Is Tamanrasset Safe? Crime Rates & Safety Report

Updated On June 3, 2024
Tamanrasset, Algeria
Safety Index:
30
* Based on Research & Crime Data

If you are interested in the road less traveled, you should consider visiting Algeria.

The African country has an emerging tourism industry, but it’s rare to see it on a travel list.

When it comes to Tamanrasset, Algeria, things are a bit complicated.

There are some things you should know before you book your trip.

Warnings & Dangers in Tamanrasset

Overall Risk

OVERALL RISK: HIGH

Tamanrasset, Algeria is a dangerous place to travel to. In fact, the U.S. State Department rates Algeria as Level 2, which means you should use increased caution here. However, Tamanrasset is rated Level 4, which means do not travel here. The reason for this warning, and our high-risk rating, is the high incidence of terrorism in this area. Tamanrasset has made efforts to become safer in recent years. Before entering the city, you'll need to make reservations. In many cases, you'll be provided with a security escort to help keep you safe.

Transport & Taxis Risk

TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: MEDIUM

The roads in Algeria are often in poor condition. You may encounter sand drifts, potholes, and flooding. Drivers can pose a danger as well. Rules about the right of way are often not observed, and pedestrians should use caution when using crosswalks. Reputable taxis are relatively safe. However, you should avoid picking up other passengers. You should also get the price before your ride begins, because taxi drivers may overcharge tourists. Buses are considered safe, but it can take longer to get where you are going. Bus schedules aren't predictable, which also makes it harder to use them. Trains are a great way to travel in Tamanrasset. It's inexpensive and faster than taking the bus.

Pickpockets Risk

PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW

Pickpocketing is a concern, as it is in any city. However, pickpocketing isn't particularly common in Tamanrasset. You can reduce your risk of pickpocketing by avoiding setting your personal belongings down and carrying your wallet in your front pocket. Be wary of anyone who seems to want your attention. Pickpockets often work in pairs, with one person acting as a distraction while the other commits theft.

Natural Disasters Risk

NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM

Tamanrasset is at risk of several natural disasters. Flooding is a problem because of the Wadi Tamanrasset River. Recent building expansion has also increased the risk of flooding. In 2018, 5 people died due to flooding in the area. However, extreme heat is the highest risk. Temperatures can soar well beyond 110 degrees. This is particularly dangerous if you are a traveler, and not accustomed to these temperatures.

Mugging Risk

MUGGING RISK: MEDIUM

Mugging isn't a huge risk in Tamanrasset, but it does occur. The crime rate here is average by international standards. This means that the risk of mugging is medium. It's best to avoid unlit or sparsely populated areas to reduce your risk. You should also avoid traveling alone, particularly at night.

Terrorism Risk

TERRORISM RISK: HIGH

There's a high risk of terrorism in Tamanrasset. The city is near the border with Mali and Niger. This is a hot spot for terrorism. One reason for this is that it is difficult for authorities to properly police the border. There have been several terrorist attacks in recent years. In 2021, 3 civilians were injured by an IED. Another attack killed 5 Algerian citizens. You should use particular caution around holidays and anniversaries because these are common times for terrorist attacks. Terrorist groups in the area include Al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), ISIS's Algeria branch, and a local terrorist group known as Jund al-Khilafah.

Scams Risk

SCAMS RISK: MEDIUM

The biggest concern of scams in Tamanrasset is digital identity theft. Use caution when connecting to Wifi in Algeria. Don't give anyone your personal details, credit or bank information, or passwords. Robbers or kidnappers will sometimes set up roadblocks. Legitimate roadblocks are a common security measure, but scammers will pose as local authorities.

Women Travelers Risk

WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: MEDIUM

It's important to know that Tamanrasset is a conservative country. Women travelers should dress modestly. Avoid wearing revealing or tight clothing, including shorts and mini skirts. Verbal harassment does occur, particularly if you are a woman traveling alone. If you are a woman traveling alone, you should consider hiring a guide to accompany you.

Tap Water Risk

TAP WATER RISK: LOW

It's recommended that you drink bottled water in Tamanrasset. Recently, the Algerian government has taken steps to provide Tamanrasset with drinking water. However, sanitation may be unreliable. Locals have no problem drinking the water. However, your body isn't used to the microbes that may be present. This can cause stomach upset. In most cases, you'll have minor stomach upset and diarrhea. However, this can ruin your trip.

Safest Places to Visit in Tamanrasset

One of the best places to visit in Tamanrasset is Adriane.

Close by are also two unique monuments – the tombs of Prince Moussa Ag and his cousin Dassine Ould Khemma.

Places to Avoid in Tamanrasset

When in Tamanrasset, you should avoid areas outside of town or near the border.

Terrorism and kidnapping are much more likely in these areas because there’s less police presence.

