invitation letter, completed application form, photo, evidence of employment, proof of address and a personal statement that confirms you are aware of the risks involved and take full responsibility.

Algeria

Algeria. Photo source: Telegraph

Algeria. Photo source: Telegraph

Unlike neighbouring Morocco, Algeria requires British citizens to apply for a visa in advance. This can take up to 4 weeks and be aware that if your visa is refused or cancelled the fee is non-refundable!

Angola

Miradouro da Lua, Angola. Photo source: Wikipedia

Miradouro da Lua, Angola. Photo source: Wikipedia

Although visa requirements most certainly discourage tourism, Angola has some incredibly beautiful beaches just waiting to be discovered. If the country relaxes the Soviet-style rules I foresee a very bright tourist future for Angola. When applying for your visa you have 12 things that you must complete to be granted a visa!

Azerbaijan

Baku skyline at night. Azerbaijan. Photo source: Wikipedia

Baku skyline at night. Azerbaijan. Photo source: Wikipedia

Although neighbouring Georgia and Armenia have relaxed their entry requirements for British citizens, sadly Azerbaijan still require you to apply for a visa. Personally I’d really like to visit the country and an option that I explored was to gain an eVisa via a travel company, however these were mostly Azeri and not ATOL protected.

Belarus

Belarus Victory Parade, Minsk. Photo source: BBC

Belarus Victory Parade, Minsk. Photo source: BBC

You cannot enter Belarus without having a visa, this is strictly enforced and is inclusive of anyone simply transiting via train. As the last Dictatorship of Europe it is no surprise that the visa process is rather long and complicated, to enter as a tourist you must have a hotel booking confirmation, this can’t be from a Western website like booking.com. You must also have a letter of invitation from a Belarusian tourist agency.

Benin

I'd love to watch the Voodoo ceremony in Benin. Photo source: Reuters

I’d love to watch the Voodoo ceremony in Benin. Photo source: Reuters

A tiny West African nation that is little-known outside the adventure tourist market, home to tribal cultures, ancient voodoo traditions and amazing colonial architecture. I’ve never previously considered visiting Benin, however the visa process appears really simple so who am I to complain?!

Bhutan

Tigers Nest, Bhutan. Photo source: unknown.

Tigers Nest, Bhutan. Photo source: unknown.

Often described as the “last Shangri-La” due to its pristine environment and strict entry rules. You’ll need to have a substantial budget to visit Bhutan due to its enforced request of having a daily spend, this is approximately £190 ($250) per day depending on the season, although this fee does include your accommodation, food, transport and a guide.

Cameroon

One of the largest volcanoes in Africa - Mount Cameroon.

One of the largest volcanoes in Africa – Mount Cameroon. Photo source: Shutterstock

Can you point Cameroon out on a map? Most likely not, I had to do a quick search so I could confirm I was in the right place…I wasn’t! Cameroon is surrounded by conflict zones and many parts are off-limits. The visa process appears relatively straight forward apart from the letter of invitation with the Cameroonian Police from your host, partner or contact in the country!

Central African Republic

As the Central African Republic descends into chaos, sadly it's not only the people that suffer. Photo source: USFWS

As the Central African Republic descends into chaos, sadly it’s not only the people that suffer. Photo source: USFWS

The FCO currently advise against all travel to the Central African Republic due to the ongoing civil war. There’s no embassy in the UK, however you can apply for a visa via the French Consulate-General in London who accepts applications.

Chad

Camels in the Mountains, Chad. Photo source: Thinkstock

Camels in the Mountains, Chad. Photo source: Thinkstock

I really want to visit Chad, but they certainly don’t make it very easy! There is no Embassy in London, therefore your nearest place to visit will either be Paris or Brussels, however if you don’t speak French it will virtually be impossible to secure a visa. Sadly very few people could tell you exactly where Chad is, let alone why you should visit!

China

Great Wall of China. Photo source: Telegraph

Great Wall of China. Photo source: Telegraph

Although I’ve previously visited Hong Kong, I never ventured to the mainland and I greatly regret this as China has rapidly developed in the last 10 years. For UK citizens you must apply via one of the three application centres in London, Manchester or Edinburgh, be aware that there’s a variety of visa options and prices but the process thankfully isn’t complicated.

