Most Dangerous Countries in the World 2024: Is Your Next Travel Destination on the List?

Knowing the most dangerous countries in the world in 2024 is crucial. In a world filled with uncertainty and danger, it is essential to stay informed and vigilant.

You can make the right decision when you are aware of the latest developments and danger levels. Besides being well-prepared for the unexpected twists and turns that may come your way, sometimes it’s wise to change your travel itinerary to somewhere safer at the moment.

The following article highlights the most dangerous countries in the world, based on the 2024 International SOS Risk Map and the 2023 Global Peace Index. We hope this information can help travellers make informed decisions about their international travel.

Least Safe Countries In The World (Based On International SOS Risk Map)

The International SOS 2024 Travel Risk Map assesses countries' safety worldwide, all based on factors such as medical risks, security threats, climate change, and mental health. In this post, we’ll look at the first two factors.

  • Medical risks: ranks from low to very high on a five scale. Very high medical risks mean almost non-existent or severely overtaxed healthcare, limited or no emergency care, potential outbreaks and present off life-threatening infectious diseases, etc. 
  • Security threats: accessed based on political violence, social unrest, violent, and petty crime. Extreme security risk means minimal or non-existent government control/law, serious chance of  armed groups attacking, among other things.

Considered Very High Risk In Terms Of Medical

Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Eritrea, Somalia, Sudan & South Sudan, Niger, Burundi, Central Africa Republic, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Liberia, Guinea-Bissau, North Korea.

Considered Extreme Risk In Terms Of Security

Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali, Bamako, Burkina Faso, sudan, Ethiopia, Pakistan, Myanmar (Burma), Papua New Guinea, Venezuela, Haiti, Honduras

Top 10 Most Dangerous Countries To Visit According To Global Peace Index 2023

Based on the 2023 Global Peace Index, here are the top 10 most dangerous countries to visit, factoring in societal safety, ongoing domestic and international conflict, and more.

  1. Afghanistan
  2. Yemen
  3. Syria
  4. South Sudan
  5. Democratic Republic of Congo
  6. Russia
  7. Ukraine
  8. Somalia
  9. Sudan
  10. Iraq

1. Afghanistan

Afghanistan is considered highly dangerous for visitors due to ongoing conflict and the presence of extremist groups. Photo by Aladdin Hammami from Unsplash

According to the Global Peace Index, Afghanistan has long been considered the most dangerous country in the world. The nation’s tumultuous history, ongoing conflict, and high levels of violence have earned it this dubious distinction.

The most alarming factor is the prevalence of extremist groups in the country. The Taliban, for example, has been waging a brutal insurgency against the Afghan government for over two decades.

They have been responsible for countless deaths, both of civilians and soldiers. Other groups, such as ISIS and Al Qaeda, have also established a presence in the country, further adding to the instability. Terrorist attacks often occur at airports and religious sites, particularly during religious festivals like the month of Ramadan.

Afghanistan's pronounced level of danger is further highlighted by its significant crime rate, which reached 76.32% in 2023. The proliferation of armed groups and criminal gangs is a crucial factor contributing to these alarming figures. These groups are known to engage in illicit activities, such as kidnapping, robbery, and extortion, targeting affluent Afghans and foreigners.

Furthermore, the drug trade has also played a significant role in driving up the country's crime rate. As the world's largest producer of opium, responsible for 85% of global opium production in 2020, drug trafficking has become a lucrative source of income for criminal organizations. This, in turn, has led to a surge in drug-related crimes, including addiction, drug trafficking, and associated violence.

A strong government presence in many areas is needed to combat these crimes effectively. Additionally, corruption and robust criminal networks make it even harder to maintain law and order.

2. Yemen

Located on the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula, Yemen is widely regarded as one of the most dangerous countries to visit in the world.

The country has been embroiled in a civil war since 2015, with various factions vying for government control. Hence, it resulted in widespread violence, displacement, and a humanitarian crisis that has left millions of people in dire need of aid.

In addition, Yemen has seen a surge in criminal activity, including kidnappings and armed robberies, further adding to the danger visitors face. Its crime rate is also the highest level compared to other countries, which is 68,93%.

The major tribes in Yemen have a reputation for engaging in criminal activities such as looting and kidnapping. They possess significant weaponry and have autonomy in their local territories. Unfortunately, tourists are at risk of being kidnapped and mistreated by these tribes and may need to pay a hefty ransom to secure their release.

