Africa is an incredibly diverse continent, rich in culture, history, and breathtaking landscapes. However, when it comes to LGBTQ+ rights and acceptance, the picture is not uniform across the continent. This raises concerns about the safety of LGBTQ+ travelers in Africa.

LGBTQ+ travelers can have diverse experiences throughout Africa by choosing tour operators that prioritize LGBTQ+ inclusivity. With the right planning and accommodations, LGBTQ+ travelers can explore the captivating landscapes, vibrant cultures, and rich histories that Africa has to offer while feeling welcomed and respected.


By selecting LGBTQ+ friendly accommodations, travelers can find comfort and support during their journey. It is also essential to exercise discretion and respect local customs and traditions, especially in countries where LGBTQ+ rights may still be developing. In this blog post, we will explore the legal and social landscapes in various African countries, provide tips on choosing a safe destination, and offer resources and inspiring stories to guide and encourage LGBTQ+ travelers in Africa.

Legal Status of LGBTQ+ Rights in Africa

Understanding the legal situation for LGBTQ+ individuals in Africa is crucial for ensuring a safe and enjoyable trip. While some countries have progressive LGBTQ+ laws and protections, others enforce harsh anti-LGBTQ+ laws and penalties. 

Countries with relatively progressive LGBTQ+ laws and protections:

  • South Africa: As the first African country to legalize same-sex marriage in 2006, South Africa has robust legal protections for LGBTQ+ individuals. Discrimination based on sexual orientation is also prohibited by its constitution.
  • Botswana: In November 2019, the Botswana Court of Appeal upheld a lower court decision to decriminalize consensual same-sex conduct, declaring the colonial-era penal code provisions unconstitutional.
  • Mozambique decriminalized same-sex sexual activity in 2011, and the country has a non-discrimination law that protects LGBTQ+ people from discrimination in employment, education, and housing.
  • Seychelles: Same-sex sexual activity is legal in Seychelles, and the country has a non-discrimination law that protects LGBTQ+ people from discrimination in employment, education, and housing.
  • Angola’s new penal code, effective since January 2021, no longer criminalizes same-sex conduct and includes a non-discrimination provision protecting sexual orientation.
  • Namibia decriminalized same-sex sexual activity in 2008, and the country has a non-discrimination law that protects LGBTQ+ people from discrimination in employment, education, and housing.

It is important to note that the legal status of LGBTQ+ rights in Africa is constantly changing. Some countries may have progressive laws on the books, but LGBTQ+ people may still face discrimination and violence in practice. It is also important to remember that the legal status of LGBTQ+ rights can change rapidly.

In recent years, there have been a number of positive developments in the legal status of LGBTQ+ rights in Africa. However, there have also been a number of setbacks. It is important to stay informed about the latest developments in this area.

Popular Destinations in Africa for LGBTQ+ Travelers 

These destinations offer a combination of luxury accommodations, breathtaking scenery, and unique wildlife experiences, ensuring a memorable trip for LGBTQ+ travelers.

  • Nairobi, Kenya: The Hemingway House Nairobi is a luxury boutique hotel known for its spacious suites and private balconies with stunning views of the Ngong Hills. It provides a serene and comfortable stay in a quiet residential area.
  • Laikipia Plains, Kenya: Elewana Loisaba Tented Camp is an award-winning luxury camp situated on the edge of an escarpment, offering breathtaking views of the Laikipia landscape and Mount Kenya. Guests can enjoy a range of activities, including game drives, horseback riding, camel trekking, guided bush walks, and mountain biking.
  • Masai Mara, Kenya: Angama Mara is an owner-run lodge perched high above the Great Rift Valley, providing panoramic views of the Masai Mara. Their luxurious tented suites feature floor-to-ceiling glass windows, allowing guests to immerse themselves in the natural beauty surrounding them. Activities in the area include game drives, hot air ballooning, walking safaris, and visits to Maasai villages.

panoramic views of the Masai Mara

  • Kigali, Rwanda: The Marriott Kigali Hotel is located in Rwanda’s capital city, offering a convenient base to explore the vibrant culture and history of Kigali. Visitors can visit the Kigali Genocide Memorial, explore local markets, and experience the lively atmosphere of the city.
  • Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda: Bisate Lodge, located adjacent to Volcanoes National Park, is a luxurious and eco-sensitive safari lodge. With only six opulent Forest Villas, it provides an intimate and exclusive experience. Guests can embark on gorilla treks to encounter these magnificent creatures and participate in reforestation and community partnership initiatives.

Splendors of Morocco

Morocco is a beautiful country with a lot to offer visitors, including its rich history, culture, and stunning scenery. LGBTQ+ travelers can have safe and welcoming experiences in Morocco by choosing tour operators that prioritize LGBTQ+ inclusivity. With LGBTQ+ friendly accommodations, cruises, and guides, you can explore Morocco’s beauty and cultural heritage while feeling respected. 

The travel industry in Morocco is evolving to create a safer and more accepting environment for LGBTQ+ travelers. Plan thoughtfully, respect local customs, and enjoy a luxurious experience while prioritizing your safety.

Innenhof eines alten Riads in Fes, Marokko

Treasures of Egypt

Egypt offers a mesmerizing landscape and an array of exquisite attractions, making it an alluring destination for luxury LGBTQ+ travelers. While Egypt has undeniable allure, it’s worth noting that the country’s LGBTQ+ inclusivity may be a concern for some.