Congo (Republic of the)

Congo Basin Gorilla. Photo source: World Wildlife

Congo Basin Gorilla. Photo source: World Wildlife

Definitely don’t get the two Congo’s mixed up, the Republic of is also referred to as Congo-Brazzaville highlighting the capital city. You must be granted a visa before arrival, similar to several other countries on this list you must obtain an invitation letter and already have your flight and hotel confirmations ready. According to the website it says the visa will be ready the next day, I’d love to test and see if this is true!

Congo (Democratic Republic of the)

Mount Nyiragongo lava lake. Photo source: Martin Rietze

Mount Nyiragongo lava lake, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Photo source: Martin Rietze

When people ask where would you like to visit next, I’ve never ever heard anyone say the DRC. Tourism is very much in its infancy in the DRC, with red tape and unofficial bribes often needed this instantly puts many people off. You can apply for your visa via the Embassy in London, but expect a delay of 2-3 weeks so plan ahead.

  • Visa fee: £60 for a single entry visa, plus $50 as an International departure tax upon leaving the DRC
  • DRC Embassy in London (in French)

Cuba

I *heart* Cuba! Photo: Travel Geek UK (All rights reserved)

I *heart* Cuba! Photo: Travel Geek UK (All rights reserved)

Although you only require a Tourist Card for Cuba I have included it on this list as you still have to apply for it from the Embassy in London or via your travel agency if you are travelling with a group. It is probably the easiest visa to get on this list!

Equatorial Guinea

Lovers’ Beach, Annobón island, in Equatorial Guinea. Photo source: Guardian

Lovers’ Beach, Annobón island, in Equatorial Guinea. Photo source: Guardian

Equatorial Guinea is a small but rather unusual country, divided in two with the largest part being on the mainland whilst the capital city sits on Bloko island. Getting a visa for Equatorial Guinea isn’t easy, there are plenty of hoops to jump through, especially considering the fact that tourists must prove that they have at least £2,000 in their bank account or risk having their visa rejected.

Eritrea

Dahlak Archipelago in the Red Sea, Eritrea. Photo: Travel Geek UK (All rights reserved)

Dahlak Archipelago in the Red Sea, Eritrea. Photo: Travel Geek UK (All rights reserved)

Eritrea is one of my favourite countries that I’ve been lucky enough to visit, I travelled with a group on a recce tour around Eritrea which made things much easier. To get a visa for Eritrea you will need to be booked on a tour with a local company, they will issue you with an application number which needs to be used when you submit your visa request. You may be required to have an interview whilst visiting the Embassy although the visa takes 2-4 weeks to process as it gets sent straight to Asmara (the capital city) for authorisation.

Ghana

Wish you were here? Beautiful Ghana. Photo source: Wikipedia

Wish you were here? Beautiful Ghana. Photo source: Wikipedia

Often described as the first place you must visit in Africa to ease you in, Ghana is a safe, secure and stable country with an incredible history. The visa process is relatively straight forward although you must be immunised for yellow-fever and provide proof. It can take up to 15 working days to receive your visa so plan in advance.

Guinea

Conakry Mosque, Guinea. Photo source: Lonely Planet

Conakry Mosque, Guinea. Photo source: Lonely Planet

Sadly I haven’t been able to find that much information about obtaining a visa for Guinea, the Embassy in London doesn’t appear to have a website and their office has recently moved from Kilburn to Kensington.

Iran

Royal Square, Esfahan, Iran. Photo: Travel Geek UK (All rights reserved)

Royal Square, Esfahan, Iran. Photo: Travel Geek UK (All rights reserved)

If you aren’t British, American or Canadian then an Iranian visa will be simple to get on arrival. Sadly for our three nations we must apply in advance, for Brits we must apply via the newly reopened Embassy in London, you will need an application number but this can be sought via the Embassy directly.

Iraq

Red Prison in Kurdistan, Iraq. Photo: Travel Geek UK (All rights reserved)

Red Prison in Kurdistan, Iraq. Photo: Travel Geek UK (All rights reserved)

Why on earth would you want to visit Iraq? WELL… avoiding the pre-conceptions, the people are incredibly friendly, welcoming and the food is delicious. I visited the Kurdish region of Northern Iraq in 2014 and absolutely loved it. Thankfully you don’t need to apply for a visa in advance for Kurdistan, however for the rest of Iraq you will need to apply at the Embassy.

