Gift Guide

Robert Young Pelton's The World's Most Dangerous Places: 5th Edition


Robert Young Pelton, a professional adventurer, and his team of international war correspondents have updated this indispensable handbook for the intrepid adventurer-- a "how-to" in getting in and out of the world's hot spots.

We are living in a dangerous world, and now more than ever people want to know what is going on where (and why). Featuring 25 countries, The World's Most Dangerous Places, 5th Edition offers a brief up-to-the-minute history of each nation, provides tips on...

See more details below
Paperback (5TH REV)
$18.18 price
(Save 20%)$22.99 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (31) from $2.92   
  • New (9) from $12.63   
  • Used (22) from $2.92   
Sending request ...


Robert Young Pelton, a professional adventurer, and his team of international war correspondents have updated this indispensable handbook for the intrepid adventurer-- a "how-to" in getting in and out of the world's hot spots.

We are living in a dangerous world, and now more than ever people want to know what is going on where (and why). Featuring 25 countries, The World's Most Dangerous Places, 5th Edition offers a brief up-to-the-minute history of each nation, provides tips on how to get in, out and around safely, and uncovers their dangers, from diseases, land mines, and kidnapping to mercenaries and militias. Completely revised, this edition has a number of countries who have been added to the hot list.

With firsthand accounts of breathtaking adventure in each country, the book also provides the latest indispensable information on contacts for nongovernmental and rescue organizations, environmental groups, political activists, training schools in outdoor survival, commando techniques, and other potentially life-saving advice.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Riveting, passionate, astonishing, The World's Most Dangerous Places is a vital resource, especially for those inclined to explore the unknown. More than a travel guide, this alternative atlas for restless spirits will transport readers to the unmapped front-lines of today's flash points. Robert Young Pelton and his DP crew tour dozens of the world's most formidable countries, detailing with experienced aplomb (and hearty machismo) the hazards that await adventurers and adrenaline addicts. So whether traipsing from Tupolev to Transcaucasia or crewing a Kuwaiti minesweeper, or simply saving for a Club Med and indulging in a few Walter Mitty moments, your odds of returning safely increase exponentially with every morsel gleaned from The World's Most Dangerous Places.

Far from bliss, ignorance can spell trouble, so Pelton kicks off the fourth edition of The World's Most Dangerous Places with a diligently researched, statistics-filled primer on the variables of adventure travel. "Section One: What is Dangerous?" spells out the grim global realities: the chances of dying in a vehicular pile-up in Bahrain; the number of land mines per square mile in Chad; exactly how many journalists were killed in Tajikistan; as well as the odds of being airlifted out of any number of war-torn Shangri-Las. The facts are persuasive rather than dissuasive; forewarned is definitely forearmed. Pelton and his team provide practical advice on how to survive just about everything: minibuses, taxis, and trains; war zones and brutal dictatorships; revolutionary places, fundamentalist places, and just plain Nasty Places; and, most important for Americans, being a Yankee Pig.

Engrossing and readable, The World's Most Dangerous Places is a surreal jolt for armchair travelers and an indispensable bible for budding explorers. Willingly putting themselves in harm's way (or at least really darn close), Pelton and the DP contributors exude a steady "been there, done that" authenticity. The clear prose, sardonic wit, and hair-raising anecdotes are guaranteed to increase awareness. The World's Most Dangerous Places -- don't leave home without it.

Megan Schade is a frequent contributor to Barnes &

U.S. News and World Report
A primer on how to get in and out if potentially lethal places.
Today Show
Survival tips you just don't get anywhere else! The controversial adventurers' guidebook to the world's hot spots.
U.S. News and World Report
A primer on how to get in and out if potentially lethal places.
Today Show
One of the oddest and most fascinating travel books to appear in a long time.
Washington Post
Brash, opinionated, and darkly witty.
Pelton combines high octane macho baroque with survival hints you just don't get anywhere else.
I found myself welcoming Pelton's opinionated style. He made me sit up and notice and forced me to consider what I thought about issues. I welcomed his willingness to write what he thinks without worrying about political correctness . . . a book worth some serious dipping in to.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060011604
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/13/2003
  • Edition description: 5TH REV
  • Edition number: 5
  • Pages: 1088
  • Sales rank: 355,569
  • Product dimensions: 5.37 (w) x 8.37 (h) x 1.63 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Young Pelton is also the author of Come Back Alive, his auto-biography, The Adventurist, and is a regular columnist for National Geographic Adventure. He produces and hosts a television series for Discovery and the Travel Channel, and appears frequently as an expert on current affairs and travel safety on CNN, FOX News, and other news networks.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

