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Kenya

Big game safaris, sweeping savannah and starry skies await gay travellers in Kenya.

While Kenya is far from a gay hot spot (quite the contrary, actually), the East African nation has plenty to offer gay travellers willing to overlook its less-than-desirable laws and public opinions. For starters, Kenya is the world’s oldest safari destination—the word actually means ‘journey’ in Swahili—and retains the charm of yesteryear at many camps. The flora and fauna are second-to-none as herds of elephant and prides of lion roam freely amongst the acacia trees and seemingly endless savannah. In fact, Kenya is only one of two countries where you can witness the Great Wildebeest Migration. 

Aside from Kenya’s world-renowned safaris, hiking enthusiasts will also love challenging their limits on the slopes of Mount Kenya—the country’s highest, and Africa’s second-highest landmass. Meanwhile, Nairobi is fast becoming a modern city while retaining its distinct character. Finally, the country’s Indian coastline is quickly gaining attention for its cerulean waters and multicultural ports.

Ultimately, if you’re willing to overlook Kenya’s notorious stance on homosexuality, it is one of Africa’s most exciting and accessible safari destinations.


Quick Facts

  • Capital City: Nairobi
  • Currency: Kenyan Shilling (KES)
  • Languages: English, Swahili
  • Best Time of Year to Visit: August

LGBT Rights in Kenya

Lesbian Kenya Travel

Best Places to Visit in Kenya

More Info

We won’t sugarcoat it: Kenya has a terrible record of gay rights. Sodomy is illegal and punishable by imprisonment, same-sex marriage is banned, and LGBT people are routinely disowned by family. While prosecution of LGBT men and women in Kenya is rare, it is not unheard of. For example in July 2014, 40 people were arrested for ‘suspected homosexuality’ in a Nairobi nightclub.

Interestingly, lesbians in most East African countries including Kenya tend to fall into a legal grey area and are largely safe of public harassment. However, discrimination towards lesbians still exists.

Gay Activity: Illegal (Imprisonment as punishment)
Lesbian Activity: Unclear
Same-Sex Marriage: Not legal
Right to Change Gender: Legal, surgery not required
Same-Sex Adoption: Illegal
LGBT Discrimination: Illegal

Due to Kenya’s deeply ingrained homophobia, we recommend gay travellers practice complete discretion. It should be noted even heterosexual PDAs are frowned upon in Kenya. However, if you’re joining our gay Kenya safari, please rest assured your crew, staff, and accommodations all welcome you. Wondering why we still visit homophobic countries? Listen to this episode of The Gay Travel Podcast by Out Adventures which addresses the subject.

Gay Villages in Kenya

There are no gay villages in Kenya.

Pride Festivals in Kenya

In June, 2018 a very brave group of LGBT activists hosted the country’s first Pride Parade in a refugee camp. You can read about the protest here.

Best Gay Bars in Kenya

There are no gay bars in Kenya.

Best Lesbian Bars in Kenya

There are no lesbian bars in Kenya.

5. Nairobi

While not the most attractive city in the world, Nairobi is the largest economic centre in East Africa, is the gateway to a wealth of national parks and has a quirky charm. Visit the incredible National Museum and enjoy a day trip to Nairobi National Park.

4. Mount Kenya

Mt Kenya reaches a soaring height of 5199m. Industrious hikers are rewarded with the best vantage of the country’s seemingly endless savannahs.

3. Amboselli National Park

Amboselli is Kenya’s premiere safari destination. Visitors are guarenteed to see elephants, wildebeest, zebra and lions. The park also boasts over 370 species of birds.

2. Lake Nakuru

Lake Nakuru is home to tens of thousands of flamingo that feast gluttonously on the plentiful algaea. Other impressive sights include hippos, crocodiles, white and black rhinos, and lions.

1. Masai Mara

The Great Wildebeest migration is widely considered one of Earth’s greatest natural wonders. For a few months each year the migration spills over into the grasslands of Masai Mara National Park where tourists are blessed with the sight of millions of zebra and wildebeest grazing below the acacia trees. Make sure you have lots of space on your memory cards!

Best Time to Visit: August is the dry season – a perfect month to see the wildebeest migration. The sunny weather hovers around 25C/77F. If you want to hike Mount Kenya, bear in mind temperatures drop with altitude. The final camps are over 3,500m/11,482ft in altitude…and freezing cold after dark.