Liberia

Liberian smiles. Photo source: PSI

Liberian smiles. Photo source: PSI

Similar to Guinea, I’ve been unable to find much information about applying for a Liberian visa. There doesn’t appear to be an Embassy website, however you can apply using various agencies who will charge you more. Tourism is very much in its infancy in Liberia, very few people visit due to a lack of infrastructure, which was recently made worse by the ebola outbreak in 2014.

Libya

Leptis Magna and the Mediterranean, Libya. Photo source: UNESCO

Leptis Magna and the Mediterranean, Libya. Photo source: UNESCO

Currently the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to Libya. During calmer times the most famous tourist attraction was Leptis Magna, one of the best preserved Roman amphitheatres, although unfortunately at present its status is unknown due to the ongoing conflict.

Mali

Timbuktu, Mali. Photo source: ABC

Timbuktu, Mali. Photo source: ABC

Where did it all go wrong for Mali? Tourists used to flock here to see Timbuktu and then unfortunately the insurgency started and it was pretty much all over for the tourist industry of Mali. If, however that still doesn’t put you off, you can apply for a visa at the Honorary Malian Consulate in London.

Mongolia

Nomadic life in Mongolia. Photo source: Wikimedia

Nomadic life in Mongolia. Photo source: Wikimedia

Mongolia is a huge landlocked country that is still traditional and unique in its values, it is one of the last places on earth you can experience nomadic life. When applying for your visa you’ll need a completed application form, visa fee and also a letter of invitation which can be done through a local tour company.

Mozambique

Beautiful Mozambique. Photo source: Unknown

Beautiful Mozambique. Photo source: Unknown

Mozambique – a country that’s very high on my list of “must-sees”, sadly it is also one of the 41 who still require you to apply for a visa before you arrive. It’s a painless process however, you’ll need your completed application form, two passport sized photos, return flight confirmation documents, hostel/hotel confirmation documents, 1 recent bank statement and also a copy of the first page of your passport (containing your photograph).

Nauru

Before the London Olympics 2012, the Queens Baton arrived in Nauru for a tour. Photo source: Visit Scotland

Before the London Olympics 2012, the Queens Baton arrived in Nauru for a tour. Photo source: Visit Scotland

Nauru – officially the least-visited country in the world and the world’s smallest independent nation. Nestled deep in the South Pacific, this place won’t come up on your travel list unless you’re visiting Australia or New Zealand as it’s incredibly remote. There’s no UK embassy, however recent changes were brought in and almost everyone needs to apply before arriving, from what I can tell it is free.

Niger

The Niger in Niamey, Niger. Photo source: Wikimedia

The Niger in Niamey, Niger. Photo source: Wikimedia

I can sadly confirm that I know nothing about Niger, other than it’s in Africa and the Sahara desert occupies a large part of the country. Sadly there’s no UK embassy or honorary consulate anymore, therefore you’ll need to head to Paris to apply with a completed application form, 2 passport photos, a certificate of yellow fever vaccination and a copy of your onward travel.

Nigeria

Fish vendor in Nigeria. Photo source: BBC

Fish vendor in Nigeria. Photo source: BBC

Due to the insurgency taking over Northern Nigeria it is currently advised against all travel to this part of the country. Nigeria has recently outsourced all of its visa applications to OIS, you’ll now need to apply and pay their huge service fee when submitting all documents.

North Korea

One of the most isolated countries in the world - North Korea. Image courtesy of Lupine Travel.

One of the most isolated countries in the world – North Korea. Photo source: Lupine Travel.

This country certainly needs no introduction, the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) is a fascinating place that was completely cut off until 1953. I’m lucky enough to have visited the North Korean embassy in London, a very unique place that’s situated in West London, far away from any other Embassy. A random experience, but the Koreans that I met were very warm and welcoming. To get a visa for North Korea you’ll need to book onto a tour, I recommend Lupine Travel.

