Also, what other locations/cites/sights are recommended?
I used to live in Lome, Togo, and traveled a lot with my wife through West Africa. Many areas now are relatively safe if you have your wits about you.... But travel infrastructure is very poor, so be prepared for some frustrations when getting around. West Africa is the poorest region in the world...so there is not a lot of touristy stuff if that is what you're looking for. On the other hand, if you're looking for places that are off the beaten track, then certain parts of West Africa may be just what you're looking for.... 2 white females traveling alone will certainly draw some attention. If you've never been to Africa before and you are nervous about it, go somewhere a bit more tourist friendly like Kenya, Tanzania, or South Africa. over 7 years ago
Michaela, Most of West Africa is not for the novice traveller. As Willard rightly points out, it is the poorest part of the world, consequently infrastructure is very poor, government control weak, lawlessness high and everything unpredictable.... think "Lord of the Flies"!
But I have a friend who loves the place and travels there all the time, he helped write many of the worldnomads safety guides to West African countries, including this one for Burkina Faso
but even he warns that the country can, very easily be unsafe.
There are 14 nations in the world that are on most countries DO NOT TRAVEL list - 3 of them (Mali, Niger and Cote D'Ivoire) border Burkina Faso, so you can see the kind of company it keeps.
It's hard to make a definitive statement without knowing about your level of experience, but generally I would say women travelling ALONE in West Africa will experience some significant challenges and will need to be on their guard to protect their safety.
A much better idea to go with an organised tour.... someone who knows the 'lay of the land' and has prearranged appropriate security where it matters.
Phil from the safety hub over 7 years ago
Well, it's not really Mogadishu either. The place is relatively safe, safer than central america, for instance. I've met some single women travelers there. And I tell you I am a man, but it still doesn't matter because people down there are all 3x stronger than me. So if somebody wanted to do something to me, they could. I spent about six months in Burkina and the only problems I had were related to pickpoketing.
But: don't walk at night, and dont carry ANY valuables with you even during the day, specially not bags, wallets, cameras, etc.
If you don't speak french, you might wanna try Ghana first. It's well organised (something like say Cambodia or perhaps Nicaragua, to give you a little feeling) and it's also safer and politically more stable. almost 7 years ago