Great Gay Travel to South Africa

    Great Gay Travel to South Africa

    South Africa has had a tumultuous human rights history, but even before reversing course with the elimination of apartheid, penning the worlds first constitution to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and being among the first nations to legalize same-sex marriage, South Africa was a popular gay travel destination. Since these history-making events, South Africa has become even more popular with both straight and gay travelers. As Africas most gay-friendly country, South Africa enjoys a thriving gay culture that spans the country from Gauteng with its exhilarating nightlife to the exquisite beaches of Western Cape and continues to grow as an enticing gay vacation destination.

    Cape Town, Johannesburg and Pretoria are popular stops during South Africa gay vacations and each offers a variety of gay-friendly and gay-centered activities, establishments and events. Gay men who enjoy the scene will be particularly pleased with the vast array of establishments that cater exclusively to gay men, such as luxury guest houses that provide lodgings exclusively to gay men, the famous bathhouses found in Cape Town and the private, all-male nude bar, Camp David, in Pretoria. Gay culture in South Africa revolves largely around the gay male community; however family travelers and lesbians will also find a plethora of exciting opportunities for gay vacations in this country that is rich in history, culture and beautiful landscapes, including several organized tours that are gay-friendly or cater specifically to the gay and lesbian community.

    Gay travelers interested in designing a gay vacation around pride celebrations and gay events may want to plan their trip for September, which is South Africas gay pride month and offers a full calendar with multiple gay pride events, as well as the Out in Africa South African Gay & Lesbian Film Festival in both Johannesburg and Cape Town, which draws over 16,000 attendees from around the world. Those visiting in December will have the opportunity to experience Cape Towns Mother City Queer Project annual costume party, which draws more than 10,000 visitors. Gay men who enjoy a beach lifestyle will also want to check out Cliftons Third Beach and Sandy Bay nudist beach, which are very popular spots among gay men in Cape Town. There is also a gay area in Cape Towns Green Point where travelers will find a selection of gay-owned and gay-friendly eateries and establishments, as well as local gay publications like Outright and Exit, which list events and goings on in the area.

    No gay vacation to South Africa would be complete without experiencing authentic South African cuisine and taking the opportunity to dine in some of South Africas many welcoming restaurants. When visiting Johannesburg, travelers will not want to miss Bellgables Country Restaurant offering delicious meals in a renovated farmhouse sitting on 21 acres of farmland. In Cape Town there are many dining options, including Lolas, a gay-owned vegetarian restaurant, and Emilys an award winning fine dining restaurant featuring South African cuisine, a wine bar and a beer bar.

    Working with a travel agency that is accustomed to planning gay vacations to South Africa will help ensure that you get the most from your gay travel experience and that you have the information you need regarding where to go, what to see and which areas may have certain safety concerns for gay travelers.

    This article about gay travel to South Africa was written by Howie Holben. He has traveled the world for over 30 years and owns and runs Spirit Journeys, a spiritually based gay travel firm. Spirit Journeys has offered gay vacations with a difference since 1992.