How Safe Is Eritrea for Travel?

Eritrea
Safety Index:
32

Eritrea is a country located in East Africa, squeezed in between Djibouti and Sudan, sharing a long border with Ethiopia which has been the source of many disputes.

Its northeastern and eastern parts have an extensive coastline along the Red Sea.

Apart from this, it boasts rich wildlife and many rare species, but what attracts tourists to this country is the breathtaking scenery at the outskirts of the country.

You can also enjoy its capital as Asmara today is the so-called poster capital for cleanness, tranquility and architectural style.

If you venture to Asmara right away, you will end up truly in awe of its architecture, public buildings, villas and mansions of Art Deco.

Just watching the design of the buildings in Asmara and its charming facades is enough of an experience to make you want to visit this gorgeous city.

Many of them look like sailing ships and monuments.

If this isn’t your cup of tea, keep in mind that you can always go hiking, rock climbing and mountain biking outside of Asmara.

Warnings & Dangers in Eritrea

Overall Risk

OVERALL RISK : MEDIUM

Overall, Eritrea is safe to visit if you avoid some parts of the country. Still exercise caution as petty and violent crimes do exist although they aren't too common.

Transport & Taxis Risk

TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM

As for transport, it is generally safe, though Asmara is situated on a plateau and the roads that lead to it are steep, curving, and narrow, and mostly in poor condition, commonly littered with rocks and debris. Driving in Eritrea is tricky as their drivers are reckless, road signs non-existent and roads frequently in bad condition.

Pickpockets Risk

PICKPOCKETS RISK : MEDIUM

Pickpocketing exists in Eritrea, like in any country but it is not too big of an issue. There are specific areas like crowded places and places frequented by tourists where pickpockets operate and, of course, the public transport that is notorious for pickpockets. Be careful and keep your valuables close by your side.

Natural Disasters Risk

NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM

Eritrea is commonly hit by natural disasters like flooding, earthquakes and volcanic activity, while every three to five years, it also suffers a drought that destroys all the crops, kills livestock and causes considerable material damage.

Mugging Risk

MUGGING RISK : LOW

Violent crimes aren't an issue in Eritrea. You can relax and walk around Eritrea carefree and not think about crime. Still, avoid dark streets and remote areas that you wouldn't go into even in your own country.

Terrorism Risk

TERRORISM RISK : MEDIUM

Even though there haven't been any terrorist attacks in Eritrea's recent history, they shouldn't be ruled out, be aware of your surroundings at all times. Always keep in mind the areas of the country that should be avoided, namely, anywhere near the border with Ethiopia.

Scams Risk

SCAMS RISK : MEDIUM

There is the issue of scams in Eritrea, but it isn't any bigger of an issue than in any other country. Always negotiate everything in advance, double check your change and never pay anything upfront. Never accept drinks from strange people or leave your drink unattended.

Women Travelers Risk

WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW

Women are relatively safe in this country. If you are a woman planning to visit Eritrea, just avoid all the parts of the country that are dangerous for anyone else to visit, and you should be fine. Also, after dark, avoid dark and deserted areas.

So... How Safe Is Eritrea Really?

Generally speaking, Eritrea is a safe country to visit if you avoid some parts of it.

For example, its capital Asmara is a very active city, and in the downtown area of Asmara, you can walk around normally, from morning until midnight.

Just avoid isolated and deserted areas, as you might run into gangs, intoxicated people or muggers.

Apart from this, Asmara is considered safer than many European capital cities.

However, even though Asmara does not have the same level of street crime as other cities travelers are advised to exercise caution as there have been dozens of reports of westerners being attacked, robbed, mugged or injured in some way.

Petty crimes are also extremely active in shopping areas and around tourists landmarks, so keep your wallets/purses close to the body.

Be careful in all crowded areas like bus stops, stadiums, movie theatres, market places, and even places of worship.