What Danger Awaits the Weary Traveler?
Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid...Not

So is travel dangerous? Not really. One survey says that you are less likely to have an accident on vacation than when you are at home. So what does that mean? That unemployed homeless people live longer than suburbanite workaholics? Other surveys say that most people are injured within a five-mile radius of their homes. So shop more than five miles out? It's hard to sell people on the idea of selling expeditions to the local 7-11 as the most dangerous form of travel, but it's true. If you believe the doom and gloom of the statistics, death is not a Chechen terrorist but comes softly on bunny-slippered feet.

But common sense usually prevails (I said usually).People still buy bus tours to Yemen, there are sex tourists in Cambodia and Uganda's gorillas are still amused by hordes of Tilley-hatted ecotourists.The message is that travel can be dangerous if you want it to be and it can be very safe if you want it to be.Even in a war zone.

The statistics and stories you are bombarded with on tourist misfortune has to be viewed against the staggering numbers of tourists out there at any one time.

In a typical year there are about half a billion tourists or travelers wandering around the world. That's a lot money belts, white shoes, Kodak boxes and cream of mushroom legs. In the mid-1800s, Thomas Cook started the package tour and the race was on. Railroads, steamships, buses, hotels, restaurants and prices sprang up to accommodate strangers, and other than a couple of world wars, tourism was on its way to become the world's largest industry.

In 1955 there were only 46million people traveling from one country to another. Most of them were well-heeled folks "doing the continent" or "taking the sun." Ten years later there were 144 million and today there are 500 million. That's a lot of Samsonite. It also means you read a lot more about misfortune, illnesses and death. These travelers cleaned out their wallets to the tune of $315 billion. Over the next few years tourism is expected to grow around 4.3 percent to 7.1 percent according to the World Tourism Organization. So move back to the rear of the bus.

Besides overcrowding, what do those half a billion people worry about when they travel? Most worry about high prices, safety and dirty accommodations in that order. Price is not this book's bailiwick, but you can figure out what things cost pretty easily these days. For informatin on dirt, you'll have to wait until you check into Pedro's Casa D'Amore before you race the cockroaches for your bath soap.

But safety, now that's an important thing to know about, wouldn't you think? Well, the sad fact is there are no comparative statistics on country or travel safety. I'll say it again in case you don't believe me. There is no way for a traveler to learn the relative safety of his or her destination. Sure you can call up Pinkerton's, Kroll O'Gara or even the State Department and they will give your their best statistical shot massaged with a healthy dose of WAG (wild-ass guess) to let you know if you should pack your Kevlar boxers. But the question I am asked over and over (Is it dangerous?) just can't be answered with statistics. Suffice it to say, the long form answer is the purpose of this book.

Now, I am not going to stop you from visiting the local tourist police office in Ouagadougou and you can even twist the arm of the tourism board in Mogadishu for recent robberies, but you will come up dry. Why?

Crime hurts tourism. Tourism means money. Money means overdevelopment. Massive overdevelopment breeds crime. Cheap hotels, cheap bars and even cheaper tourists now crowd the south of Europe, Mexican beaches, budget Caribbean islands and even meccas like Torremolinos, Daytona Beach, Cancun, Las Vegas and Branson. The migratory arrival of pendulous grannies, knobkneed welders, screaming kids and haggard housewives creates an instant feeding frenzy of snotty-nosed beggars, clapped-out hookers, gold-toothed cops, nimble-fingered teenagers and math-challenged bartenders. Soon all of these subdenizens are tugging at your Fila knockoff shorts, creating the perfect scenario for scams and theft. So understand a basic premise of tourist crime. Tourists breed crime like plastic sneakers breed fungus.

