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South Africa

Old World luxury. New World wine tours. And exotic safaris. That's what gay South Africa travel entails!

South Africa is our premiere destination on its namesake continent. It serves up a savage amount of adventure, luxury, and big city nightlife. From the Cape of Good Hope, to an emerging wine region, to Big Five safaris just a short flight away, the other side of the world feels like – well – a whole new world.


Quick Facts

  • Capital City: Cape Town, Pretoria and Bloemfontein
  • Currency: South African Rand (ZAR)
  • Languages: Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Xhosa, Zulu, Sotho, Tswana, Swati, Tshivenda, Tsonga, North Sotho
  • Best Time of Year to Visit: Summer (November to February) & Winter (June to October)
LGBT Rights in South Africa
Gay South Africa Travel
Best Places to Visit in South Africa
More Info

South Africa was actually the first country in the world to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation. It was also the fifth country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage. Unfortunately, a forward thinking political climate hasn’t translated to public acceptance as social stigma is still thick across the country, especially in rural areas. When asked “Should Society Accept Homosexuality?” over 61% of locals said ‘No’.

Gay Activity: Legal
Lesbian Activity: Legal
Gay Marriage: Legal
Right to Change Gender: Legal, but requires surgery
Same-Sex Adoption: Legal
LGBT Discrimination: Illegal
Equal Age of Consent: Equal

Gay nightlife revolves around Johannesburg and Cape Town, and both cities have thriving LGBT communities. To a lesser degree both Pretoria and Durban have small gay communities. While South Africa is certainly leagues better than neighbourhoring countries, we still recommend gay travellers practice discretion in South Africa, especially in rural areas and townships.

Gay Villages

Cape Town: De Waterkant

Pride Festivals/Events

Cape Town: Annually in Late February/March
Joburg PrideAnnually in October
Pretoria PrideAnnually in October
Durban Pride: June
Cape Town & Johannesburg: Out In Africa Film Festival. Annual.

Best Gay Beaches

Cape Town: Clifton Third beach
Cape Town: Sandy Bay (Nude)
Durban: Virginia
Durban: The Northern point of Umhlanga (Nude)

Best Gay Bars

Cape Town: Crew Bar (Bar and Club)
Cape Town: Pink Panther (Club)
Cape Town: Cafe Manhattan (Bar and Restaurant)
Johannesburg: Beefcakes (Bar and Restaurant)
Johannesburg: Trouble (Bar)
Johannesburg: Ratz (Bar)
Durban: Club Altitude
Pretoria: Rasputin

Best Lesbian Bars

There are no Lesbian-Specifc Bars in South Africa. However, regular Lesbian Parties are thrown in both Cape Town and Johannesburg. Here’s a helpful Facebook Group that lists lots of Lesbian Events.

5. Victoria Falls
Located right on the border of South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia, Victoria Falls is one of Africa’s (and the world’s) largest spectacles – literally one of the largest, as it is nearly twice as tall as Canada’s Niagra Falls.

4. Cape of Good Hope
Deserted beaches, excellent bird watching and some exceptional biking and hiking await travellers visiting this small stretch of Table Mountain National Park.

3. Stellenbosch
This gorgeous and historic town is surrounded by South Africa’s best vineyards. Spend your day biking between estates sipping and supping.

2. Sabi Sands Game Reserve
Located around Sabie River, this wilderness oasis is renowned for its biodiversity. On any typical game drive you’ll likely spot most (if not all) the Big Five safari animals: lion, elephant, Cape buffalo, leopard, and rhinoceros.

1. Cape Town
Cape Town is one of the world’s most recognizable citylines (thanks, Table Mountain), and is unlike anywhere else in Africa. It is a melting pot of culture, cuisine, language and religion. Travellers are delighted by the wealth of activities available from cultural highlights like museums and gardens, to active adventures like world-class surfing and hiking. Be sure to indulge in the incredible restaurant scene and the raucous LGBT nightlife.

Best Time to Visit: Deciding when to visit South Africa depends on what you want to see. Cape Town is lovely from November to February, which is their summer. But it’s also the wet season in Kruger Park (and the majority of other wildlife/safari hotspots). On the flip side, the best time for game viewing is typically June to October…there will be less rain on safari, but it will be cool and wet in Cape Town.

Electricity: A-, B- and C-type sockets.

Time Zone: (GMT+02:00) Harare, Pretoria

Vaccinations: Based on entry requirements, there are no vaccinations needed for entry unless your home country, or a country you are travelling to before or after this tour, has restrictions in place. To determine if you should take preventative measures to reduce the risk of illness.

Visas: There is no visa requirement for American, Australian, British and Canadian travellers to South Africa. There may be exceptions, and all visas are the responsibility of the traveller. If you are travelling to nearby countries such as Zambia or Zimbabwe, you will likely require a visa which can be obtained at point of entry.

Last updated on Sept 1, 2019. Disclaimer: Out Adventures is not liable for inaccuracies in the above information.
LGBT Rights in South Africa

South Africa was actually the first country in the world to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation. It was also the fifth country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage. Unfortunately, a forward thinking political climate hasn’t translated to public acceptance as social stigma is still thick across the country, especially in rural areas. When asked “Should Society Accept Homosexuality?” over 61% of locals said ‘No’.