Avoid roaming around late at night as there have been reports of Eritreans and Westerners being assaulted and robbed while doing so.

The main cause of concern for all tourists visiting Eritrea, are the forbidden areas where you shouldn’t go under any circumstance.

Around the border with Ethiopia, there are military forces from both countries that remain strong along the border areas and crossing between the two is not allowed.

Tsorona, Humera, and Zalambessa are particularly dicey areas.

Keep in mind that you should stay at least 25 km away from the Ethiopian border and the Southern Red Sea region, including the port of Assab.

The town of Barentu is also best avoided.

How Does Eritrea Compare?

CountrySafety Index
Eritrea32
Morocco54
Canada88
Estonia82
Albania75
Czech Republic88
Latvia80

Useful Information

  • Visas - Many countries do need a visa in order to enter Eritrea. Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months past your date of departure from Eritrea and you have two blank pages that are side by side. If you are not sure about your visa status, visit www.doyouneedvisa.com which will let you know whether or not you need visa based on your nationality and the country you want to visit.
  • Currency - Eritrean nakfa is the official currency in Eritrea. Don't count on ATMs in this country, and keep in mind that credit cards aren't accepted in any of the establishments. Bring everything in cash.
  • Weather - Climate in Eritrea varies depending on the altitude of the area. Its highlands are located on the highest landmass in Africa and therefore receive much cooler weather than the semi-arid coast stretching along the Red Sea and in the lowlands of the country. The average temperature in Asmara is 16° C.
  • Airports - Asmara International Airport, formerly referred to as Yohannes IV International Airport is the international airport of Asmara, the capital of Eritrea. It is located less than 2 km south west of Asmara.
  • Travel Insurance - Just like anywhere else, we recommend getting travel insurance when traveling to Eritrea since it covers not only the costs of medical problems, but also theft and loss of valuables.
Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Eritrea Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 14° C
Feb 15° C
Mar 17° C
Apr 17° C
May 18° C
Jun 18° C
Jul 17° C
Aug 17° C
Sep 16° C
Oct 15° C
Nov 15° C
Dec 14° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
High
°C
232425252525222223222222
Low
°C
5689101111119876
High
°F
737577777777727273727272
Low
°F
414346485052525248464543

Where to Next?

20 Reviews on Eritrea

  1. A
    Anonymous says:

    Lovely country and very friendly people.

  2. Kinda Safe

    Eritrea Is Kinda Safe

    1. safe!

      eritrea is very safe I had literally no issues everyone is friendly and helpful

  3. r
    redwan hassen says:

    great

    it is very safe as it had many bad rumors abt it but it can be said safer than most of its surrounding countries

  4. This isn’t true at all. Eritrea is one of the safest countries in Africa. The people are very friendly there, they wouldn’t even care if you’re a tourist or not, as long as you keep respectful. Of course it’s advicable to take precautions at all time but issues like terrorism, burglary, assaults etc. aren’t common. But cities/regions that border to Ethiopia, Sudan and generally at the border are adviced not to travel to. I want to keep discret so visit other travel advisors that ACUTALLY GIVE REAL precautions.

  5. T
    Tim Kent says:

    It can be said Eritrea is one of the safest country in Africa if not in the world. Crime is rare, woman can walk alone at midnight, friendly and quite modest people. Unfortunately the countries image is portrayed by media for political reason unfairly negative.

    1. A
      Anonymous says:

      Thank you for your honesty, that’s exactly what they do a lot of false media that brain wash this world unfortunately but I am so amazed to still have people believe on the media entirely???? in this day and age.

  6. g
    gorege f says:

    Good and friendly

    eritrea is very safe no problem I had over there and people wad friendly and helpful too plus I went to other cites around eritrea too

  7. So your suggestion seems ok,…but why is that 2stars?

  8. E
    Esrael Solomon says:

    What I read is some...

