Having done Asian destinations, I will now turn to Africa. Africa’s poor development has produced a large number of nations that are inherently risky. Consequently, I will split Africa into
- “Desert” Africa, including the Saharan nations and the countries of the Horn of Africa – which have much in common with Eurasia in history
- “Tropical” Africa, which never acquired Eurasian domesticated animals and which I will do in the next installment
|BFO (left) and DFAT (right) travel advisories for Somalia|
|BFO (left) and DFAT (right) travel advisories for Ethiopia|
The BFO and DFAT maps of travel advisory are basically similar, with the highest warning of “avoid all travel” or “do not travel” for extensive areas near the borders with Somalia, Eritrea, South Sudan and Sudan. However, with the less dangerous remainder of Ethiopia, we see significant differences:
- DFAT says Australians must reconsider their need to visit all of Ethiopia, whereas the BFO gives the equivalent advisory against all bar “essential” travel only to a few fairly small areas west of Addis Ababa and near Sudan
- DFAT has a “do not travel” warning for all areas bordering Somaliland, whereas BFO gives no warning at all for these border areas
|BFO (left) and DFAT (right) travel advisories for Djibouti|
Again, we see that Australia’s DFAT warns more severely about travel to Djibouti than does the United Kingdom’s BFO – this being the twelfth of fifteen examined nations where this has been observed. Moreover, the difference is largely the same as with Ethiopia – that border regions with Somaliland are given the highest warning by DFAT but no special warning by the British Foreign Office.
|BFO (left) and DFAT (right) travel advisories for Eritrea|
Eritrea is unusual in that in one area the DFAT warning is less strict than the British Foreign Office: in Cansera and Gash-Barka Regions there are areas listed as “Advise against All Travel” by the BFO where DFAT says only “Reconsider Your Need to Travel”.
However, Eritrea will have to be scored as a “0” overall because for the majority of the country DFAT lists Eritrea as “Reconsider Your Need to Travel” whereas BFO just says “see our travel advice before travelling”.
|BFO (left) and DFAT (right) travel advisories for Sudan|
|BFO (left) and DFAT (right) travel advisories for Egypt|
Yet again, DFAT provides a more cautious or stricter travel warning than does the BFO. The BFO says it is safe for tourists to visit regions in and east of the Nile Valley, whereas DFAT says that none of Egypt is safe for tourist travel.
|BFO (left) and DFAT (right) travel advisories for Libya|
Since 2011, Libya has become a Muslim terrorist stronghold and completely unsafe to visit. Like Syria and Yemen, every part of Libya has the highest warning from both BFO and DFAT, so there is no difference between the two organisations and a score of “0”.
|BFO (left) and DFAT (right) travel advisories for Tunisia|
Yet again we see the highest level of alert extending more widely from DFAT than from BFO. In the DFAT map, the highest warning of “Do Not Travel” covers all of the southernmost Tataouine Governorate and extends well into Kébili and Médenine Governorates to the north. In contrast, the BFO only advises against all travel to the southern half of Tataouine Governorate.
|BFO (left) and DFAT (right) travel advisories for Algeria|
As can be seen, once more DFAT is more cautious (severe in warning) than is the BFO. DFAT says “reconsider your need to travel” to all of Algeria, whereas BFO says to see advice before travelling outside of the remote Saharan regions.
|BFO (left) and DFAT (right) travel advisories for Niger|
|BFO (left) and DFAT (right) travel advisories for Mauritania|
Conclusions for Saharan Africa and the Horn:With the exception of Mauritania, where in some areas DFAT’s advice is less severe than that of the BFO, all nations in Saharan Africa follow the same pattern we saw for inherently dangerous Asian destinations in the previous blog post. The overall score for Asia was +9 out of a possible +13; for Saharan Africa and the Horn the overall score is +7 out of a possible +11.
This result suggests we have the same result for the Sahara and the Horn of Africa as observed for Asian nations. In both regions, Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is more severe (restrictive or cautious) in its travel warnings than is the British Foreign Office.
In the third installment, I will look at sub-Saharan Africa to give a final assessment of inherently dangerous destinations and see if my perception Australia gave higher levels of warning than other “developed” nations is consistently correct – which it seems to be based on evidence so far.