Several of Africa’s expanding big cities are simultaneously becoming more vulnerable to crime as the continent continues to offer increasing numbers of chances for employment and interesting places to travel. Furthermore, there is still a lot of racial tension and xenophobic violence (violence motivated by fear of those who are different from oneself) in places like South Africa, where apartheid (the country’s legal practice of racial and ethnic segregation from 1948 to 1994) was once a deeply entrenched practice.
We have ranked some of the most hazardous cities in Africa using the sets of crime indices Numbeo.com has developed to compare worldwide cities based on relative levels of crime, safety, law, and order.
Numbeo’s multi-factorial analyses take into account factors like people’s perceptions of the area’s crime levels, recent changes in crime levels, the safety of walking alone, fears of muggings or robberies, vehicle security, the perceived threat of assault and/or battery, being irritated, harassed, insulted, or solicited by locals, racial, ethnic, and religious intolerance, and the threat of property theft. In many cases, the US Overseas Security Advisory Council’s (OSAC) designation of these locations as “critical” in terms of crime confirms the relatively high danger levels in these places. Here are some of the most hazardous cities in Africa today for residents to live in, tourists to visit, and businesses to undertake.
List Of The Top 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Africa
10. Nairobi, Kenya
Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, serves as the economic center of the nation, making it both prone to crime and attractive to international investments. The level of crime in Nairobi is considered “critical” by the US Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC). Also, as of March 2016, Numbeo.com gave the city a score of 78.49 out of 100 and classified the city’s crime levels as high. According to OSAC, serious crimes that frequently occur in Nairobi include armed carjackings, break-ins at homes and businesses, kidnappings, pickpocketing, muggings, and snatch- and grab-thefts.
Grenade assaults and terrorism, which has primarily affected Kenya in recent years, are two other criminal risks. Nonetheless, according to OSAC, robbery victims who comply without resisting are more likely to escape violence in the city. Other criminal activities on the rise in Nairobi that foreign visitors to the city need to be wary of include cybercrime and credit card skimming.
9. Luanda, Angola
The OSAC classifies Luanda’s high crime rate as “serious.” Luanda is Angola’s capital city. As of February 2016, Numbeo scores crime at 76.39 out of a possible 100. Carjackings, assaults, homicides, muggings for valuables like cellphones, armed robberies at night or during the day (especially in areas that are popular with foreigners), and rape incidents that occur in both nightlife areas and even private homes are among the city’s common crimes, according to the UK government service Gov.UK. Since most crimes in Luanda occur at night, according to the OSAC, lone night travel or city strolls are not advised.
The OSAC specifically advises against visiting crime hotspots in Luanda such the Rua Nehru, the Rua Houari Boumedienne, and the traffic circle towards the end of the Rua Gamal Abdel Nasser. There are often thefts from parked or slowly moving automobiles that are caught in traffic. So, it makes sense to shut the windows when snarled in such traffic. Visitors are also cautioned from handling money in busy areas or changing or withdrawing cash in public.
8. Port Elizabeth, South Africa
In South Africa’s Eastern Cape Province, the beach city of Port Elizabeth. This bustling port city, known as the “Windy City” because to its windy coastline climate, attracts tourists. One of the cities that early explorers like Vasco Da Gama went through was Port Elizabeth, which has a rich cultural heritage. There is a lot of crime there, though; as of February 2016, Numbeo gave the area an overall crime score of 80.56 out of 100. Just with the rest of South Africa, muggings and other street crimes are widespread in Port Elizabeth. When there is turmoil in South Africa, xenophobic attacks against foreigners also frequently increase in Port Elizabeth.
Port Elizabeth was named 35th out of the 50 most dangerous cities in the world in 2014 and 41st in 2013 by the Mexican Citizens’ Committee for Public Security and Criminal Justice. The number of murders per 100,000 persons fell from 36 in 2013 to 34.8 in 2014.
7. Cape Town, South Africa
Despite being the seat of government for the nation, Cape Town, a port city in South Africa and the capital of the Western Cape Province, has extremely high crime rates. It has routinely been listed as one of the world’s most violent cities in recent years. As of March 2016, Numbeo gave the city a crime score of 82.45 out of a possible 10, an increase from the previous three years. According to Africa Check, Cape Town had more homicides from April 2011 to March 2012 than both Johannesburg and Pretoria put together.
According to Numbeo, criminal activities like drug trafficking, muggings, vandalism, theft, assault, armed robberies, and bribes are particularly prevalent there. Walking at night is dangerous in and of itself. Economic disparity that still exists in non-white areas of Cape Town and drug-related gang activity are two major contributors to the violence there. A 2014 analysis by the Institute for Security Studies found that in Cape Town, the annual income of a white home was slightly more than six times greater than that of a black one.