Safety Tips for Traveling to Tamanrasset

  1. Travel as Part of a Group. It’s best to travel as part of a group, rather than traveling alone. There’s safety in numbers and you are less likely to be the victim of crime if you are with others. This is particularly important for women. Men in Algeria are well known for catcalling. They see it as a compliment. Of course, in the West, this is considered rude and even offensive. If you want to avoid catcalls as a Western woman, travel with a man.
  2. Keep a Low Profile. When in Tamanrasset, it will be fairly obvious that you are a tourist. This is fine. However, it’s best not to draw unnecessary attention to yourself. Avoid dressing in flashy clothing. Avoid walking around like you are completely amazed and dazed and have no clue what’s happening. Of course, you’ll want to admire the sights, but you should still be aware of your surroundings.
  3. Don’t Display Valuables. This is recommended anytime you are traveling, particularly if you are in a poorer country. Leave items like expensive jewelry at home. Leave cash and travel documents in your hotel safe so you don’t have to worry about theft. This reduces your stress because you won’t need to worry about keeping up with valuable items while trying to enjoy your trip.
  4. Avoid Pickpocketing and Petty Theft. Avoiding displaying valuables is one way to avoid pickpocketing because valuables will make you a target. You can also get a money belt, which allows you to keep your cash and cards against your body. Other options include hair ties and even underwear with hidden pockets. If you do use a purse or bag, wear it cross-body style. This prevents someone from snatching your purse. Never leave your purse unattended. It’s better to place it on your lap than on the floor. This will also help you to remember to grab your bag if you get up from your seat. These tips are simple to follow and can save you from disaster.
  5. Enroll in STEP. STEP stands for Smart Traveller Enrollment Program. The service is provided by the U.S. Embassy free of charge. It connects you with the nearest Embassy. You’ll receive alerts about the area, including weather and security alerts. It also makes it easy for the Embassy to get in touch with you if there’s an emergency. Lastly, the Embassy can help you find local doctors, and attorneys, and even provide financial help when necessary. If you have any issues when in Algeria, contact the Embassy.
  6. Food and Drink Safety. When in Tamanrasset, it’s best to assume the water is contaminated. This will save you from any potential stomach issues. Avoid ordering drinks with ice unless you are sure the water is purified. Avoid raw fruits and vegetables, unless they are peeled, because they can be contaminated. When eating cooked food, be sure that it’s fresh and hasn’t been sitting out for a long period of time. Remember that practices that Algerians are accustomed to can make you ill because your body isn’t used to it.
  7. Avoid Fresh Water. Do not swim in fresh water in Tamanrasset. There are a few diseases that can be transmitted by fresh water, including Schistosomiasis. This is a parasitic worm that lives in freshwater snails. If not treated, it can cause serious health complications.
  8. Get Needed Vaccinations. In addition to the routine vaccinations recommended by the CDC, you should consider some vaccinations before you go to Algeria. Polio is currently circulating in the country, so if you haven’t been vaccinated for Polio, you should do so. You should also consider rabies vaccination, particularly if you plan on adventure or outdoor activities.
  9. Hire a Tour Guide. To make the most of your stay in Tamanrasset and increase your safety, it’s a great idea to hire a tour guide before you go. A tour guide can make any arrangements needed to keep you safe and allow you to enjoy yourself. If needed, this can include getting security for you, as well as helping you find accommodation, transportation, and helping you interact with locals.
  10. Respect Local Culture. Tamanrasset is in Algeria, which is a Muslim country. This means there are some major cultural differences between Tamanrasset and the West. Muslim women typically cover their hair, and some choose to wear a veil as well. They also dress very modestly, avoiding showing their skin. Western women are not required to dress in this way. However, you should be respectful of the culture. Women should dress modestly. Some people recommend covering your head as well. Public displays of affection are frowned upon, so you should act modestly as well.

So... How Safe Is Tamanrasset Really?

Tamanrasset is not terribly dangerous for tourists.

Yes, there is a possibility of terrorist attacks, but these are relatively rare.

Terrorist attacks are similar to bear attacks.

When they occur, they receive a lot of attention.

However, many more people are injured in car accidents than in terrorist or bear attacks, but car accidents don’t make national news.

The roads in Tamanrasset are risky.

The city has worked to eliminate dilapidated buses in recent years, which has helped to reduce the risk of accidents.

However, there’s still a high accident rate here.

Crime in general does occur here.

Petty crimes are the most common, but robberies and violent crimes occur as well.

The crime rate here is on par with most Western cities and is less dangerous than some cities in the U.S.

How Does Tamanrasset Compare?

CitySafety Index
Tamanrasset30
Algiers50
Oran31
Annaba44
Ghardaia48
Atakor52
Cordoba (Argentina)61
Toronto (Canada)81
Melbourne (Australia)80
Montreal (Canada)81
Sydney (Australia)80
Santiago de Chile (Chile)71

Useful Information

Visas

Visas

You'll need a visa before traveling to Tamanrasset unless you are getting there by cruise ship. You can't get a visa upon entry, so be sure to handle this ahead of time.

Currency

Currency

The currency in Algeria is the Algerian Dinar. It's important to note that you can't take the currency out of the country. The British pound is accepted in most locations. Some places will also accept U.S. dollars. Travelers' checks are only accepted at luxury hotels, and credit cards are typically not accepted. You can only exchange currency at banks, so be sure to exchange a good amount of currency.

Weather

Weather

Tamanrasset has a hot desert climate. In the summer months, it's common for highs to reach the 90s, and even soar beyond 100 degrees. Winters are usually mild, with temperatures rarely dropping to freezing. Rainfall is very rare here, and the sun is strong.

Airports

Airports

The nearest airport is Aguenar – Hadj Bey Akhamok Airport. It serves Tamanrasset and the surrounding areas.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

If you are traveling to Tamanrasset, you should get travel insurance. This can protect you from common travel hazards like canceled flights and lost luggage. It's advisable to choose a policy that provides health coverage as well. Health care can be difficult to find in Algeria, and is very expensive.

Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Tamanrasset Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 14° C
Feb 17° C
Mar 20° C
Apr 25° C
May 29° C
Jun 31° C
Jul 31° C
Aug 30° C
Sep 29° C
Oct 25° C
Nov 19° C
Dec 16° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
High
°C
212427323537373635312623
Low
°C
691317222525242318128
High
°F
707581909599999795887973
Low
°F
434855637277777573645446

Algeria - Safety by City

CitySafety Index
Algiers50
Annaba44
Atakor52
Ghardaia48
Oran31
Tamanrasset30

Where to Next?

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