Gay Scene Guide for Africa
LESBIAN AND GAY AFRICA
Much of the African continent is not a place that welcomes lesbian, gay and transgender travellers unless they are very discreet, as in much of Africa same-sex relationships are taboo and laws are repressive. For example, in late 2009 the Ugandan parliament started debating a new law that would make ‘aggravated homosexuality’ punishable by death. Similarly in Kenya homosexual acts are illegal and can attract a prison sentence of up to 14 years. It could be argued that LGBT travellers by going to these countries are providing essential moral support to local LGBT people, though if you do that it is very much at your own risk!
Where to go and where to stay:
If you are going to visit Africa it may be best to visit the north African states that are already geared up for Western tourism, such as Morocco, Tunisia, and Egypt. However, homosexuality is illegal here too, though there is a commercial gay scene of sorts in Morocco and Tunisia in particular. But if you want to see Africa the best place to do so might be in South Africa where, remarkably, the constitution is one of very few in the world that really sets out to protect lesbians and gay men from discrimination. South Africa is probably Africa’s only gay-friendly country, and it has the advantage of offering what most people visiting Africa want to see – wildlife. Cape Town is the gay capital of South Africa, and one of the world’s most beautiful cities, and Johannesburg – bigger than Cape Town, is vying to compete to please the gay traveller.