6. Lagos, Nigeria
Lagos is the largest city in Nigeria and one of the largest cities in the world, with an estimated population of 21 million. Numbeo rates the city as having an extremely high degree of crime, giving it an overall score of 80.88 out of a possible 100. The OSAC gives Lagos a crime rating of “critical”. Locals and expatriates alike living in Lagos are prone to muggings, armed robberies, home or business burglaries, carjackings, assaults, rapes, kidnappings, and extortion. Armed thieves in the city have been known to use boats to enter waterfront compounds and have even scaled perimeter fences to take down security personnel.
Criminals also break into stationary automobiles while they are in traffic to target the occupants. In the daytime or at night, airport roads, along with banks and grocery stores, are among of Lagos’ crime hotspots. When they fight, street gangs known as “area boys” terrorize the city’s mainland. Lagos is also a hub for email scams, where shady online predators prey on individuals under the pretense that they can receive enormous recompense in return after parting with some money through electronic transactions.
5. Durban, South Africa
The capital of South Africa’s Kwa-Zulu-Natal Province is Durban. It is a beachfront city that attracts hundreds of thousands of domestic and foreign visitors each year. According to the OSAC, the city is home to the largest container and commodity port in Sub-Saharan Africa. But there has been an increase in crime and deaths from crime. Durban City ranked 38th out of the top 50 most dangerous cities in the world, according to a survey by the Mexican Citizens’ Council for Public Security and Criminal Justice from 2014.
Homicides per 100,000 people increased to 34.5 in 2014 from 32 in 2013, a significant increase. As of March 2016, Numbeo gave Durban’s crime a score of 87.89 out of 100, classifying it as extremely high. Outside of Durban’s municipal borders, Kwa-Zulu-Natal province was rated as South Africa’s most hazardous province in 2015. To prevent being a victim, it is advised to take personal precautions such avoiding nighttime travel or walking alone.
4. Johannesburg, South Africa
With an estimated population of over 4 million, Johannesburg is both the largest city in South Africa and the provincial capital of Gauteng. It has gained attention in recent years for the large number of crimes and rape cases that have been reported there. As of March 2016, Numbeo rated Johannesburg’s crime levels as very high, awarding it a score of 91.61 out of a possible 100. It has also been referred to as the “World’s Rape Capitol” due to the numerous instances of rape that have been reported there. Recently, xenophobic attacks have increased in frequency in the low-income townships of Johannesburg.
According to Africa Check, there were 28.2 murders in Johannesburg for per 100,000 residents in 2014–2015. However, a study by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime found that the average global homicide rate per 100,000 people was 6.2, which is less than a quarter of the rate in Johannesburg.
3. Benghazi, Libya
After Muammar Gaddafi was removed from his position as Libya’s ruler in 2011, the entire nation, including Benghazi, the second-largest city, has been engulfed in a civil war. Radical Islamic terrorist strikes are always a possibility in the city. Four US government workers, including the US ambassador to Libya, perished in the ensuing carnage when armed Islamists assaulted the US Embassy in Libya in September 2012. The OSAC reports that crime rates are continuing to rise everywhere over the nation. The increased frequency of carjackings, robberies, burglaries, and gun assaults is partly attributable to the looting of government artillery that followed Gaddafi’s overthrow in a desperate rush for economic and military advantages.
Petty and serious street crimes alike, as well as sexual harassment of women, are on the rise. Expatriate women who don’t dress conservatively are vulnerable to violence by Islamic extremist militias as a result of even tougher dress codes.
2. Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
Pietermaritzburg is the capital of South Africa’s Kwa-Zulu-Natal Province and the second-largest city in the province (after Durban). According to Numbeo as of January 2016, it has extremely high crime rates, scoring 87.5 out of a possible 100. Crimes that are common in Pietermaritzburg include armed robbery, sexual assault, arson, drug dealing, home invasions, carjackings, and car theft. The number of crimes in the city dramatically Increased in the three years before to 2015.
15,720 crime incidents occurred in the city in 2015, according to Crime Statistics South Africa. This was an increase from the previous years, as there were 13,596 reported criminal occurrences in 2013 and 14,794 reported episodes of criminal activity in 2014. Attacks motivated by xenophobia frequently spread from other parts of South Africa to Pietermaritzburg.
1. Rustenburg, South Africa
South Africa’s North West Province is home to Rustenburg City. According to a 2015 Numbeo assessment, it has extremely high crime rates and is scored at 85.71 out of a possible 100 for crime. According to Crime Statistics South Africa, Rustenburg had 11,117 cases of criminal activity in total in 2015, which was the most of any city in the North West Province. In this metropolis, crimes such home burglaries, kidnappings, hijackings, and political violence are only a few examples. According to South Africa Dialogue, Rustenburg has a high rate of street crimes and muggings, hence extreme caution should be exercised daily.
Car break-ins happen frequently at night, therefore it’s not a good idea to keep valuables inside a car. It’s important to avoid stopping in undesignated spots when driving on the motorways at night because doing so makes one an obvious target for robberies.