Gay Activity: Legal
Lesbian Activity: Legal
Gay Marriage: Legal
Right to Change Gender: Legal, but requires surgery
Same-Sex Adoption: Legal
LGBT Discrimination: Illegal
Equal Age of Consent: Equal

Gay South Africa Travel

Gay nightlife revolves around Johannesburg and Cape Town, and both cities have thriving LGBT communities. To a lesser degree both Pretoria and Durban have small gay communities. While South Africa is certainly leagues better than neighbourhoring countries, we still recommend gay travellers practice discretion in South Africa, especially in rural areas and townships.

Gay Villages

Cape Town: De Waterkant

Pride Festivals/Events

Cape Town: Annually in Late February/March
Joburg PrideAnnually in October
Pretoria PrideAnnually in October
Durban Pride: June
Cape Town & Johannesburg: Out In Africa Film Festival. Annual.

Best Gay Beaches

Cape Town: Clifton Third beach
Cape Town: Sandy Bay (Nude)
Durban: Virginia
Durban: The Northern point of Umhlanga (Nude)

Best Gay Bars

Cape Town: Crew Bar (Bar and Club)
Cape Town: Pink Panther (Club)
Cape Town: Cafe Manhattan (Bar and Restaurant)
Johannesburg: Beefcakes (Bar and Restaurant)
Johannesburg: Trouble (Bar)
Johannesburg: Ratz (Bar)
Durban: Club Altitude
Pretoria: Rasputin

Best Lesbian Bars

There are no Lesbian-Specifc Bars in South Africa. However, regular Lesbian Parties are thrown in both Cape Town and Johannesburg. Here’s a helpful Facebook Group that lists lots of Lesbian Events.

Best Places to Visit in South Africa

5. Victoria Falls
Located right on the border of South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia, Victoria Falls is one of Africa’s (and the world’s) largest spectacles – literally one of the largest, as it is nearly twice as tall as Canada’s Niagra Falls.

4. Cape of Good Hope
Deserted beaches, excellent bird watching and some exceptional biking and hiking await travellers visiting this small stretch of Table Mountain National Park.

3. Stellenbosch
This gorgeous and historic town is surrounded by South Africa’s best vineyards. Spend your day biking between estates sipping and supping.

2. Sabi Sands Game Reserve
Located around Sabie River, this wilderness oasis is renowned for its biodiversity. On any typical game drive you’ll likely spot most (if not all) the Big Five safari animals: lion, elephant, Cape buffalo, leopard, and rhinoceros.

1. Cape Town
Cape Town is one of the world’s most recognizable citylines (thanks, Table Mountain), and is unlike anywhere else in Africa. It is a melting pot of culture, cuisine, language and religion. Travellers are delighted by the wealth of activities available from cultural highlights like museums and gardens, to active adventures like world-class surfing and hiking. Be sure to indulge in the incredible restaurant scene and the raucous LGBT nightlife.

More Info

Best Time to Visit: Deciding when to visit South Africa depends on what you want to see. Cape Town is lovely from November to February, which is their summer. But it’s also the wet season in Kruger Park (and the majority of other wildlife/safari hotspots). On the flip side, the best time for game viewing is typically June to October…there will be less rain on safari, but it will be cool and wet in Cape Town.

Electricity: A-, B- and C-type sockets.

Time Zone: (GMT+02:00) Harare, Pretoria

Vaccinations: Based on entry requirements, there are no vaccinations needed for entry unless your home country, or a country you are travelling to before or after this tour, has restrictions in place. To determine if you should take preventative measures to reduce the risk of illness.

Visas: There is no visa requirement for American, Australian, British and Canadian travellers to South Africa. There may be exceptions, and all visas are the responsibility of the traveller. If you are travelling to nearby countries such as Zambia or Zimbabwe, you will likely require a visa which can be obtained at point of entry.

Last updated on Sept 1, 2019. Disclaimer: Out Adventures is not liable for inaccuracies in the above information.


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Reviews

Some from our travellers

David D

Out Adventures organized an incredible itinerary and the perfect survey trip for the southern part of Africa.

South Africa & Victoria Falls In Style
Rating:

With all of the highlights of Cape Town as well as an amazing safari experience and Victoria Falls, the trip really touched on the best of what Africa has to offer. Accommodations in Cape Town were incredible and other highlights included our day with the Wine Fairy, our many animal encounters, and our exploration of the falls.

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David R

Out Adventures did a fantastic job putting together this tour of South Africa and Zambia.

South Africa & Victoria Falls In Style
Rating:

Not only were the visits to Cape Town, Sabi Sands and Victoria Falls perfect in every way, Robert and the Out Adventures Team put together an outstanding set of hotels, guides, events, restaurants and tours.

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Jon S

Wonderful experience.

South Africa & Victoria Falls In Style
Rating:

Highly recommended. Out Adventures really delivers a fantastic experience for LGBT travelers.

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Brian H

Excellent Trip!

South Africa & Victoria Falls In Style
Rating:

Excellent trip with every single detail addressed perfectly. The group size was great and Robert couldn’t have been better!!

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