LGBTQ: Zanzibar, Tanzania

by Benjamin Kerns

Oct 9, 2017

couple © Epicstock | Dreamstime

Trends / LGBTQ

Though progress has been made in recent years to curb bigotry throughout Africa, Tanzania is one of many countries that still has anti-homosexuality laws on the books. Because of this, we can’t recommend traveling to Zanzibar without being cautious.

Many locals and travelers report Zanzibar might frown on open displays of affection between members of the same sex, but you’re unlikely to be tossed in jail for holding hands. There are even openly gay members of the government, so laws tend not to be strictly enforced in this modern era. Gay bars and restaurants are virtually non-existent at this time. However, there are plenty of beautiful beaches and a rich culture to explore if you’re willing to remain discreet.

The higher-end hotels won’t ask questions if you book a room with one bed for you and your partner, but avoid cheaper accommodations where you might face more scrutiny. Stick to the popular tourist routes and be aware of your surroundings and you should be able to get by without issue.

If not, there’s nothing wrong with refraining from a visit to Zanzibar until the city and country decides to embrace equality in all its forms.

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