If you are worried about whether a gay-friendly African safari is possible, don’t be. Regardless of why you want to head to Africa, we understand that planning your getaway as a gay couple, parents, or group has a whole other layer of concerns to it. But don’t be rash and discount the African continent as it has many destinations you can add to your list as an LGBTQ+ traveller.
In the same breath, it is essential to know that culture and laws are different in some African countries and that you as a traveller have to be aware of and comply with these best you can when travelling. That’s why it is always a good idea to book your gay-friendly African safari through a company like Out2Africa, specialising in gay travel.
Here are some of our favourite destinations to add to your African itinerary.
Meet the eyes of a leopard in Kruger National Park.
South Africa tops the list as the most gay-friendly country on the continent. It’s very progressive for an African country, and in 1996 it was the first country in the world to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation. Furthermore, South Africa legalised gay marriage back in 2006.
Cape Town is the country’s oldest city and Gay Capital. Here you can spend your days bronzing on the beaches or summiting the legendary Table Mountain for a bird’s-eye view of the city below. The cosmopolitan nightlife calls for sultry summer evenings sipping cocktails in eclectic and exclusive gay-only night clubs.
Take an hour’s drive to indulge your inner wine connoisseur and foodie at the glamorous Cape Winelands. Here you have access to some of the top restaurants and wineries where you can swirl and sip some of the finest wines in the world and gaze out at carpets of vineyards framed by dramatic mountain ranges.
From here, you can venture deep into the untouched wild for a Big 5 safari in the safari mecca, Kruger National Park. Luxury abounds, and in stark contrast to the thriving wild, you will feel like you’ve stepped back in time but with all the modern-day conveniences at your fingertips.
Or if a self-driving road trip is more your scene, you can make your way up the Garden Route to explore its subtropical beaches, forests and adventurous activities.
Where gentle giants roam free.
Although they only recently changed their regulations in 2019, Botswana has consistently been very welcoming towards gay travellers. A gem in its own right, you cannot compare it to anywhere else on earth. It is home to the Okavango Delta, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa and the 1,000th UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s a mystery in itself and will fill your heart with awe and wonder.
The Chobe National Park is known as the land of gentle giants for a reason. Home to endless herds of the majestic elephant, feeling the ground vibrate as they strut right past you in unbelievable numbers is an experience you’ll never forget.
Being in the presence of mountain gorillas is a great privilege.
Ellen Degeneres and her wife Portia de Rossi travelled here and shone the limelight on this African destination. Although homosexuality is not illegal in Rwanda, there is a bit of a blurred line as the topic in itself is considered taboo.
However, the tourist areas are considered safe from these judgements and regulations. You, therefore, have to be respectful and avoid public displays of affection when arriving at the airport or when among locals, but you can be as lovey-dovey as you want as soon as you get to your accommodation!
Here you can experience something most people will only dream about for all their lives — gorilla trekking in the verdant jungles. Coming face-to-face with these endangered mountain gorillas is an experience that will tug on your heartstrings and inexplicably humble you.
The Smoke that Thunders in all its glory.
Known as ‘The Smoke that Thunders’, the majestic Victoria Falls is the largest water curtain globally. Not only will standing in its presence make your legs tremble slightly, but adrenaline-fueled adventures await you around every corner. The highlight will probably be cooling off in Devil’s Pool, nature’s very own infinity pool at the edge of the falls. Talk about an exhilarating experience!
Straddled by both Zimbabwe and Zambia, you can access the falls via both these countries. Homosexuality is illegal in both countries. However, the tourist areas in Victoria Falls are and have been for years now very welcoming to gay travellers, and it is not uncommon to see gay tourists showing affection in these areas.
Unusual and otherworldly landscapes await you in Namibia.
Namibia is like a world on its own, and with one of the world's sparsely populated nations, it promises endless unspoilt landscapes. It is well-known for its rolling burnt sienna Sossusvlei dunes, thriving Etosha National Park, and shipwreck-strewn Skeleton Coast, to name just a few.
Discrimination based on sexual orientation is not illegal in Namibia, but the tourist areas have been very welcoming to LGBTQ+ tourists for many years. Our service providers will further ensure that you have the best gay-friendly stay.
It is always a good idea to book through a tour operator specialising in gay travel. Why wouldn’t you want to? They will know better than anyone what ‘fabulous’ means to you! At Out2Africa, our dream is to make your wildest dreams come true, and we know all Africa’s hidden treasures and hot spots.
We handpick our supplier network to ensure you are greeted to the continent with open arms. Furthermore, many of us gay travellers ourselves, we have the first-hand experience of what your trip to Africa will be like! It’s a tough job (wink, wink), but someone had to check it out to see that it is of the highest standard — just for you. You’re welcome.
Whether you are a couple seeking an adventurous experience, making memories as a family, a small group of friends with wanderlust, or you are single and ready to mingle, we can arrange your trip to suit your needs and wants.
Contact us today to make your wildest African travel fantasies come true.
Jessica SanchezView on Trustpilot
As your very own queer Travel Experts, we know all the ins and outs of where to go as a gay traveller in Africa and have first-hand experience of everything we plan for you.
We wrote the book on luxury LGBTQ+ travel in Africa! But don’t expect yet another ‘vanilla’ trip — everything we do is highly curated to meet your highest expectations.
As a leading LGBTQ+ luxury tour operator, LGBTQ+ owned, and a proud ambassador of IGLTA, we don't just believe in diversity and equal representation — we actively practice what we preach.
We have hand-picked the crème de la crème of gay-friendly destinations, hotels, and lodges in Africa so that your trip will be nothing short of extraordinary.
Lift your spirits and uplift Africa's wildlife, people, and landscapes by travelling with us and leaving a lasting positive impact on our continent.