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Is Zanzibar safe for gay men to visit?

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West Sussex
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12 posts
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Is Zanzibar safe for gay men to visit?

Hello

We are a gay couple who are visiting Zanzibar in December. I have just seen an article on TV regarding the appalling way some homosexuals are treated there.

We are a straight acting couple in our early forties who do not openly indulge in effection in public and do respect the attitudes and beliefs in any country we visit.

Do you think we will have any problems?

Kind regards

Ian

nyc
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1. Re: Is Zanzibar safe for gay men to visit?

Unless you announce your sexual preference or wear a sign... no problem.

As you say - no public display of affection - but that should hold for straight also.

Enjoy your holiday.

Saint Paul...
Destination Expert
for Tanzania, Serengeti National Park
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2. Re: Is Zanzibar safe for gay men to visit?

I agree with Sandi, that you should not have a problem and that nobody (gay or straight) should engage in public displays of affection in Tanzania. It's quite common, however, for Tanzanians of the same sex to have close friendships so you won't stand out. In some VERY rare cases, Tanzanians won't rent a room with one bed to two men. I've seen this rule posted at a few local guest houses in Tanzania, but I'm sure this won't affect you in a more 'western'-style hotel. I've never seen the rule enforced though it's something to think about.

BTW, Tanzania has a culture where two men or two women can hold hands while walking down the street and its only significance is that they are good friends. But I wouldn't recommend you try this just to be on the safe side - as a foreigner they might read more significance into it. I don't know if you would get any hassle, but I would prefer that you not experiment and potentially have a bad experience.

I do believe that you'll simply have a great time.

Brisbane, Australia
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731 posts
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3. Re: Is Zanzibar safe for gay men to visit?

As the above post say, just don't announce it.

But if you are booking with a tour operator, please make sure that you book for Mr and Mr (friends). Otherwise there could be some panic on the reception staffs faces when you are checking in.

West Sussex
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12 posts
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4. Re: Is Zanzibar safe for gay men to visit?

Thank you all for your input, most appreciated.

We are staying in a dutch run guesthouse and I would imgaine she has worked out the situation by now. We are also taking a femail friend with us as well, could be a bit of a smoke screen!!!

As I said we have visited Bali, Borneo and Egypt in recent years and most loacals assumed we were brothers or just friends.

Thanks again

Ian

Findlay, Ohio
Destination Expert
for Tanzania, Ngorongoro Conservation Area
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12,484 posts
8 reviews
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5. Re: Is Zanzibar safe for gay men to visit?

Keep it under the smokescreen and you'll probably have no problem. But you need to know that as a culture Tanzanians are more homophobic then most.

Haywards Heath...
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200 posts
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6. Re: Is Zanzibar safe for gay men to visit?

Hi Ian, we too are going to Zanzibar in december and we too also live in Haywards Heath, how weird is that ?

West Sussex
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7. Re: Is Zanzibar safe for gay men to visit?

Hi There!

Certainly is a small world!

We leave the UK on the 28th Dec and leave Zanzibar on the 10th Jan, staying in Bweju, flying with Air Kenya !!!!

Haywards Heath...
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200 posts
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8. Re: Is Zanzibar safe for gay men to visit?

We go at the start of december and staying at La Gemma. I'll let you know what the weather was like..

West Sussex
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12 posts
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9. Re: Is Zanzibar safe for gay men to visit?

That would be much appreciated and also what issues you might have with currencies / methods of payment would be great.

Have a fantastic time!

Regards

Ian

North Carolina
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56 posts
47 reviews
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10. Re: Is Zanzibar safe for gay men to visit?

Ian, may I ask where you are staying? My partner and I are also considering Zanzibar for a holiday this December