Pakistan

Nanga Parbat, Pakistan. Photo source: Wikipedia

Nanga Parbat, Pakistan. Photo source: Wikipedia

Pakistan can be a rather difficult country to explain to people why you want to visit, however it has a lot to offer and hopefully with the power of Social Media this will become more obvious in the near-future. There are six visa application centres in the UK including Manchester, Bradford, Birmingham, Glasgow (opening soon) and also two in London.

Russia

So it's cold in Russia in winter...

So it’s cold in Russia in winter… Photo: Travel Geek UK (All rights reserved)

The biggest country in the world, often misunderstood but a unique place to venture to. If like me, you’ve visited lots of countries you’ll have a panic attack just writing the visa application form by trying to remember all the countries you’ve been to in the last 10 years. Thankfully after attending the processing centre in London you’ll have your visa within a few days.

Saudi Arabia

Madain Saleh, Saudi Arabia. Photo source: unknown.

Madain Saleh, Saudi Arabia. Photo source: unknown.

Saudi Arabia represents one of the last frontiers in tourism, there are so many rules and very few opportunities to visit for tourism. The best chance of gaining a tourist visa is if you travel with a Saudi-specific agency but these are notoriously difficult to find and acquire.

Sierra Leone

Banana Islands, Sierra Leone. Photo source: Out of Bounds tours

Banana Islands, Sierra Leone. Photo source: Out of Bounds tours

After sadly being flawed by the ebola outbreak in 2014, Sierra Leone has struggled to get back on its feet. I don’t believe the expensive visa fee is helping to attract tourists as this has so far definitely put me off. The application process is straight forward and you can apply in person or by post, expect to receive your visa within one week.

South Sudan

South Sudan Cattle herder. Photo source: BBC

South Sudan Cattle herder. Photo source: BBC

The newest country in the world, South Sudan thought it would ease all of their problems to become independent, sadly it seems to have created new ones. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to South Sudan due to the ongoing civil war although the visa application process appears relatively simple I’d probably advise to wait a few years to see how the conflict unfolds.

Sudan

Meroe Pyramids, Sudan. Photo source: BBC

Meroe Pyramids, Sudan. Photo source: BBC

It is said that the number of pyramids in Sudan far outweigh the number in Egypt, sadly this fact isn’t quite as well known by tourists yet. To apply for a Sudanese visa you’ll need to apply directly at the Embassy, however your request will be sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Khartoum and this can take anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks to be approved.

Syria

The historic caravan city of Palmyra in Syria has to be one of the most amazing places I've ever been to, especially when I arrived at 5am on a camel just as the sun was rising.

The historic caravan city of Palmyra in Syria has to be one of the most amazing places I’ve ever been to, especially when I arrived at 5am on a camel just as the sun was rising. Photo: Travel Geek UK (All rights reserved)

As of 2012 it is not possible to apply for a tourist visa for Syria due to the ongoing conflict affecting the country. I was lucky enough to visit in 2010 and was required to apply/collect my visa from the Embassy in London.

Turkmenistan

I loved my time visiting Darvaza, aka The Door to Hell! Turkmenistan.

I loved my time visiting Darvaza, aka The Door to Hell! Turkmenistan. Photo: Travel Geek UK (All rights reserved)

Almost everyone needs a visa to enter Turkmenistan, the London embassy operates a rather strict calendar for applying/collecting your visa. When I purchased my visa from the embassy in 2015 I was charged £33, however this can fluctuate due to exchange rates.

Uzbekistan

Bukhara, Uzbekistan. Photo source: VJV

Bukhara, Uzbekistan. Photo source: VJV

A country that I’d love to visit but as yet haven’t had the opportunity; Uzbekistan I will get to you soon! The visa process can be done in a number of ways, if you’re applying in person at the Embassy then my best advice is make sure you have everything completed and accurately. They state very clearly on the website if your visa application is rejected they will not reveal the reason why!

Yemen

Socotra island, Yemen. Photo: National Geographic

Socotra island, Yemen. Photo source: National Geographic

Sadly now described as one of the most dangerous countries in the world, Yemen was previously accessible although often with Government warnings. It’s currently impossible to get a visa for Yemen, the FCO advise against all travel to the country (including Socotra archipelago). I found one website selling visas for £135, however the Yemeni London embassy website no longer appears to be functioning and has been taken offline.

