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  10 of the Most Dangerous Destinations for Solo Female Travellers

  • 10 of the Most Dangerous Destinations for Solo Female Travellers

    As every solo traveller should know, prevention is better than the cure. When it comes to travelling safe, it is better to avoid places known for having a high crime rate (including violent crime against women) than going there and having the worst experience of your life! Be aware when visiting the following places:

    1. Caracas, Venezuela

    Venezuela is number 1 on the Crime Index this year. A score of 60-80 on the Crime Index is considered to be ‘high in crime’ and Venezuela scored 85.90! The beautiful Rio Guaire and the El Avila National Park may seem like good destination ideas but with 2015 seeing 115 murders for every 100,000 residents (London has a rate of 112 murders for 8,672 MILLION), Caracas is worth avoiding.

    2. Fortaleza, Brazil

    A close second on the world’s crime index with 84.72, Fortaleza is considered highly dangerous. Its 25 beaches and water sports attract over half a million tourists per year, but it is also a top criminal magnet. Drugs and organised crime contribute to this and nothing says ready drug money like a female tourist flying solo. Due to armed criminals, tourists are warned not to resist assault. HIV/AIDS is also prevalent.

    Read also: 5 Safety Tips for Women Travelling to Brazil

    3. Johannesburg, South Africa

    Cities in South Africa occupy positions 3, 4, 5 and 6 on the top Crime Index (Johannesburg being the fourth). It is known as having one of the highest rape rates, reportedly 1 in 3 women have been raped in South Africa and tourists don’t escape: one British tourist reported 14 hours of abduction and rape by locals.

    4. San Salvador, El Salvador

    Number 10 out of 277 on the Crime Index, gang rape in San Salvador is common and can also result in murder after prolonged turmoil. Do not visit this location alone, even if you want to see the famous volcano and Lake Llopango, it is not worth the risk.

    5. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

    Rio de Janeiro is the 11th on the Crime Index, with Brazil taking 4 of the top 10 positions. Before the Olympics, Brazilian footballer Rivaldo advised everyone wanting to visit Brazil to “stay home”. This was following the gang rape and killing of a 17-year-old girl. The exceptional measures to keep Olympic tourists safe have now gone, but the gangs are still thriving and the tourist warning is still warranted.

    Read also: 5 Safest Cities in Europe to visit

    6. Detroit, MI, United States

    Detroit is in 12th place on the Crime Index, nestled between two violent Brazilian cities. If you have seen the dozens of Hollywood films shot in Detroit then it may entice you, but you may regret it. 16% of murder victims in Detroit are tourists.

    7. Lagos, Nigeria

    Lagos is in 14th place on the Crime Index with 73.05, which is still high. You may be in love with African artwork and crave to see popular attractions such as the colourful Lekki Market, but think twice about Lagos. 77.3% of rapes in Lagos are committed during the daytime.

    8. Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

    Holding the 18th position on the Crime Index, Santo Domingo is only saintly by name. Public transport is notorious for gunpoint muggings. One tourist’s body was found stabbed to death, this added to the other 39 recent tourist murders in Santo Domingo. Seeing the beautiful 3 Eyes National Park may have to wait.

    9. San Juan, Puerto Rico

    San Juan may have Caribbean beauty but it’s rated as number 20 on the Crime Index. Not just lone tourists, but a whole group were robbed in the heart of San Juan recently. Locals avoid tourist areas as gangs are known to congregate there.

    10. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

    Number 21 on the Crime Index, Kuala Lumpur may sound tropical but it is now the centre for criminal activities in South East Asia. With a high spike in violent crimes among youths, you need to be cautious about visiting.

    10 Tips for Female Travellers

    ·         Take pictures of all your documents and upload them to DropBox or email yourself, and also have them on your phone or laptop in case there’s no internet access.

    ·         Get travel insurance. Keep the emergency assistance contact details handy and keep a photo of the details on your phone.

    ·         Buy an international phone plan for emergencies.

    ·         Pack light and take no flashy items. Dress in a way that does not attract attention.

    ·         Store extra money in a tampon box.

    ·         Don’t leave your drink out of your sight.

    ·         Wear a fake wedding ring.

    ·         Bring a whistle or a pointy eared cat keyring for self-defence.

    ·         Make friends with female hotel/hostel employees for advice.

    ·         Take only taxis pre-arranged by your hotel/hostel.

    In conclusion, if you have to travel alone, do your research very thoroughly before you travel and select you destinations accordingly. Don’t walk where the locals won’t walk and find a good local friend to be your guide. Visit places that are low on the Crime Index and avoid looking like a tourist if you can help it!