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Most dangerous countries for Americans to travel to

  • Most dangerous countries for Americans to travel to

    Traveling the world can be an excellent opportunity to learn about new cultures and to otherwise expand your perspectives. However, not every destination is safe to visit. Civil strife, government corruption, rampant crime, and environmental pollution can all create a situation where it is unadvisable to travel to certain places. The U.S. Department of State has issued travel advisories to several locations, including Venezuela, Uruguay, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Yemen, North Korea, and several Mexican states. While many of the nations on this list are at war, others—like China—are considered dangerous for political or ideological reasons.

    Conversely, several nations have advised its citizens about travel to the United States. Ranked 49th on a list of safest nations by SafeAround, travel to the U.S. is advised against due to the proliferation of mass shootings and other domestic terrorism incidents, high levels of violent crimes in cities like Chicago and Detroit, an unchecked homelessness problem, the potential for civil unrest, and the proliferation of gun ownership. Venezuela and Uruguay have both issued travel advisories against the U.S., with China, Germany, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Uruguay, and Venezuela all issuing travel warnings to nationals traveling to the U.S.

    To better understand the risks in traveling abroad, Stacker has consulted the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs to determine the most unsafe nations for Americans to travel to. For this list, we will look at travel advisories issued by the State Department against the various nations. This list will not consider any political implications of said advisories, such as the president’s threat to meet travel advisories against the U.S. with retaliation.

    While there are resources available to Americans who find themselves in trouble abroad, the effectiveness of these rescue efforts may vary. It is advised that tourists leaving the United States know what the entry and exit requirements are for any country they visit, carry proper identification at all time, and have a plan in place in case of emergencies. More information on this can be found on the State Department’s travel page.

    Keep reading to learn if your next travel destination is on the list.

    You may also like: Reasons behind State Department travel warnings for 25 countries

  • Burkina Faso

    - Advisory: Level 3: Reconsider Travel
    - Date advisory updated: 6/3/2019
    - Estimated homicide rate per 100,000 people: 9.8

    A highly food-insecure and impoverished nation in West Africa, Burkina Faso has been racked by political instability. Conditions have been inducive to incidents of terrorism, including a 2016 attack at a luxury hotel by an al Qaida-affiliated group that left 29 dead and more than 50 injured. The State Department recommends citizens avoid all travel to the northern Sahel border region because of crime and terrorism.

  • Burundi

    - Advisory: Level 3: Reconsider Travel
    - Date advisory updated: 6/12/2019
    - Estimated homicide rate per 100,000 people: 6.6

    Corruption, poor infrastructure, deforestation, overpopulation, and severe poverty have made the small Central African nation of Burundi a dangerous country. In 2018, Burundi was determined to be the least happiest nation on the planet by the United Nations; though it did move up 11 spots in the "2019 World Happiness Report." Violent crimes in Burundi—including grenade attacks and armed robberies—are common, and local police do not have the resources to respond adequately. There are also continuous political tensions in the country, and some areas are vulnerable to raids and mortar fire from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

  • Chad

    - Advisory: Level 3: Reconsider Travel
    - Date advisory updated: 1/30/2019
    - Estimated homicide rate per 100,000 people: 9.6

    The Central African nation of Chad is in the midst of a humanitarian crisis, triggered by an onslaught of displaced persons coming in from Sudan, the Central African Republic, and from within Chad. This was triggered by famine and both internal strife and cross-border fighting. Minefields along Chad’s border with Libya and Sudan present a dangerous situation for U.S. travelers. Violent crimes in the country are common, and terrorists can easily cross the borders in the Lake Chad region, according to the State Department.

  • Democratic Republic of the Congo

    - Advisory: Level 3: Reconsider Travel
    - Date advisory updated: 4/9/2019
    - Estimated homicide rate per 100,000 people: 13.3

    U.S. citizens should rethink travel to the Central African nation of the Democratic Republic of the Congo due to civil unrest and crime. Travel to the eastern part of the country or the three Kasai provinces is strongly not advised due to armed conflict. Perpetrators of violent crime may pose as government officials or security agents, per the State Department.

  • El Salvador

    - Advisory: Level 3: Reconsider Travel
    - Date advisory updated: 1/29/2019
    - Estimated homicide rate per 100,000 people: 46

    In the Central American nation of El Salvador, widespread gang activity raises activities such as extortion, violent street crime, and arms trafficking. If U.S. citizens decide to travel to the country, they should seek local guides when hiking in backcountry areas and avoid walking or driving at night.

  • Guinea-Bissau

    - Advisory: Level 3: Reconsider Travel
    - Date advisory updated: 4/25/2019
    - Estimated homicide rate per 100,000 people: 9.2

    Travelers to the western Africa nation of Guinea-Bissau are frequently targeted for theft and minor assaults, and an uptick in narcotics trafficking has led to an increase in crime in the rural parts of the country. Additionally, police and emergency officials lack sufficient resources to respond to crime and violence.

  • Haiti

    - Advisory: Level 3: Reconsider Travel
    - Date advisory updated: 6/11/2019
    - Estimated homicide rate per 100,000 people: 28

    On July 9, 2018, the U.S. government authorized non-emergency government employees and their families to voluntary depart from Haiti due to widespread crime and civil unrest. This was triggered by widespread destruction due to various hurricane strikes to the Caribbean nation, political corruption, and internal strife. Protests, tire burnings, and road blockages have become frequent, and as a result, the U.S. has limited services to respond to emergencies.

  • Honduras

    - Advisory: Level 3: Reconsider Travel
    - Date advisory updated: 6/24/2019
    - Estimated homicide rate per 100,000 people: 55.5

    In the Central American nation of Honduras, violent crimes such as gang activity, human trafficking, rape, and homicide are widespread, per the State Department. People traveling to Honduras should avoid using cell phones in public—even while in stopped cars—and should not wear expensive watches or jewelry.

  • Lebanon

    - Advisory: Level 3: Reconsider Travel
    - Date advisory updated: 4/9/2019
    - Estimated homicide rate per 100,000 people: 4.5

    Terrorism threats, armed conflict, and outbreaks of violence in the Middle Eastern nation of Lebanon make it hostile to U.S. travelers. Refugee settlements, as well as the country’s borders with Israel and Syria, have a potential for armed conflict and should be avoided at all costs, according to the State Department.

  • Mauritania

    - Advisory: Level 3: Reconsider Travel
    - Date advisory updated: 11/29/2018
    - Estimated homicide rate per 100,000 people: 11

    U.S. citizens should reconsider travel to the west Africa nation of Mauritania due to crime and terrorism in areas frequented by Westerners. A nation where slaves make up a reported 2% of the nation’s population, poverty and extreme ideologies have made the region dangerous. Violent crimes including mugging, rape, robbery, and assault happen frequently, according to the State Department.

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