Disclaimer

  • Last updated: 20th August 2016
  • This list does not include countries that have e-visa facilities
  • It also doesn’t include any dependent, disputed or restricted territories
  • The advice listed only refers to British citizens visa requirements
  • It is possible to gain some visas from neighbouring countries, but not guaranteed

Further Information

If you’d like to discover more photographs and information from any of my trips please feel free to ask me any questions. You can visit my Facebook page and please don’t forget to ‘Like’ Travel Geek UK.

Top 10 Safest Countries In The World

Can anywhere really be described as safe anymore? Well, surprisingly yes, thankfully there’s a few good eggs left in this world. Amazingly I don’t always just venture to the dangerous places, I’ve visited 8 countries on this list and can easily say they are some of my favourite destinations in the world. According to the Global Peace Index here are the 10 safest countries in the world!

20160610_Global_Peace_Index

Top 10 Safest Countries In The World

Jökulsárlón

Jökulsárlón

1. Iceland

I’m going to just put it out there…I LOVE ICELAND! It’s my favourite country as I previously explored in this blog post. It is such a safe country that it barely has any crime, there are very few police officers and the country is the only NATO member that doesn’t have an army. It is no wonder that they’ve come out on top and that tourism is up 29% from 2014 to 2015 when they received a record 1.3 million visitors. The only safest issues you might have to worry about is volcanoes and the weather!

2. Denmark

Once the seat of Viking raiders, you simply cannot beat a visit to Scandinavia for an enjoyable, healthy and clean but expensive break away. Denmark has it all; beautiful scenery, beautiful people, incredible food and not forgetting those fabulous Scandi designs. Most people might only know about the capital Copenhagen, but there’s far more incredible places to see in this country including Aarhus, Aalborg or if you really want to go off-the-beaten track their territory also includes the Faroe Islands and Greenland.

Things are slowly starting to change in Denmark with refugee and immigration issues in 2016, I wonder if we’ll see them slide down the table next year as a result of increased security risks and terrorist threats.

3. Austria

Whenever I think of Austria I can’t help but picture a panoramic scene of the Alps, a bit like something from the Sound of Music. Although in the past Austria has had its fair share of issues to deal with, the country is now a powerhouse in Europe with a low unemployment rate and low rate of crime it is no surprise to see it so high on the Global Peace Index. Similar to Denmark, Austria might find itself slipping down the table in 2017 due to increased tensions due to the refugee crisis.

4. New Zealand

I’m not surprised to discover New Zealand in the Top 10 safest places, as a rather far flung place it has a low threat of terrorism and a surprisingly low crime rate. In fact the country has far more sheep than people!

I was lucky enough to visit New Zealand in 2006 and travel around the North Island, it reminded me (on a much smaller scale) of England although Auckland is very much an Asian-influenced city. Some parts of the country are incredibly remote and are often referred to as “the Shaky Isles” due to its frequent seismic activity.

The funniest fact I learned about New Zealand was about their incredible glow worms, according to my tour guide the reason they light up is because they literally shag themselves to death! Sad times.

Lovely Lisbon

Lovely Lisbon

5. Portugal

Admittedly I’ve only visited the capital, Lisbon, but from what I found I now have the urge to go back and explore more of this beautiful country. I’m not surprised it’s in the top 10 safest places in the world, thankfully it is also one of the cheapest places in Europe to visit. So what are you waiting for?! If you need any help planning, check out my New Year‘s eve itinerary.

6. Czech Republic

This one, I’m rather shocked at. It’s a bit of a random entry, I guess the Czech Republic doesn’t really have any enemies as such. I visited Prague back in 2006, I’m sure it has changed within 10 years but I found the place to be stuck in the past and not very tourist friendly. However, all that doesn’t really matter when you can get a beer for under £1.50!

7. Switzerland

Often seen as the mediator, Switzerland opted not to join the European Union in 1992 but has since flourished and is now one of the richest countries in the world. I’m sad to say that I’ve never actually visited, it is one of the only European countries still on my to-do list but I hope to change that very soon.

Switzerland is often seen as a safe-haven, a place of economic stability and low crime rates. The only safety issues you might have to deal with would be the weather, the country is prone to avalanches and sudden weather changes due to its alpine scenery.

Don’t forget to bring home some Toblerone!

