High Risk Travel Destinations

There is a range of deterring factors, including war, disease, poverty, high crime rate, and a propensity for natural disaster. A list of areas which are dangerous.

There are places on this earth that even the most adventurous of travelers are wary of visiting. What makes a place dangerous to visit? There is a range of deterring factors, including war, disease, poverty, high crime rate, and a propensity for natural disaster. While any place you visit can be as safe or dangerous as you make it, based on your behavior and decisions, there are some spots that a traveler should take special heed of. These places, while having a dangerous reputation, can be enjoyed, but must be enjoyed with extreme caution.

So, what is the most dangerous place on earth to visit? This is a debatable topic, but many would say that areas experiencing war top the charts of most dangerous places to visit. Currently the obvious choices of danger are Afghanistan and regions of the Middle East. Other areas of strife to be wary of are Albania, where there is relative chaos due to militia activity, Angola, which is experiencing a civil war, and Sierra Leone, which is experiencing strife between the French and the natives. The list of warring nations goes on, and generally these are not at the top of a vacationer's list.

If you do venture into war-zone territories here are some suggestions. First, make contact with people who are already in the hot zone to get a reliable picture of what is actually going on. Do not be outspoken about your political views at all costs. Do not attend any formal or informal meeting of any type pertaining to political issues. Carry several forms of identification and never lie about your personal life, your intentions behind visiting the territory, and your contacts. Have constant communication with the embassy of your nationality and seek their advice before acting upon your own intuition""your intuition may be dead wrong. Above all else, know where the front lines of combat are, and avoid them.

So, for the typical traveler who is looking for an adventurous vacation filled with activity, here are some spots that you should be informed about before you buy your first-class airline tickets and fill out your meal request form online.

The first location that attracts many tourists is the country of Brazil. Brazil is one of the largest countries on earth. Most of the land spanning this South American continent is rural, however there are many large cities""large cities full of crime. High poverty and low education levels feeds the urban crime. With over eight million street kids in Brazil, there is much petty to more serious forms of crime""pick pocketing, assault, and murder being three examples. Gang fights are typical in the Flavelas""urban zones with no policing. In the Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paolo top the list of most dangerous places to visit in Brazil, and the world. Sao Paolo has over 5,000 murders annually, while Rio has a murder rate of eighteen a day.

Along with a high drug trafficking, gang warfare, and robbery presence, Rio has one of the highest kidnap rates in the world. Professional kidnappers work on the streets, finding wealthy tourists to capture, then ransom for a handsome sum. When ransom is not paid, in many instances the victim is killed.

Even the so-called government is dangerous. Hit squads are typical in Brazil and often take the place of a legal attorney. And, although they may not be after you, it is wise to stay out of the crossfire. Police corruption is flagrant, so it is wise not to always trust a Brazilian cop simply because he has a uniform on. Still, there are many good cops""and many have paid the price, since roughly one hundred die a year on duty.

So if Brazil is off your list, how about Columbia. You've heard they have great coffee down there. They also have the largest drug trafficking presence in the world, and has an overall murder rate of 81 per 100,000 people. Ninety-percent of these murders go unsolved. Guerilla warfare over drugs has much to do with this stat; however, there is widespread crime in the cities stemming from robberies and disputes. The police presence is scant, at best. There are numerous reports of corruption, and rebel groups and drug lords often join together with government agencies for less than legal reasons. Terrorist cells are numerous in this country as well. In addition to the violence and crime you might encounter dangerous animals, like the native anaconda in the Amazon jungle. These snakes can be almost as bad as a gun-bearing drug lord. Most people do not survive an anaconda attack. For the reasons above many people say this is the most dangerous place in the Western Hemisphere.

Ok, so scratch South America off the list. How about Mexico? Depending on where you go in Mexico will determine how safe a trip you will have. Mexico's major problem is government, specifically, police corruption. Tourists are taken advantage of often, being pulled over for a made-up excuse, and are made to pay money to be let go. If you are a tourist in that situation it might be a good idea to pay-up since a night in a Mexican jail does not top the chart in fun vacation activities. Kidnapping is also prevalent in some areas, as is terrorism due to low government supervision.

Sri Lanka offers scenic views and brilliant sunsets but it is also a dangerous place to visit. The strong presence of the terrorist group, the Tamil Tigers, causes excessive violence. The constant warfare between the Tamils and the Singhalese groups creates, as a byproduct, a very unstable environment. Westerners are looked up with suspicious, and kidnappings are frequent in this country for the purpose of financial support for terrorism.

Turkey ranks high in dangerous places as well. Its snugness to the Middle East conflict makes this a difficult place to travel comfortably. While the Kurdish war is over, there exist lingering skirmishes between Kurdish factors and the government, if not lingering hate. Terrorist cells have been reported in this country, organized crime dominated much of the countryside and cities. Westerners have been discouraged from visiting in these times for their own safety.

Which brings us to the question, how safe is the West? The United States ranks high on the list of dangerous places to visit. Cities such as New York City, Los Angeles, Detroit, boast high murder rates, and it is reported that every two seconds a criminal offense occurs in the nation. Every five minutes a rape is reported, and every thirty seconds an aggravated assault is conducted. Of course, there are plenty of safe places within the country; just as in the countries mentioned above you can find some areas of safety to relative safety. And violence aside, there are other reasons that make a location unsafe.

Another reason to be wary of certain geographical locations is their proneness to natural disasters. Earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis, volcanic activity, and avalanches can be very dangerous under any circumstance. If you are visiting a country or city that has a history of natural disasters do some research to discover if a certain season is more prone to dangerous activity, and avoid this time. In some instances there is no rhyme or reason to natural disaster activity. You may be able to stay out of Kansas during tornado season, but there is no predicting an earthquake in Turkey, Colombia, or India (all three of which land near the top the charts of history's major quakes).

So, use the paragraphs above to guide you in your research""not as the final say on a country. Remember that all countries have crime, but some are statistically more dangerous than others. Simply because a country is dangerous does not mean it is a bad place, but it does mean you, as a traveler, should take extra caution if you are planning a visit. Or perhaps you will want to not make a visit at all after doing your research.

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