This article was published on February 9th, 2020
The Motherland has never been known for being particularly friendly for those in the LGBTQ+ community, with travel across the continent still a daunting task for those wishing to take in the natural beauty of the continent. Today, much of Africa encompasses countries where homosexuality is banned, and in some even punishable by death. However, there have emerged some areas and cities across the continent that have transformed into hotspots for gay people, making travel there worthwhile. Currently, there are over 22 countries that have been classified as gay friendly in Africa, with that number increasing yearly. HomoCulture has researched the list of places that have received the best reviews in recent months and years and listed them here as safer destinations to plan a holiday and enjoy the gems of Africa.
South Africa has consistently made the list as one of the top destinations for the LGBTQ+ community worldwide, so it is no shock that the country tops the list for gay travelers to Africa. With many pink venues offered around the country, visitors can en joy time along the Atlantic seaboard, hang out in the gay-friendly De Waterkant Village, or even plan their wedding or honeymoon at some of their beautiful locations. Two cities to definitely place on your list?
Cape Town, South Africa
From the wine vineyards and rock climbing, nude beaches, and big game reserves, Cape Town has something for everyone, often cited as possessing some of the best in gay nightlife on the continent. It remains one of the exceptions to the rule when it comes to travel on the continent, and anyone that travels there is in for an atmosphere that is inclusive, majestic, and hospitable in every way.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Renown for its thriving gay district in the center of the city, Jo’burg’s charm extends throughout the city, where a plethora of gay-friendly cafes, bars, clubs, cafes, hotels abound. Tourists that visit this city will be welcomed with open arms and can safely soak up the culture and the nightlife without fear of retribution.
Although it is currently illegal to be openly gay in Kenya, like many countries in the region, the LGBT+ community is becoming more tolerated as social mores shift. As a tourist, it is suggest to keep your wits about you and be vigilant – basically, just as you would in any large city. Boasting a vibrant nightlife and several cultural landmarks, there is also the Masai Mara Wildlife Reserve where visitors can check out the big game reserves to see indigenous lions, black rhinos, hippos, and cheetahs. For nature lovers, Kenya offer an amazing escape for the LGBTQ+ set.
Seychelles Islands, Madagascar
A nation located in the Indian Ocean northeast of Madagascar, Seychelles is comprised of over 150 islands and is known for a laidback vibe that is welcoming to everyone, sexual orientation irrelevant. But if you are coming here, be sure to come with a big pocketbook as it is known for its expensive airfare and luxury resorts sprinkled across the islands.
Aside from visiting the Pyramids, the city and country have lots to offer gay travelers, many of which come here in tour groups to explore the markets and nightlife. There is a small, yet burgeoning gay scene in the center that has become popular with tourists. Note that homosexuality is a criminal offense in Egypt, however, so be mindful on the streets, with public displays of affection frowned upon.
Another hotspot worth considering is Durban, South Africa, which hosts an annual Pride festival as well as the annual Durban Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, regarded as the oldest city-based LTBQ+ cultural event of its type in Africa. Once there, visitors can travel to other cities in the country to soak up more of the sun and landscapes.
Another upcoming hotspot that is Amman, Jordan, one of the most progressive cities in the Middle East that currently has several gay tour groups operating within the country. Homosexuality is illegal in most countries in the Middle East, but in Jordan, gay sex is legal, with PDA frowned upon. Still, it is potentially worth the trip to see major tourist sites like Petra, one of the most historical in the world. It should be noted that the list for travel destinations in Africa changes dramatically, so check before booking your tickets anywhere, get in contact with locals in the community once arriving, and above all else – enjoy yourself!