5 Of The World’s Most Dangerous Vacation Destinations

When you’re heading out on vacation, you normally think about how hot it’s going to be, what there is to see and do and how good the hotels are going to be.

If you’re thinking about going a little further afield than normal or are looking for something a little different, it’s always recommended to take into consideration information such as crime and looking at the countries around the world, the following five are some of the most dangerous anywhere on earth.

N.B. Just a word of warning – not all of the photos used are family friendly.

1. Russia

If you’re planning on taking a vacation to Russia, as beautiful as the cities and landscape may be, the country does unfortunately have some major negative aspects.

For example, reports that Russian gangsters simply do what they want might not always be true, but with there reportedly a bigger mafia presence than a police one, it’s highly likely that some do do what they want.

Furthermore, statistics show that a Russian is assassinated every 18 minutes – that’s 80 murders a day – and with the rate of kidnappings on foreign visitors on the increase, going to Russia for a vacation may not be as safe as you initially thought.

2. South Africa

With more and more people referring to South Africa as the ‘rape capital of the world’, it’s no wonder that vacations here have decreased sharply in recent years.

With its appalling rape ratio of 118.3 per 100,000 people and the sight – and use – of firearms being something it a daily occurrence, couple this with the numerous infamous riots that have taken place on what seems like a regular basis, if you’re planning on going to South Africa for a vacation, you really need to ensure you know what you’re letting yourself in for.

3. Colombia

Great views all across the country and clear skies with a beautiful coastline, what more could you ask for from a vacation destination?

When you realise that 80% of the world’s cocaine supply comes from Colombia and that tourists aren’t welcomed as much by some of the locals as they are in other countries around the world, you realise that maybe Colombia isn’t the best place in the world for a break.

4. Egypt

With parts of Egypt being highly popular tourist destinations, choosing the wrong part of the country could mean it seems like you’re stepping into one of the most crime ridden parts of the world.

What’s more, with poverty taking a hold on Egypt’s society, tourists can often be confronted by locals asking for money – or worse, be robbed or even kidnapped.

5. Brazil

Without doubt a beautiful country with great culture, clear waters and golden beaches, Brazil sounds like the best possible destination for any family to visit on first looking.

Unfortunately, poverty is still a huge problem in Brazil, occurring right throughout the country and kidnaps aren’t unusual either.

Throw into the mix that Brazil is still one of the top 20 countries for the number of murders per 100,000 people and that over half a million people were killed by firearms between 1979 and 2003, it soon becomes apparent that a vacation to Brazil may not be a fantastic idea.

Join the discussion

  • South Africa is a very dangerous country if you label it like that.
    This article is giving Cape Town a bad name! Dan please come stay in Cape Town for two months. You will fall in love with this place! You will even consider starting a life here. Also its a perfect place to bring up children!

  • I live in Colombia and I think living here is great. It is true there are many problems gut the most of people here is good….and about coacaine come on… a lot of people in U.E and Europe loves Colombian cocaine, so I think our people is not the only responsable for the trouble of drougs in world.

  • I think it is time Dan updated this website on South Africa. Yes, SA may be a dangerous place to live in, but like any other country, there are places that are extremely dangerous and others where it is as safe. We recently hosted the soccer World Cup and not a single visitor was harmed in any way. I hate it when people use statistics to try and justify a preconceived point.
    Dan, do you think using pictures that date from the political struggle era is fair?
    SA receives millions of tourists a year and incidents of violence and robbery are extremely rare. Go check it out without hiding behind statistics. By the way, Greece had some really violent riots yesterday, are you going to put on the list not to visit as well?

  • I am South African living in Thailand and although I agree SA is dangerous I have seen far more horrific violence in Thailand ranging from political ” wars” to horrible murders being labelled by the authorities as “suicide” also foreign men coming to marry local woman and getting murdered by them.

  • I don’t know……Russian cities are actually much safer than most American ones. You can walk downtown and pretty much anywhere any time of day and night….The Russian ganster thing is pretty much a myth, unless you get in a Russian prison system, which is unlikely. Othr than that, you won’t see anybody but the ubiquitous Russian “babushkas” who don’t pose a threat.

    You simply cannot walk anymore in the US or Brazil where you see lots of young people of ethnic backgrounds loitering in the streets. Trying to be as politically correct as posible. Sorry, guys. Brazil should be number 1. and the US number 2 on the list.

