PRETORIA -Travelling to Africa can seem daunting to some Westerners because the continent has been portrayed in a negative light by some media.
However, there are still many safe places to visit among the 54 countries in the continent.
Rwanda is one of the safest travel destinations to visit in Africa. The World Economic Forum ranked the East African country as the 9th safest in 2017, ahead of Portugal, New Zealand, Austria, Sweden, Spain and the Netherlands.
The rankings took into account the crime rate, violence and terrorism and how police responded in helping those who had been victimised.
Botswana has a small population and stable political climate which makes it safe to visit or to live in. It does have crime, but not at an alarming rate.
The subtropical island country in the Indian Ocean is the tourist destination of choice for many around the world and a popular honeymoon target.
No country in the world can claim to be free of crime, but Namibia ranks as one of the safest and most politically stable nations in Africa.
It is also home to the oldest desert in the world and is famous for its magnificent sand dunes. It can take weeks and even months to traverse all of Namibia’s sandy landscape.
Seychelles is a safe country for vacations and the perfect destination for a honeymoon. The archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean off East Africa boasts lush tropical vegetation, beaches, coral reefs and a wide variety of marine life that attracts many foreign tourists.
According to the United Kingdom Foreign travel advice, crime in the Seychelles is generally non-violent, but bags have been snatched, cars broken into and tourists robbed while walking at night.
Ethiopia has many cities which are comparatively safer than many others in Africa.
Tourists can visit palaces, castles and churches with ancient and unique architecture, as well as tribes of the Omo valley whose people paint their bodies with chalk and wear unique attire representing their culture.
According to the UK Foreign travel advice, the British embassy in Ethiopia has received increased reports of petty theft and the mugging of foreign nationals.
Tourists are advised not to walk alone and to be vigilant against strangers purporting to be seeking help.
Morocco is a prime territory for trekking and other outdoor activities such as riding camels and camping on the desert. Like Ethiopia, it is a relatively safe place to travel but tourists have to be cautious of pickpocketing and scammers.
According to Human Rights Watch, the North African country is however not a safe destination for LGBTQIA+ travellers who might wish to openly express their affection by kissing or holding hands in public.
LGBTQIA+ people in Morocco are ostracised by their families and communities and risk expulsion from their homes by relatives and landlords, as well as dismissal from their jobs.