For hassle-free travel, look no further than South Africa. South Africa was one of the first five countries in the world to legalise same sex marriage. The South African constitution enshrines the rights of individuals regardless of race, sex, religion or sexual preference.
This open-mindedness together with its wealth of natural beauty, sandy beaches, magnificent mountains, fine wines and superb game lodges makes South Africa the perfect destination for LGBT travel. With its many gay-friendly bars, restaurants and hotels scattered throughout the city, Cape Town, Africa’s ‘pinkest city’ is a glam-to-the-max destination that any LGBT traveller should have on their bucket list. De Waterkant, a predominantly gay village in Cape Town, is welcoming to everyone. Seapoint has long had a gay vibe and for beaches, Cliftons third beach is the place to be seen. If you like to strip it all off, Sandy Bay is the beach for nudists.
Throughout the year the city hosts many festivals and events such as Gay Pride, Miss Gay Western Cape and MCQP fancy-dress dance party.
Larger cities such as Johannesburg, Pretoria and Durban also have thriving LGBT communities. Of the smaller towns, Knysna on the Garden Route is renowned for its annual Pink Loerie Carnival. Elsewhere in South Africa, attitudes tend to be more conservative, but your rights are guaranteed and you are highly unlikely to encounter open discrimination.
For the counties north of South Africa, one must be aware that African culture is generally conservative (especially in Islamic countries). Public displays of affection between straight or gay couples are often considered offensive, and although hand-holding between male friends is perhaps more common than in Western culture, the safest course of action is simply to be discreet. If one is willing to avoid public displays of affection, there’s no reason that gay and lesbian travellers cannot travel safely, even to countries with laws against homosexuality.
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