Canadian wilderness - Niblet Photo: National Geographic

Canadian wilderness – Niblet
Photo: National Geographic

8. Canada

The second largest country in the world (behind Russia), this place is vast and is often seen as a destination to “get away from it all”. Canada is unique, by using both its British and French historical ties the country has developed into a tolerant and multi-cultured society.

When I visited Canada in 2013 it got deep under my skin, I absolutely loved it! I can’t wait to go back and explore more. Compared to their closest neighbour, it was friendly, welcoming and absolutely ENORMOUS. Regarding safety, if you visit in winter and you’re getting out of the big cities, you’ll need to be aware of winter storms.

9. Japan

Admittedly I haven’t been to Japan yet, which is a crime in itself, however I aim to put that right in the near future! As one of the most advanced nations in the world, it’s no surprise that Japan is also one of the most expensive to visit.

In regards to safety, most Japanese people are obsessed with cleanliness but sadly Japan is prone to natural disasters and is regularly affected by earthquakes.

10. Slovenia

There’s a reason the country’s tourism board once focussed on the fact that Slovenia is the only country in the world with the word “love” in its name. Pretty neat. I once described Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, as Europe’s hidden gem. Although it’s a popular destination to visit, you very rarely hear of people’s experiences. Find out what else I discovered in Central Europe.

As a major transit route through Europe, people don’t often plan a stop here, this is incredibly sad but more and more people are starting to discover how this Central European country is a safe and welcoming destination.

Day or night, Ljubljana reminded me of a fairytale city all sparkly and pretty to look at.

Day or night, Ljubljana reminded me of a fairytale city all sparkly and pretty to look at.

Further Information

Do you know which countries are the world’s most dangerous? Find out by reading my blog post here!

If you’d like to discover more photographs and information from any of my trips please feel free to ask me any questions. You can visit my Facebook page and please don’t forget to ‘Like’ Travel Geek UK.

Top 10 Most Dangerous Countries In The World

The world is sadly experiencing one of its most volatile periods, 2016 has seen an increased number of terrorist attacks, civil wars, military coups and conflicts. Should that stop you from visiting certain countries? Let’s find out…

According to the Global Peace Index, Syria is unsurprisingly the world’s most dangerous country. However, in 2008 they come a respectable 88th out of 162 nations but due to the ongoing civil war, political instability and the threat of Daesh (Isis/IS/Isil) has resulted in the country plummeting to last place.

Although I’ve been to three of the top 10, when I’m arranging a trip I don’t specifically think “Oh, lets visit a dangerous country”. Does the adventure outweigh the risks?

20160610_Global_Peace_Index

Top 10 Most Dangerous Countries In The World

The Great Colonnade at Apamea was the main colonnaded avenue of the ancient city of Apamea in the Orontes River valley in northwestern Syria. The monumental colonnade is among the longest and most famous in the Roman world.

The Great Colonnade at Apamea was the main colonnaded avenue of the ancient city of Apamea in the Orontes River valley in northwestern Syria. The monumental colonnade is among the longest and most famous in the Roman world.

1. Syria

Did you know that in 2010 Syria was one of the Middle East’ most popular tourist destinations? Attracting millions of people from Italy, France and the UK, it amazes me to this day that the country was seen as a stable and safe place to visit – because it was!

I definitely don’t recommend any visits to Syria for the foreseeable future, but with some of the world’s most ancient sites you can see the country in its full glory in my blog article, uncover what it really looked like before the war.

2. South Sudan

As the world’s newest country you’d think war would be the last thing on their minds, sadly things have spiralled out of control and there doesn’t appear to be an end in sight for South Sudan. Personally, I don’t have any desire to visit the country due to the lack of UNESCO World Heritage sites, however there’s plenty for naturalists to see with plenty of national parks and even the sight of the world’s second largest migration.

Red Prison in Kurdistan, Iraq

Red Prison in Kurdistan, Iraq

3. Iraq

People thought I was absolutely crazy to visit Iraq, thankfully for me I’d researched and was satisfied that by visiting the Kurdish region in North Eastern Iraq that I’d be okay. The best part about the trip was meeting the incredible people who were super friendly and welcoming.

