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Botswana Gay Travel

A mosaic of cultures and wildlife welcomes gay travellers.

Known as “The Pearl of Africa,” Botswana is emerging as a unique new destination for adventure travel. Filled with stunning natural beauty and multiple UNESCO World Heritage Sites, its wildlife conservation efforts are second-to-none. Even though homosexuality was only recently legalized (in 2019), the country’s cosmopolitan and tourist areas have always been welcoming to LGBTQ+ travellers.




Quick Facts

  • Capital City: Gaborone
  • Currency: Botswana Pula (BWP)
  • Languages: English, Setswana, Ikalanga
  • Best Time of Year to Visit: May - October

LGBTQ+ Rights in Botswana

Gay Botswana Travel

Best Places to Visit in Botswana

More Info

Botswana has long been recognised as one of Africa’s most stable countries, with a generally positive human rights record and the longest continuous multi-party democracy in Africa. In 2014, Botswana’s first gay rights group (LEGABIBO) finally won legal recognition. Since then, Botswana’s High Court has consistently ruled in favour of LGBTQ+ rights in the country. 

Gay Activity: Legal
Lesbian Activity: Legal
Same-Sex Marriage: Not Recognized
Right to Change Gender: Legal, surgery not required
Same-Sex Adoption: Single only
LGBTQ+ Discrimination: Illegal

Botswana isn’t the most obvious place for a gay or LGBTQ+ vacation, but you can travel freely and feel safe here. Public displays of affection (LGBTQ+ or otherwise) are discouraged, but paradoxically, you may see straight men holding hands. 

Gay Villages
None.

Pride and Gay Events
The first Gaborone Pride was held in 2019, just a few months after the Botswana High Court decriminalised homosexuality in a historic ruling. Now an annual event, it features musical acts, DJs and a parade.

5. Makgadikgadi Pans National Park
Featuring a surreal, lunar-like landscape and zero light pollution, Makgadikgadi Pans National Park is one of the best spots in the world for an overnight stargazing expedition. Distinctive baobab trees and large populations of flamingos and meerkats are endemic to the park.

4. Chobe National Park
Renowned for its concentration of African elephants that roam freely amidst a diverse array of wildlife, Chobe National Park is home to a vibrant ecosystem that’s the perfect backdrop for both safaris and river cruises.

3. Gaborone
The capital city of Botswana, Gaborone is an urban hub that blends modernity with the nation’s cultural heritage. Boasting a welcoming atmosphere, it offers a range of experiences from bustling markets to contemporary shopping centers and galleries that showcase local artisans.

2. Central Kalahari Game Reserve
A vast and untouched expanse of wilderness, the Central Kalahari Game Reserve offers an immersive experience in the heart of the Kalahari Desert (which takes up 70% of Botswana’s land). Spanning over 50,000km2, the reserve is home to lions, cheetahs, springboks, and plenty of other amazing creatures.

1. Okavango Delta
A pristine oasis of natural wonder, this inland delta teems with an abundance of wildlife and lush vegetation due to its annual flooding which peaks between June and August during Botswana’s dry winter months. Safari enthusiasts can navigate its waterways on Mokoro canoes, spotting elephants, lions, and a myriad of bird species. This UNESCO World Heritage Site stands as a testament to the delicate balance between the annual floodwaters and the thriving ecosystems they nourish.

Best Time to Visit: Located in the middle of the continent, Botswana doesn’t have the four seasons that are common in the rest of the world. Instead, it has two seasons: summer (known as the green season) and winter (the dry season). The best time to visit is typically during the long dry season from May to October but more specifically between June and August when the Okavango Delta swells to three times its permanent size.

Electricity: Type D, G & M Sockets

Time Zone: Central Africa Time ( UTC+2)

Vaccinations: We recommend routine and measles vaccines, but to determine if you should take further measures, talk to your doctor or a travel medical clinic.

Covid-19 Vaccination Requirements: We’re dedicated to ensuring our tours are safe for everyone, but it is our belief that each traveler has a responsibility to protect themselves and their fellow travellers from COVID-19. As of May 1, 2023, Out Adventures no longer requires guests to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination on most of our tours. If vaccination is a requirement for entry, or on select cruises, this will be communicated at the time a trip is confirmed to depart. Before booking, we recommend that you read our COVID-19 Information Page and our COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions to understand what we’re doing to minimize risk, and what will happen if you contract COVID-19 before or during an Out Adventures tour.

Other Vaccinations: Based on the entry requirements for Namibia, there are no other vaccinations needed. To determine if you should take preventative measures to reduce the risk of illness, you should consult your doctor or a travel medical clinic, as Out Adventures cannot provide vaccination recommendations.

