13 Most Dangerous Countries To Visit in 2023

Kiev aerial view
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Are you looking for the perfect destination for a week-long gateway or maybe for a long-deserved vacation? There’s more to planning a trip than the budget and scenery. A good destination has to be safe and tourist-friendly.

According to the World Travel Risk Map and the Global Peace Index 2023, the red flags to watch out for include violent deaths, political instability, violence, terrorism, international relations, harsh conditions, military conflicts, nuclear potential, and health concerns. Here is a list of dangerous countries you should cross off your travel list in 2023.

1. Syria

Syria flag
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Syria’s instability and insecurity are not news. There has been an ongoing civil war dating as far back as 2011. The aftermath of the war is poor infrastructure, such as a collapsed health system, which means you might not get proper health assistance if you fall ill during your visit. Additionally, if this is not enough, there have been reports of terrorist groups appearing in the countries to taunt the population. 

2. Iraq

Baghdad Iraq fountain middle Tahrir square city centre
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Iraq’s long-standing history of human rights violations should be your first red flag. The global news about this country shows a long history of political and internal instability. International Human Rights Agencies have reported extra-judicial killings, enforced disappearances, torture of detainees, and wrongful imprisonments and arrests. Additionally, Iraq has an extreme temperature that can reach up to 50 Degrees Celsius (122 Fahrenheit), which is uncomfortable for anyone not used to such exposure.

3. Afghanistan

Kabul watercolor sketches
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Unsurprisingly, Afghanistan falls on this list. The travel risk map ranks it among the most dangerous countries in the world. Afghanistan has been at war for two decades,  making it rank very low in human development. As if this is not enough, there is a lot of internal conflict, violence, and corruption. As a tourist, you would face difficulty in accessing basic needs. You may fall victim to targeted violence from the citizens.

3. Somalia

Jimale mosque building facade Mogadishu (Somalia)
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Somalia has had a long record of instability from insecurity, political instability, and harboring the popular Al-Shabaab militia. In the past, terrorist groups have attacked Somali civilians and neighboring countries. Though actively trying to improve its situation, Somalia is far from becoming a tourist destination.

4. Mali

Mali Bamako city map
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Before the military took over leadership in August 2020, Mali was a tourist heaven. Its rich history, mausoleum, culture, and rivers gave tourists a glimpse of the people of Mali. However, since 2020, the country has had internal violent conflict, political instability, and civilian executions by the military.

5. South Sudan

African women fetching water (Sudan)
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South Sudan became an independent state from Sudan in 2011. Since then, the country has had a civil war. Its tourist destinations include the Imatong Mountains and Boma National Park. However, South Sudan has had minimal to no tourist visits due to the high risk of violence and poor infrastructure.

6. Yemen

Buildings surrounded by palm trees (Yemen)
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The World Travel Risk Map lists Yemen among the most dangerous countries in the world. Since its civil war began in 2015, Yemen has suffered internal conflict, internal displacement, famine, and a poor health care system. Additionally, the ISIS and Al-Qaeda terrorist groups, who believe in the Islamic revolution, are present and might not take a liking to nationals from some countries.

8. Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

Congo Kinshasa cityscape
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DRC, in Central Africa, has amazing sceneries and animal parks. The most famous tourist attractions include Mt. Nyiragongo, Okapi Wildlife Reserve, Congo River, and several National Parks. However, the current armed conflict, unrest, kidnapping, and crime scare off tourists and foreign visitors. Tourists or visitors will experience internal conflict, poor health systems, and poor infrastructure.

9. Ukraine

Kiev aerial view
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Ukraine is the second largest country in Eastern Europe. It was a tourist magnet with its Love Tunnel, Odesa National Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet, and the Ukrainian National Chornobyl Museum. Nevertheless, the Russian invasion in 2022 set off human rights violations and mass violence in Ukraine. The violence and unrest ranked Ukraine among the most dangerous countries to visit. Previously, Ukraine ranked 33 among the most peaceful countries, according to the World Travel Risk Map.

10. Russia

Moscow dusk (Russia)
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Russia is known for its art and thinkers. It is home to famous ballet dancers (Rudolf Nureyev), composers (Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky), and writers (Fyodor Dostoevsky and Leo Tolstoy). However, even with this rich history, its security has worsened. Due to corruption, social inequality, and poverty, Russia has become the leading homicidal country. With an estimated nine murders in every 100,000 people, currently, Russia is not a place that accommodates tourism or foreign visits.

11. Venezuela

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Venezuela is the home of the Tepui Mountains and Angel Falls, beautiful islands with lagoons, reefs, and beaches, and the Caracas Cathedral. Nonetheless, tourists will not be able to enjoy these scenic views due to the high risk of kidnapping, unrest, and high crime levels in Venezuela. Due to the alleged crimes against humanity and the number of refugees seeking asylum in the US, Venezuela has caught the eye of international human rights organizations.

12. Haiti

Haiti beach
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Haiti is the third largest country in the Caribbean. It has beaches, caves, and historical sites. Tourists who have visited the country before have recommended visiting Labadie to enjoy activities such as parasailing, roller coaster rides, snorkeling, and zip lining. Haiti has gang-controlled areas that have heightened the unrest, crime, and kidnapping of foreign nationals, including US Citizens.

13. Sudan

Ancient pyramids Meroe Sudan desert
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With a history of coups, crimes against humanity, and war crimes, Sudan experiences random protests and unrest, especially outside its capital city. Until the country’s political unrest settles, tourists will have to hold off on enjoying tourist attractions like the Pyramids of Meroe, Nile Street, Taka Mountains Nature Preserve, and the Naga Archaeological Site.

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