“LGBTIQ+ Travellers

Mauritius has a paradoxical relationship to homosexuality. On one hand much of the population is young and progressive, gay people and lesbians are legally protected from discrimination and individuals have a constitutionally guaranteed right to privacy, and Mauritius has signed the UN Declaration on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. At the same time ’sodomy‘ is illegal and there remains a rigidly conservative streak to Mauritian public debate.

As a result of the latter, gay and lesbian life remains fairly secretive, mainly existing on the internet, in private and at the occasional party. While there were no gay or lesbian bars or clubs on the island at the time of writing, there are monthly underground club nights organised by text message. La Mariposa, close to Tamarin, is the only place we found that openly advertises itself as gay friendly.

For gay and lesbian travellers there’s little to worry about. We’ve never heard of any problems arising from same-sex couples sharing rooms during their holidays. However, discretion – such as avoiding public displays of affection outside your hotel – is still advised.

11 Most Gay Friendly Cities In The World

There are many cities around the world that welcome and embrace the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. These cities have in fact improved and grown economically by attracting one of the most important and powerful social groups of the 21st century. Chains of hotels, restaurants, bars, pubs, clothing stores and spas that cater to a new segment that is always looking for the best of the best. We took a number of factors into consideration in order to make this article, such as legal protection, social acceptance, LGBT nightlife and economic opportunities and created the list of 11 Most Gay-Friendly Cities In The World.

11 Most Gay Friendly Cities In The World

Two gay men

Hi we are two gay men traveling to Mauritius in September and just wondered if other members had any advise for us as in regards to does and don’ts. We are both in our mid 40s so really just looking for a relaxing break.

Hotels in Mauritius are usually gay friendly. That said Mauritius is quite a conservative country.

Mauritians are unlikely to be rude to you if you are gay but I would refrain from PDA(Public Display of Affection) while outside of hotel premises.

Thanks for your reply. We are staying at The One and Only for a week and then over to the Le Mauricia for another 7 nights

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Me and my partner have been to Mauritius about 9 times now, and we have never experienced any problems at all. ! I would agree with the PDA stuff, but I think that goes for many countries world wide. The only thing I would suggest would be to go to Le Mauricia first and finish at the One and Only. As I say always do the best last. !

Have a fantastic time in Mauritius, you really will enjoy its very relaxing.

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Two gay men

Two gay men

Hi we are two gay men traveling to Mauritius in September and just wondered if other members had any advise for us as in regards to does and don’ts. We are both in our mid 40s so really just looking for a relaxing break.

Hotels in Mauritius are usually gay friendly. That said Mauritius is quite a conservative country.

Mauritians are unlikely to be rude to you if you are gay but I would refrain from PDA(Public Display of Affection) while outside of hotel premises.

Thanks for your reply. We are staying at The One and Only for a week and then over to the Le Mauricia for another 7 nights

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Me and my partner have been to Mauritius about 9 times now, and we have never experienced any problems at all. ! I would agree with the PDA stuff, but I think that goes for many countries world wide. The only thing I would suggest would be to go to Le Mauricia first and finish at the One and Only. As I say always do the best last. !

Have a fantastic time in Mauritius, you really will enjoy its very relaxing.

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Two gay men

Two gay men

Hi we are two gay men traveling to Mauritius in September and just wondered if other members had any advise for us as in regards to does and don’ts. We are both in our mid 40s so really just looking for a relaxing break.

Hotels in Mauritius are usually gay friendly. That said Mauritius is quite a conservative country.

Mauritians are unlikely to be rude to you if you are gay but I would refrain from PDA(Public Display of Affection) while outside of hotel premises.

Thanks for your reply. We are staying at The One and Only for a week and then over to the Le Mauricia for another 7 nights

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Me and my partner have been to Mauritius about 9 times now, and we have never experienced any problems at all. ! I would agree with the PDA stuff, but I think that goes for many countries world wide. The only thing I would suggest would be to go to Le Mauricia first and finish at the One and Only. As I say always do the best last. !

Have a fantastic time in Mauritius, you really will enjoy its very relaxing.

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Two gay men

LGBTQI Travel: Gay-friendly African countries + travel tips

I am vanilla. Pretty much as vanilla as they come. I often remind myself that I travel as a fairly privileged, white, straight woman (that’s a topic for another blog post). My travels are so often predominantly shaped by these aspects that it is easy to forget that it might be any other way for someone else, especially people of colour and members of the LGBTQI community.

Love is hard work. Never mind having to be told who you can and can’t be, who you should and shouldn’t love, what you can and can’t do. This post is dedicated to a few of my dear friends, as well as those who feel that if they were to be true to themselves and follow their hearts that they would be ridiculed, teased and discriminated against in various ways either at work, in their social circles, religious communities or families. This post is dedicated to all those people who tread lightly so as not to upset others’ steadfast beliefs, as ridiculous as that sounds. I am sorry that some people are so silly, please remember that we are not all like that. Love is love!

There are 22 gay-friendly African countries based on recent news reports and research conducted by human rights groups, and then there are those where it is advisable to exercise extra caution. Hopefully this post is useful in helping you decide on a gay-friendly travel destination in Africa and advising on when to join gay-friendly festivals, parades and gay pride throughout the year.

Gay Mauritius

“If someone is gay here, he may be regarded as a freak, and made fun of, no matter how straight he may look!” Blending in seems to be the only way to get through the day, “You may not care what others think, but many gay people in Mauritius are afraid someone may recognise them as a gay. The island is too small.” Many gay guys want to leave the island at some point, and many go to South Africa or Europe as soon as they can afford the journey. There’s little appetite for fighting public attitudes. Coming out as gay brings shame on the family as well as personal risk, which most Mauritian gay men aren’t willing to experience.

You could do much worse than explore the island of Mauritius. It’s a pretty, remote place, 500 miles off the east coast of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. It’s nearest neighbour is Réunion, 135 miles away and it takes a gruelling 12 hour flight to get there from London.

Waves of colonisation over the centuries have left a rich and complex cultural mix on the lush, tropical once-volcanic island which is primarily famous for being a fairly accesible luxury sun and sand destination. On my recent visit my first surprise was seeing the majority Hindu Indian population.

Brought to the island as labourers during the recent British colonial period more than half the population of 1.2 million are Hindus, with another quarter being Créole, descendants of African sugar plantation slaves brought over during French colonial rule.

The rest of the population is made up of Arabian muslim traders, well-heeled Catholic Europeans and a smattering of new economic migrants from China. After a complex series of invasions, conflicts and power-sharing Mauritius was given full independence from Britain in 1968. The new prime minister, the heroic Sir Ramgoolam, declared the island a sovereign nation and began plotting a course of its own, with tourism as the major earning pot.

But for all the variety of peoples and cultures, gay life on the island is hard to find. The locals are a conservative bunch and traditional values are tightly held. Spikey hair, graffiti, pop music and general youth culture is thought to be from “off the island” – anything even slightly subversive is relegated to belonging “somewhere else”. Tradition takes priority over personal expression, and the relatively small population means everyone knows everyone else’s business. A delicate balance in the staus quo between cultures and races means that homosexuality is not accepted among the locals.

I met a couple of young gay Mauritian men, and asked them about their lives in this tropical paradise, “If someone is gay here, he may be regarded as a freak, and made fun of, no matter how straight he may look!” Blending in seems to be the only way to get through the day, “You may not care what others think, but many gay people in Mauritius are afraid someone may recognise them as a gay. The island is too small.”

