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?
Top 10 Most Dangerous Countries In The World
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.