Travel to Yemen is strongly advised against due to the complex security situation. Photo by asamw from Unsplash

The torrential rains and flooding that hit most cities have made travel here unsafe and difficult. The flooding has damaged roads and bridges, making travel by land challenging and risky. In some areas, roads have been thoroughly washed away, and bridges have collapsed, making it impossible to travel by vehicle.

According to UNICEF, over 11 million children here require humanitarian assistance, with millions facing food insecurity and lacking essential services. Over 540,000 children under five are currently experiencing severe acute malnutrition. Shockingly, one child loses their life every 10 minutes due to preventable causes. 

Visitors to Yemen are at high risk of being caught in the crossfire of the long-standing war and targeted by extremist groups.

3. Syria

Syria is a country that has been devastated by ongoing conflict, making it one of the most violent countries in the world. Since the outbreak of civil war in 2011, the country has become a hotspot for violence and instability, with numerous armed factions vying for control of territory and resources.

The latest catastrophic event to have occurred is the Turkey-Syria earthquake, which struck in February 2023. Sadly, the earthquake resulted in a devastating loss of life, with over 50,000 deaths reported. The disaster also caused significant damage to 116 health facilities, leaving many people without access to crucial medical care. As a result, an estimated 18 million people are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance. 

A staggering 90% of Syrians were living below the poverty line, while at least 12 million individuals out of a remaining population of approximately 16 million were experiencing food insecurity, as reported by the World Food Programme (WFP).

Travel to Syria is strongly advised against due to the complex security situation. Photo by Aladdin Hammami from Unsplash

In addition to the conflict, the country is also grappling with a high risk of infectious disease, partly due to the breakdown of public health infrastructure. Nearly forty thousand deaths caused by diseases like cholera and measles have been reported in various parts of the country.

Limited access to healthcare facilities means that many people struggle to receive adequate medical care. Its citizens are more miserable by economic sanctions and political instability, which have made it hard to access essential goods and access international aid.

Moreover, those who venture into Syria, whether for humanitarian or journalistic purposes, face the constant threat of violence and kidnapping. Syria is among the world’s most dangerous countries for journalists. The lack of law and order, coupled with the absence of a functioning government, makes this war-torn nation a hazardous destination for visitors.

4. South Sudan

South Sudan became an independent nation on July 9, 2011, after a referendum was held in January. Despite the initial optimism and hopes for a bright future, the country has struggled to maintain stability. Since then, ethnic tensions and political power struggles have exacerbated the situation.

President Salva Kiir and his former vice president, Riek Machar, have been at odds since South Sudan's independence. In December 2013, their power struggle escalated into a civil war, displacing millions of people and claiming thousands of lives.

The conflict has been marked by brutal atrocities on both sides, including rape, murder, and the use of child soldiers. Hence, the country is in the top place on a list of the most dangerous countries in the world.

The security situation in South Sudan is characterised by prolonged conflict, violence, and political instability. Photo by Randy Fath from Unsplash

The humanitarian situation in South Sudan is dire, with famine and disease rampant throughout the country. The United Nations has declared a famine in some parts of the country, and more than 7 million people need humanitarian assistance. Armed groups have also targeted aid workers and journalists. 

South Sudan is rich in natural resources, including oil, gold, and fertile land, but these resources have yet to bring prosperity to the country. Instead, they have fueled further conflict and corruption, with different groups vying to control these resources. The government has been accused of mismanaging these resources with little benefit to the population.

5. Democratic Republic of Congo

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been labelled as one of the most dangerous countries in the world due to a number of factors. One of the main reasons is the presence of armed groups and militias, many of which have been involved in ongoing conflicts in the country for decades.

There are over 130 of them in eastern DRC. These armed groups operate in remote areas of the country and engage in rape, murder, and robbery. Civilians are often caught in the crossfire of these conflicts and can become victims of violence or forced displacement.

Thousands of people were affected by ongoing conflicts in DRC. Photo by MONUSCO Photos, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Furthermore, DRC's infrastructure and transportation systems often need to be improved or maintained, leading to hazardous conditions for travellers. Roads can be treacherous and often become impassable during the rainy season, while air travel can be risky due to the poor maintenance of aircraft and limited safety regulations.