Most of the gay guys I met admitted that they were planning to leave the island at some point, and many go to South Africa or Europe as soon as they can afford the journey. There’s little appetite for fighting public attitudes. It’s an unfortunate belief that coming out as gay brings shame on the family, which too many Mauritian gay men aren’t willing to do.

However, there are a few discreet gay beaches, Trou aux Biches, Mont Choisy, Grand Baie and Pereybere, on the north coast, though check local news groups on the internet as the exact locations shift monthly. In fact, the whole gay community uses the internet to arrange meetings and get-togethers. Rendezvous are very discreet, which can make attending them risky affairs. Most guys who make it onto the tiny scene are under 25. I was told, “Older guys either leave, or settle down with a wife and kids. There’s so much pressure to study, marry and have a family. I’ve known many young gays who “enjoy” a gay life until it’s time to marry!”

Is Japan LGBTQI-Friendly? What Travelers Need to Know

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and travel: The situation around the world is changing dramatically. Various governments have changed their travel warnings to restrict travel during this time. To understand how this may impact cover under your policy, please go to our FAQs and select your country of residence.

Top Tips for Gay and Lesbian Travel to Africa

The African continent offers a plethora of rewarding travel destinations for people of any sexual orientation. Unfortunately, however, gay and lesbian travelers need to do a little extra research before planning their trip, because homosexuality is still considered a criminal offense in some African countries while in others it can even be punishable by death.

20 Most Dangerous Places For Gay Travelers (And The 5 Safest)

Depending on where they’re headed, gay travelers can face great risks. In April 2019, the country of Brunei enacted an Islamic law making it legal to flog and stone LGBTQ people to death. And it’s not the only country to have the death penalty on the books: A few others include Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and Iran. According to Equaldex, a range of gay activities are illegal in 71 countries.

“This is horrifying,” says journalist Lyric Fergusson, who runs a blog with her husband, Asher, that is focused on travel safety. In an attempt to help determine the worst places for gay travelers, the duo created the 2019 LGBTQ+ Danger Index, ranking the world’s most dangerous—and safest—countries for gay travelers. The couple also updated the list with the best and worst places for gay travelers in 2021, which can be viewed here.

“We have seen LGBTQ+ people dear to our hearts be discriminated against and our deepest desire for writing this article was to bring awareness to these issues and hopefully catalyze change,” says Fergusson. “As travel journalists, we wanted to help the LGBTQ+ community educate themselves on the very complex and layered world of staying safe during international travel.”

A new report details the most dangerous—and safest—places for gay travelers.

The journalists looked at the top 150 most-visited countries in the world by the number of incoming tourists, then ranked them using eight factors, including laws against gay relationships, legal protection against discrimination and more. According to the report, a few factors—such as adoption recognition and worker protections—may not affect travelers directly but are a good indication of overall attitudes within the culture.

“These issues can affect everything, from your ability to show public displays of affection to being able to share a hotel room bed to the capacity at which you can use dating apps without being caught by the local police,” reads the report.

A view of the Lagos skyline in Nigeria, which was named the most dangerous place in the world for … [+] LGBTQ travelers.

Topping the LGBTQ+ Danger Index is Nigeria, which is considered the worst country for violence against gay travelers. There, people can be put in prison for up to 14 years just for being gay, and some states even have the death penalty under Sharia law. 

Sweden is the safest country in the world for LGBTQ travelers. Same-sex marriage has been legal there since 2009, and the country has more Pride festivals per capita than anywhere else in the world.

One shocking statistic: “A whopping 47 of the 70 countries that have illegal same-sex relationships were part of the British Empire. That is 67%!” says Fergusson. “This isn’t a coincidence. In almost all cases, the laws outlawing consensual gay sex were put into place under British rule and were left in place following independence.”

The United Kingdom is the sixth safest country in the world for LGBTQ+ travelers, however, many … [+] countries with laws against same-sex relationships were once part of the British Empire.

India is an example of a country that has taken many years to make some strides. “In 2018, India managed to annul Section 377, a British colonial-era law prohibiting ‘unnatural acts,’ in order to legalize consensual gay sex,” says Fergusson, who points out that ancient Indian literature such as the Mahabharata and Ramayana have many references to LGBTQ+ heroes including transgender warriors and two queens who made love in order for one queen to get pregnant with an heir for their kingdom. “Long story short, this points to the fact that it was likely the British influence that largely led to Indian homophobia in the first place,” she says.

Surprisingly, given this history, the United Kingdom is the sixth safest country in the world for LGBTQ+ travelers. “We found this to be a bit ironic as the reason for many of the harsh homophobic laws in countries throughout the world is largely leftover from laws created during British rule,” says Fergusson. “However, in modern times, the U.K. has made great progress with legalized same-sex marriage, worker protections and criminalization of homophobic violence.”

The United States came in it 24 out of 150 countries, but it still has a long way to go when it … [+] comes to providing a safe atmosphere for LGBTQ travelers.

On the other hand, the United States did not do as well in the survey—coming in 24th out of 150 countries. “One reason for that is that there is a great deal of variation in gay rights depending on the state you’re in,” says Fergusson. “There are also no constitutional or broad protections for LGBTQ+ rights under federal law in the U.S. The U.S. might have come far, but it has a long way to go in terms of LGBTQ+ rights, especially for young transgender people.”

In working on the report, Fergusson says they were surprised that there are still many countries that have the death penalty, lashings or imprisonment for same-sex relationships. “These laws are not widely known amongst Western travelers, and we hope others—no matter their orientation—are shocked as well,” says Fergusson, who was also surprised by the laws and attitudes still present in many popular Caribbean vacation spots such as Jamaica. In addition to the 150 most touristed countries on the LGBTQ+ Danger Index, the report calls out five other Caribbean countries where same-sex relationships are illegal: Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

“The whole research process was very eye-opening, emotional and frustrating,” says Fergusson. “Our hope is that by making this research widely known we might be able to catalyze change within some of these governments that rely heavily on tourism.”

Read on for the list of the 20 most dangerous places in the LGBTQ+ Danger Index and commentary from Fergusson, the coauthor of the study. Following this is the list of the five safest places for LGBTQ+. You can see the entire ranking of the 150 countries here and also get 37 safety tips.

On a street in Doha, Qatar, which is the second most dangerous country in the world for gay … [+] travelers.

“Located in the heart of Africa, Nigeria ranked as the #1 most dangerous country for members of the LGBTQ+ community. It was ranked so highly largely due to the extreme penalties for simply being gay, which include up to 14 years in prison and the death penalty in states under Sharia law,” says Fergusson. “The mere discussion of LGBT rights is criminalized under the current system. Under Nigeria’s Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act of 2013, the country has seen an increase in violence and extortion against the LGBTQ+ community.”

“Coming in second on our LGBTQ+ Danger Index is Qatar,” says Fergusson. “This oil-rich Middle Eastern country enforces up to three years in prison, flogging and the death penalty under Sharia law for any acts of homosexuality. Tourism to Qatar is expected to skyrocket for the 2022 World Cup—which is to take place there—and suspending anti-LGBT laws during the tournament has been discussed, though ultimately rejected by the Qatari government.”

“In Yemen, the punishment for being gay for both men and women is prison time and 100 lashes, with death by stoning for married men,” says Fergusson. “This conservative Muslim country means business when it comes to rejecting homosexuality, both in its laws and general public sentiment. Refugee Legal Aid Information highlights Yemen’s hostile attitudes toward their largely underground LGBT community.”

“Saudi Arabia is another of the countries on our list which implements the death penalty for consensual homosexuality under their interpretation of Sharia law,” says Fergusson. “Other punishments include 100 whips or banishment for one year ‘Men behaving as women’ or wearing women’s clothes, and vice versa, is also illegal in Saudi Arabia, making this a particularly unfriendly country for members of the trans community.”