Visas: Tourists visiting Botswana for fewer than 90 days per calendar year are not required to obtain a visa in advance of their arrival. Your passport must be valid for a minimum of 6 months after the date you enter Botswana. At least 3 completely blank pages in your passport are required for entry into Botswana. Click here for more info.

Last updated on Nov 1, 2023. Disclaimer: The information provided was accurate at the time of publishing, but cannot be guaranteed.
LGBT Rights in Botswana

Botswana has long been recognised as one of Africa’s most stable countries, with a generally positive human rights record and the longest continuous multi-party democracy in Africa. In 2014, Botswana’s first gay rights group (LEGABIBO) finally won legal recognition. Since then, Botswana’s High Court has consistently ruled in favour of LGBTQ+ rights in the country. 

Gay Activity: Legal
Lesbian Activity: Legal
Same-Sex Marriage: Not Recognized
Right to Change Gender: Legal, surgery not required
Same-Sex Adoption: Single only
LGBTQ+ Discrimination: Illegal

Gay Botswana Travel

Botswana isn’t the most obvious place for a gay or LGBTQ+ vacation, but you can travel freely and feel safe here. Public displays of affection (LGBTQ+ or otherwise) are discouraged, but paradoxically, you may see straight men holding hands. 

Gay Villages
None.

Pride and Gay Events
The first Gaborone Pride was held in 2019, just a few months after the Botswana High Court decriminalised homosexuality in a historic ruling. Now an annual event, it features musical acts, DJs and a parade.

Best Places to Visit in Botswana

5. Makgadikgadi Pans National Park
Featuring a surreal, lunar-like landscape and zero light pollution, Makgadikgadi Pans National Park is one of the best spots in the world for an overnight stargazing expedition. Distinctive baobab trees and large populations of flamingos and meerkats are endemic to the park.

4. Chobe National Park
Renowned for its concentration of African elephants that roam freely amidst a diverse array of wildlife, Chobe National Park is home to a vibrant ecosystem that’s the perfect backdrop for both safaris and river cruises.

3. Gaborone
The capital city of Botswana, Gaborone is an urban hub that blends modernity with the nation’s cultural heritage. Boasting a welcoming atmosphere, it offers a range of experiences from bustling markets to contemporary shopping centers and galleries that showcase local artisans.

2. Central Kalahari Game Reserve
A vast and untouched expanse of wilderness, the Central Kalahari Game Reserve offers an immersive experience in the heart of the Kalahari Desert (which takes up 70% of Botswana’s land). Spanning over 50,000km2, the reserve is home to lions, cheetahs, springboks, and plenty of other amazing creatures.

1. Okavango Delta
A pristine oasis of natural wonder, this inland delta teems with an abundance of wildlife and lush vegetation due to its annual flooding which peaks between June and August during Botswana’s dry winter months. Safari enthusiasts can navigate its waterways on Mokoro canoes, spotting elephants, lions, and a myriad of bird species. This UNESCO World Heritage Site stands as a testament to the delicate balance between the annual floodwaters and the thriving ecosystems they nourish.

More Info

Best Time to Visit: Located in the middle of the continent, Botswana doesn’t have the four seasons that are common in the rest of the world. Instead, it has two seasons: summer (known as the green season) and winter (the dry season). The best time to visit is typically during the long dry season from May to October but more specifically between June and August when the Okavango Delta swells to three times its permanent size.

Electricity: Type D, G & M Sockets

Time Zone: Central Africa Time ( UTC+2)

Vaccinations: We recommend routine and measles vaccines, but to determine if you should take further measures, talk to your doctor or a travel medical clinic.

Covid-19 Vaccination Requirements: We’re dedicated to ensuring our tours are safe for everyone, but it is our belief that each traveler has a responsibility to protect themselves and their fellow travellers from COVID-19. As of May 1, 2023, Out Adventures no longer requires guests to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination on most of our tours. If vaccination is a requirement for entry, or on select cruises, this will be communicated at the time a trip is confirmed to depart. Before booking, we recommend that you read our COVID-19 Information Page and our COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions to understand what we’re doing to minimize risk, and what will happen if you contract COVID-19 before or during an Out Adventures tour.

Other Vaccinations: Based on the entry requirements for Namibia, there are no other vaccinations needed. To determine if you should take preventative measures to reduce the risk of illness, you should consult your doctor or a travel medical clinic, as Out Adventures cannot provide vaccination recommendations.

Visas: Tourists visiting Botswana for fewer than 90 days per calendar year are not required to obtain a visa in advance of their arrival. Your passport must be valid for a minimum of 6 months after the date you enter Botswana. At least 3 completely blank pages in your passport are required for entry into Botswana. Click here for more info.

Last updated on Nov 1, 2023. Disclaimer: The information provided was accurate at the time of publishing, but cannot be guaranteed.
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