LGBTQ+ travelers can enjoy safe and welcoming experiences in Egypt by partnering with tour operators that have established connections with LGBTQ+ friendly hotels, cruises, and guides. With the right tour operator and accommodations, LGBTQ+ travelers can embark on a memorable journey through Egypt, embracing its beauty and cultural heritage while feeling welcomed and respected

The travel industry in Egypt is evolving, with more establishments becoming LGBTQ+ friendly, contributing to a safer and more accepting environment for LGBTQ+ travelers. With careful planning and consideration, LGBTQ+ travelers can still enjoy Egypt’s captivating wonders while prioritizing their safety and comfort. By collaborating with LGBTQ+ friendly travel services and embracing cultural sensitivity, you can enhance your luxury travel experience in this enchanting destination.

Mortuary Temple of Queen Hatshepsut. West Bank, Luxor, Nile Valley, Egypt

Mortuary Temple of Queen Hatshepsut. West Bank, Luxor, Nile Valley, Egypt

It is important to note that these are just a few resources that may be helpful for gay and lesbian travelers to Egypt. There are many other resources available, and it is important to do your own research to find the ones that are most helpful for you.

Travel Tips for LGBTQ+ Travelers in Africa

Being culturally sensitive and respecting local customs is vital for all travelers, but especially for LGBTQ+ individuals in Africa. Here are some suggestions for staying safe and avoiding potential risks:

  • To ensure personal safety, it is advisable to exercise caution and avoid using location-based dating apps such as Grindr or Scruff. This precaution helps mitigate potential risks and ensures a more secure travel experience.
  • Embrace Cultural Sensitivity and Respect Locals: When traveling to Africa, it is crucial to respect the diverse cultural practices and customs that you may encounter. This includes dressing modestly, avoiding public displays of affection, and being mindful of local social norms. Researching the cultural and social expectations of the countries you plan to visit will help you navigate these nuances with sensitivity and respect.
  • Staying Safe and Avoiding Potential Risks: To minimize risks, it is essential to research the legal landscape and societal attitudes towards LGBTQ+ individuals in the countries you plan to visit. Exercise caution when discussing your sexual orientation or gender identity with strangers, especially in countries where LGBTQ+ rights are not well-protected
  • Communication and Collaboration with Fellow LGBTQ+ Travelers and Allies: Stay connected with fellow LGBTQ+ travelers.

 Africa Safe for LGBT Travelers

  • Know Your Rights and Seek Help When Needed: Familiarize yourself with your rights in each country you visit and be prepared to seek help if necessary. This might include contacting your country’s embassy or consulate or reaching out to local LGBTQ+ organizations for assistance.
  • Prioritize Your Well-Being and Self-Care: Traveling can be physically and emotionally demanding, especially when navigating complex social and legal environments. Prioritize self-care by ensuring you get enough rest, maintaining a healthy diet, and engaging in activities that bring you joy and relaxation.

Resources and Support for LGBTQ+ Travelers in Africa

Several international organizations provide resources and support for LGBTQ+ travelers worldwide, including those visiting Africa. Some of these organizations include:

  • International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA): IGLTA is a global organization dedicated to promoting LGBTQ+ travel and tourism. They provide a wealth of information, including LGBT-friendly accommodations, travel agents, and tour operators in various African countries. Website:
  • OutRight Action International: This organization advocates for LGBTQ+ rights worldwide and offers valuable resources and information for LGBTQ+ travelers, including country-specific data on LGBTQ+ rights and safety. Website:

Country-Specific LGBTQ+ Organizations and Support Networks

Many African countries have local organizations dedicated to supporting and advocating for the LGBTQ+ community. These organizations can provide valuable insights and resources for LGBTQ+ travelers. Some examples include:

  • South Africa: The Triangle Project offers support services, advocacy, and resources for the LGBTQ+ community in South Africa. They also provide information on LGBT-friendly accommodations and events. Website:
  • Kenya: The Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya (GALCK) is a coalition of organizations advocating for LGBTQ+ rights and providing support services. They can be a valuable resource for LGBTQ+ travelers seeking information on local events, safe spaces, and support services. Website:
  • Gay Egypt: Gay Egypt is a website for gay and lesbian travelers to Egypt. The website has information about gay-friendly hotels, restaurants, and bars in Egypt.


Start Your Unforgettable LGBTQ+ Travel Experience in Africa

Africa offers a range of luxury destinations and accommodations that cater to LGBTQ+ travelers. Countries like South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, and the Seychelles have progressive laws and protections for LGBTQ+ individuals. However, it’s important to consider the legal and social landscape of each destination, as some countries have harsh anti-LGBTQ+ laws and social stigmas. Nairobi, Egypt, Laikipia Plains, and Masai Mara in Kenya, as well as Morocco, Kigali, and Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, are popular luxury gay-friendly destinations in Africa. It’s crucial to be culturally sensitive, respect local customs, and prioritize safety while traveling. Connecting with LGBTQ+ travel organizations, online forums, and social media groups can provide additional resources and support for LGBTQ+ travelers in Africa.

Craig Smith

Craig Smith

Craig Smith founded Source Journeys with the dream of creating extraordinary travel experiences for the mind, body & spirit with and for like-minded friends. For over 20 years, Source Journeys has become a recognized leader in luxury gay travel, producing all-gay cruises and adventures around the world. More so, Craig has created a family of travelers and adventurers who eagerly follow his lead to discover.