Cape Town is South Africa’s – and indeed, the African continent’s – gay capital. The city has always had a vibrant gay culture, and is on its way to becoming an African Sydney, attracting gay travellers from across the country and the globe. Cape Town’s gay village, with B&Bs, guesthouses, pubs, clubs, cruise bars and steam baths, is concentrated along the entertainment strips of Somerset Road and in the interconnected inner-city suburbs of Green Point, Sea Point and, particularly, the chic De Waterkant, adjacent to the centre. The Pink Map (pinksa.co.za), published by A&C Maps, lists gay-friendly and gay-owned places in Cape Town and is distributed at the visitor centres, and viewable online.

Cape Town hosts a hugely popular annual gay costume party, organized by Mother City Queer Projects (www.mcqp.co.za), a ten-day festival held each December the week before Christmas. People dress as outrageously as possible according to the official yearly theme (past ones have included Kitchen Kitsch, The Twinkly Sea Project and Lights, Camera, Action) and the event seeks to rival Sydney’s Mardi Gras. There’s also an annual gay pride festival in February (capetownpride.org).

Resources

Besides the South African gay websites and resources listed, it’s worth having a look at www.gaynetcapetown.co.za, aimed specifically at gay and lesbian travellers to Cape Town, with restaurants and gay accommodation listings, as well as information about HIV/AIDS. In the De Waterkant, Health4Men at 24 Napier St (health4men.co.za) provides free sexual health services to men, including access to free ARV treatment for men living with HIV.

The best listings magazine is Out Africa Magazine, available from the bars and restaurants in De Waterkant, and from GAP Leisure (gapleisure.com), on the corner of Napier and Waterkant streets, an agency that specializes in finding gay accommodation in the De Waterkant and countrywide.

Though there are many lesbians living in Cape Town, there are no dedicated lesbian bars or clubs, but the lesbian publication L Magazine (lomag.co.za) is a good way to discover anything up-and-coming. Regular parties for women are arranged monthly at different venues; for more information, look at lushcapetown.co.za.

 

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Cape Town and the Cape Peninsula features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

7 amazing African journeys

7 amazing African journeys

Africa is a continent of wild open savannahs, terracotta sunsets, thousands of vibrant green hills and rugged coastlines. Here, you can be chugging along on …

06 Jul 2016 • Harriet Constable insert_drive_file Article
Cape Town's irrepressible township revolution

Cape Town's irrepressible township revolution

Many visitors to Cape Town leave with a fairly limited view of the Mother City. They see the whitewashed beachfront restaurants and hotels, take the cable car u…

24 Dec 2015 • Chris Clark insert_drive_file Article
7 places to sample Cape Town’s hedonistic nightlife

7 places to sample Cape Town’s hedonistic nightlife

Whatever your scene, from sweaty electronic music dancefloors to open-air beer gardens, Cape Town has it all. Being a hedonistic city – especially in the sum…

30 Jan 2015 • Site Editor insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month