African Travel Inc. has introduced dedicated Pride Safaris for the LGBTQ community, including a new Southern Africa President's Family Safari.
African Travel president Sherwin Banda said Pride Safaris uniquely cater to the LGBTQ community. During these trips, LGBTQ travelers can rest assured they will be staying at camps that have been vetted and tested.
"There is still a stigma that Africa is not welcome or open to people from the LGBTQ community," he said. "There is a belief that Africa is run by the religious right and that our cultural norms do not allow for difference and that the destination might not be safe."
Banda explained he is a black man, a South African and a Jew. The fact that he happens to be married to a man does not define who he is. Members of the LGBTQ community want to travel and are looking for the same things -- authenticity, a deeper connection to the destination, conservation, etc. -- as other travelers. However, for the LGBTQ community, there is an added safety concern.
"All of our camps and travel partners and suppliers have been vetted and have gone through sensitivity training to service this particular community," Banda said. "Secondly, we also include experiences that would add value in terms of understanding the gay story in Africa. So many people don't know that South Africa has one of the most liberal constitutions in the world and that same-sex marriage are enshrined in the constitution."
Banda himself will be leading the very first Pride Safari, the Southern Africa President's Family Safari, next year. This trip will explore Southern Africa's bucket-list highlights while also delving into the region's diverse culture, landscape and wildlife.
Travelers will discover Cape Town's unique sights -- such as meeting African penguins and trying their hand at drumming at GOLD Restaurant -- along with its scenic winelands. They can spot the Big Five on a game drive or walking safari at Kapama Private Game Reserve . The safari is balanced with fun activities for explorers of all ages and family-friendly accommodations.
African Travel has also curated safari ideas to meet the different needs of LGBTQ guests. The new "Pride Guide," which includes the "President's Safari," offers travel tips that advisors can share with clients.