Before I start I would like to state that every country has merit and I fully intend to go to every country on earth, that being said there are definitely a few that are not quite as spectacular as the rest. The goal of this is to keep you from prioritizing countries that you may end up hating or getting into a bad situation, what that being said, enjoy this comprehensive list!
Some places are simply not as good as others and some are good in certain aspects but not in others. I will be weighting the countries based on the following criteria and weighting them so you guys can get a good idea of what to expect to make an informed decision.
As usual, beauty plays a huge factor in the experience we have in a country. Even a country with nothing to do may have merit in just being purely beautiful and thus, this is one of the most important ranking factors.
This one sounds a bit vague but let me explain, this encompasses all of the essentially fun that you will have in a country. Things to do, food, and ease of access to activities is all considered.
Safety score is quite a big one here, there are some countries that are incredible in every way but you may end up in a bad situation quite easily in that country, This factors in heavily because of the issues stemming from these implications.
Beauty — 7/10
This is the saving grace of this country and why it’s not lower on the list. Many people assume Afghanistan is a barren desert, but nothing could be further from the truth. Afghanistan is filled with rolling hills, mountains, beautiful plains and yes desert as well; There is so much more to see here than anyone gives credit for and it truly is a site to see in many areas, though not all.
Experience — 4/10
The issue here is that there is just a profound lack of things to do here, yes there is some to do and some wonderful experiences, but as opposed to a country like Italy, there is really not a ton. Couple on top of this that the experiences here besides the hikes, are mostly the same, and you get rather a poor time in this country. This is just my experience of the country and I know others who have had a better experience than I did however, many will report the same.
Safety — 3/10
This one comes as no shock however, it is slightly dramatized in the media, though also skewed between men and women unfortunately. For men there is not a huge struggle here though far less safe than one would like still, for women however, the story is different as women are treated quite poorly by western standards at least and are not respected enough to be safe here. I would be careful here as a man but I would never bring my family or a member of the LGBTQIA+ community here as as I do not believe it would be safe for them.
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Beauty — 2/10
No offence to the Congo but the issue here is that everything that’s beautiful in any way is something that can be easily seen in other parts of Africa in a much better way. There isn’t much to see here and even the stuff that is something to see isn’t overly special, making for quite a non special experience.
Experience — 2/10
I try to generally stay away from exaggerating too much or to give a rating that is too far either way as those are saved for truly horrendous or truly magical experiences, however, the Congo is just not something I would ever recommend for an experience. There isn’t much as here as far as things to do, the food is just not something they’re known for here, and the ease of access to activities is non-existent due to there really not being activities to speak of.
Safety — 2/10
This really is the country of 2/10, the safety here is unreal. Not that you’ll have an easy time going here in the first place but if you get here you’ll have a hard time feeling more unsafe just about anywhere. The safety rating of this country is abysmal for a reason and the country is known for being war torn making it even more dangerous.
Beauty — 8/10
I just love the look of Venezuela, there is just so much here and all of it is gorgeous. What a shame it is that something so beautiful can be ruined by people being so awful. Regardless of the low ratings in the other categories, this is just a beautiful place, there’s no way around it.
Experiences — 4/10
I know what you’re thinking, if you’ve heard much about Venezuela you’ll be saying to yourself, ”isn’t there a ton to do here?”. Well in a way yes, there is quite a bit to do although much of it jumbles together making for less special experiences. The real issue here is that you will be or should be at least, acutely aware of the fact that everything you do here is probably exploiting or supporting those who exploit. The country ranks extremely poorly on the Hanke Misery Index because of the poor treatment of it’s citizens and those who are in a worse economic position.
Safety — 5/10
There are plenty of army and police around here so you won’t really be at risk here of petty crime unless you stray from the spots you should be. The issue ironically is that there is so much government around. There is significant corruption in Venezuela and this creates kind of an effect where you don’t know what could happen. I’m sure those more familiar with Venezuela would have an easier time, but if you’re going for the first time or even the fifth time you’ll have some rough encounters.
Want to know more about how safe you’ll be here? Check out the government travel advice.
Beauty — 5/10
While there is nothing particularly wrong with Libya in this aspect but there is nothing stunning either. There are some nice views here but many fewer than you would like and nothing that you can’t see 2x in Morocco, Brazil, Italy, Greece, Southeast Asia, etc. Libya is just straight down the middle in beauty, some parts are not the best looking and some are nice but that is true of most countries.
Experiences — 4/10
Don’t get me wrong there’s not nothing to do here, but there certainly isn’t a lot. There’s the Leptis Magna, Tripoli, and experiencing Benghazi is fantastic but these experiences are not on the same level as many other places you could go. You won’t hate your time here but it is just slightly below average in most respects.
The food is not much to speak of either, there is Asida and Hummus however, most of the food is something that would be better in Lebanon or Syria. Again, you won’t hate it and there for sure is good stuff here but truly it is nothing special to speak of.
Safety — 1/10
You may only feel more unsafe in North Korea, Libya is just incredibly unsafe in every possible way. This statement from the US Government says it all, “Libya – Level 4: Do Not Travel. Do not travel to Libya due to crime, terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping, armed conflict, and COVID-19.”. Do not, I repeat, do not take your family here and I would avoid Libya at all costs for just about any reason besides humanitarian aide, and even then please do your own research into this.
Beauty — 9/10
If we’re just talking raw beauty then it’s pretty tough to beat Zimbabwe, gorgeous waterfalls, incredible emerald isle level grass, beautiful plains teeming with animals. I choke up thinking about my time there because of the almost spiritual nature of landscape there.
Experiences — 5/10
Zimbabwe suffers from precisely the same problem as Venezuela; While there is no shortage of things to do you just plain feel wrong about everything you do here. There are some things to do to support local business and plenty of incredible restaurants for food yet, it just won’t ever feel right. If you want to check out said experiences you can here.
Safety — 4/10
While for the most part Zimbabwe won’t feel as unsafe as somewhere like Libya because of the political unrest, but Zimbabwe also suffers from extremely high levels of petty crime and shocking levels of violent crime as well. Surprisingly you’re at less risk for homicide than being trafficked or kidnapped however, that’s not exactly a plus.