8 Destinations That Are Now On The US Travel Blacklist

Do you like a little danger when you travel? Do you like the idea or taking risks due to the superior experience they can provide? Well here’s the thing, when you travel there’s a difference between adventure and serious danger. Seeking adventure is about wanting to enjoy yourself in ways that are uncommon. You’re looking for something that’s going to get the blood pumping. You’re looking for an experience you can tell your kids about one day. You want something that’s going to make for some cool pictures on social media.

Serious danger situations are entirely different. Now you’re talking about direct threats to your physical health and wellbeing. You’re talking about the chance of getting seriously hurt, killed, kidnapped, sexually assaulted, tortured, robbed, beaten, etc. These are dangers that believe it or not exist at a high level of many parts of the world. Now in a lot of cases these risks are more prevalent in countries that are really poor. These are countries that don’t have a true police force, but private militia groups who run things.

There are also countries that might not be as bad, but they are hostile depending on you being a US citizen or not. You need to understand this and stay away from such countries. On different government websites you can get a complete list of countries where you’re not allowed to go. But we’ve taken the time to put together a short list of some that are the most risky and certainly on the US travel blacklist:


Central African Republic




TESSIT, MALI – JANUARY 31, 2013: MNLA (National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad) commander Akli-Ikman Ag Souleyman, 47, is in charge of around 400 MNLA fighters around Tessit, in the Gao region, south-eastern Mali. They have heard that the Malian army is advancing in their direction, and are training in case they have to fight them. Another threat comes from a new MUJAO camp (an Islamist group, the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa) with at least 70 vehicles has been set up just a few miles away from this location. The MNLA are an armed Tuareg political movement who are seeking independence or autonomy in northern Mali, in the region they called Azawad, where they would like to create a Tuareg nation. They are Muslims, and have been accused of links to Islamist groups, however they deny this, and have been involved in removing such groups from towns in northern Mali such as Kidal in the recent conflict. (Photo by Veronique de Viguerie/Getty Images Reportage)


North Korea


South Sudan

The reason why these countries are on the US blacklist for travel is not simply because they’re dangerous, but because there’s no real US presence in them. This means if you were to go there then there would be no US presence to call on should you find yourself in trouble. In certain countries the US is dependent on other countries to act on their behalf.

So the question becomes why would anyone need to be told not to go to certain countries? Why would there need to be an official blacklist for places you can’t visit? Well the main reason is because you have certain people who like to take risks. These people are usually journalists or other media members who want to get close to a situation for the purpose of making a name for themselves.

You might also have some US citizens that are secretly helping groups in certain countries and want to get close to them in order to prove allegiance. All of this is very dangerous. The risk is very real for serious harm or even killing. Plus, in countries such as North Korea people who don’t belong there are usually detained.

The good news about virtually every destination you’ll find on the US blacklist is that there’s no real reason why you’d want to go there anyway. There’s virtually no tourist scene and the locals tend to be hostile towards foreigners. Yes, countries such as North Korea might offer something, but it’s not worth the risk.

Instead you want to focus on destination where you can actually feel safe or reasonably safe. Destinations on the US blacklist are virtual warzones and have very rough economies. This is why things such as kidnappings and human trafficking are so high in such places.

If you’re unsure about a place you plan to visit, then you can always ask a travel agent or visit the Tavel.state.gov website for more information. In some cases even countries that are close to those on the US blacklist can’t be visited.