“This East African country is renowned for its remarkable natural attractions, including Mt. Kilimanjaro and the Serengeti National Park, making Tanzania a massive hub for international tourism. Unfortunately, this country was ranked at #5 on our LGBTQ+ Danger Index, which may inspire LGBTQ+ visitors to rethink their travel plans,” says Fergusson. “In Tanzania, any homosexual acts result in 30 years to life in prison, and there has been a recent government crackdown on LGBT activity within the country.”

“Iran made #6 on the index, due in part to its extreme punishments for homosexuality, which include 100 lashes for homosexual intercourse or the death penalty, and 31 lashes for same-sex acts other than intercourse,” says Fergusson. “According to the International Society for Human Rights (ISHR), ‘An open and free life in a same-sex partnership is unthinkable in the Islamic Republic.’ In regards to LGBTQ+ travel to Iran, travelers will want to be cautious and avoid any public displays of affection.”

“An African nation bordering the stunning Red Sea, Sudan is particularly unfriendly to the LGBTQ+ community. The first two accounts of sodomy result in 100 lashes and five years in prison, and the third offense earns either the death penalty or life in prison,” says Fergusson. “Publicly, homosexuality is a taboo topic, so LGBTQ+ travelers choosing to visit Sudan should proceed with caution and remain discreet with regards to their sexuality. It is also recommended to be extremely careful when inviting guests into your hotel room, as this can potentially spark legal complications.”

On the island of Barbados, which is the most dangerous country in the Caribbean for gay travelers.

“This was one of the more shocking countries to appear on our list, and in the top 10, no less,” says Fergusson. “Historically, Barbados and some other Caribbean islands have had poor anti-LGBTQ+ legislation and practices, largely left over from the British occupation which put these laws in place and reinforced anti-gay attitudes. However, recently Barbados, along with with Grenada, Saint Lucia, and some others in the Eastern Caribbean Alliance for Diversity and Equality (ECADE), have announced plans to begin to challenge the anti-LGBTQ+ laws currently in place.”

“This phenomenal Southeast Asian country is full of beautiful beaches, islands and UNESCO World Heritage Sites, making Malaysia a popular destination for international tourism. Unfortunately, imposed punishment for homosexuality is severe and the existence of gay people in Malaysia was denied by their tourism minister as recently as March 2019,” says Fergusson. “Under state interpretation of Sharia law, homosexuality in Malaysia results in up to 20 years in prison, whipping and fines.”

“The punishments for homosexuality in Malawi have earned this African country spot #10 on our list,” says Fergusson. “Same-sex acts result in 14 years in prison for men and five years imprisonment for women, with or without corporal punishment. Pro-LGBTQ+ organizations are also banned by the government in Malawi and general public sentiment regards homosexuality as off-limits. Though these laws are technically in place, they are rarely enforced, particularly with tourists visiting Malawi, and discussions about changing anti-LGBT laws have begun to take place.”

“Home of the magnificent Victoria Falls, renowned as the largest waterfall in the world, and incredible wildlife, Zambia is filled with plenty to explore. That said, the LGBTQ+ community is marginalized in this country and there are heavy consequences for being homosexual, which include seven years to life in prison for any same-sex act,” says Fergusson. “For LGBTQ+ and western travelers in general, it is important to be conscious of local customs and norms, which in Zambia include avoiding any forms of PDA regardless of your orientation.”

“One of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean, Saint Lucia came in 12th on our LGBTQ+ Danger Index,” says Fergusson. “A popular vacation destination for tourists from around the world, Saint Lucia’s high ranking came as a bit of a surprise to us. Colonial-era anti-LGBTQ+ laws, particularly that concerning consensual ‘buggery,’ which earns 10 years in prison, are still in place though are no longer truly enforced. Saint Lucia’s prime minister has stated that anti-LGBT laws are currently under review, though the government does not have an official stance as of yet.”

“One of Africa’s most populous countries, Uganda ranks #13 on our LGBTQ+ Danger Index,” says Fergusson. “Homosexual intercourse results in life in prison and pro-LGBTQ+ organizations are banned throughout the country. Unfortunately, things may soon be getting even worse for the LGBTQ+ community, as the Ugandan government has recently called to reintroduce an anti-homosexuality bill, which would include the death penalty for same-sex acts, in the midst of the recent murder of a gay Ugandan activist.”

“Same-sex relationships are considered to be taboo in Pakistan and there are strict laws governing against homosexuality. For example, homosexual intercourse can result in up to 10 years in prison with a fine or life in prison,” says Fergusson. “That said, LGBTQ+ issues are not typically at the forefront of Pakistan’s political agenda, BBC News reported that ‘Sex between men will be overlooked as long as no-one feels that tradition or religion are being challenged. At the end of it all, everyone gets married to a member of the opposite sex and nothing is spoken about.’”

“In the Palestinian territories of Gaza and the West Bank, the anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment is taken very seriously, with homosexual acts resulting in up to 10 years in prison,” says Fergusson. “Groups advocating for LGBTQ+ rights are threatened by the governing authorities in Palestine, who consider homosexuality to be ‘a blow to, and violation of, the ideals and values of Palestinian society.’”

A view of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Kenya, which is dangerous for gay travelers.

“Kenya is filled with gorgeous landscapes and unique wildlife, making this East African country a favorite destination for international travelers. Currently, Kenyan law states that same-sex intercourse between males results in 14 years in prison, while all other homosexual acts between males are punished with five years imprisonment,” says Fergusson. “However, the decriminalization of gay sex is being discussed within the government, which would likely bolster LGBTQ+ travel to the country.”

“Renowned as a popular romantic vacation destination for LGBTQ+ travelers, it comes as a significant wake-up call that the Maldives bears such anti-LGBTQ+ laws,” says Fergusson. “In the Maldives, homosexual acts and intercourse, as well as same-sex marriage, earn eight years in prison or 100 lashes. Though these laws are currently enforced in the cities, they are largely ignored at the resorts. For more adventurous travelers, regardless of orientation, be wary of the local customs and avoid any public displays of affection in the Maldivian cities.”

“One of the Caribbean’s most popular vacation destinations for tourists worldwide, Jamaica was another shocking country to top our LGBTQ+ Danger Index,” says Fergusson. “Jamaica ranks as the third-worst Caribbean nation for members of the LGBTQ+ community behind Barbados and Saint Lucia. This is largely due to Jamaica’s ‘buggery law,’ which is leftover from the colonial era and allows for a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, including hard labor. In fact, Jamaica was called ‘the most homophobic place on Earth’ by Time magazine in 2006 and LGBTQ+ people are sadly still the victims of homophobic violence today.”

“Located on the Horn of Africa, Ethiopia is a country rich with lush landscapes and cultural diversity. Ranking 19th on our index, Ethiopia outlaws same-sex relations and ‘indecent,’ or homosexual, acts result in up to 15 years in prison,” says Fergusson. “Recently, there have been death threats by Ethiopia’s Orthodox Christian community over gay tourism to the country, putting LGBTQ+ tourists at risk.”

“Renowned throughout the world for its ancient pyramids and historical and religious significance, Egypt is a massive tourist destination for international travelers everywhere. Unfortunately, Egypt ranked #20 on our list due to its negative laws regarding homosexuality,” says Fergusson. “Same-sex acts result in up to three years in prison with a fine, and possession of homosexual materials results in up to two years in prison with a fine. For LGBTQ+ travelers, it is recommended not to disclose your sexuality and avoid using dating apps since the local police have been known to create fake accounts to ‘catch’ LGBTQ+ travelers looking to engage in illegal activity.”

