This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Travel to the East African nation of Tanzania is becoming increasingly dangerous amid a renewed effort by the government to crack down on LGBTQ+ individuals and activity. New reports of a widespread crackdown come weeks after a statement made by the governor of the most populated region of the country, pledging to track down and arrest those in the LGBTQ+ community. Now, people identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer living in Tanzania are reportedly fleeing the country or going into hiding.
Same-sex activity is illegal in Tanzania. Additionally, homosexuality is, by de facto, also illegal. Male same-sex activity and homosexuality carry a prison sentence of up to 30 years while female same-sex activity and homosexuality carry a sentence of up to 5 years in prison.
While the ramifications for Tanzanians are clear, they are less so for travelers. The governor of the region of Dar Es Salaam, Paul Makonda, made a proclamation in late October, “I am announcing to every citizen of Dar Es Salaam: If you know any gays, report them to me.”
While Tanzania is not alone in having laws punishing LGBTQ+ individuals and activity, it is one of the few countries that is stepping up enforcement of these laws. According to Rainbow Railroad, a Canadian organization that assists those in the LGBTQ+ community in escaping violence, the situation in Tanzania is growing increasingly dangerous.
LGBTQ+ travelers should take extreme caution should it be essential to travel to Tanzania. In addition to always registering with the STEP program via the US Department of State before traveling abroad, the department has issued a Level 2 “Exercise Increased Caution” advisory when traveling to Tanzania and notes that LGBTQ+ travelers have faced legal issues and even harassment while visiting Tanzania. For more information on LGBTQ+ travel, see The Points Guy’s post on LGBTQ+ travel.
Tanzania sees nearly 1.3 million tourists annually. Tourism is on the rise for the nation, which is home to Mt. Kilimanjaro and the Serengeti. Dar Es Salaam (DAR) is the main port of entry and currently has flights serving cities such as Amsterdam, Istanbul and Zurich. The East African nation has invested a great deal in tourism as the economy of Tanzania grows. While the country is home to some of the most remarkable safaris on the globe, LGBTQ+ travelers should look elsewhere given the recent rounds of violence against LGBTQ+ individuals and couples.
H/T: Rainbow Railroad
Featured image by Antonio Cravo / EyeEm / Getty Images
Know before you go.
News and deals straight to your inbox every day.
NEW INCREASED OFFER: 60,000 points! With great travel benefits, 2x points on travel & dining and a 60,000 point sign up bonus worth up to $1,200 in value, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game. Here are the top 5 reasons it should be in your wallet, or read our definitive review for more details.
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- No foreign transaction fees
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
- No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards