How do we select the best countries for women to travel? We have several criteria:
- Amazing things to see and do (many sources)
- Number of dead or badly mangled tourists, particularly women. We do this by reviewing US State Department statistics and Great Britain’s data for how often they have to rescue tourists. The winning countries don’t have many or any for the most recent 16 months we can get statistics.
- Easy and safe to travel there based on things like roads and infrastructure that work. For this we use the World Economic Forum tourism and competitiveness index.
- We determine if this is a peaceful and stable place by using the Global Peace Index data.
ROUND THE WORLD – AFRICA!
Botswana – Quite safe and with a Global Peace Index rating of 1 also scores well, showing the place is pretty stable and reasonable, overall. It has amazing wildlife reserves. Two biggies: The Central Kalahari Game Reserve is Africa at its rawest. The San Bushmen have lived here for an estimated 30,000 years and the first explorers knew this area as “the plains where courage fails.” There are a few lodges allow the adventurous to explore the reserve without the protection of a four-wheel drive expedition vehicle. You don’t get the crowds and tour buses of other parks. You can camp where you can hear roaring lions and know that you are having an isolated wilderness experience. Another great reserve is the Okavango Delta, which happens to be the world’s biggest inland delta. You can safari by boat over clear waters since this isn’t a swamp or mangrove type of place and see hippos and possibly crocs. Okay, so this could get lively but remember, they don’t seem to lose tourists.
Namibia – Quite safe and has a Global Peace Index rating of 2 which is great for stability and peace. Namibia is in southwest Africa, it has an interesting geological feature of the Namib desert going along the Atlantic Ocean coast. In the north, there is a large Salt Pan that is part of Etosha National that has the effect of drawing in rhinos and giraffes. Namibia has amazing wildlife, including a substantial cheetah population. The Fish River Canyon is similar to the Grand Canyon in the US as to breathtaking views of a magnificent canyon. The NamibRand Nature Reserve has incredible wildlife and beautiful desert landscape; particularly the red sand dunes. Because Namibia is sparsely populated, this is a great place if you like to avoid crowds, cities and other assorted tourist nightmares.
Photo: By Robur.q (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons]
Senegal – Stunningly, this lovely country has managed to not kill any Americans for some time by accident or other problems; and it has a Global Peace Index rating of 3 for Africa. Senegal is considered to be a model democracy in Africa and stable. Senegal is located on Africa’s west coast. Dakar, the capital, has many interesting places to check out, including the ancient Médina district and the famous Musée Théodore Monod, for African art as well as an active nightlife where you can catch native mbalax music. Saint-Louis, formerly the capital of French West Africa, has colonial architecture in its old town. Colonial houses in warm colors and flourishing bougainvilleas.
Photo: Tourism 4 World
Also of interest is Gorée, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage List featuring the slave history of Senegal. Another Unesco world heritage site, Djoudj National Park is has many kinds of birds including Pelicans, pink flamingos(!!), cormorants, herons and hundreds of species of migratory birds take refuge here in the Senegal River delta. Saloum Delta National Park in the western part of the country is a biosphere reserve with more birds, (herons, avocets, terns), many kinds of fish, and warthogs.
Saloum combines has a diverse land and waterscape of mangrove swamps, forests and savannahs. The Fathala Reserve is part of the Parc Nationale du Delta du Saloum (Saloum Delta National Park). The park has both forest and wetlands and is a great place to view hundreds of species of wildlife. You can go out in pirogues (small boats) to sightsee and fish. You can also find hiking tours in the village of Missirah. The beaches of Senegal are wonderful and include the beaches on the Île N’Gor and at Toubab Dialao (red cliffs). If you want a less crowded beach, go farther south of Dakar to the Petite Côte. There are resorts in the city of Saly, near M’bour, which offer water jet skiing and scuba diving.
Photo: Green parrot