In Sweden, the safest country in the world for gay travelers.

“Coming in first place as the safest country for the LGBTQ+ travel is Sweden,” says Fergusson. “Scandinavia is generally known for its friendly people and liberal attitudes towards equality for all. Sweden legalized same-sex marriage in 2009 and performed well on each of our measured categories. This land of the Northern Lights has also been a regular host of Europride and has more Pride festivals per-capita than anywhere else in the world.”

“Canada’s friendly attitudes and positive legislation towards the LGBTQ+ community have earned it the title of the second safest country on our LGBTQ+ Danger Index,” says Fergusson. “Renowned for its kind locals, rich maple syrup and chilly winters, Canada has constitutional protections in place to guard the LGBTQ+ community against violence and discrimination, and same-sex marriage is of course legal. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promoted inclusivity by marching in Toronto’s Pride Parade and became the country’s first Prime Minister to visit a gay bar.”

“Known for its unbelievable landscapes, friendly people and unique culture, it’s no surprise that this Scandinavian country ranks in the top three safest countries for LGBTQ+ travelers,” says Fergusson. “Norway legalized same-sex marriage in 2009 and has protections in place against anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination and violence. Additionally, since 1981, Norway became one of the first countries in the world to grant equal rights to everyone regardless of sexual orientation and is home to a variety of annual LGBTQ-friendly events.”

“One of only three countries to get an ‘A’ on our index, Portugal comes in fourth in regards to LGBTQ+ safety,” says Fergusson. “With legalized same-sex marriage since 2010 and numerous legal protections for the LGBTQ+ community, Portugal scored just behind Norway. Cities like Lisbon and Porto have the best gay scenes in the country and Portugal is hoping to host the 2022 Europride, the world’s biggest event celebrating gay pride in Europe.”

“Coming in at #5, Belgium scored highly in all eight of the researched categories. With an overall national attitude that is relaxed and accepting towards homosexuality, Belgium is known for having a vibrant gay and lesbian scene, particularly in Brussels,” says Fergusson. “One fun fact about Belgium is that same-sex sexual activity first became legal in 1795.”

I’m a travel and lifestyle authority and a content strategist who works with brands to create powerful storytelling. In this column, „Transformative Travel,“ I look at

I’m a travel and lifestyle authority and a content strategist who works with brands to create powerful storytelling. In this column, „Transformative Travel,“ I look at

I’m a travel and lifestyle authority and a content strategist who works with brands to create powerful storytelling. In this column, „Transformative Travel,“ I look at how travel can change women’s lives. I profile the doers and the disrupters and cover the trends and the destinations that appeal to women today. I have been writing about travel since the early days of my career, when I started off as a honeymoon editor, even though — ironically — I was single at the time. Since then, I have written for a number of publications, including Food & Wine, Wallpaper and The New York Times. I have been the editor-in-chief of Yahoo Travel, which was named the top online travel magazine under my leadership. Before that, I was deputy editor of Travel & Leisure. Throughout my career, I have appeared regularly on television, including Good Morning America and NBC Today. Journalism is part of my heritage: My great great grandfather was a Civil War correspondent for the Chicago Tribune. Follow me on Twitter (@laurabegley) and Instagram (@laurabegleybloom).

is The Seychelles Gay Friendly..?

just curious why i cant find anything on this forum todo with{ Gay couple-friendly}this subject.. could..Anybody who has any infomation about this issue please let me

Seychelles is very open community, there is no social taboos here. We often have Gay couples stay with us( if I am allowed to say so) I believe some of our staff also is Gay and there is no problem whatsoever.

I will answer this very carefully: Seychelles is a very relaxed place and has a tolerant and happy going society. I would say that it is couple friendly, as opposed to openly gay friendly, requesting discretion from all of its visitors.

And that kind of sums it up, there are no gay bars, clubs etc, just lovely discreet hotels and guest houses where you can go a relax with other holiday makers.

It says on the internet that homosexuality is illegal in the Seychelles.

.. is drink driving, but everyone in the Seychelles does that!!

I know gay friends who have gone to Seychelles and took advantage of honeymoon offers at hotels!!

We also had 2 gay couples at our wedding in the Seychelles, and there are lots of gay people working at the hotels themselves. This is just one of those „laws“ that in reality isnt enforced.

thanks everyone for your put my mind at been to Mauritius and Maldives and never had a problem…

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Hmm I would tread carefully to be honest. I’ve not seen any gay couples openly expressing affection, especially among the Seychellois in over ten years of residence. May be different within your hotel grounds, beach in front of hotel, etc but when you’re just the two you outside your hotel just be careful and keep the PDA down 🙂

The Seychelles does identify itself as a Roman Catholic country. And the word ‚pilon‘ which means gay man, is considered an insult.

Seychellois are relaxed and friendly in general so I don’t think you’d have any issues normally. And of course it’s not like there are no gay Seychellois – just be careful not to be affectionate in public and you probably won’t get any agro.

Always thought it was very sad that a couple in love couldn’t express affection without people passing judgement but there you have it…

Do the posters who are busy plugging their guesthouses on these forums realize that you are not supposed to be doing that?

These forums are for answering questions and maintaining a discussion so please refrain from advertising your business interests – it goes against the tripadvisor policy AND you are contributing to making the forums a place for advertising and not discussion.

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Sodomy is illegal in Mauritius. A recent attempt to overturn the law was unsuccessful. So you could, in theory, still be arrested for having gay sex in Mauritius. But this draconian law is rarely imposed.

In fact, Mauritius has signed up to a joint UN statement calling for an end to anti-LGBT+ discrimination. Mauritius even has laws in place to protect LGBT+ people from discrimination in the workplace. Hate speech is also outlawed.

Irrespective of these laws, the culture is broadly conservative. Gay people are often treated like second-class citizens in Mauritius. Social attitudes are starting to change, as increasingly liberal laws give gay people more rights. But there is still a long way to go before gay Mauritians will feel comfortable to live openly.

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AfriGay Mauritius: All Gay, All Inclusive Vacation

If you are looking for an all gay, all inclusive vacation in 2020 then seriously consider this one!

We lived in South Africa for a few months in 2019 and during our stay met Michael who runs AfriGay.

AfriGay is a travel company created to bring LGBTQ+ people from around the world together for an exclusive and unique experience, in Africa!

He is running the first ever all gay, all-inclusive vacation to Mauritius from 2-7 March 2020 and after telling us all about it, we wanted to share it with you if you are looking to travel somewhere new!

What does your all gay, all-inclusive vacation look like?

The debut AfriGay Mauritius event will be held for 5 nights at the 4 star Ambre Resort & Spa on the east coast of Mauritius.

The resort has been completely taken over by AfriGay so that it will be an all gay clientele.

In Mauritius, you can expect pristine beaches, scorching sun and crystal clear waters as well as making new friends, dancing the night away at parties, live entertainment and activities throughout!

While most gay events focus on parties (and there will be plenty of parties) there is much more on offer to make the trip whatever you like. Whether that is yoga, beach fitness, windsurfing or snorkelling off the beach, you can definitely relax here.

Your host for the week will be the Queen of the Skies, Cathy Specific & her Seductively Saucy Trolley Dollies who are sure to liven the place up!

At night, they plan to show movies on the beach followed by parties at Ambre’s ‘Shaker’s’ nightclub. There will also be themed dinners, including a Magical Ball on the beach where you can rock up in anything you like!

