LGBT Travelers on Safari
When planning an international trip, it’s always a good idea to get familiarized with the local laws and customs of your specific travel destination. Accordingly, members of the LGBT community traveling to Africa should be aware of local attitudes towards same-sex couples in various countries. Some regions in Africa will welcome LGBT tourists with open arms while other places maintain distinctly less progressive stances towards gay and lesbian rights.
Part of being a savvy traveler involves the careful selection of your destinations and itinerary. South Africa is undoubtedly the most tolerant country on the continent for LGBT rights and tourism, having been recognized among the top LGBT friendly travel destinations globally. In South Africa, same-sex marriages are legal and the local constitution covers gay and lesbian rights. Johannesburg is an ideal travel spot for the LGBT community. Here, the booming LGBT scene is situated within an updated modern district known as the “Heartland” where gay friendly clubs, cafes, bars, and hotels can be found at every turn.
South Africa’s mother city Cape Town is another particularly popular destination for the LGBT community to enjoy. The “pink route” along the Atlantic seaboard highlights an impressive concentration of gay-friendly and/or gay-owned and operated lodgings. Venues like De Waterkant Village are trendy local hotspots for the LGBT community. In fact, Greenpoint’s Waterkant Street boasts the indisputably best gay nightlife in all of Africa. Thanks to its welcoming atmosphere and scenic natural wonders, gay and lesbian couples should even consider Cape Town as a wedding and/or honeymoon location.
However, not all countries in Africa adopt such liberal acceptance of the LGBT community
However, not all countries in Africa adopt such liberal acceptance of the LGBT community, so LGBT travelers should be cautious outside of South Africa because it’s always a good idea to honor the local laws and be circumspect. Keep this in mind when navigating more conservatively oriented destinations like Botswana, Tanzania, Kenya, and Uganda where homosexuality is illegal. While it’s largely unlikely you will openly face discrimination in any of these places, it’s always best to be mindful of your surroundings.
Ultimately, being a well-informed traveler, regardless of sexual orientation, will ensure that you have a fulfilling and safe African safari adventure.
Photo courtesy of 17loader.za.net on Cape Town’s De Waterkant Village