While there are a few countries in Africa that are less than open-minded, there are also plenty that offer both safety and acceptance for the LGBTQ+ traveller. If you’re keen to explore this breath-taking continent without concern, here’s our round-up of the safest venues, places and spaces to add to your itinerary.
The Zambezi Queen houseboat, Namibia/Botswana
With an inclusive approach to welcoming guests from all backgrounds and lifestyles onboard, the Zambezi Queen houseboat offers the ultimate in African river safaris. The houseboat navigates up to 25km of the Chobe River and is celebrated for her blissful views, world-class service, friendly atmosphere and luxurious comforts.
The President Hotel, Bantry Bay, Cape Town, South Africa
One of Sea Point’s most lavish hotels, and the accommodation partner for Mr Gay World 2019, the President Hotel is a must for any LGBTQ+ traveller visiting South Africa’s Mother City.
“The hotel boasts a variety of stylish restaurants and bars along with an outdoor infinity pool, an onsite spa and a hair salon and nail bar. It’s also situated close to Café Manhattan and Van Hunks, both popular hangouts within the local LGBTQ+ community,” says Sue Garrett, Flight Centre Travel Group General Manager Supply, Pricing and Marketing.
Babylon, Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa
Sandton is well-known for its trendy nightlife, and everyone who’s anyone knows that Babylon is where the real magic happens. Babylon, with a reputation for being the ‘leading open-minded venue on the African continent’ is a bustling gay club with great music and the promise of even better company. There’s the added bonus of being right next-door to Beefcakes burger bar where well-muscled barmen whip up delicious cocktails and iconic drag queens frequent the stage.
Altitude BackStage@226, Berea, Durban, South Africa
Altitude BackStage@226 is arguably the most legendary go-to venue for the LGBTQ+ in Durban. It’s where everyone can enjoy a laid-back evening of laughs and fun in the form of live performances, stand-up comedy and various alternative functions. It’s located in close proximity to the Durban Lesbian and Gay Community and Health Centre.
Of course, it’s always important for queer travellers to do plenty of research before planning an African getaway to ensure maximum safety and peace of mind – or to partner with a travel expert to conduct this research on their behalf. But once the safe spaces like the ones mentioned above have been successfully scoped out, there’s no reason why said travellers can’t relax and enjoy the freedom of being themselves while discovering exciting new destinations.