Are Gay or Lesbians allowed to visit Uganda for a safari? Uganda condemns homosexuality BUT as a tourist, you are unlikely to face any penalties since you are in the country for a short time unlike normal travelers who intend to reside in the country for quite a long time. We mind so much about tourism and with the fact that Uganda is one of the finest countries in Africa for a safari, we would definitely want you to pay a visit and enjoy the beauty of this country. Uganda is a very safe place for Gay or Lesbian travelers if only you take precautions that are mentioned in this article.
LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) people do exist in Uganda only that they are underground because of the various penalties that might include spending 14 years behind coolers. In 2014, the Ugandan government proposed a law that punishes people engaged in homosexuality with life imprisonment but this got ruled out after certain revisions on the bill. Since then, LGBT has been very much underground unlike before. This didn’t only impact negatively but also pushed Uganda in the lime-light for criticisms from foreigners and cut down business from certain sectors of the economy. Of the most affected sectors was the tourism sector that registered way less trips compared to the previous years when this law wasn’t active. The tourism industry is solely dependent on visitors from foreign countries and the fact that the total number of tourists to the respective national parks reduced by about 35% has made the country lose a lot of revenue.
So why am i saying Uganda is a very safe country for gay and lesbian tourists? Most tourists hardly take their time to inquire how a gay traveler can maintain a safe stay in Uganda but rather get freaked out by the numbers of news articles they read on the internet. To make you comfortable, President Museveni years ago had an interview on Travel Trade Magazine and seemed to have no issue against gay tourists. The president revealed that he believes in no persecution, no killing and no discrimination of gay people because some chiefs in the country’s history were gay but never talked about their sexuality in public.
“What happens in private, regardless of sexual orientation, is private but Western critics should respect that in Uganda, any public display of affection, gay or straight, would be offensive,” he said during the interview.
He went ahead to reveal that he has never shown his wife, Minister Janet Kataha Museveni any public affection for all the years they’ve spent together. Fact is, in our culture, public display of affection is not right and anything to do with love should be private. Children shouldn’t see such acts happening at ease or even every other person because this would degrade the values of our culture. The main reason behind banning homosexuality was to save the future generation of the country from getting involved in such acts. However, the president having no issues with gay travelers doesn’t do mean because he has less or no control over the laws enacted in the parliament of Uganda. When Members of Parliament pass a law,the president has no right to revoke it.
So what am i trying to say? Uganda is only safe for Gay travelers who are willing to keep their sexuality discrete (private). First of all, no one at immigration will ask if you are gay on your arrival at the airport and all they will ask for is the $50 required fee for a Ugandan Visa, ask you a few questions and that’s it. Then second of all, it’s very hard to point out gay tourists unless they show any public signs like affection or dressing like women and like said previously, everyone in Uganda minds their own business and won’t care so much about what tourists do.
It’s recommended to book a safari with tour operators who are sensitive to your rights, will respect them, keep them private and most of all support you through out your entire safari in Uganda. About accommodation in safari lodges, it is definitely hard for people of the same sex to book a deluxe room (a room with 1 double bed) and share it without causing any suspicions on the side of the hotel staff (which is still not a threat because they can’t do anything about it since you are giving them business) implicating you have to book a twin room if you are to share a room with your partner.
Uganda is a very lovely country that you should definitely pay a visit. We at Uganda Travel Blog mind about your confidentiality hence, are ready to help you organize the best safari for you. Drop us an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org and we shall not only connect with one of our safari partners to organize for you an awesome safari but will also be supportive and comply with most of your requests.