And finally, AfriGay have a special guest coming along – the famous adult star Rocco Steele!

Is Mauritius Gay Friendly?

As a gay tourist in a resort, Mauritius will be very welcoming and you should not have any problems at all.

Like many places the story for a local is different. The younger population is becoming more progressive as time goes on and the LGBTQ+ community are technically legally protected from discrimination which is a start, but there is still a long way to go with local attitudes and laws.

The locals typically have conservative attitudes about LGBTQ+ people and as such LGBTQ+ people may face discrimination and bullying when coming out or accessing healthcare.

It is advisable to avoid public displays of affection outside your hotel.

This comes back around to the age-old question of what good does travelling to somewhere like Mauritius do?

We always think about safety and from everything we have read and been told, there aren’t any safety concerns for tourists at a resort.

This leads us on to thinking that an event like this would be a good thing, it’s more exposure showing that gay people exist and we hope that eventually leads to more acceptance – it also lets gay locals know they aren’t alone in the world.

Let us know if you plan to go, we would love to hear all about your experience!

Toronto, Canada

Toronto is the largest city in Canada and has an interesting gay scene. It has some of the best gay bars in Canada and a huge pride parade. Toronto’s gay community offers a world of arts, culture and vivacious nightlife, with a vibrant gay village at the city’s core. The Village, located in Church-Wellesley, is the cultural hub of the city, bursting with galleries, theatres and gay-friendly businesses. Over the years the geographical range has expanded with the growth of the city. Now you’ll find queer-friendly establishments all over the city.

Where to stay: Top 11 Gay Friendly Hotels In Toronto

São Paulo, Brazil

Sao Paulo is not only Brazil’s economic hub and the largest city in South America, but it’s also the third-largest city in the world. Especially noteworthy for LGBT travelers is the fact that São Paulo hosts the biggest gay pride celebration on the planet. São Paulo’s first Gay Pride was in 1997 and attracted only 2000 people. Nowadays, the carnival-like Gay Pride Parade draws nearly four million people who crowd onto the main boulevard of Paulista Avenue and the surrounding streets. Gay nightclubs feature a wide variety of shows, with drag, male strip-tease, singers, performances and some of the best DJs anywhere. There are plenty of bathhouses and sex clubs too, often with bars and show nights as well.

Where to stay: Top 11 Gay Friendly Hotels In Sao Paulo

London, UK

London is a sophisticated, multicultural, open-minded city, a place where everybody is welcome. It is home to Europe’s largest gay community. Pride London is a major event, there is an important Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, and its gay nightlife is one of the world’s best. Old Compton Street and its surrounding area in SoHo is London’s gay epicenter, with gay bars and shops for every style and need. Soho, found to the west of the West End, is a popular spot where you’ll find many gay-owned clubs, restaurants and stores. Another similar area to check out is Old Compton Street. Another increasingly popular area is Vauxhall Village.

Where to stay: Top 11 Gay Friendly Hotels In London

Madrid, Spain

Madrid has the largest gay community in Spain and one of the largest in Europe, with an estimated 500,000 LGBT people living in the city. Chueca is the center of the LGBT community where you’ll find the highest concentration of gay bars and night clubs. Chueca starts at Gran Via and runs north for 1km and it stretches east to west between Calle Hortaleza and Paseo de Recoletos. In this city, gay marriage is allowed and the gay community has influenced largely the city’s trendiest hotels, restaurants and shops. Every July Madrid hosts the largest gay pride in Europe. Madrid’s gay pride, called Orgullo, draws a crowd of nearly 2 million people.

Where to stay: Top 11 Gay Friendly Hotels In Madrid

Miami, USA

Miami has long been known as a popular and open destination for LGBT tourists looking to unwind, work on their tans, meet people and dine at the chicest restaurants. The LGBT community has always felt welcome in Miami. All year there are beaches popular with the gay crowd, nightclubs and venues, parties and more, but it’s the yearly Miami Beach Gay Pride Festival that brings everyone together in a colorful celebration and parade.

Amsterdam, Netherland

For lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender visitors and residents, Amsterdam is one of the most attractive cities in Europe. As such, it’s no small wonder that Amsterdam became so popular with gay visitors. For centuries ‘Amsterdammers’ have had a relaxed and tolerant attitude towards different lifestyles. ‘Live and let live’ is one of the city’s favorite sayings. Amsterdam is worldwide famous for its annual Canal Parade, 80 decorated boats sail along the Prinsengracht which sees the canals lined by over half a million spectators, demonstrates and celebrates the diversity of Holland’s gay and lesbian community. It is the largest gay pride event in the Netherlands, and one of the largest in the world.

Where to stay: Top 11 Gay Friendly Hotels In Amsterdam

Barcelona, Spain

To this day, along with Madrid, Barcelona remains one of the most liberal and gay-friendly cities anywhere in the world with many Spaniards relocating from some of the more conservative areas of the country to live their life here to the fullest. Catalonia, the state of Spain in which Barcelona is located, has passed in 2014 an anti-homophobia law that aims to defend LGBT rights. Thanks to this law, people physically or morally offending members of the LGBT community could be fined by up to 140,000 euros. There’s always something going on in the city, Gay cinema festivals or LGBT literature festivals or the famous Circuit Festival, the biggest Gay Festival in Europe every August. Make sure to visit Gayxample, Barcelona’s gay neighborhood with many gay and lesbian bars, clubs and restaurants.

Where to stay: Top 11 Gay Friendly Hotels In Barcelona

San Francisco, USA

San Francisco is probably the gay capital of America. The LGBT community in San Francisco is one of the largest and most prominent LGBT communities in the world and is one of the most important in the history of LGBT rights and activism. For decades, the city by the Bay has been a global focus for gay nightlife, culture and politics. Visitors today can explore the Castro, where it all began. Castro is one of the first gay neighborhoods in the United States. it remains one of the most prominent symbols of LGBT activism and events in the world. LGBT life here is not limited to the Castro neighborhood, though that’s a tourist draw for good reason — it’s a queer Disneyland. San Francisco is home to more nightlife than you can shake a go-go boy at, as well as vibrant bear and transexual communities. If you’re gay, chances are you’ve either been to San Francisco or plan to sometime in your life. It is Gay Mecca after all. Recent population demographics indicate that more than 15% of the population of San Francisco is gay and here are even more drag queens per square foot than anywhere else in the world.

Where to stay: Top 11 Gay Friendly Hotels In San Francisco

New York City, USA

New York is like no other city on earth. The diversity, the culture, the style. New York is definitely a city in a class all its own. Fashion, theatre, advertising and the arts have perpetuated New York into one of the most gay-friendly cities in the world. Gay life is everywhere in New York City. Nightlife is vivid and overwhelming. You can choose from endless variations on gay bars and clubs: from muscle mary clubs to cabaret piano bars, local intimate bars to trendy gay lounges. In Manhattan, the gay scene is concentrated in a couple of neighborhoods. In Greenwich Village lays the origin of gay pride, where the Stonewall riots in Christopher Street awakened gay emancipation. The new gay hot spot is in Hell’s Kitchen, it’s full of trendy gay bars, restaurants and clubs. Chelsea neighborhood also offers a wide selection of gay venues concentrated around 8th Avenue.