Finally, corruption is rampant in many areas of DRC's government and society, exacerbating the already precarious situation. It can result in the mismanagement of funds intended for public services, leading to inadequate healthcare, education, and essential services for the population.

6. Russia

Russia, the world's largest country, is no stranger to danger. Its foreign policy is often characterised by aggression and power plays. In 2014, Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine, which sparked international condemnation and sanctions against Russia. Russia has also been accused of meddling in foreign elections, including the 2016 US presidential election. These actions have earned Russia a reputation as the most violent country in the world.

Your travel to Russia may involve security concerns, strict laws on specific activities, and risks of natural disasters. Photo by Micheal Parulava from Unsplash

Domestically, Russia faces several challenges as well. Political dissent is often met with harsh repression, and the government has been accused of human rights abuses. Corruption is rampant, with bribery and embezzlement being significant issues in both the public and private sectors.

The North Caucasus region of Russia is particularly volatile, with an Islamist insurgency and separatist movements posing significant security threats.

Chechnya, in particular, has been the site of multiple wars and ongoing conflicts, with human rights abuses and extrajudicial killings being reported. The region is also known for its high levels of organised crime and corruption.

7. Ukraine

Ukraine, located in Eastern Europe, is a nation caught in a geopolitical tug-of-war between the East and the West. The ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine, which began in 2014, has increased tensions between Ukraine and Russia. 

With support from Moscow, Pro-Russian separatists have seized control of parts of Ukraine's Donetsk and Luhansk regions, leading to a war that has claimed the lives of thousands of people and displaced millions more. Since then, Ukraine is considered the least safe country in the world for travellers.

Ukraine has experienced political turmoil and conflict recently, particularly in the eastern regions. Photo from Freepik

Despite efforts to improve the situation, Ukraine remains politically unstable and corrupt, with a struggling economy. The economy has struggled to recover from the conflict, with high inflation levels, unemployment, and poverty. Ukraine relies heavily on foreign aid and loans from the IMF to maintain its economy.

8. Somalia

Somalia, a country plagued by lawlessness and anarchy for decades, has earned its reputation as one of the most dangerous countries in the world. Ravaged by civil war, famine, and piracy, it is a land where chaos reigns supreme.

The militant group Al-Shabaab, an offshoot of the notorious Al-Qaeda, continues to sow terror throughout the nation, launching deadly attacks on both civilians and government forces.

The absence of a stable government exacerbates the situation, with competing factions and clans vying for power. Rampant corruption and a lack of basic infrastructure only worsen the living conditions for the average Somali citizen. For those brave enough to venture into this treacherous territory, extreme caution is advised.

9. Sudan

When it comes to travel destinations, this African nation is often considered one of the most dangerous countries to visit in the world. Sudan and South Sudan was, in fact, one country until 2011 when the latter became a new nation on its own.

Since gaining independence, the nation has experienced internal conflicts.  The overthrow of President Omar al-Bashir in April 2019 after 30 years in power led to ongoing tensions and transitional government negotiations. 

Regions such as Darfur, Blue Nile, and South Kordofan have been conflict zones for years, with clashes between government forces, rebel groups, and ethnic violence.

10. Iraq

Iraq has faced numerous challenges over the years due to war and conflict, highly being a dangerous country to visit. The remnants of ISIS continue to pose a significant threat to Iraqi forces and civilians, despite being significantly weakened.

Suicide bombings, assassinations, and sectarian violence are still prevalent in many parts of the country. The sense of danger is constant for those living and visiting there.

Iraq has been grappling with political and security challenges, from the ongoing threat of terrorism to sectarian violence. Photo by Zana Latif from Unsplash

The conflict between the central government and the autonomous Kurdish region adds further complexity. It has caused tensions to rise and has resulted in violence, making the situation even more precarious.

The infrastructure in Iraq has been severely damaged due to years of war and conflict. It has also affected the economy, with many businesses struggling to survive.

As a result, unemployment rates are high, and poverty is prevalent in many areas of the country. In addition, corruption remains a significant issue, further exacerbating the problems facing Iraq.


Rest assured, there are plenty of safe and friendly places to call home. However, many adventurous travellers are drawn to explore some of the most dangerous countries in the world despite the potential risks of crime, terrorism, and natural disasters.

Whether for work, adventure or to give back to local communities, intrepid souls are always willing to take the plunge. While keeping in mind to be cautious and prepared, don't let fear stop you from seeing the world. 

Ha Ngan

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