The 10 Safest Cities in Africa
Africa is known for its incredible nature preserves, where wild animals rule. But the continent's cities are just as exciting as they are underrated.
Like anywhere else, you can expect noise and traffic but also that unique urban energy that pulsates with life and possibility — plus, many of them are near national parks or preserves, offering the best of both worlds.
Wondering where to go? Start with the 10 safest cities in Africa. Besides low crime rates, these compelling cities offer millenary history, great music, excellent food and must-see landmarks.
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10. Casablanca, Morocco
Population: 3.9 million
Safety index: 44.41 (out of 100)
Where to stay: Hyatt Regency Casablanca
While many people know this city because of the iconic movie starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, the city is even more exciting than the movie. You can see the remnants of French colonial rule in the city's Mauresque architecture, which blends art deco and Moorish elements, or you can get lost in the labyrinths of the old medina. Other exciting things include going on a coastal stroll along the Corniche, visiting the Royal Palace and touring the Hassan II Mosque — the largest mosque in Morocco.
And you can do all this without worrying about your safety. While people might try to haggle or overcharge you, violent crime is rare. That said, solo female travelers should be careful, as street harassment is a huge problem.
Note: Rankings are based on Statista's "Africa: Cities With the Highest Safety Index 2022" report.
9. Algiers, Algeria
Population: 2.9 million
Safety index: 45.18
While Algeria has been victim to attacks by religious extremists, these are rare (probably just as rare as they are in the U.S. or popular European destinations). Like in Europe, pickpockets frequent crowded places like the Kashbah, and solo female travelers need to take extra precautions. But it's quite safe to wander the streets since muggings are uncommon.
Visitors will want to enjoy Algeria's wonderful capital by visiting Djamaa el Djazaïr, or the Great Mosque of Algiers, and the Catholic Basilica of Notre-Dame d'Afrique, built during the time of French colonialism. Plus, you'll want to visit the city's cultural institutions, like the National Museum of Antiquities and Islamic Art.
Where to stay: Az Hôtels Kouba
8. Gaborone, Botswana
Safety index: 45.68
Despite its diverse nature and political stability, Botswana is still an overlooked African destination — perhaps because people make the wrong assumptions about it. But those who pay attention to the facts find an amazing country where violent crime rates are relatively low. As in most cities around the world, you should avoid dark, isolated places while visiting Gaborone, the capital. But if you apply common sense and general precautions, you won't have safety issues.
Visitors can enjoy the National Museum and Art Gallery and buy traditional crafts at local markets. However, most people come for the nearby nature preserves, which include the Mokolodi Nature Reserve and Gaborone Game Reserve. Here, you'll have the chance to see species like rhinos, giraffes, impalas, zebras and more.
Where to stay: Hilton Garden Inn Gaborone
7. Cairo, Egypt
Population: 22.2 million (for the metropolitan area)
Safety index: 50.22
We don't need to introduce Cairo, nor convince anyone to visit. Yes, it is chaotic and overly touristy. And yes, you will get harassed by street vendors. But these are minor inconveniences and don't actually pose a threat to your safety. In return, you'll get to see one of the most incredible places on Earth.
The main reason to visit the Egyptian capital are, of course, the Pyramids of Giza. Once you've done that, escape the heat at the Egyptian Museum, wander the 12th-century Citadel of Salah El-Din and shop at the gigantic Khan el-Khalili market.
Where to stay: Steigenberger Hotel El Tahrir
6. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Population: 5.5 million
Safety index: 51.59
Another capital city on this list, Addis Ababa quickly breaks erroneous ideas people may have of Ethiopia. The city is modern, clean and safe. Yes, the country has suffered from extreme poverty, but that's not everything there is to it. Get cultured at the National Museum of Ethiopia, the Ethnological Museum and the Ethiopian National Theatre.
You should also hike up Mount Entoto for sweeping views over the capital and try a cup of Ethiopian coffee at Tomoca Coffee. This is, after all, the birthplace of the plant and one of the best coffee destinations in the world.
Where to stay: Golden Tulip Addis Ababa
5. Tunis, Tunisia
Population: 2.5 million
Safety index: 52.2
Lovely Tunis is a dream Mediterranean vacation spot that is not yet overrun by crowds. Because of its strategic position, this city has been an important trading post for thousands of years and was once the site of the ancient Roman city of Carthage, whose ruins can be visited. You'll also find hints of other important points in the country's history, including the 75 years it was under French colonial rule.
For gorgeous pictures, head up to Sidi Bou Said, a seaside citadel whose whitewashed buildings and blue domes compete with those of Santorini, Greece. As with many cities in Northern Africa, the medina is a must-visit attraction, where you'll get a feel of life in the city.
Where to stay: Palais Bayram
4. Accra, Ghana
Population: 2.7 million
Safety index: 53.92
Where to stay: Kempinski Hotel Gold Coast City
Despite having one of the fastest-growing economies in Africa and enjoying political stability, Ghana has not made it onto the tourism radar. The country was once one of the main trafficking spots on the Transatlantic Slave Trade, and this painful history is honored and remembered in places like Osu Castle (the former Presidential Palace) in Accra and Elmina Castle, which is located in a nearby town and is famous for its "door of no return."
To go even further into Ghanaian history, visit landmarks in the capital like the National Museum of Ghana and Black Star Square. You'll be able to do everything with absolute ease, too. Trust us, Accra feels safer than cities like New York or Paris, where mugging is very common. The one safety concern in this city is the astonishing amount of air and water pollution.
3. Alexandria, Egypt
Population: 5.6 million
Safety index: 61.26
Egypt's second-most popular city is another jewel of the Mediterranean. Founded in the 4th century BCE by Alexander the Great, it was a major point of trade and culture of the classical world. Sadly, its world-famous library was destroyed a thousand years after the city's founding, but there are still plenty of sites to visit. For instance, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina is an astounding cultural center that honors the original library.
You also can't miss walking around the 14th-century Citadel of Qaitbay, which offers views of the sparkling sea. At the Montazah Palace Gardens, you'll find several palaces, museums and, of course, gardens. And don't leave without a stop at the gorgeous Abu Abbas al-Mursi Mosque.
Where to stay: Royal Jewel Al Raml Hotel
2. Rabat, Morocco
Population: 2 million
Safety index: 63.32
In case you weren't convinced of how safe Morocco (generally) is, Rabat is the country's second city listed here. The capital is not as popular as other destinations like Marrakesh and Tangier, but it still holds its own. As the king's main residence, the Royal Palace of Rabat is not to be missed. Neither are the unfinished Hassan Tower, the ancient Roman citadel of Chellah and the medina.
If you visit during the summer (or don't mind cold water), you can take advantage of the city's location on the Atlantic Ocean to enjoy beaches like the Plage des Nations and Plage de Harhoura.
Where to stay: Riad Dar Jabador
1. Kigali, Rwanda
Population: 1.2 million
Safety index: 75.65
Rwanda as a whole is notorious for its safety and cleanliness. The country is one of Africa's most coveted destinations, particularly because of its wild mountain gorillas. Most people come in through Kigali and then book tours to Volcanoes National Park, which is located about three hours from the city.
But before you go off to look for gorillas, make sure to spend time in the capital. You can see local art at the Inema Arts Center, learn about the area's diversity at the Kandt House Museum of Natural History or train for your gorilla trek by hiking up Mount Kigali. Leave time for more sobering experiences to remember the victims of the horrifying 1994 genocide at the Genocide Memorial Center — and witness how far the country has come in its efforts to heal.
Where to stay: Hotel des Mille Colines