Forget about warfare, hotel bombs and public assassinations. Your biggest danger is having that rental car window smashed in and the Elvis decanter you left in the backseat ripped off. Hey, it was your fault, all the locals know to hide that stuff, so most destinations have no reason to publicize your stupidity to other equally stupid but unexpecting visitors. Remember the $315 billion these turistas spend every year. Some countries live or die based on tourism. If you come across statistics kept by tourist police you will quickly learn that it doesn't seem that bad because (duh) there are tourist police. If you call a government they will tell you that they don't keep statistics because there is no hard fine between a tourist crime and a regular crime. When I point out that usually a tourist has a plane ticket and a foreign passport, they say something like "I guess so." The bottom line is that after eight years of doing this book I have found no absolute indicator of crime rates against tourists. I can tell you that tourism breeds crime, and when Arthur Frommer starts complaining about tourist crime on his septuagenarian and low-budget wanderings, look out.

http://www. Nashville. Net/-police/risk/

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

List of Maps xi
The Author 1
The Contributors 2
What is Dangerous?
What Is Dangerous? 9
No One Gets Out of Here Alive 9
"Adventure" Travel ... Isn't 14
In a Dangerous Place: Pamplona 16
What Danger Awaits the Weary Traveler? 19
Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid ... Not 19
Stylin' by the Deadly Mile 23
Making the Best of Nasty Situations 41
Roll Up to the Magical Misery Tour 41
War 43
In the Land of the Yankee Pig 47
Viva la Revolution! 48
Fun-da-Mental Oases 51
Mental Places 53
Jackboot Junkets 55
Gimmeyawalletland 58
Impoverished Paradises 60
Terrorist Places 62
Into the Killing Zones: Journos 64
In a Dangerous Place: Northern Albania 70
Business Travelers 75
Professional Victims 75
Tourists 79
Fodder for Fiends 79
DP Survival Course: Seven Things That Will Save Your Life 83
In a Dangerous Place Central Asia 88
Bribes 93
Stand and Deliver 93
The Price for Doing Bad Things 95
When It is Better to Give Than to Receive 96
An Exciting New Franchise Opportunity 97
Dangerous Jobs 99
Danger Live: Nine to Five 99
Dangerous Occupations 101
Who Ya Gonna Call? 106
Dangerous Diseases 121
Souvenirs from Hell 121
Malaria 125
Worms 128
The Fevers 128
Sex (STDs) 130
Hepatitis A, B, C 131
AIDS 132
Old-Fashioned Diseases 134
A Rogue's Gallery of Diseases 137
In a Dangerous Place: The Sahara 153
Drugs 155
War's Bastard Son 155
Heroin 157
Cocaine and Crack 160
Cannabis/Marijuana/Hashish 163
Pills 163
Drugs 'n' the Hood 164
Getting Arrested 171
Oh, Won't You Stay ... Just a Little Bit Longer 171
In a Dangerous Place: Mali 174
Guns 177
You Talking to ME? 177
Cops: The Real World 180
Handguns 180
Rifles and Assault Rifles 181
Medium-Range Weapons 185
Long-Range Weapons 187
Intelligence 191
What You Don't Know Can Kill You 191
Check Things Out 194
Government Travel Sources 197
Nongovernment Travel Information 198
Visas 200
News 201
Safety Training 203
Kidnapping 205
You're in Good Hands 205
Hostage Etiquette/Survival 213
Kidnap, Rescue, and Extortion Insurance (KRE) 214
KRE Resources 216
Security Resources 218
Land Mines/UXO 223
Boom Times 223
More Than You Ever Want to Know about Mines 225
How Do You Get Rid of Land Mines? 233
In a Dangerous Place: Kabul 235
Mercenaries 243
How to Travel Free, Meet Interesting People, and Then Kill Them 243
Happiness Is a Warm Gun: The Army/Navy/Marines/Air Force 244
Beau Geste: The French Foreign Legion 246
Working Freelance 250
Happiness Is a Hired Gun: PMCs and Mercs 251
Soldiers of Misfortune 255
The Men-Who-Would-Be-King Club 257
The Players 265
Happiness Is a Dead Infidel: The Mujahideen 278
Terrorism 283
I Hear You Knockin', But You Can't Come In 283
Why Do Terrorists and Rock Stars Have Only One Name? 286
Terrorism 101 289
A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall 292
Adventure Calls 301
Life Is Not a Job 301
Expeditions 302
Adventure Racing 309
Dangerous Places
Dangerous Places 313
DP's Ratings 313
Dangerous Places (Short and Sweet) 315
The Grim Reaper's Cheat Sheet 315
Afghanistan 319
Tali-Banned, Tali-Bombed, and Tali-Gone 319
In a Dangerous Place: Afghanistan 357
Algeria 377
Cutthroat Politics 377
The Balkans
Kosovo, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro, Albania 397
Balkan Bits 397
Chechnya (Ichkeria) 425
Howling Wolf 425
Colombia 447
Coca Loco Land 447
In a Dangerous Place: Colombia 475
Georgia (Sakartvelo) 479
Breakin' Up Is Hard to Do 479
Great Lakes
Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, and The Democratic Republic of Congo 499
Heart of Darkness 499
India 529
Gandhi Pieces 529
Iran 565
Party Like It's 1399 565
Iraq 587
The Garden of Bleedin' 587
In a Dangerous Place: Baghdad 617
Israel/Palestine 627
An Eye for an Eye 627
In a Dangerous Place: Israel 664
Kurdistan 675
Blood Kurd'ling 675
Lebanon 699
Deadly Doormat 699
In a Dangerous Place: Lebanon 715
Liberia 729
Black Spot 729
In a Dangerous Place: Tubmanburg 753
Nepal 759
Neverest 759
North Korea 777
King of Denial 777
Pakistan 795
Wackistan 795
The Philippines 827
A Marriage of Inconvenience 827
In a Dangerous Place: Negros 849
Russia 853
Red 'n' Dead 853
In a Dangerous Place: Russia 881
South Africa 889
So'sweat-o 889
Sudan 911
Black Moon Rising 911
The United States of America 931
Home of the Brave 931
Yemen 959
Blamin' Yemen 959
Zimbabwe 977
Farmageddon 977
In a Dangerous Place: Zimbabwe 1001
Mr. Dp's Little Black Book
Save the World 1009
Patching the Apocalypse 1009
Working Overseas 1011
Save Yourself 1031
Stay Alive! (At Least Until You Get Home) 1031
What to Pack 1045
Use It or Lose It 1045
Index 1058
Photo Credits 1075
Read More Show Less


