5 Most Dangerous Countries To Travel To

With so many countries experiencing civil unrest, lack of government control, and threats against Americans, have you reconsidered international travel?

While there are hazardous places you should avoid, there are also countries with no risks.

Today, we’re looking at the former, sharing the five most dangerous countries in the world and what threats they pose to foreigners.

Let’s dive in!

What Makes A Country Dangerous?

The International SOS, an organization that assesses risks of all kinds worldwide, determines safety ratings based on medical and security risks.

Medical risks include accessibility to emergency medical care, environmental factors linked to climate change, and other factors. Security risks include political violence, social unrest, and crime.

We agree with the International SOS that these criteria adequately assess a country’s danger level. But we also suggest that you should do your own research.

Don’t listen to family, friends, or news sources until you’ve decided that the information is credible. Part of this research is reading U.S. advisories, also.

A woman with a head covering talking into a microphone at a protest with flags behind her.

5 Most Dangerous Countries In the World

According to the latest Travel Risk Map released by the International SOS, nine countries have an extreme travel security risk.

This means you could encounter severe threats against your safety.

In many of these places, armed groups target tourists because foreigners aren’t welcome. Government control is basically non-existent. Let’s look at the top five most dangerous countries in the world.

1. Afghanistan

The Taliban took over Afghanistan in August 2021. Foreigners and locals are at high risk for terrorist attacks.

The U.S. Department of State has issued a Level 4 warning telling Americans not to travel to Afghanistan.

Crime, kidnapping, and armed conflict are also high, so it’s best to avoid traveling to Afghanistan at this time.

A city in Afghanistan with houses as far as the eye can see.

2. The Central African Republic

The U.S. Department of State has also issued a Level 4 warning for the Central African Republic.

One of the most significant risks is that the Embassy is limited in its ability to help U.S. citizens. The country is also experiencing high crime, civil unrest, and kidnapping. Violent crime is common.

3. Iraq

Terrorism, kidnapping, armed conflict, and civil unrest plague Iraq just like Afghanistan. Americans aren’t safe here as anti-U.S. militias threaten citizens.

It’s so dangerous that the U.S. Department of State ordered “the departure of eligible family members and non-emergency U.S. government personnel from U.S. Embassy Baghdad and U.S. Consulate General Erbil” on October 20, 2023.

Up close shot of a world map focused on Iraq.

4. Libya

Libya is another country with a Level 4 warning from the U.S. government. Like these other countries, Libya is experiencing high crime, kidnapping, terrorism, and civil unrest.

U.S. citizens have been targets of kidnapping for ransom crimes. In addition, extremist groups continue plots to attack in Libya and have made threats against U.S. government officials and citizens.

5. Mali

Finally, another African country you shouldn’t travel to is Mali. Violent crime is exceptionally high, with kidnapping and armed robbery as common activities.

The area of Bamako is especially dangerous and has experienced recent attacks. Like the Central African Republic, the U.S. government is limited in offering help and emergency services in Mali.

Up close shot of a military uniform with the Mali flag as a patch velcroed to it.

Other Dangerous Countries Worth Avoiding

We mentioned that nine countries carry the International SOS rating of “extreme travel security risk.”

In addition to the five above, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria, Ukraine, and Yemen are also extremely dangerous to visit.

Russia launched an invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Both Syria and Yemen have been embroiled in civil war for years.

It’s worth mentioning that these countries aren’t only dangerous for Americans and Westerners but all foreigners. Most of these locations aren’t safe for their own citizens.

Avoid these countries and check out the Top Travel Destinations for 2024 to start planning your perfect trip.

How Do I Locate Dangerous Countries?

The International SOS regularly updates a Security Risk Map. You can locate general areas of the world that are dark red and red, which indicate high danger.

You can also visit the U.S. Department of State’s website and search for a specific country to read up on the latest security information.

The government also provides tips for people traveling to dangerous parts of the world.

What Are the Safest Countries In the World?

The majority of the world is assigned a low or medium risk. There are no significant threats if you’re visiting countries in Western Europe, Australia, or North America.

Asian countries like Singapore, Japan, China, South Korea, Vietnam, and Malaysia are also considered low-risk.

However, the U.S. government warns Americans against traveling to China due to “the arbitrary enforcement of local laws, including in relation to exit bans, and the risk of wrongful detentions.”

Counties with an “insignificant travel security risk,” the lowest of the ratings, include Andorra, Cape Verde, Denmark, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Marshall Islands, Norway, Switzerland, and Turks & Caicos, among others.

There are 18 total countries with this rating. They would be considered the safest countries in the world.

Is the U.S. A Safe Country For People To Travel To?

Ninety-one countries have a low-risk threat, including the U.S., Australia, Bahamas, most European countries, China, and Japan. Therefore, the U.S. is deemed a safe country for foreigners.

However, as unrest unravels in certain countries, those immigrants tend to face racism and are victims of hate crimes in the U.S.

For example, individuals in America who looked like the Taliban were attacked and wrongfully pursued after 9/11.

Jewish and Palestinian places of worship and local businesses in the U.S. were threatened after the attacks in Gaza.

So foreigners traveling from certain countries may feel unwelcome and face higher risks than those traveling from other countries.

Avoid These Dangerous Countries When You Travel To Stay Safe

There are so many amazing places to visit in the world. Choose somewhere other than Afghanistan, the Central African Republic, Iraq, Libya, Mali, and the others listed as extremely high-danger areas.

The U.S. government has issued Level 4 warnings for these countries. It’s not worth risking your life.

Choose a breathtaking beachside villa in Turks & Caicos or the hike of a lifetime through the Alps in Switzerland. You’ll make memories and enjoy the adventure without worrying about whether or not your life is in danger.

Have you considered traveling to one of the most dangerous countries in the world?

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