Sadly the rest of Iraq is pretty much off-limits for tourists due to the ongoing crisis that has engulfed the country ever since the fall of Saddam. I sincerely hope that within the next 10 years the country can sort itself out and more people can discover just how wonderful it truly is. Discover my adventure for yourself, check out my Kurdish adventures.

4. Afghanistan

This one needs no introduction why it’s on the list, sadly Afghanistan has been off many tourists must-see lists for many years. A few intrepid travellers thankfully still manage to visit, even for me I would love to explore so it ranks very highly in my list of places that I’d like to visit but sadly it’s one of the most difficult countries to get a visa for.

5. Somalia

Located in East Africa, Somalia has struggled with a number of major issues over the last 10 years including piracy, terrorism and political instability. Thankfully it is getting easier to visit Mogadishu due to Turkish Airlines investing huge sums of money at the country’s main airport, however there are still huge security risks with regular attempted bombings.

Socotra island, Yemen. Photo: National Geographic

Socotra island, Yemen.
Photo: National Geographic

6. Yemen

Often referred to as the forgotten war, Yemen has been crippled by civil war for the past few years and has sadly been off-limits ever since. As one of the most unique countries in the Middle East, Yemen has several UNESCO World Heritage sites to visit including the Old Walled City of Shibam a.k.a the “Manhattan of the desert”. There’s also the beautiful Old City of Sana’a and the isolated island of Socotra where trees and animals are like nowhere else on earth. When things calm down I will be one of the first people on the reinstated flights to visit Yemen, it has been on my hit list for many many years.

7. Central African Republic

Up until 1960, the Central African Republic was under French rule but sadly since independence the country has suffered from several wars and military coups. C.A.R is a landlocked nation that is unfortunately another country that I personally have no desire to visit, especially as its not only a dangerous country for tourists to visit but also for the local people that live there.

Odessa's main railway station.

Odessa’s main railway station.

8. Ukraine

As one of the largest countries in Europe, I’m shocked to see it on the list as one of the most dangerous. I visited in 2014, just as the uprisings started and although things were very tense, it was still relatively easy to manoeuvre around the country.

At present (2016) it’s almost impossible to travel to the Eastern regions of Luhansk and Donetsk with the transport infrastructure mostly obliterated. The main airports have been destroyed, rail links cut and with the Government not in control it’s probably wise to stay well-clear.

However, this doesn’t mean you can’t visit other parts of Ukraine including Lviv, Kiev, Dnipro and Odessa which are all reasonably safe for tourists, just like anywhere else in Europe. Find out where I visited on my Ukrainian adventures.

9. Sudan

Once the largest country in Africa until the South broke away to become its own country, I’ve wanted to visit this place for a good number of years. Sadly for me, it isn’t very safe and being a temperamental country to get a visa for, you have to plan your trip months in advance.

Sudan is perhaps sadly less famous for its pyramids, but I definitely think this opinion needs to change! It’s said that you’ll be unlikely to see another tourist on your entire trip.

10. Libya

Constantly in the news for all the wrong reasons, Libya’s economy was once a shining light for North Africa but now appears to be in free-fall. When Gadaffi ruled the country with an iron-fist, tourism didn’t feature highly on the Government’s priority list.

A must-see place is Leptis Magna, an UNESCO World Heritage Site overlooking the Mediterranean, these Roman ruins should be more famous but sadly as they are in Libya this is highly unlikely any time soon.

Leptis Magna and the Mediterranean. Photo via UNESCO

Leptis Magna and the Mediterranean.
Photo via UNESCO

Should you even consider visiting a dangerous destination?

Well, as I’ve visited three of the top 10 I’m certainly not going to judge anyone but I am here to help prove that you might be able to visit safe parts of the world’s most dangerous countries. You have to be mentally and physically strong to even think about considering a trip to a country that’s in the midst of some of its darkest days. You’ll lose the benefits of help being around the corner, you also have to be prepared and ready for the worst to happen. I’ve listed my all of my experiences to showcase how dangerous countries don’t always have to be scary, click here to read.

Further Information

Had enough of the danger? Well, thankfully you can also discover the top 10 safest destinations in the world too.

If you’d like to discover more photographs and information from any of my trips please feel free to ask me any questions. You can visit my Facebook page and please don’t forget to ‘Like’ Travel Geek UK.