top of page
xaxaba camp_up close with elephants.jpg
Go2Africa logo

Go2Africa Shares Top African Safari Destinations

for LGBTQ+ Travelers

Cape Town, South Africa (August 6, 2022): LGBTQ+ Travel in Africa has been a focus for Go2Africa’s Safari Experts since 1998. The team has been committed to building first-hand knowledge of every destination, lodge, and activity they recommend. Safety and acceptance are top priorities when planning itineraries for all travelers, along with luxury, comfort, and security. In recent years, they have been featured on Condé Nast Traveler's expert list for LGBTQ+ travelers. Several destinations in Africa are more forward-thinking and offer an inclusive spirit where travelers can express themselves and experience respect. These are a few recommended LGBTQ+ destinations travelers are flocking to for these reasons. 

Below are the most LGBTQ+ friendly countries in Africa.

SOUTH AFRICA

South Africa is an accepting country and a shining beacon for gay travel in Africa. Some of the best experiences, gay-friendly accommodations, bars, and hotels are found in the country’s Mother City of Cape Town. South Africa’s 1996 Constitution specifically protects full and equal rights for the LGBTQ+ community, and all forms of anti-gay discrimination are banned. In 2006, the Rainbow Nation legalized same-sex marriages, the first country in Africa and the fifth in the world to do so. South Africa is one of the safest countries for LGBTQ+ travelers. Cape Town, in particular, has earned its nickname Africa’s ‘gay capital,’ ranking consistently among the world’s top gay cities – Elton John is rumored to have a few favorite spots in the Mother City. Some of the best experiences are found at the safari bigwig, the Kruger National Park, and its surrounding private concessions. Mala Mala and Sabi Sand Nature Reserve offer slightly more upscale gay African safari tours, with plenty of leopards to see. A major drawcard is being able to pair the best of both worlds, bronzing on white sand beaches and then traversing untouched wilderness in Big 5 country – a perfect bush and beach combination.

Jerry Mpufane, President of South African Tourism North America, shared, "We look forward to continuing our work to make sure that when LGBTQ+ travelers think of traveling to the African continent, they think of South Africa. We will continue flying our rainbow flag proudly as we show our beautiful country's many rich, authentic experiences."

BOTSWANA

Although they have only recently changed their regulations, Botswana is consistently welcoming towards the LGBTQ+ community and is undoubtedly one of the safest countries for LGBTQ+ travelers. You can’t quite compare Botswana with anywhere else on Earth. Safari enthusiasts will tell you that if you ever consider a safari sojourn, go to Botswana– it’s packed with wildlife and sparse with people. In June 2019, Botswana abolished its laws against same-sex relations, and despite an appeal by the government in November 2021, the ruling was upheld. The LGBTQ+ community also enjoys some legal protections, and the constitution has protected the right to change legal gender since 2017. Botswana is a tapestry of landscapes and one of Africa’s premier travel destinations, from the meandering waterways of the Okavango Delta, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, to the starkly beautiful Makgadikgadi Pans. Botswana is where Mother Nature inspires with her endless creativity, and you can have profound encounters with massive herds of elephants and Africa’s ‘painted wolves,’ the endangered wild dog – reveling in the most isolated parts of the globe.

NAMIBIA

Namibia is rightly amongst the best countries for gay African safari tours. Namibia’s law against male same-sex relations is not enforced, and legislation to repeal it has been proposed. Same-sex female relations have never been criminalized, and the right to change legal gender has been protected since 1963. The country is dominated by the Namib Desert (whose Nama name means ‘Vast Place’), and it enthralls with its immense landscapes, wildlife, and ancient rock art. It’s also one of the most thinly inhabited countries in the world – there are about two million people in a country almost as large as France and Italy combined. Some favorite regions within Namibia include the towering sand dunes and desert wildlife of the Namib Desert and Sossusvlei, the coastal German-influenced holiday town of Swakopmund, and the Etosha National Park – where you can enjoy classic game viewing of some of Africa’s greatest predators. For an atmosphere of complete isolation, you could fly into the Kaokoveld; with only a handful of lodges, it is an exclusive getaway to one of southern Africa’s truly untouched wilderness areas.

RWANDA

Celebrity and LGBTQ+ community member Ellen DeGeneres has shone the limelight on this African destination, and her commitment to conservation work has opened the Ellen DeGeneres Campus of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund. It is one of the safest countries for LGBTQ+ travelers looking to go on a life-changing gorilla safari and actively contribute to preserving endangered mountain gorillas. No laws have ever existed against same-sex relations in Rwanda, but there are no legal protections or gender identity protections either, and same-sex marriage remains constitutionally banned. In Rwanda, you can experience something you have only dreamed about: gorilla trekking in mystically misted verdant jungles. Coming face-to-face with the rarest animals on Earth is both a humbling and soul-stirring experience, as well as encounters with the mischievous Sykes monkey and the boisterous chimpanzee.