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LGBT travellers in Tanzania
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LGBT travellers in Tanzania

As a visitor to the country, your sexual orientation and gender identity should be kept private. If they remain this way, they should be of no interest or concern to anyone else.

You need to be aware that many traditional, conservative communities across Africa, including Tanzania, take the view that LGBT practices are "un-African." Also, note that overtly sexual behavior in public is almost always unacceptable for any couple, be they heterosexual or from the LGBT community, and many Tanzanians will “extend” this to take offense at public displays of affection.

We know of only a few rare occasions where the law has affected travelers in Tanzania. On one occasion, we understand that a married, gay couple (not Expert Africa travelers) traveling under the same surname were questioned by immigration on the nature of their relationship. They answered truthfully and were refused entry to the country, then deported.

In the tourism industry itself, however, staff are generally used to dealing with a wide variety of guests with different backgrounds from all over the world. From city hotels to remote safari camps, our experience is of staff with relaxed and tolerant outlooks who behave professionally, irrespective of guests’ sexual orientation.

We routinely ask for rooms to be configured as doubles for LGBT couples and have never had an occasion when this has been refused, or when this has caused an issue.

We’d advise all of our travelers to be respectful of local culture, and to avoid public displays of affection to avoid offense. This approach should result in an incident-free trip to Tanzania for all travelers, LGBT or otherwise.

Further sources of advice

If you’re hoping to travel to Tanzania with Expert Africa, and would like further information or advice, do feel free to call us. In addition, a few of the most obvious sources of advice for LGBT travelers to Tanzania are:

  • The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website provides general advice on local laws and customs. This is worthwhile reading for all travelers, with more specific advice for LGBT travel abroad.
  • The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Intersex Association (ILGA), which highlights the laws governing sexual orientation in countries worldwide.
  • The Wikipedia entry on LGBT rights in Tanzania (and Zanzibar), which has plenty of information on the laws and customs.
  • The BBC article, dated October 31, 2018, reported a crackdown in Dar es Salaam against same-sex couples instituted by the city’s governor.

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