We may find many countries amazing, extremely attractive and interesting, these and for many other reasons we yearn to visit them. However, countries we may find interesting might not be available for travel. Why you may ask? Well, to start with, there are some countries in the world with very specific travel bans issued in cases when visitors and tourists are threatened and they cannot be guaranteed a safe surrounding and pleasant visit to the country. Sometimes, countries issue bans to other countries based on historical events from past times or because of epidemic and dangerous diseases. In case you are already planning a trip and browsing through the splendid countries you haven't visited yet, keep these countries in mind so you know the top countries with travel bans in the world today.
Photo: Daniel Brock
This country has a travel ban from the USA which is a long-lasting and it has been introduced even back in 1962, from the period of Cold War and the Cuban Missile Crisis. Thus, Americans set restrictions to almost all trade and travel between the two countries. On the other side, Cuba is perhaps the only country in the world at this very moment who has issued travel bans for American citizens. Those who still managed to find a loophole and visit Cuba witness that Cuban people are actually very pleasant and nice but that there are police forces who make locals to hide their friendships with tourists. And if locals get caught, the punishment is jail, of course.
Photo: Jonas K.
The US government has also issued traveling bans for North Korea justifying their decision by human rights abuses in North Korea and the North Korean Nuclear Program. This is why North Korea and the USA have no diplomatic relations. However, not only Americans issued sanctions against this country. Many other countries did the same, including: Australia, Canada, Switzerland, European Union, Japan, United Kingdom and many other countries. North Korea did the same and it is almost impossible to visit this country because of the strict restrictions for a visa in the country. Only few tourists with very specific official country tours via special travel agents are granted entry into the country. One of the most famous persons who had a chance to visit North Korea is a former NBA star Dennis Rodman but his visit created a lot of disturbance in American media.
Photo: MAITE ELORZA
Iran is also one of the countries under sanctions and travel bans. It has almost complete political embargo on all economic activities, including travelling as well. The USA issued such a policy in 1979 after the outbreak of Iranian Revolution, during which 52 American diplomats were taken hostage for 444 days. Indeed, it was not as strict as today, but sanctions grew over time and it culminated due to the Iranian Nuclear Program which was not approved by the USA nor other Western powers. Although the sanctions are milder now than they used to be during the culmination of crisis back in 2010, travel ban is still in effect.
Photo: James Ainooson
Ebola was the top news in the world last year but most of us do not actually know how dangerous this virus is or how it spreads. Ebola is a virus named after a river in Democratic Republic of Congo where it showed up for the first time back in 1976 in a hospital run by nuns. Ebola is Filoviridiae type virus with a number of severe symptoms including muscle pain, high temperature, global weakness, sore throat, headache, diarrhea, vomiting, fever and in some cases even coma. At this time there is no vaccine or exact cure for this virus which makes it even more dangerous and the main reason why research on a proper vaccine is still not finished is a possibility of virus mutation. The 2014 epidemic has been localized in western Africa, in countries like Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea but could easily be transferred in other parts of the world so most countries issued a travel ban to this region. Although the peak of the crisis passed, this ban is still on power in most countries in the world.
Photo: Johannes Zielcke
Since the outbreak of Civil War in july of 2011, most of the countries issued a warning to its citizens against travel to Syria. Some of them issued a complete travel ban, for obvious reasons since no part of Syria can be considered safe from violence. Unfortunately, war in Syria still continues to fill in the world headlines, so the travel ban is active even today, four years after the fighting had started.
There are many other countries we could not visit even if we would want and causes for our inability to visit them are different. It’s always good to check your government’s foreign affairs to see if there are any travel bans before booking tickets for your adventures. Let us hope that at least some of these restrictions will be removed in near future and that communication will be renewed in these crisis stricken nations.
Expat Lifestyle, Living Abroad, Travel Destinations, Living Overseas, Cuba, North Korea, Iran, West Africa, Syria