Black Women Can Travel Safely to These PlacesOct 27, 2022 10:00AM ● By Boitumelo Masihleho
Travel offers the opportunity to experience a sense of calm, serenity or even just the ability to escape from the day-to-day hustle and bustle of our work and personal lives. In 2019 alone, Black U.S. leisure travelers spent a whopping $129.6 billion on domestic and international travel according to The Black Traveler: Insights, Opportunities, and Priorities. Black experiences abroad vary greatly depending on a myriad of factors such as accent, gender, nationality, wealth, skin tone, and features. For Black women, their presence abroad can elicit shock, awe, and fascination in places where a Black woman traveling unaccompanied is seen as a novelty act. Though safety is never guaranteed at any point in time, anywhere in the world, to help you live your best travel life, while staying safe, we’ve curated a list of some destinations for Black women to plan a trip to this year.
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Ghanaian politicians have also long been advocates of the Pan-African movement and in 2019, Ghana started to invite people of African descent to visit with the promise of easier visa applications and a year-long calendar of culturally immersive events, dubbing it the "Year of Return." When it comes to culture, food, safety, and overall quality of life, Ghana is pretty close. Local tour operators such as Awuni Tours, offers services for anyone who wants to explore Africa, but feels a special sense of responsibility and pride when welcoming guests of African descent. Even with its imperfections, Ghana continues to offer Black people in America and elsewhere in the diaspora, some of the things our souls crave.
There’s so much to love about Toronto, especially with its thriving Caribbean culture. Montreal has a strong Afro-Caribbean culture, and is a foodie city with the highest number of restaurants per capita in Canada, according to Geos Montreal. Every April, Vues d’Afrique holds the Pan-Africa International Film Festival – a celebration of African and Creole culture through film. Music lovers should try to visit in June for the annual Montreal Jazz Festival featuring famous Black jazz musicians.
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Puerto Rico is an amazing island that Black women should explore. The persistently tropical climate, friendly locals, and endless amounts of coquito are just some of the reasons, but beyond that, Puerto Rico has a combination of rich Black history and colorful culture that should pique everyone’s interest. Full of rich culture, flavorful food, sandy beaches, relaxation, adventure, and more, Puerto Rico is a small Caribbean Island that feels larger than life.
Thailand has definitely become one of the most popular travel destinations for people of color – especially Black women. There are so many friends and influencers that I see posting pictures of their spa days, beach trips, and visits to world heritage sites in Bangkok. Bali is called the “Island of the Gods” because it’s known for its beautiful natural landscape, captivating cultural scene, and affordability. The natives of the island are also warm and kind, especially to women, and Bali is considered one of the safest places in the world.
Ethiopia, although rising in status as an economic powerhouse for Eastern Africa, still it isn’t one of the more frequently-visited and touristy African nations. Ethiopia is a necessary addition to a Black woman’s bucket list. A visit to the capital Addis Ababa is a must to see the National Museum of Ethiopia, which houses one of the most important collections of art and fossils in Sub-Saharan Africa. Ethiopia’s traditional dance is popularized in cultural restaurants where this high-energy dance, “eskista”, is performed by professionals on stage.
Read: 'Make Ethiopia Your Next Destination':
Known as “The Land of Fire and Ice” due to a large number of glaciers and active volcanoes that call it home, Iceland is a cool destination that Black female travelers can’t seem to get enough of. Iceland’s capital Reykjavík is known for being a very friendly city, with easy accessibility to get around. The locals speak English and are eager to tell you some of their favorites. The Blue Lagoon is undoubtedly Iceland’s most famous tourist attraction and makes for amazing Instagram worthy photos. Take a dip in the lagoon’s geothermal waters for a simple spa treatment that will leave your skin feeling like butter.
Brazil is known for having one of the highest populations of African people outside of the continent of Africa, with Nigerians topping the list. In Rio, there is a rich and accessible art community that travelers can take advantage of and immerse themselves in.
Several of the major cities are known for being dangerous at night but during the day there shouldn’t be any issues as long as you stay in well-lit and populated areas; advice that all women sadly have to keep in mind no matter where they travel.
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The language barrier may feel intimidating, but Japan is so organized and easy to navigate, from ordering food to using the public transportation system. You may be asked to take a couple of photos with the locals, but that’s just admiration. Japan, especially Tokyo, is known for its love for Black culture. Nightclubs, fashion, and music are all inspired by Black culture, with Japanese B-boys and dancehall enthusiasts can be found in most major cities there.
France is considered one of the safest places in the world for solo women travelers, especially Black women. Their slow pace lifestyle and luxurious vibe make a trip to France feel like a dream. From the beaches of the Riviera to the cafes of Paris, there’s no better country to practice self-care. Whether you choose to get your sommelier on with a wine-tasting course in Bordeaux, castle hop in the Loire Valley, or simply get swept up in the romance and whimsy of the historical Alsace region, France is where you can relax, unwind, and make everything all about you.
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The South American country of Colombia is known for its vibrant culture, warm and welcoming people, and flavorful cuisine. The country elected its first Black women Vice President this year, so it’s no surprise that it would be a haven for Black women. The port city of Cartagena has a strong African influence. Black culture is acknowledged and celebrated openly with many locals of African descent proud to declare that they love being Black. January through March is the best time of year to visit for great weather and beach time, and use local Black-owned tour companies like Experience Real Cartagena to help plan the once-in-a life-time experience.
Boitumelo Masihleho is a South African digital content creator. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Rhodes University in Journalism and Media Studies and Politics and International Studies. She's an experienced multimedia journalist who is committed to writing balanced, informative and interesting stories on a number of topics. Boitumelo has her own YouTube channel where she shares her love for affordable beauty and lifestyle content.
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