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OutUK correspondent Rex Wockner visited South Africa earlier this year checking it as a gay holiday destination which offers a whole lot more than Mykonos or Key West.


A bit of a shock to the system as we were up the next morning at 5am for a 6am departure for the Aquila Game Reserve which is about 180 km from the centre of Cape Town.

The zebras and giraffes were groovy and although it's a fairly long journey the animals are amazing to see. The very scenic drive to the reserve on the N1 freeway through the Hex River Valley is worth the trip all by itself.

The author plays with lion cubs, with permission.
WNS photo by Pete Tramjay.
Back in the city, it was time for my evening in the De Waterkant. We had good food at the gay restaurant Cubana Latino Cafe & Cigar Lounge, then set off on a mission: to visit every gay bar in the compact gay village.

If you want to start with something pink, then the choice is The Pink Panther Night Club who bill themselves as Cape Town's Premier LGBT Night Club, in a clean, upmarket and safe venue where you can dance the night away alongside celebrities, locals and tourists. The Pink Candy Night Club on De Waterkant, used to be called The Pink Panther Social Club and is probably the most popular gay venue in Cape Town. You can enjoy a drink and socialize with the locals, though is mostly a dance club. The club attracts a mixed, mostly young crowd.

South Africa's Got Talent finalist Manila Von Teez performs regular shows at the drag and dining joint Beefcakes. It's a nightclub styled to evoke 50s South Beach Miami and is good for bachelor and bachelorette parties, birthdays, or anything you can dream of really. It's a wildly entertaining evening of drag performances, dinner and lots of chiselled abs. The cocktails are over the top - try the Birdcage, an elaborately served cosmo or margarita that comes with sparklers!

Shaft Cruise Zone is a Cruise bar with a porn lounge, private rooms, darkroom maze and glory holes. They have a Steam room, Sun deck and for a small charge a Luxury en suite cabin if you want to really make a night of it. The outdoor tables at Cafe Manhattan are good for lots of casual conversation and some laid-back cruising.

There are several other bars, two saunas, a rainbow paraphernalia store, and two apparent brothels - your basic First World gay village. Pick up a copy of the Cape Gay Guide and the Pink Map at the Cape Town Tourism office downtown for all the latest local information from many of the gay venues.

WNS photo by Ellis Photography.


Sunday I moved to the upmarket "post-modern, industrial-chic" Garden Court Victoria Junction, formerly the Protea Hotel, located one block from the gay village - an excellent choice for the gay traveller who wants to be in the centre of the action but it's certainly more expensive than the norm.

From there I embarked on one of the coolest, or stupidest, adventures of my trip. I took the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway all the way to the top. It's utterly flat and very beautiful there. Table Mountain looms over Cape Town, and after we enjoyed the view we hiked down the back side of the mountain. Not quite the best idea ever, we arrived back at sea level six hours later, really rather sore and sunburned.

Day 6


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