For those who have never read DP, I should provide the standard briefing. DP is not a travel guide; it is a guide to staying alive, a guide to less-traveled parts of the world and a guide to how to stay safe should you go there.
More importantly, DP is a book about learning things firsthand, about ignoring carefully coiffed newscasters and flipping the channel when talking heads regurgitate government policy or debate ethics du jour. DP is about stuffing a week's worth of old clothes into a tattered backpack and taking matters into your own hands. I don't care if you work in a hospital or man the front lines. There is no one right answer, no clean take, no big picture, just a lot of people who need to be heard and talked to about what makes this world the way it is. DP gives you enough addresses, phone numbers, web sites and backgrounders to intelligently formulate not an opinion but an approach.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 27, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Fascinating, funny and frightening

    I learned more about the state of the world from this one volume than from any ten political science or geography books. The CIA should have it on the shelf right next to its almanac of world hot spots. If you're a traveller or are interested in foreigh countries or international affairs, you won't be able to put it down.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2004

    Insanely informative and fun to read.

    Everyone with even the most remote interest in the 'rest of the world' should read this book. I haven't finished this edition yet, but I read the 4th edition three times, and it was completely worth it each time. Robert Young Pelton manages to combine (usually boring) information with his own comments to make the book funny and surprisingly entertaining to read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2003

    THE New Geography Textbook

    The US is currently involved in many Third World countries,including Bosnia,Afghanistan,and Iraq. We may soon be involved in Liberia and Iran. Why? Why on Earth would we want to go to these places? Read this book and you'll find out. 'DP'(as it's fans call it) offers a no-holds-barred look at the world's trouble spots,with tons of info you'll never see on the evening news. This,and it's previous editions,are written by reporters who have actually been to these countries in search of the real story. They give you the low down on what's really going on,and why,without the warm and fuzzy spin you see on TV. They profile the major players and give copious amounts of background on the groups involved in all the various conflicts around the world. And it's done in a style that will make you stay up all night reading it;this isn't some dry,government issued fact book. The writing is frank and honest with a wry tone so that you can't help but crack a smile. Robert Pelton also has no axe to grind,he presents his material to inform the reader without being preachy. And he doesn't play favorites. Read the chapter on America and you'll get an idea why the rest of the world has the opinion of us that they do. Be warned:some of the comments in this book are not for the thin-skinned. But then,the truth hurts. One comment in particular about 9/11 will have more sensitive folks fuming...but it's a spot-on observation about our culture. I highly recommend this book for anyone wanting to know more about the world we live in. In fact,I think it should be required reading for all high school seniors. This book is The Clue that many Americans need.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)