South Africa travel advice for the gay traveler
South Africa was a gay travel destination long before it became the first country in the world with a constitution banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and the fifth country to legalize same-sex marriage. With the fall of apartheid and these two historic events for gay rights, the attraction here has increased exponentially among straight and gay travelers. From the gorgeous beaches of the Western Cape to the breezy excitement of Gauteng, South Africa is the most gay-friendly country on the continent and an ideal location for a gay getaway.
Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Pretoria are popular stops during gay vacations, and each offers a variety of LGBT-friendly activities, institutions, and events. Gay men who enjoy the scene will be especially pleased with the wide range of establishments that cater exclusively to gay men, such as luxury guesthouses providing accommodation exclusively for gay men, and Cape Town’s famous baths and private baths, which are for all men. Naked Pub, Camp David, in Pretoria. South African gay culture largely revolves around the male gay community; However, family and lesbian travelers will also find a plethora of exciting gay vacation opportunities in this country rich in history, culture, and beautiful scenery, including many organized tours that are gay-friendly or that cater specifically to the gay and lesbian community.
September is Gay Pride Month in South Africa, which makes this a great time to visit for gay men and lesbians looking for a gay getaway that includes pride celebrations and a variety of other events, such as the Out in Africa South African Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, which takes place in both Johannesburg and Cape Town, which attracts more than 16,000 international participants. Cape Town is also home to the annual Mother City Queer Project costume party that brings over 10,000 international visitors to South Africa every December. Of course, Cape Town is also home to Clifton’s Third Beach and the nearby Sandy Bay nudist beach, both of which are extremely popular for gay men, and also has a gay village offering many gay and gay-owned establishments in Greenpoint. Having a copy of local gay publications like Exit and Outright will keep travelers informed of what’s going on during their stay and provide additional information about the best places to hang out or eat at a gay-friendly restaurant.
No gay vacation in South Africa would be complete without trying authentic South African cuisine and taking the opportunity to dine at some of the many restaurants in South Africa. When visiting Johannesburg, travelers won’t want to miss Bellgables Country Restaurant which serves delicious meals in a restored farmhouse set in 21 acres of farmland. Cape Town has several dining options, including Lola’s, a gay-owned vegan restaurant, award-winning South African fine dining restaurant Emily’s, a wine bar and beer bar.
To ensure a great South African gay travel experience, enlist the assistance of a professional travel agency when planning your trip. Travel agents who regularly organize gay vacations to South Africa will have up-to-date information on the best places to stay, eat, and play, as well as safety tips for exploring in areas that may not be acceptable.