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Top 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Africa (2024)

Visiting Africa can be an enjoyable adventure that allows you to be immersed in an array of exciting experiences and different cultures. Some towns located in Africa are considered to be risky. Some of these areas are plagued by problems with kidnappings, drugs, and even wars.

Before you travel to Africa, It is essential to know all the necessary information in advance. The most dangerous cities in Africa are the cities that have the top rates of murder and violent crimes across the continent and are therefore particularly risky.

Top 10 Most Dangerous Cities in Africa

1. Rustenburg, South Africa

Rustenburg is the most dangerous city in Africa located in South Africa. The rate of crime in the area is such that the mayor acknowledged publicly that the police can’t stop the crime rampage terrorizing the city. Rustenburg is famous for its high number of human and drug trafficking concerns. In addition burglaries, break-ins and kidnappings are frequent.

There are numerous instances of political violence too. In the evening, it’s extremely typical that you are the target of auto theft. The authorities advise keeping valuables out of your vehicle and not making a stop along the highway. It is recommended to stay clear of the city presently due to its current dangerous state.

2. Pietermaritzburg, South Africa

Pietermaritzburg is the second largest town which is only second to Durban. This is the city that came in second place as the city with the highest risk of violence in Africa. The city has a problem with violent crimes such as arson, sexual assault, and murder. Carjackings and thefts of vehicles are not uncommon in the region.

Since 2015, the crime rate has risen dramatically in this region. Xenophobic attacks have been observed in the city and swiftly became widespread. It’s advised to avoid Pietermaritzburg due to its current high crime rate.

3. Benghazi, Libya

Benghazi is one of the most dangerous cities in Africa. The city is a very hazardous place. The country is in an incessant civil war and Benghazi has been the most impacted by it. In the aftermath, terror attacks are quite common in this city claiming numerous lives. In addition to terrorist attacks, Benghazi has high rates of sexual assaults, robberies, and murder.

Most of these crimes are committed with the use of weapons that were stolen from the army of the state. It is advised to stay clear of Benghazi as an international citizen, as you are at risk of becoming a victim of serious criminals. Women are particularly cautious when in Benghazi because sexual harassment is on the rise.

4. Johannesburg, South Africa

Johannesburg is one of the biggest cities in South Africa. The city is home to an approximate population of more than 5 million people. It is also famous for being one of the best cities in the world and also one of the most dangerous cities in the world. Like many other major cities, Johannesburg has a lot of crimes comprising murder and assault.

The city is famous for numerous robberies as well as hijackings. Also, the city is plagued with xenophobic violence which has been the case since the year 2015. It is possible to travel to Johannesburg however it is essential to stay safe. Ensure that you stay in safe areas and don’t walk through the night in a crowded area. Furthermore, keep your valuables away from thieves and potential criminals.

5. Durban, South Africa

Durban is the biggest city in the KwaZulu-Natal Province of South Africa. It’s a city on the coast that is a favorite among tourists from around the world, who visit the city in large numbers annually. The city is home to the largest container and cargo ports in Sub-Saharan Africa, according to reports. However, crime and deaths related to criminals have been increasing. According to a report from 2014  Durban City was 38th among the top 50 cities with the highest violence worldwide.

Homicides incidents have been on the increase since 2013 when they stood at 32 for every 100,000 persons. Durban has 87.89% out of a 100 crime score which is rated as extremely high. Beyond the city limits of Durban Kwa-Zulu Natal province in 2015 was deemed to be the most dangerous Province in South Africa. Making personal safety a priority, such as not traveling at night or walking by yourself is recommended to prevent falling into the plight of criminals.

6. Lagos, Nigeria.

With a population estimated at 21 million people, Lagos is Nigeria’s most populous city, and also one of the biggest cities on the globe. The city is rated as one of the most dangerous cities in Africa with an extremely high crime rate. Residents and expatriates alike who live in Lagos are at risk of murders, armed robberies, burglaries at homes or businesses as well as assaults, carjackings as well as kidnappings, cyber crimes, rapes, and extortion.

Robbers with guns in Lagos have been known to climb fences around perimeters and take down guards. Others have infiltrated waterfront areas through boats. Criminals also attack vehicle owners on the road and even take over stationary vehicles. Some of the most dangerous crime spots in Lagos are the airport road during the evenings or on weekends, banks, and supermarkets. Street gangs known as area boys cause terror on the main streets of the city whenever they battle.

7. Cape Town, South Africa

The crime rates are high in Cape Town, a port city located in South Africa and the capital of the Western Cape Province. It is one of the most dangerous cities in Africa, even though Cape Town is the capital city of the country’s legislature. Since the beginning of time Cape Town has been consistently listed as one of some of the cities with the highest violence worldwide.

Between April and March 2011, reports indicate that Cape Town recorded more murders than both Johannesburg and Pretoria altogether. Drug trafficking, mugging, vandalism, theft assaults, violent robberies, and bribery are particularly prevalent in the city. Nighttime walks are risky on their own. The majority of violence at night in Cape Town is fueled by drug-related gangs as well as the inequality of income that is still prevalent in the non-white regions.

8. Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Port Elizabeth is a coastal city located in Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. Tourists flock to the vibrant port city often referred to as the Windy City for its warm, windy climate. Port Elizabeth has a rich culture and heritage and was one of the cities that early explorers such as Vasco Da Gama toured through.

However, crime rates are very prevalent in this city. Street crime and muggings are commonplace in Port Elizabeth much like in the other parts of South Africa. Xenophobic attacks on foreigners are common within Port Elizabeth when there are tensions within South Africa. The year 2014 was the most dangerous for Port Elizabeth as the murder rate per 100,000 inhabitants for 2014 was 34.8 just a little lower than 36 in 2013.

9. Luanda, Angola

Luanda, the capital city of Angola is one of the most dangerous cities in Africa. It is a city with a high rate of crime. The most common crimes in the city consist of assaults, carjackings murders, muggings of valuable items like smartphones, and armed robberies any time of the day or night (especially in areas that attract foreigners) as well as rape incidents at nightclubs as well as private residences.

Walking alone in the city isn’t advised, since most crimes occur at night in Luanda. There are also hot spots for crime in Luanda such as the Rua Nehru and Rua Houari Boumedienne, as well as the traffic circle that is located at the end of Rua Gamal Abdel Nasser. Thefts occur from slow-moving or stationary vehicles parked in traffic. Therefore, it is advisable to shut the doors when in such situations. In addition, people are advised not to change or withdraw cash in public spaces or extremely crowded areas.

10. Nairobi, Kenya

The capital of Kenya, Nairobi is the center of the nation’s economy and therefore, it is appealing to foreign and local investments, as well as at risk of criminal activity. The most serious crimes that occur in Nairobi include carjackings with guns, home and business burglaries, kidnappings, pick-pocketing, muggings, and thefts by grab and snatch.

Other crimes include grenade-based attacks and terrorist attacks which, in recent times, Kenya has been the victim of. Credit card skimming and cyber-crime are two other types of crime that are on the rise in Nairobi that foreign visitors must be aware of.