Electricity: G-type sockets.

Time Zone: EAT (UTC+03:00)

Vaccinations: The WHO recommends vaccination against typhoid, hepatitis A and B, cholera, yellow fever, rabies, meningitis, and the flu. To determine if you should take preventative measures to reduce the risk of illness, consult with your doctor or a travel medical clinic.

Visas: You will most likely need an e-visa to enter Kenya. Click here for more info, and to apply online. All visas are the responsibility of the traveller, and should be arranged in advance.

Last updated on Sept 1, 2019. Disclaimer: Out Adventures is not liable for inaccuracies in the above information.
LGBT Rights in Kenya

We won’t sugarcoat it: Kenya has a terrible record of gay rights. Sodomy is illegal and punishable by imprisonment, same-sex marriage is banned, and LGBT people are routinely disowned by family. While prosecution of LGBT men and women in Kenya is rare, it is not unheard of. For example in July 2014, 40 people were arrested for ‘suspected homosexuality’ in a Nairobi nightclub.

Interestingly, lesbians in most East African countries including Kenya tend to fall into a legal grey area and are largely safe of public harassment. However, discrimination towards lesbians still exists.

Gay Activity: Illegal (Imprisonment as punishment)
Lesbian Activity: Unclear
Same-Sex Marriage: Not legal
Right to Change Gender: Legal, surgery not required
Same-Sex Adoption: Illegal
LGBT Discrimination: Illegal

Lesbian Kenya Travel

Due to Kenya’s deeply ingrained homophobia, we recommend gay travellers practice complete discretion. It should be noted even heterosexual PDAs are frowned upon in Kenya. However, if you’re joining our gay Kenya safari, please rest assured your crew, staff, and accommodations all welcome you. Wondering why we still visit homophobic countries? Listen to this episode of The Gay Travel Podcast by Out Adventures which addresses the subject.

Gay Villages in Kenya

There are no gay villages in Kenya.

Pride Festivals in Kenya

In June, 2018 a very brave group of LGBT activists hosted the country’s first Pride Parade in a refugee camp. You can read about the protest here.

Best Gay Bars in Kenya

There are no gay bars in Kenya.

Best Lesbian Bars in Kenya

There are no lesbian bars in Kenya.

Best Places to Visit in Kenya

5. Nairobi

While not the most attractive city in the world, Nairobi is the largest economic centre in East Africa, is the gateway to a wealth of national parks and has a quirky charm. Visit the incredible National Museum and enjoy a day trip to Nairobi National Park.

4. Mount Kenya

Mt Kenya reaches a soaring height of 5199m. Industrious hikers are rewarded with the best vantage of the country’s seemingly endless savannahs.

3. Amboselli National Park

Amboselli is Kenya’s premiere safari destination. Visitors are guarenteed to see elephants, wildebeest, zebra and lions. The park also boasts over 370 species of birds.

2. Lake Nakuru

Lake Nakuru is home to tens of thousands of flamingo that feast gluttonously on the plentiful algaea. Other impressive sights include hippos, crocodiles, white and black rhinos, and lions.

1. Masai Mara

The Great Wildebeest migration is widely considered one of Earth’s greatest natural wonders. For a few months each year the migration spills over into the grasslands of Masai Mara National Park where tourists are blessed with the sight of millions of zebra and wildebeest grazing below the acacia trees. Make sure you have lots of space on your memory cards!

More Info

Best Time to Visit: August is the dry season – a perfect month to see the wildebeest migration. The sunny weather hovers around 25C/77F. If you want to hike Mount Kenya, bear in mind temperatures drop with altitude. The final camps are over 3,500m/11,482ft in altitude…and freezing cold after dark.

Electricity: G-type sockets.

Time Zone: EAT (UTC+03:00)

Vaccinations: The WHO recommends vaccination against typhoid, hepatitis A and B, cholera, yellow fever, rabies, meningitis, and the flu. To determine if you should take preventative measures to reduce the risk of illness, consult with your doctor or a travel medical clinic.

Visas: You will most likely need an e-visa to enter Kenya. Click here for more info, and to apply online. All visas are the responsibility of the traveller, and should be arranged in advance.

Last updated on Sept 1, 2019. Disclaimer: Out Adventures is not liable for inaccuracies in the above information.

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