LGBTQ+ Tourism Changemakers Part 2: Interview with David Ryan, CEO of Out2Africa

Out2Africa is the brainchild of David Ryan, a proudly gay entrepreneur who's passionate about Africa and, more specifically, the gift of connection and healing that Africa provides all her visitors. He embodies Pride, and it shows in the way he set up Out2Africa and in how he rolls out the red (or rather, rainbow-coloured) carpet for guests from all over the world visiting Africa. We sat down to hear more about what Pride Month and Out2Africa mean to him.

david-at-silvan-safari-copyrights-rhino-africa-129.jpg David loves Africa and wants to share its magic with the rest of the world

How do you see your role in promoting social change and altering perceptions around visiting Africa as an LGBTQ+ traveller?

I believe my role is pivotal. Our mission is to create a safe and inclusive space for LGBTQ+ travellers, challenging stereotypes and the stigma often associated with visiting the continent.

Through our tailored experiences, advocacy work, first-hand knowledge, and proud Travel Experts, we aim to showcase Africa as a welcoming and diverse destination for all who wish to visit.

How does Out2Africa create safe and welcoming experiences for LGBTQ+ travellers across the continent, especially in regions that are less accepting?

Leveraging South Africa's progressive stance on LGBTQ+ rights, Out2Africa ensures that our guests receive safe and welcoming experiences across the continent, even in regions that may be less accepting. By partnering with LGBTQ+-friendly lodges, hotels, logistic partners, (many of whom are gay owned and run), along with local communities, we create a network of support that prioritises the wellbeing of our guests.

david-at-silvan-safari-copyrights-rhino-africa-144.jpg I can show you the world, shining, shimmering, splendid...

How does Out2Africa ensure the safety and comfort of its clients while providing authentic and enriching travel experiences?

Recognising the unique challenges faced by LGBTQ+ individuals traveling in Africa, Out2Africa prioritises safety and comfort for all our guests, through first-hand knowledge and experience. Our team conducts thorough research on destinations and products coupled with cultural sensitivity training to our staff.

Being based in Africa, on the ground we're able to offer 24/7 support to address any concerns that may arise during our guests travel. We believe that authentic and enriching travel experiences can coexist with safety and inclusivity, and this is what we endevour to deliver to our guests everyday.

david-at-silvan-safari-copyrights-rhino-africa-086.jpg Out here, we'll show you the places you can be out and proud

How does Out2Africa celebrate Pride Month, and what message do you hope to convey to both the LGBTQ+ community and the wider world during this time?

Pride Month holds immense significance for the LGBTQ+ community worldwide, including Out2Africa. We celebrate this event by highlighting stories of resilience, diversity, and empowerment within the community.

From our very inception back in 2004, our message has always aimed to convey a sense of pride, acceptance, and solidarity to both the LGBTQ+ community and the wider world, promoting a message of love and equality. The essence of UBUNTU, which means "we are because of you", and it resonates deeply with our Out2Africa team.

What advice would you give to LGBTQ+ travellers considering a trip to Africa?

I would advise conducting thorough research on destinations, local laws, and cultural norms. It's essential to connect with LGBTQ+-friendly tour operators like Out2Africa, who prioritise your safety and wellbeing, ensuring you receive the same welcome and experience of connection everyone visiting this continent has become accustomed to. By being respectful of local customs and embracing the diversity of the continent, everyone, irrespective of sexuality, will have a memorable and enriching travel experience.

david-at-silvan-safari-copyrights-rhino-africa-025.jpg How can you NOT fall for Africa?

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