Although Syria, Iraq, and South Sudan are currently considered the most dangerous places in the world to travel, they aren’t exactly tourist hotspots. Unfortunately, there are a number of top travel destinations that are just as dangerous, leaving tourists at significant risk of being the victim of a crime. If you are planning your next trip, you may want to avoid the following 10 most dangerous vacation destinations in the world.
10. Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Despite being the site of the 2016 Summer Olympics, Rio is far from safe for a wide variety of reasons. In addition to being located in the murder capital of the world, pickpockets and street muggings are common on the streets of Rio, particularly for tourists. In fact, during the first four months of 2016, street robbery increased by 24%, while homicides spiked by 15% . Tourists are also at risk of being infected by the Zika virus or becoming ill from the polluted water.
9. Bogota, Colombia
With its rich history, lush landscaping, and unlimited activities, Bogota is an increasingly popular tourist attraction. Unfortunately, it’s not particularly safe. For example, terroristic acts, such as explosions, as well as criminal activity, is a relatively common occurrence . Armed gangs, who tend to be involved in the drug trade and resort to kidnapping, extortion, and robbery to meet their needs, can be found throughout the country. From November 2014 to January 2016, several U.S. citizens were killed in the volatile country.
8. Mumbai, India
Mumbai has a rich history that attracts tourists, yet significant caution is suggested when traveling to the crowded city, especially for females. Pickpocketing and burglary are very common, particularly in crowded areas, as is falling victim to various scams . Additionally, there has been a rise in sexual attacks against women and it is not uncommon for women to be openly leeched at and groped in public.
7. Kingston, Jamaica
While Kingston, Jamaica has plenty to offer travelers, it is definitely far from the safest place in the Caribbean to visit. Violent crime, including shootings and murders, has long been a serious problem in Kingston . In recent years, there has been an increase in sexual assaults, even in all-inclusive resorts, which many tourists may deem safe. In one year, more than a dozen American tourists reported being the victim of a sexual assault while visiting Kingston.
6. Cape Town, South Africa
Despite being one of the 10 most violent cities in the world, Cape Town is a tourist mecca, possibly because it is also thought of as one of the most beautiful cities in the world . Homicides are at an all-time high, which is largely related to the substantial increase in gang-related violence and drug trafficking. Statistics show that at least one woman is the victim of a sexual assault in Cape Town every hour of every day .
5. Acapulco, Mexico
Although Acapulco is home to gorgeous beaches and resorts, it is also home to plenty of violence as two rival gangs fight for control of the area’s lucrative drug trade . Currently, Acapulco is ranked the most violent city in Mexico, largely due to it having the highest murder rate in the country. In fact, the U.S. government has opted to ban all employees from traveling to the city. Dismembered bodies and shootings in broad daylight are the norms.
4. Nairobi, Kenya
A favorite travel destination of tourists intent on going on safaris, Nairobi is at high risk of terror attacks by the terrorist group al-Shabaab . The area has been subjected to terrorist attacks involving the use of guns, grenades, and other explosive devices in the past five years. While the risk of similar attacks is high, kidnappings, armed carjackings, burglaries, and bombings are of great concern. It is worth noting that U.S. citizens and Embassy employees have reported being the victim of these types of crimes in the past.
3. Papua New Guinea (Png)
Crime, particularly carjackings, armed robberies, sexual assaults, and gang rapes, is a constant cause of worry in PNG. Currently, there is significant tension between clan groups in the area, which has resulted in attacks using firearms, machetes, and bush knives . Although tourists may not be the target, in this case, they can easily get caught in the crosshairs. Tourists are often the target of pickpockets and bag snatchers, who may even open the doors of cars moving slowly in traffic to get what they are after.
2. Cairo, Egypt
Political protests are a fact of life in Cairo, often with little to no advance warning . This has led to violent clashes between demonstrators and the police, resulting in severe injuries and even death. Several terrorist organizations also operate out of Cairo and have been known to resort to car bombs, drive-by shootings, and explosive devices in an effort to take out the police and government officials. Unfortunately, this also leaves innocent bystanders, including tourists, at risk for injury.