Where to stay: Top 11 Gay Friendly Hotels In New York City

Berlin, Germany

In the 1920s (the Golden Twenties) Berlin was seen as the city with the most lively and advanced gay subculture in Europe. Today, Berlin sits as the gay capital of Europe. The breadth of its gay nightlife, the strength of its culture, and the ever tested and changing community norms have easily eclipsed the city’s continental urban neighbors. It is pretty much a non-stop party, from the saunas, darkrooms, bars, clubs, cafés, festivals, balls, carnivals and celebrations a hedonist’s paradise, a sensualist’s haven, an aesthete’s delight and a raver’s Mecca, all in one package. The party scene is so diverse and innovative and celebrates any fetish! That is where the Folsom Europe fair takes place in September and the Lesbian and Gay City Festival every June, Europe’s largest street party of its kind, being held in the traditional gay area around Nollendorfplatz in Schöneberg since 1993.

Where to stay: Top 11 Gay Friendly Hotels In Berlin

Tel Aviv, Israel

Right at the heart of the Middle East, lies a city called Tel Aviv. A bubble of sanity in an otherwise difficult and tense area. Tel Aviv, a city blessed with year-round sunshine and white sandy beaches, is one of the most liberal cities in the world. It is the most gay-friendly city, not only in the Middle East but in the entire world. This vibrant city is an undisputed queer capital of the Middle East, It offers a 24/7 non-stop activities, all year round great weather, great food, gay beaches and infinite of gay bars and night clubs. Every June Tel Aviv is celebrating the Gay Pride week, week of celebrations and happenings throughout the city with Pride Expo (Gay Culture Fair), LGBT Theater festival, LGBT Film Festival and the famous Pride Parade which is one of the most colorful gay parades in the world.

Where to stay: Top 11 Gay Friendly Hotels In Tel Aviv

Users Reviews

I’ve met a super nice guy here. He is my true soulmate and the love of my life. I met him irl a week after we started chatting. I feel really happy right now. Big thanks to Meetville.

So far LOVING this app ? I’ve been out with three lovely girls and one of them is brilliant. I think it may lead to something really great.

I like the idea of matching people according to their interests and not asking too many questions. Photo albums are also very convenient. Hope I can actually find someone good for me.

FINALLY someone with common sense created a dating app with great idea. Not found anyone yet but I’m quite confident I will. If you’r single you won’t be disappointed!!!

Excellent app! I downloaded just to see what it was like and ended up finding my boyfriend here ? I could not be happier ?

Welcome to LGBT Mauritius

Your information center for LGBT (lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgenders) life in Mauritius! Beautiful beaches, good food, colorful landscape… Mauritius, a MUST see-before-you-die destination!

Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals &amp Transgenders in Mauritus

There are two main associations in Mauritius for the LGBT community, „Collectif Arc en Ciel“ (Meaning Rainbow Collective) and „Pils“.

Founded in 2005, Collectif Arc en Ciel is the main organisation for the gay community. It is fighting homophobia and discrimination based on sexual orientation. Every few months a party is being organised by the Collectif.

Founded in 1996, Pils is the prevention, information &amp fight against center for HIV and AIDS in Mauritius.

is here for any member of the LGBT community and friends from around the world. Contact us today for any question you might have, we will reply very soon!

Mauritius cruising map with gay areas and spots where to practice cruising and to have casual NSA encounters

If you are gay and you want to practise cruising and to have casual NSA encounters in public places in Mauritius in an anonymous way, here you can find spots such as beaches, parks, forests and other spaces next to urban areas, as well as every kind of public toilets and rest areas of highways where you can practise cruising in Mauritius.

Below we show a Mauritius cruising map with all cruising areas and spots that shared our gay community. Click on the map markers for details of each spot.

In the tab for each zone you will find a location map with directions to the place: driving, walking, public transport or bike. You can vote the area and leave a comment for the rest of the community guys know your opinion, and if you want people to know you’re in the area, do not hesitate to check in.

The Way It Is–Life on Mauritius as a Gay Person

The following comments were sent to GlobalGayz from a native of Mauritius regarding his early life as a gay young man in his country. The picture he paints is unhappy and stress-filled as he faced persecution and rejection from all sides.

“I was indeed most shocked and aghast to see a hell hole like Mauritius, posted on your site. I was born there, sadly enough, raised up there, sadly enough, and above all was gay there, tragically & traumatically enough.

“Let’s say that Mauritius ruined my life , as I had to flee the place as a gay teenager. Mauritius ruined my education & prospects of a good career. I was lucky enough to come from a well off family who had the means to offer me an escape to South Africa. Sadly enough, ‘ apartheid ‘ was abhorrent to witness, but it was my only escape then, as white skin was the sole visa prerequisite.

“I shall not write an autobiography, but let’s say that if I’m now a disabled person, I can say ‘thank you’ to Mauritius and its people, people I could not call my own even if I had a gun pointed at my head.

“Many years have now gone by since I left that hell hole to come and live in civilized Australia. Sadly enough, despite the dismantling of apartheid racism still prevails in South Africa, and in Mauritius homophobia will always prevail. Its beaches may be lovely but its standards sure leave lots to be desired.

“Maybe my words can balance out the false rosy picture your author portrays on your website story. For a gay visitor who comes for a week and stays at a resort with a group, the picture is completely different from a native gay person here…” Read the full message.

Life on Mauritius as a Tourist

In spite of the lack of a scene however, a gay tourist will have no problems on vacation in this idyllic corner of the globe. The locals are friendly and courteous to visitors, and the ambience of the island is of gentle relaxation and tranquillity. Don’t go to Mauritius expecting to find a party island.

The Hindu tradition of transvestite-ism, Hirjas, is well known on the island, although I asked one of our tour guides about this and he claimed to know nothing about it. But our bus driver, a previously mute fellow, became very animated about the topic. He told me about the exploits of these “normal guys who like to have fun dressing up in their bedrooms, when their parents are out of the house”.

The Heritage Resort, in the south of the island, where I stayed, already has a special deal for French gay tourists. There were loved-up, well-heeled French guys canoodling subtly on the beach. Special deals for same-sex couples celebrating nuptials offer big discounts if you show your official registration papers on booking.

The island is best visited on a package tour. Independent travel is possible, but flights are not cheap and hotels can be expensive if you book them off the street. All-inclusive packages, on the other hand, can be great value, and make for a perfect holiday if you can avoid the temptation to over-indulge on the ‘inclusive’ food and drink! The Heritage is a glorious 5-star complex with golf course, Spa Centre, water sports, more bars and restaurants than you could wish for and three members of staff per guest. Each Villa is decorated in rich earth tones while turquoise lagoon pools are scattered everywhere. The mill-pond flat sea gently laps against the beach thanks to a wall of coral reef that surrounds the island, and forces ocean waves to break on the other side of a stunning lagoon.

Inland there are a number of natural wonders best seen as part of a tour. My favourite was called ‘The Romance of the South’, taking one full day to explore the south of the island. Although I didn’t get any romance, we were taken to the remarkable Grand Bassin Lake, location of the famous Maha Shivaratri , the most important Hindu festival outside of India. Held over three days in February and March, this nondescript, high-altitude volcanic lake attracts most of the island’s Hindu population, (some 400,000 people), who make an annual pilgrimage in honour of Lord Shiva to make food sacrifices and gather holy lake was visited in 1901 by Mahatma Gandhi who declared it spiritually linked with the Ganges, and so it became the holiest place on the island.

The capital, Port Louis, in the north west of the island is surrounded by spectacular mountains. On the waterfront you’ll find a bustling city with tourist shops and local markets as well as numerous bars and restaurants. Most of the original colonial period buildings have been removed to make way for new developments, much to the chagrin of the locals and the tourist-industry, so it’s not the prettiest or most atmospheric part of the island, but the Cathedral is fascinating if you’re interested in the insatiable spread of Catholicism.

