As home to many sites of cultural, religious and historical importance, Egypt has attracted visitors for hundreds of years. Gay vacations in this beautiful country can include a wide variety of activities, such as riding through the desert on the back of a camel, exploring ancient cities, gazing at the monumental Great Pyramids of Giza, taking a boat cruise on the Nile, dining and shopping in large, modern cities or wiling away an afternoon on gorgeous white sand beaches. From exploring the Temple of Edfu or the Valley of Kings burial tombs, to finding the perfect souvenir in the Khan al Khalili Bazaar and viewing the treasures of King Tutankhamun at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, there is simply no end to the wonders that Egypt has to offer. Anyone partaking in gay travel to Africa simply will not want to miss the opportunity to incorporate this intriguing country into their gay vacation plans.
While Egypt is a great destination for gay vacations, there are some points of interest to members of the LGBT community. The Egyptian government has become more aggressive in its efforts to arrest and imprison gay men in recent years, including a very public trial of over 50 men arrested on a boat hosting a night club in 2001 and several undercover sting operations in gathering spots, online chat rooms and other venues, which have led to arrests and imprisonment.
While Egyptian men are usually the focus of these raids and online undercover operations, local women and male and female tourists have also been arrested. There are no laws that specifically ban same-sex sexual activity conducted in private between consenting adults; however, laws against debauchery, contempt for religion and other similar behaviors have been used in recent years to persecute members of the LGBT community in Egypt.
With this being said, that does not mean that gay travel to Egypt should be avoided, or that all locals can be assumed to be homophobic. Most folks who partake in gay vacations to Egypt find that locals are warm and welcoming and report no legal issues during their travels. It does mean that you will not find a visible LGBT community for the most part. While there are popular meeting spots in Alexandria, Luxor, Dahab, Cairo, Aswan and other larger metropolitan areas, discretion is key, as these popular hangouts are also well-known to the police.
Egypt is a land of mystery with several must-see historical and cultural attractions. To experience some of the best offerings of Egypt, while also helping to ensure a safe trip without hassles, those seeking a gay vacation to Egypt should consider taking in this intriguing country as part of a gay travel tour, or at the very least, going through a travel agency that is aware of issues of concern to the LGBT community and is able to provide the information necessary for safe, fulfilling gay vacations to Egypt.