    What I read is some of what they telling to the trustees is wrong I’m Eritrean my self I’m 50 years old what I read is Eritrea is commonly hit by natural disasters like flooding, earthquakes and volcanic activity, while every three to five years, it also suffers a drought that destroys all the crops, kills livestock and causes considerable material In Eritrea natural disasters earthquake or volcano flooding every 3 to 5 years no I never see it in my country few years go yes it happened around the read see volcanic yes. But the rest. They just giving wrong advice to the tourist of course border problems I believe that the rest the country the safest country in Africa rich natural recourse oil gas gold. Potash the Eritrean currency in Africa number 9 the strongest currency call Nakfa. This is just white media

  9. B
    Bethlehem says:

    Do not lie about Eritrea

    The safest Place is Eritrea, this is not true at all. TERRORISM risk, really? you should speak based on an experience please. none of it is true

    1. N
      Natnael says:

      What are you saying? Eritrea isnt safe and terrorism is common ,please be more considerate about your statments .And stop stating false facts. For i it is one of the safest countries in the world period

      1. eritrea is safe and the people is very nice

        what did to you happend brother, who rubbed your money just dont lie our Problem is still the dictator but Eritrea is safe come on ,truth is truth

  10. M
    Michael Mbongo says:

    Scary place

    Sadly I must disagree with most of the above comments. The truth is that although Eritrea is a barren but beautiful country it’s population are extremely violent against whitey. If visiting any of its cultural wastelands it is best to black up for your own protection. The Eritrean currency is useful as toilet roll but not much else and it is customary to tip the local witch doctors by leaving them a little bag of local organically grown heroin. Not a great place to visit but still better than Nigeria.

    1. Safest Country in Africa is Eritrea

      Are you for real, what you have just described must be Lagos and most of Nigeria.. yes I have been to Nigeria but you can not compare to Eritrea. Eritrea is the cleanest and most beautiful country in Africa.. Nigeria was the most unsafe place that required us to have security just step outside. Please keep your lies and comments to yourself.

    2. F
      Force for good says:

      You sound you have it all made up, are you sure you’re talking about Eritrea and it’s people?

  11. F
    Fanuel Redae says:

    Eritrea is a very safe Place to visit and enjoy natural diversities. It’s a good spot to visit too. The media knows Nothing or has done a very small range research. It’s located in strategic position in Africa, and this gives some one to go and enjoy there. We Eritrean have a saying that goes like “Mriay Mieman eyu”( Some one has to see it, to believe it).

  12. I lived in Africa, Europe, South America and now living in North America for many, many years. Recently, I went to Eritrea, my motherland, and stayed there for 6 years, and visited almost 90% of the country. I was in Eritrea when the greatest leader of Ethiopia visited Eritrea and when the border between Eritrea and Ethiopia opened. I visited Tigray for a few days since I worked there when I was young. In general, all the bad comments regarding Eritrea are completely false. Eritrean is the safest country in the world. I am talking according to my long travel experiences in the world. Where did you see police without a gun if the country is not safe? Where did you see people work in the factories and others walk after midnight? Anybody who wants to visit Eritrea, I guarantee you you will enjoy its beautiful Asmara streets, beautiful Massawa and Asab beaches, its cafe latte, beautiful and very, very honest and humble society, people who get out of their way to help you. I enjoyed my stay there and I assure you I will visit it every year from now on. ENJOY IT, you will not regret it at all.

  13. Not advised to explore on your own

    We’ve followed the travel guidelines avoiding peripheral areas thus everything was perfectly safe. I honestly don’t understand how people dare to explore a new country willy nilly, with no guide or know-how, this is asking for trouble, pure and simple.

  14. J
    Jesse esse says:

    ERITREAN,ETHIOPIAN "PRIDE OF AFRICA".

    I have not been to Eritrea,but I would love to visit there one day and maybe invest and buy a house.Honestly,Eritrea and Ethiopia are the pride of Africa.

Rated 4.05 / 5 based on 19 user reviews.

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