Trips into the interior show off the lush vegetation and the remains of the once mighty forests. Most of the huge tropical forests were stripped during the colonial period, and it’s a pity that the island is most famous for what it’s now lost. It would have been an awesome sight to see huge Mahogany forests full of the dumb, metre-high, flightless Dodo, as well as other long-lost species.

To this day the island is fighting hard not to loose any other bird species, some of which are on the endangered species list including the Mauritius kestrel, the echo parakeet and the pink pigeon.

Climate is a complicated affair here. Different coast have different weather patterns, and the capital is shielded by the mountains from the prevailing winds so is always a little hotter than the rest of the island, but you’ll usually find a welcoming breeze. There is no monsoon season, though the cyclone season is best avoided between November and May. Expect daytime temperatures from January to April of around 35C (95F). The coolest period is from July to September, when temperatures average 24C (75F) during the day and 16C (60F) at night. Humidity is generally highest between October and June.

Back at the resort you’ll find that the island isn’t just famous for relaxation – there are other, more physical exploits to challenge your lethargy. Most all-inclusive resorts offer free activities. The Heritage keeps water-lovers happy with scuba-diving, wind-surfing, sailing, water-skiing, snorkelling, pedalloes and even a glass-bottom boat. There’s a new 18-hole golf course and off-resort excursions like deep-sea fishing, catamaran cruises, 4×4 quad bike trips and mountain bike hire.

Alternatively, you can go hiking or trekking in the interior on day-long adventures, or hire camping equipment and spend a few days in the hills. Remember, however, that the heat and humidity won’t allow for much over-exertion, and the lure of the beach will soon have you returning to your favourite sun-lounger. The Réserve Forrestiére Macchabée and Black River Gorges National Park make for great excursions, and the views at the latter are truly stunning – with the added bonus of the altitude making for a welcome escape from the heat.

One thing you won’t want to miss is the traditional dance of the island Créole Séga, a sexually provocative, body-gyrating, rumpy-pumpy dance that’s regularly performed by locals on the beach to the music of Latin America and the Caribbean. Men play the music – generally pounding drum rhythms and singing – while the women shake their booties. Sometimes, when the passions takes them, the guys will join in the thrusting, animalistic fun. It’s great to watch and completely out of place in culturally conservative Mauritius.

One great joy about a trip to Mauritius is the superb food. There’s a huge variety of cuisines, and fusion between dishes can make for exciting discoveries. French food merges with spicy Créole elements and can be served with Muslim and Hindu curries and Créole roast meats. Seafood is a speciality, although not as prevalent as you’d expect from such a remote island, and my favourite was daube, an octopus stew. Mauritian rum is as potent as you might expect, is cheap and available everywhere.

You’ll also find French wines, which are expensive and locally brewed beers. The diversity of cultures on the island can be dizzying. They’ve integrated in fascinating ways. Where else could you eat superb Indian food with an East African twist in a French colonial mansion looking over a lush tropical island vista, served by waiters who speak Créole?

So, if you’re planning to celebrate your special day together, or you just fancy pampering yourselves in world-class style – you’ll find a stay on Mauritius makes a truly welcome holiday. A relaxed, laid-back vacation being treated in a manner I’m sure you’d like to become accustomed to. Plus the lack of visible gay guys on your trip might be perfect for your honeymoon mood – you really will believe that he’s the only man in the world for you!

Also see:Gay Mauritius News & Reports 2006 to present

Is Japan gay-friendly?

Japanese society places more emphasis on group identity and values than personal expression. Sexuality — homo or hetero — is considered a private matter; It’s not flaunted in public displays of affection, or discussed.

Because of this, much of local gay life is not just hidden – it’s inaccessible. This is even more so for lesbians in Japan, who remain invisible. 

That said, homosexuality is legal in Japan, with small protections for gays, lesbians and even transgender people enacted mostly on a local level. Japanese travel providers are also starting to recognise the gay travel market. 

So travel to Japan is perfectly safe for queer visitors, but just hard to find. Tokyo has hundreds of gay bars, but only a handful welcome foreigners. As openly gay travelers (who used the word husband, but didn’t hold hands in public), we felt completely comfortable and welcome.

Tokyo gayborhood

Tokyo is subdivided into 23 wards or districts, which are large areas with their own city governments. Although you’re likely to visit a number of wards, you’ll probably spend the majority of your time in the main areas of the city, including the city’s busiest and most diverse ward – Shinjuku. This is where you’ll find the gay neighbourhood and the most concentrated dose of queer travel Japan offers. 

Northeast of Shinjuko station is Tokyo’s red light district, with numerous bars, restaurants, smoky and noisy pachinko parlors, love motels and nightclubs. Near the seedy red light district is Ni¬-chome district, a cluster of older low rise buildings with hundreds of gay–oriented establishments. 

Despite the hundreds of gay bars in Tokyo, there are only a few options for non¬-Japanese speaking customers. Our best advice would be to start at Advocates Café.  Make friends here with a local or two, and they can help you explore some of the bars that are lesser-known. 

Tokyo is a hard-working city and the bar scene can be quiet on weeknights. Many locals clear out just before midnight to catch the last subway or train home. On weekends, the scene gets busy around 9 or 10, and can stay busy through ‘til 5am, when the trains start running again.

Bar crawls through queer Japan

OutAsia Travel offers night tours of Shinjuku — basically a gay guide to bring you to two or three of the bars that welcome foreigners, and generally show you around. 

Even with good directions, it’s not easy to find many places. Be sure to look up for signs, as many bars aren’t on street level. 

At most bars, you’ll pay a cover charge with your first drink, and the bar master, or Mamasan (owner/manager), will be your genial host. They’ll making introductions, help guys meet and mingle, and generally ensuring that everyone’s comfortable and having a good time. 

Dancing was banned in Shinjuku’s gay clubs starting August of 2012, with signs and tables installed on the dance floor to deter dancing. Some dancing still occurs, but not a full-¬on dance scene.

You’ll also find many “Host Bars” in Shinjuku, where legal prostitution occurs. Here you pay for your cover and drink and peruse the young men (and most are indeed young, at 18-¬25). Find one you like, and you’ll pay a separate fee for an hour of his time. Most have rooms upstairs that are sometimes included in the host rental fee, or charged additionally.

Japanese saunas and bathhouses

Saunas can be even less welcoming of foreigners than bars, for all of the same reasons, combined with a prejudicial fear of HIV as a foreigners’ disease. If saunas are your thing, you’ll need to know the etiquette, which is described in our full guide. 

Upon arrival, pop your shoes in a shoe locker, and change into a pair of slippers. Buy an admission ticket from the machine, and then take your shoe locker key and ticket to the front desk, where you’ll get a locker key, towel, bathrobe and wash cloth. If you walk to the front desk in your shoes, your ignorance of the local customs will very likely result in denied admission.

We’ve listed a few of our favourite spots in our Japan Travel Guide, but for the most extensive and up¬-to-¬date bar, club and sauna listings, the best reference is . A printout of their gay map is also very useful.

Trip planning in Japan for LGBTQI+ travelers

ManAboutWorld’s comprehensive guide to LGBT Japan offers 47 pages of expert trip-planning information and travel inspiration about the Land of the Rising Sun. But you’ll need some assistance beyond these recommendations to plan your own ideal Japanese adventure: 

Guided group tours: There are many tours offered by mainstream companies, but we highly recommend the tour offering by our friends at Out Adventures. 

