Africa has one of the most eclectic mixtures in the world of travel advisories.
Some countries have a Level 1 advisory or no advisory at all, while other countries right next door have a Level 4 advisory recommending against or flat out restricting all travel. This makes it extra essential for you to research your particular destination and the alerts and advisories for that country (found here). You never know what you’re going to get!
Violent crime is an increased concern in certain African countries, with aggressive panhandling targeted towards tourists in airports a particular concern. Some African countries are in the midst of civil war and substantial political unrest, presenting the danger of tourists getting caught in the crossfire. Many of these areas experience demonstrations and protests that can sometimes turn violent and in return, the government has responded with tactics that have resulted in civilian casualties…not something you and the kiddos want to stumble upon.
Also unique to certain parts of Africa is the threat of piracy. Your littles might giggle as they imagine Captain Hook or Jack Sparrow firing their cannons or walking the plank, but real piracy can be a dangerous situation and isn’t at all glamourous like the movies. Some alerts in Africa advise or recommend against travel to or through certain bodies of water, like the Gulf of Guinea on the western coast of Africa or waters off the Somalian coast (think Captain Phillips).
You’ll also find a Level 4 advisory (do not travel) for some African countries where highly concentrated terrorist cells have resulted in unusually high terrorist activity.
Emergency evacuation could also be a serious concern in certain parts of Africa. Not every African country has a U.S. Consulate, potentially making it difficult to receive assistance in a crisis situation. As always, be sure to check the travel advisories (found here) and locations of the U.S. Consulate office (found here) for your destination.
For other helpful tips on how to travel safely in Africa, see my Safety Tips page (found here).