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<strong>Warning to Americans: Do Not Visit These Countries</strong>

Warning to Americans: Do Not Visit These Countries

Post last updated June 13, 2024

Before you book your next vacation, ask yourself: is my desired travel destination safe and secure to visit if I’m a U.S. citizen? The US Department of State maintains travel advisories for every location in the world. These advisories are designed to protect and educate anyone hoping to travel to certain regions. Which regions are considered Level 4 zones, countries U.S. citizens should avoid at all costs? 

In no particular order, here are the countries classified as ‘Level 4: Do Not Travel’ areas and why they might be categorized this way.

Level 4 Travel Advisory: An Overview

The Department of State has many different aspects to consider when it comes to travel safety and visiting other countries. Factors such as crime rates and violence contribute to the rating of certain countries. In addition, political issues and tension between nations can play a role in these advisories. Terrorism, kidnapping, stolen identities, and even the availability of flights in and out of certain countries are also reasons to label a region with a Level 4 travel advisory.

Level 4 Travel Advisory: An Overview


Every country is different and these advisories are subject to change as regions become safer or, on the other hand, more dangerous. As of 2024, here are some of the countries U.S. citizens should avoid.

Burma (Myanmar)

Burma underwent a coup d’etat in 2021, which is just one reason why U.S. citizens aren’t advised to visit. Civil unrest and unlawful withholding of citizens have occurred and continue to occur in this country alongside military enforcement and areas full of unknown land mines. While the Department of State outlines certain things you can do to protect yourself should you choose to visit, it is ultimately a location that is not recommended. 

Central African Republic

Central African Republic Grunge Flag

The Central African Republic doesn’t have very many accounts of violent crimes against U.S. citizens in particular. However, this country does not have adequate Embassy support should a U.S. citizen become trapped there. Given the chance of unrest, violence, and zero U.S. support should you end up stranded, it isn’t recommended to visit this particular country. 

Burkina Faso

Given the restrictions placed upon the U.S. government within the country of Burkina Faso, visiting this region isn’t advised. Just like the Central African Republic, Burkina Faso has limited resources, especially legal resources, for U.S. citizens. Plus, this country is in a state of emergency in certain locations due to terrorism and unanticipated violence. 


More than likely, you’re already aware of why you may not want to travel to Ukraine right now. Given that this country is in active armed conflict with Russia, travel is not permitted for the safety of citizens around the world– not just in the United States.


In 2023, all non-emergency U.S. government employees in Haiti were advised to leave due to the potential for violence against them. Kidnappings, particularly of U.S. citizens and women traveling alone, are prevalent in Haiti. When paired with a lack of healthcare infrastructure and a recent cholera outbreak in this country, do not plan on visiting anytime soon. 


Kidnapping for the sake of receiving ransom is one of the primary reasons to avoid traveling to Libya. U.S. citizens have been reportedly targeted for such crimes. Plus, unlawful detainment and questioning have occurred without access to legal rights or lawyers, particularly when trying to fly out of the country.


There haven’t been any consular services in Belarus since early 2022, as all U.S. Embassy or government employees left the country. Belarus is actively involved in Russia’s war on Ukraine and has violence occuring on its own soil, things that make this among the countries U.S. citizens should avoid.


Since 2011, Syria has been involved in an active, armed conflict within its borders. Because of this, U.S. citizens are not advised to travel to Syria for any reason. Violence, destruction, and unprompted attacks are common, and there is no longer a U.S. Embassy in Syria to offer support.


Numerous unpredictable acts of violence have emanated from Russia over the decades, leading to this country’s placement on the Do Not Travel list. Not only is Russia actively engaged in war, but it is a country that unlawfully targets and detains US citizens should they visit. 


Iraq sandstorm with soldier

While the Ordered Departure status for Iraq’s U.S. Embassy was recently terminated, U.S. citizens should still avoid traveling here. Terrorism, violence, and the inability to protect U.S. citizens are just some of the reasons why Iraq is labeled a Level 4 country. 

South Sudan

Conflict is ongoing among many different political groups in South Sudan. Violent cattle raids, kidnappings, robberies, and much more regularly occur, both among visitors and those living in this country. Plus, journalistic endeavors without proper approval and documentation can be highly dangerous and lethal. 


Timbuktu, Mali, Sub Sahara W. Africa

Kidnapping and other major crimes occur in Mali frequently. Tourist locales, such as hotels, clubs, and restaurants are often targets, making Mali among the countries U.S. citizens should avoid visiting if at all possible. 


The political rallies in Venezuela are frequent, unexpected, and violent. Because of their unpredictability, these events require Venezuela to be on the Do Not Travel list. U.S. citizens and other international visitors have also been unlawfully detained, with some reports mentioning imprisonment for at least 5 years. 


Besides violence, Somalia has many illegal activities occurring within its borders. This country is known for putting up illegal roadblocks unexpectedly, and many supposedly helpful infrastructures are being operated illegally or without oversight. Piracy is also common along Somalia’s coast, particularly in international waters. 


Yemen has been in the midst of a civil war for many years. Because of the likelihood of violence as well as the decay of necessary resources and infrastructure such as hospitals, U.S. citizens should not travel here. 

North Korea

map of North Korea

Unless the Secretary of State has given you special permission, all U.S. passports are invalid to enter North Korea. Also known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, this country remains off-limits for travelers and has for decades. 


sudan with camels

Much like South Sudan, Sudan remains a Level 4 travel advisory because of its propensity for unexplained or unanticipated violence. Civil unrest and political agendas make this country unsafe to visit. 


With multiple terrorist organizations operating in Afghanistan, U.S. citizens are not advised to travel to this country. Not only are violence and unlawful imprisonments common, there are also no Embassy services available to U.S. citizens.


Wrongful detentions are one of the main reasons Iran has a Level 4 travel advisory attached to its name. This unlawful act is often perpetrated against those with dual citizenship who choose to visit this country, regardless of profession or proper paperwork. 

Ashleigh on ferry Island hopping.

Hi, I'm Ashleigh! Welcome to Seattle Travel, my little piece of beautiful PNW. This is home and I'm here to share all my experiences so visitors and locals alike can find the best experiences this part of the country has to offer. I started Seattle Travel in 2012 as a way to journal my experiences and over the years have been encouraged by family and friends to open up my adventures to everyone. I actively seek out the best food, activities, and day trips and give you a local perspective.  The Pacific Northwest is one of the most beautiful areas in the world and my goal is to let you explore it to the fullest. 

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