Ten Most Dangerous Cities In Africa

Last updated on January 20th, 2022 at 07:18 am


Africa the world’s the second largest and second populous continent is faced with some challenges ranging from economic, security, population control, corruption etc. This post covers 10 most dangerous cities to live in on African continent.

Unstable economic policies have resulted to lots of violent activities across different cities that has drastically affected the well being of it’s people in general.

Recently, with the various killings in South Africa, six cities have been rated unguarded along side 4 cities in other parts of the continent. With the friendly climate nature and a promising economic activities, deficit in infrastructures, on – going insurgency, different crimes and social vices are on the increase.


With reference to South Africa, the horrific experiences of 1948 – 1994, during the apartheid era, crime is deep rooted in their society amongst racial discrimination, attack on people from other African countries living there.

With the use of crime indicator has generated in contrast based on comparative levels of offense, security, order, rules and regulations. multi- factorial analysis considered people’s feeling on the level of crime therein, recent changes in crime levels, safety walking alone, fears of mugging or robberies, vehicular security, perceived threat of assault and / or battery, being annoyed, harassed, insulted, or solicited by locals, racial, ethnic, and religious intolerance, and the threat of property theft.

In most cases, these cities relatively high danger levels are validated by the United States Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) as “critical” in terms of crime.

Ten Most Dangerous Cities In Africa

  • Rustenburg, South Africa
  • Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
  • Benghazi, Libya
  • Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Durban, South Africa
  • Lagos, Nigeria
  • Cape Town, South Africa
  • Port Elizabeth, South Africa
  • Luanda, Angola
  • Nairobi, Kenya

Based on crime indices, the following cities on the African Continent are threatening to reside in, tourism and investment attraction.

Rustenburg, South Africa

Rustenburg in the North West Province of South Africa, close to Johannesburg and Pretoria. It is a hub of amusement being close to Sun City. This city crime rate is so high at 85.71 out of 100,000 based on a report by in 2015.

Putting together the statistics of crime in the North West Province, Rustenburg was scored highest with 11,117 recorded cases in 2015, by the South Africa Crime Statistics. Clan robber, abduction, hijacking and political violence are the frequently committed crimes in the city.

On the authorization of South Africa Dialogue, Street crimes and muggings are also high in the city, which calls for people to take precautions always. It is not appropriate to keep valuable items in the car, do not stop on lonely roads and streets at night when driving, you will get robbed

Also Read:  3 Ways To Obtain Police Clearance Certificate in Nigeria

Pietermaritzburg, South Africa

Pietermaritzburg is the capital and second largest city in KwaZulu-Natal Province in South Africa. Known as the city of flowers, it is the country’s botanical garden with lots of azaleas and roses.

With beautiful game reserves, mountain resorts, this city bus accompanied with 87.5 crime ratings out of 100,000 accordingly based on as at January 2016.

Armed robbery, sexual harassment, arson, illicit drugs, house break-up ins, carjacking, and car theft are some crimes that are widely spread across Pietermaritzburg.

In the three years proceeding 2015, the level of crime was notably high. According to Crime Statistic South Africa, in 2015 there was 15,720 reported crime occurrence, which was higher than the previous years.

The statistics shows in 2014 14,794 of crimes were reported, 2013 it was 13,596. With the escalation of xenophobic attacks in other parts of South Africa it’s spread to Pietermaritzburg increased the ratings.

Benghazi, Libya

Benghazi, a city with major sea port Northeastern, Libya is one of the most dangerous cities in Africa. In 2011 the city lead an uprising against the Libyan leader Muammar Al- Qaddafi that ousted him, eventually lead to his death and the civil war.

This is the second largest city in Libya with lots of industries, the country is susceptible to terrorist attacks.

The United States of America’s embassy was attacked by a deadly terrorist group known as Ansar Al- Sharia resulting in four deaths of American citizens.

According to Overseas Security Advisory Council, crime levels is still on the increase across the country. Following the ousting of Muammar Al-Qaddafi, the military is loosing grounds to different rebellious groups tapping the economic resources. As such carjacking, burglary, vandalism, theft, gun attacks, drugs peddling.

Human trafficking enroute Europe is on the increase, sexual harassment. Women are subjected to religious attack if not wearing certain clothes.

Johannesburg, South Africa

This is the largest city in South Africa, capital of Guateng Province with an estimated population of over four million people.

Not long ago, rape cases and crime have increased. It has been rated by as very high with 91.61 out a possible crime score of 100,000 as at March 2016. This has given the city a nomenclature “World’s Rape Capital”.

There’s also frequent xenophobic attacks rooting from the poor communities of Johannesburg. The murder rate is 28.2 people out of 100,000 in 2014 – 2015 by Africa Check.

The average global homicide rate per 100,000 people was 6.2, less than a fourth of what bus happening in Johannesburg, by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

Durban, South Africa

The largest city in KwaZulu-Natal Province, a coastal city that’s attracted local and foreigner tourist in hundreds and thousands yearly. With the biggest port in Sub- Saharan Africa as stated by Overseas Security Advisory Council. In spite of these beautiful nature criminal activities in relation to death is on the increase.

