With enough risk free countries to go hiking in, you’d think that we’d all be more than happy with the places we can go safely. But when you take a look at the stunning countryside, hills and mountains that exist in some of the planets most troubled regions, its no wonder that more than a few people take a chance and go there to explore.

Even through all the trouble and unrest these countries still have their eye on the revenue that tourism could bring in. Some places are OK to visit if your doing the boring regular tourist thing by sticking to well guarded complexes and moderate safe zones, but this is a world away from having the chance just to wander around the countryside without the risk of constant harm.

Rwanda

Northwestern Rwanda

Northwestern Rwanda

With its bloody history you’d think Rwanda would be a long way from any sort of sustainable tourism but since 2003 the country has been promoting itself as a holiday destination.

All this has come with a certain amount of foreign money flowing into the country. With a new barely commercialize vacation spot being of mass appeal, I imagine there were more than enough investors willing to take a chance on a reforming Rwanda.

Even with the top class hotels now opened this doesn’t mean you can roam at will. The underlying bureaucracy still restricts travel to some of the most stunning areas to a small number everyday and a good level of safety may be a way off yet.

Afghanistan

Bamyan river valley afghanistan

Bamyan River Valley, Afghanistan

Afghanistan’s recent war torn history has been laid bare for the world to see through a massive amount of media coverage. Although there’s a degree of stability, this is still a divided country with more no go than safe areas for any potential tourists to explore.

Breaking away from the conflict and focusing on the natural beauty of Afghanistan shows a stunning landscape with more than enough challenges for climbers and hikers.

Even though there are basic (and they are basic) facilities for a small amount of tourists in the safer areas, a quick check on the UK government website still shows travel to be unwise.

Without a huge change to the political makeup of the country, it seems that having even a partial freedom to roam Afghanistan’s pristine landscape is much further down the line.

Somalia

Cal Madow Mountain Range, Somalia

Cal Madow Mountain Range, Somalia

With over 1,800 miles of coastline, Somalia has a selection of stunning beaches but its geographical location has spawned a generation of modern day pirates that operate in one of the worlds busiest shipping lanes.

Increased military intervention has put a huge dent in the amount of pirate activity in recent years. As with any deep seated criminal enterprise it effects many more people (for better or worse) than those on the “front line” carrying out the crime and hopefully this will help push the country in the right direction.

The thing is Somalia once had a booming tourist industry with people flocking to its (then) exclusive hotels and beautiful plentiful beaches. New building projects are underway and along with the opening of more transport links, its feasible that Somalia could once again become a holiday choice.

The Risk Factor

If your the sort of climber, hiker or wild camper that occasional pushes things a little too far just to get a little extra kick from your outside activities (I’m so guilty of this), then visiting one of these countries may seem like a good idea. But as with all good ideas the fun only lasts until the crap hits the fan and your totally out of options.

We can only hope that countries like the ones listed above reach a level of stability where tourists and locals alike can enjoy everything these stunning landscapes have to offer.

Play Safe 🙂

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