Full-itinerary planning assistance: In our search for assistance and information, all gay roads in Tokyo led to Shintaro, the owner of OutAsia Travel. His insights and assistance in putting together a customised itinerary is highly recommended. Be sure to mention ManAboutWorld when you contact him. 

Individual planning resources: The Japan National Tourism Organization provides a variety of resources that will be helpful to prospective visitors. The most impressive of these is a directory of Systematized Goodwill Guide (SGG) Clubs. These volunteer guides, mostly retirees and housewives, provide free guide services to tourists in their native languages. Budget travelers will appreciate the JNTO’s Affordable Japan recommendations. For hotels and ryokans in smaller cities, we found useful.

Where is Being Gay Illegal?

The first step to a safe vacation in Africa is to research your chosen destination carefully. You need to find out the laws regarding homosexuality – and whether or not they are enforced. Homosexuality is illegal in the following countries:

If you are convicted, punishment ranges from minor fines to life imprisonment (Gambia, Tanzania, Uganda and Sierra Leone – although this is rarely enforced in the latter country). This map gives more information about anti-gay laws and penalties.

South Africa: An LGBTI Haven

For many LGBTI travelers, South Africa is the ultimate hassle-free destination. It is the only country on the continent to recognize same-sex marriage, and the first in the world to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation. Cape Town in particular has a reputation for open-mindedness, with many gay-friendly bars, restaurants and hotels scattered throughout the city. There is more to South Africa than sexual tolerance, however. It’s also a magnificent destination in its own right, blessed with cosmopolitan cities, rich culture and an astounding variety of breathtaking natural spaces. 

Tips for Safe LGBTI Travel to Africa

It is worth remembering that regardless of your sexual orientation, 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. As long as you’re willing to avoid public displays of affection, there’s no reason that gay and lesbian travelers cannot travel safely, even to countries with laws against homosexuality.

There are many online forums where travelers can meet members of the local LGBTI community ahead of their arrival. This can be a useful resource, giving you a realistic insight into what life is really like for gays and lesbians in your chosen country as well as valuable information about the best gay-friendly hotels, bars, restaurants and tour agencies. However, be careful about meeting up with strangers; especially in poorer countries, scams are common and you could end up getting robbed or worse. 

HIV is prevalent throughout Africa, and all visitors, whether they’re straight or gay, should make sure to practice safe sex. 

Gay and Lesbian Tours to Africa

If the idea of traveling independently seems daunting, consider booking a tour through an LGBTI-friendly Africa travel agent. Heritage Tours pride themselves on their tolerance policy which embraces all races, religions and sexual orientations. They specialize in customized itineraries to several destinations throughout Southern and East Africa. Alternatively, the CEO of Rhino Africa is the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association’s Ambassador to South Africa. His company has a specific sub-division, Out2Africa, that offers luxury gay and lesbian-friendly itineraries to more than 20 African countries. 

OUT Adventures is another excellent company that specializes in gay tours and cruises all over the world, including itineraries to Morocco, Kenya and South Africa. The Moroccan and Kenyan itineraries are especially worthwhile for those that want to experience the magic of North or East Africa without persecution. Although laws in both countries prohibit homosexuality, OUT Adventures have the in-country experience needed to ensure that your experience there is both pleasant and safe. 

Resources for LGBTI Travelers

Whether you decide to travel on your own or with an organized tour, there are several websites worth checking out before your departure. The International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) is a comprehensive one-stop shop for information about LGBTI travel to every continent, including Africa. Listed African destinations range from Tanzania and Uganda to Mauritius, Zimbabwe and the Seychelles. Similarly, the GlobalGayz website offers a valuable archive of travel articles, news stories and personal experiences connected to gay travel in every African country. 

If you’re headed to Cape Town (widely recognized as the most gay-friendly city on the African continent), check out the Gay Cape Town Guide for information about the best beaches, bars and hotels the Mother City has to offer. 

The World’s Most Gay-Friendly Beach Cities and Resorts

Gay Mauritius

Mauritius is an exotic and remote island with unspoiled natural beauty and a relaxing atmosphere. Travelers come from near and far to experience the unique culture and partake in adventurous activities.

Bassin Lake is where the famous Maha Shivaratri Hindu festival is held – the largest festival of its kind outside of India. Visitors make a pilgrimage to the high-altitude lake now considered the holiest place on the island. Port Louis is the capital of Mauritius, and it is surrounded by spectacular mountains and picturesque nature. The waterfront is where you’ll find a high-energy urban center with shops, markets, bars, and restaurants. It is also home to a gorgeous cathedral! Nearby mountains contain many endangered species, so nature lovers rejoice.

The capital is the hottest area of the island because the surrounding mountains shield the city from island breezes. Aside from the balmy weather, the island setting of Mauritius makes for some incredible water activities for visitors! Some favorites include scuba-diving, windsurfing, sailing, water-skiing, and snorkeling. Travelers who prefer land can try golf, hiking, or mountain biking.

Mauritius is famous for its traditional island dance, the Creole Sega, which is regularly performed on the beach to Caribbean or Latin music. Food on Mauritius is also amazing, drawing influence from African, French, Muslim, and Hindu cuisine. Diners can also find French wines and locally brewed beers.

The Best Hotels & Resorts in Mauritius for Gay Travelers!

There are not any gay-only hotels in Mauritius, however, there are plenty of hotels and resorts around the island that welcome gay travelers, while totally respecting the privacy. The hotels in Mauritius are distinguished for their private white-sand beaches and luxurious facilities!

The Most Gay-Friendly Hotspots in Mauritius!

There is not a gay scene in Mauritius, since it’s a very conservative country, and the locals are not open-minded at all. Nonetheless, there are a couple of venues, which are particularly welcome with the gay travelers, however, even in there, we strictly recommend you act with discrete behavior!

The best places to visit while you’re in Mauritius are not gay-specific, rather a moment you can share and experience with your loved one(s).

Grand Bassin is a lake in the mountains 1800ft above sea level. There a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva here as the most sacred Hindu place on the island. The water is believed to be holy from the River Ganges in India, and people travel on foot for long distances to journey there.

Champ de Mars is a race course where you can watch and bet on horse races in a fancy suit. Chamarel Waterfall is the highest waterfall in Mauritius and natural spot of pure beauty. You can visit the Seven Coloured Earth right afterwards made up of sand dunes of distinct different colours from reds to browns to purples. Black River Gorges National Park is a thick native forest filled with gorgeous wildlife, including the famous pink pigeon, which almost become extinct. Skydive Mauritius lets you try the drug of an adrenaline junkie for an unforgettable experience filled with spectacular views of Mauritius. Grand Baie is a resort known for its city life including nightlife, shopping, and restaurants. 

The resort also has a lot of water sports you can try including diving, sailing, windsurfing, and waterskiing. Pamplemousses Botanical Garden is a botanical garden filled with varieties of palm trees, giant lily ponds, fruit bat trees, lakes with marine life, and trees planted by famous people like Nelson Mandela and Indira Gandhi. La Vanille Crocodile Park is an area where you get to see a jungle observatory with a crocodile, giant bats, turtles, monkeys, and insects. You can even try crocodile curry in the restaurant! Ile Aux Cerfs is a large island off the east coast of Mauritius with beautiful beaches filled with clear blue waters and warm white sand, a paradise in paradise. 

Book your hotel now to not miss out an amazing vacation in Mauritius.

 What can I find in this Gay Travel Guide ?

Our Travel by Interest Experts have created this dedicated gay travel guide, to help you easily plan your next gay holidays and discover all the places you want to see and all the things you want to do. You can find here the top gay bars, gay events, and other gay hots-pots, as well as gay-friendly Hotels to stay!