These 4 African countries can be ‘hell on earth’ and among the world’s most dangerous places to live and work in expats say

Nairobi's restive Mathare slum
  • The survey was done by InterNations and polled 20,259 expats representing 182 nationalities and living in 187 countries or territories.
  •  Some of the questions the expatriates were asked covered topics such as quality of life, cost of living, personal finance, safety and security and more.
  • These 4 African countries can be ‘hell on earth’ according to some expatriates.

Majority of Africa may boost an all year-favorable climate, diverse cuisine, beautiful and unique culture, jaw dropping landscapes, out of this world flora and fauna but it can also be ‘hell on earth’ according to some expatriates.

According to the latest Expat Insider Survey, Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya and Egypt are among the world’s most dangerous places to live and work in, for expatriates.

The survey was done by InterNations and polled 20,259 expats representing 182 nationalities and living in 187 countries or territories. Some of the questions the expatriates were asked covered topics such as quality of life, cost of living, personal finance, safety and security and more.

‘’For example, in South Africa, which ranks 64 out of 64 countries for this factor, 63% of expats say they don’t feel safe, and 22% even feel extremely unsafe," said Malte Zeeck, founder and co-CEO of InterNations.

South Africa (63rd out of 64)

South Africa and Nigeria, along with Brazil were the worst rated destinations in the safety and security category, which covers peacefulness, personal safety and political stability.

“My life is easier here, but I feel as if I am living in a bubble: I miss the freedom to walk or ride anywhere at any time, and I hate having to worry about my security.” A British expat complained.

A Belgian expat also complained about South Africa’s “uncertain political situation, racism, corruption and high crime rate, as well as the weakness of the rand.”

Nigeria (62nd overall)

Nigeria may boost the biggest economy in Africa but has nothing to write home about when it comes to well-being, at least according to expatriates.

Nigeria was the worst rated country in the categories of travel and transportation, health and well-being.

“We are not really free, cannot walk on the streets, cannot mingle with the Nigerians. There is always the possibility of danger.” a Hungarian expat stated.

It's not just foreign expatriates that don’t feel safe in Nigeria but Africans too.

“The feeling of uncertainty. Almost anything can and might happen to me, anytime, anywhere.” a Rwandan expat complained.

Kenya (58th overall)

Kenya may pride itself as the ‘gateway to Africa’ but apparently expatriates can’t even afford to walk freely on the street.

A Danish expat complained that while in Kenya “I can’t walk on the street because it’s not safe: I have to drive or be driven everywhere.”

Kenya’s love for corruption especially on the roads also keeps to irk expatriates.

A Croatian expat said he disliked how “foreigners are often taken advantage of through stealing, scamming, and police stopping you just to take money from you. The roads are awful, traffic is just terrible, and the city is dirty.”

In June this year for instance, United Nations staff working and residing in Nairobi went up in arms over being extorted by Kenyan landlords.

In a letter addressed to Ambassador Rose Makena Muchiri, the Permanent Representative to the Kenya Mission for United Nations Office in Nairobi (UNON), the staff claim that their landlords have been raising unjustified expense claims to hold their house rent deposits whenever their tour of duty in the country comes to an end.

“It is now widely-acknowledged that one of the key negative reasons expats and UN staff are apprehensive of serving in Kenya is this threat. I believe this is causing serious reputational damage that could be unwarranted if addressed properly and transparently,” says UN Nairobi Staff Union president Martin Njugihu in the letter.

In the latest Expat Insider Survey done by InterNations, Kenya was, however, among the best destinations for leisure options and personal happiness.

Egypt (52nd overall)

Expatriates dread living and working in the ‘land of the Pharaohs’.

Egypt, which was ranked the 8th worst place in the world, is considered unsafe because of political instability.

“The government, poor infrastructure, horrendous traffic, poor condition of roads, poor condition of buildings, and overcrowding.” a British expat bitterly complained in the survey.

A Ugandan expat was also not impressed by “many of the Egyptian people discriminate and are not friendly. Many men have no respect for black women and are rather abusive.”

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