According to the Global Peace Index (GPI), published annually by the Institute for Economics and Peace, there are 23 indicators of peace, which are grouped into three categories: ongoing international and domestic conflict, societal safety and security, and militarisation.
Indicators include the number and duration of internal conflicts, relationships with neighbouring countries, political instability, violent crime levels, and perceived criminality in society.
Each indicator’s results are merged to create a unified GPI value for each country. The lower the GPI score, the more peaceful—and by extension, the safer—the country is considered to be.
Here are the top 10 safest countries to visit according to the World Population Review insights for 2024:
Mauritius: Mauritius is Africa’s safest country to visit, with a GPI score of 1.570. It is also ranked as the 28th safest country in the world. Mauritius is a multicultural island nation that is family-friendly, peaceful, and secure for visitors.
The East African nation is a haven for tourists, with attractions that include beaches and lagoons, reef dives, water activities, the “seven-coloured earth” of the Chamarel, and lush forests filled with wildlife. Mauritius has a very low crime rate overall, and what minor crime does occur tends to be non-violent, such as petty theft.
Ghana: With a GPI score of 1.759, Ghana is the second-safest country in Africa and sits at position 40 on the Global Peace Index. Although Ghana fell five positions between 2018 and 2019, it has rebounded since and is now considered safer than several popular travel destinations, including France, Greece, Jamaica, Argentina, South Korea, and the United States.
The West African country offers a wide range of attractions, from wildlife viewing and safaris to sun-soaked beaches and on to vibrant nightlife and cultural attractions.
Gambia: With a population of about 2.28 million people and a GPI score of 1.792, The Gambia ranked as the 45th-safest country in the world and third in Africa.
Leisure tourism is a huge part of the Gambia economy, known for its mix of “sun, sand, sea, nature, and varied cultural experience.”
Botswana: Botswana is the fourth safest African country. Ranked at position 48 on the GPI with 1.801, Botswana is a popular tourist destination due to attractions that include Chobe National Park, game reserves, and the Tsolido World Heritage site.
The Southern Africa nation’s Central Kalahari Game Reserve, with its fossilised river valleys and undulating grasslands, is home to numerous animals, including giraffes, cheetahs, hyenas and wild dogs.
Sierra Leone: Sierra Leone, with 1.803 GPI, is a coastal nation in West Africa, known for its vast and numerous beaches, as well as its rainforests and wildlife preserves.
The country has a GPI ranking of 50th in the world. While Sierra Leone is traditionally safe to visit, local police often lack the training and capacity to respond effectively to violent crimes such as assault and armed robbery, which occur most often in Freetown, its capital city, and civil unrest can provoke demonstrations and protests that could be best avoided.
Zambia: With a 1.841 GPI score, Zambia is Africa’s sixth safest country and the 56th safest in the world. The country itself is landlocked, but gifted with spectacular waterfalls, rivers, and lakes, as well as vast open spaces and abundant wildlife, and is a top safari destination.
Equatorial Guinea: One of Equatorial Guinea’s greatest tourist attractions is Monte Alen National Park, a 2000 km² preserve filled with rainforest flora, lakes and waterfalls, and wildlife ranging from gorillas to elephants. Equatorial Guinea ranked 59th in the world with 1.863 as its GPI.
Malawi: The East African nation, the eighth safest African country, posted a GPI ranking of 66 with a 1.895 score, placing the country between France 65th and Cyprus 67th.
Malawi ranked in the top 10 of travel site Lonely Planet’s Top Ten Countries list due to the country’s mix of “lake, landscape, wildlife, and culture.” Crime in Malawi is generally low, with purse-snatching and petty thefts being the largest threats.
Namibia: With a population of 2.5 million, Southern Africa landed in the 68th position, with 1.908 as its Global Peace Index. Namibia boasts some of Africa’s most rugged and picturesque landscapes and wildlife viewing.
Bordered by the Atlantic Ocean on one side and a vast, scenic desert on the other, Namibia’s attractions include scenic beaches and mountains, towering dunes perfect for sunrise photos, some of the world’s least light-polluted skies for stargazing, and ample opportunities to view giraffes, lions, rhinos, and more.
Senegal: Admired for its mix of scenic beaches and forests, animal sanctuaries, and archaeological attractions, Senegal has relatively low levels of crime and disease and its people are known for being generous hosts.
Like the Gambia, Senegal has lingering concerns about land mines and crime in the Casamance region, but is quite safe overall with 1.916 as its Global Peace Index.