  • I’ve been to South Africa, Johannesburg, twice to be exact as well as traveling in Egypt. The places that I found to be dangerous were Zimbabwe and Nairobi, Kenya. In both places we were followed and almost attacked. Street smarts and a watchful eye saved the day. The same goes for New York city. Watch your surroundings!
    South Africa… I’ll go back. Egypt? Been there done that.

  • Dan,

    I think your representation of South Africa is appalling. With a depiction like that, I cannot imagine that you’ve actually visited the country and taken in its culture. I was there for 6 weeks this past May and have nothing but good things to say and good stories to tell. I went to the city centre of Johannesburg with a local, which might not have been the safest idea I’ve ever had, but am still alive to tell the tale. South Africa is an incredibly beautiful country and the people are very hospitable, especially in the smaller towns. Be careful with your interpretation of statistics because crime problems are often very localized to the shantytowns and townships. Got lost in downtown Durban on foot and had no safety problems whatsoever, as well as crossing Cape Town from the foot of Table Mountain all the way to the V & A Waterfront without issue. There are problems areas in every city of the world so I must say that these statements just as “infamous riots that take place on a regular basis” and the “sight and use of firearms as a daily occurrence” are really misleading to your readers. It also makes me question the legitimacy of your accounts of the other countries.

    • Hi Adam,

      Thanks for your comment. I know others have expressed similar views and I wanted to reply to yours – and theirs – to clear a few things up.

      This piece was produced based on statistics, ‘common’ knowledge and individual’s experiences. It was not meant in any way, shape or form to insult, anger or upset those living within the countries.

      We all fall in love with places around the world, whether they’re places we’ve visited, our home countries or somewhere we’ve simply seen on television. With these places, we often feel frustrated when people portray them in a negative light.

      But at the end of the day, the simple fact is there are some countries – on average – that are more dangerous to visit than others and South Africa is one of them. I’m not saying it is *the* most dangerous place, nor am I saying you’re guaranteed to get raped, stabbed or shot if you visit. However, this piece is about dangerous vacation destinations and the law of averages suggests that you’re more likely to see or be involved in some type of ‘incident’ in these five countries than in somewhere like England or Australia.

      Don’t get me wrong, we could make out every country in the world is dangerous to visit, but it wouldn’t be a particularly accurate piece if we mentioned countries like New Zealand and Switzerland, for instance, who have some of the lowest crime rates in the world.

      • I really appreciate the reply, Dan. You’re right that every country in the world has the potential of violence and victimization if you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time. I just feel like this article is based on fear-mongering, especially since you haven’t been to the country to report on its safety first-hand. Also, why these 5 countries, if I may ask?

        An interesting statistic to look at for a follow-up to this article or expansion would be the incarceration rates of the US. 750+/100000 population is much higher than has ever been recorded in history, even during the Apartheid era of South Africa.

        • Although fear-mongering wasn’t the intention, the idea of the piece was to highlight particularly dangerous destinations. Unfortunately, instilling fear in people is a by-product of talking about destinations in such a way.

          These five countries were chosen based on a variety of different reasons, from official statistics through to experiences from visitors. Again, these statistics could have been interpreted in different ways and the experiences may not represent every single person who visits, but as we essentially said, this applies to every country, statistic, piece of information and general scenario.

          However, I think a good post for the coming weeks would be to look at South Africa in a more positive light, highlighting its ‘good’ points and dispelling certain myths (utilising such figures such as those you’ve provided).

          And I do appreciate your comments, too. My aim is to always produce pieces that incite discussion and it’s great to hear from readers 🙂

  • Thanks again for your reply, Dan. If you do decide to do an article about the “good” of South Africa, I’m more than willing to contribute if you’d want some first-hand stories and I have a boatload of pictures!


  • Every day, horror stories come out of South Africa. Politically correct damage control does not wish data away. Avoid in particular if you’re white; black-on-white murder and rape are staggeringly high in SA. If you don’t want to hear the facts, feel free to go back to fiction. The numbers stand.

  • Ohk lets start here 1st,, where do you get those statistics???? And 2ndly who compiles them???? I am a South African who has visited a lot of countries and lets just say i wouldnt go back there even if you paid me to,,, South Africa is a very friendly country and i have been to most parts of it not even on a single day of my life have i ever been robbed attacked or raped i even got lost and stoped in the middle of nowhere to ask for directions and got help and correct me if i am wrong but doing that in countries like USA is like applying for a hijack story starring you and who are those tourists that have been involved in these south african freak incidents???? Maybe i m not in the loop so i would just kindly ask if you could forward me these statistics and their sources so that i can be informed because i watch the news on a daily basis but these “facts” are very much surprising to me