Also Read:  Questions and Answers for foreigners Visiting Lagos for Holiday

In 2014, according to a report by Mexican Citizens Council For Public Security and Criminal Justice, Durban city was 38th amongst the 50 most violent cities in the world.

The murder rate stood at 35.5 per 100,000 people, higher from 2013 at 32 per 100,000. index as at  March 2016 is so high with 87.89 out of feasible crime score of 100,000.

To the further side of Durban, KwaZulu-Natal Province was said to be highly threatening. It is very important to avoid isolation and traveling at night.

Lagos, Nigeria

Lagos, the city that never sleeps is one of the dangerous cities in Africa. Highly populated city in Africa and the largest city in Nigeria. 21million estimated population size, with a corresponding high crime rate.

Most Dangerous Cities In Africa
A typical Lagos traffic. Photo credit: New Mail Nigeria gave it a rating of 80.88 out of  a feasible crime score of 100,000. The Overseas Security Advisory Council gives Lagos a crime rating of “critical”.

Indigenous and foreigners in Lagos are exposed to being robbed, mugging, assault, rapes, carjacking, home and business burglaries, kidnapping band extortion.

Armed robbers in the city are daring and notorious, they climb perimeter fences, defeat guards, in some cases they attack waterfront compounds with boats, people are also robbed in traffic.

The airport roads are not left out, the banks and grocery stores, Street gangs dubbed” area boys” always clash in various neighborhood across the city. Lots of cyber crimes originate from this city popularly referred to “Yahoo”.

Cape Town, South Africa

A port city, capital of Western Cape Province is noted for a high crime level, it is the country’s legislative capital.

It has been ranked amongst the most violent city in the world over time. crime rating of 82.45 out of a feasible crime score of 100,000 as at March 2016, being high from the previous three years.

Homicide recorded in Cape Town out numbered two cities, Johannesburg and Pretoria from April 2011 – March 2012  by Africa Check.

Various crimes ranging from illicit drugs, vandalism, theft, mugging, assault, armed robbery and bribery are common according to drug related activities fuels most crime in that city with economic activities based on inequality wide spread in non- white territories.

The disparity in annual income between the white and black people in Cape Town is alarming. The White family annual income is six times more than the Black’s take home.

Port Elizabeth, South Africa

This is another dangerous city on African continent. A coastal city in Eastern Cape Province, Port Elizabeth is a tourist destination. Referred to as “Windy City” for it’s windy coastal climate.

Also Read:  Am I Eligible for UAE Six Months Jobseeker Visa?

With an affluent ethnic patrimony, a famous explorer Vasco Da Game passed through the city. The crime rate is higher, as at February 2016, recorded the crime level at 80.56 out of feasible crime score of 100,000.

Assault and street crimes are common in Port Elizabeth. Foreigners are often attacked in the city too like other South African cities – Xenophobic.

Port Elizabeth was rated 35th by the Mexican Citizens Council For Public Security and Criminal Justice among the world’s 50 most threatening cities, in 2013 it was number 41. Homicide rate is 100,000 per people is 34.8 in 2014, dropped down from 36 in 2013.

Luanda, Angola

Luanda, capital of Angola has a high crime scores by Overseas Security Advisory Council reports it is “critical”. crime rating out of a feasible crime score of 100,000, 76.39 as at February 2016. According to Gov.UK the most crimes are carjacking, assault, murder, mugging for valuables such as mobile phones, armed robbery at night or day, rape.

It is not advisable to walk alone in the city at night according to Overseas Security Advisory Council. Places like Rua Nehru, the Rua Houari Boumedienne, and the traffic circle in the last part of Rua Gamal Abder Nasser are a hot- spots for crime in the city according to Overseas Security Advisory Council.

There’s also traffic robbery or vehicles parked. Making monetary transaction in the public is dangerous in the city.

Nairobi, Kenya

Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya and the economic hub of the country, attracts foreigners and investment, endangered by crime, the United States, Overseas Security Advisory Council, ranked Nairobi as “critical”. gave it a score of 78.49 out of 100,000 people as at March 2016.

The crimes common in this city are carjacking, home and business, burglaries, kidnapping, pick-pocketing, mugging, and snatching of people’s belongings. There’s also grenade and terrorism attacks in recent years.

People who don’t resist being robbed are not likely attacked, according to Overseas Security Advisory Council. Visitors need to know that Cyber-Crime and credit card skimming is on the rise.

Final thought:

Whenever you find yourself in those cities, be careful with everything you do. Prepare yourself in case of any unforeseen circumstances, the above information would help you manouver your way as a tourist or investor.


  • InfomediaNG

    The Infomediang Team comprises a group of researchers, data analysts, and financial experts who closely follow government policies and spending. Our passion lies in empowering people to make informed decisions about their investments by simplifying data for easy understanding. Find us @infomedia_ng on X.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top