Cape Town, South Africa - December 2007

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Gay Cape Town

If you’re a party boy then I’d strongly recommend going to Cape Town when there is a special event taking place. The biggest party organizer is called “Mother City Queer Project” or MCQP for short, visit their web site for event dates  We arranged our travel plans so we could be in Cape Town for the big annual Costume Party (usually the week before Christmas) which this year had a “back to school” theme. It was held at Cape Town’s High School and really was a fantastic party; almost 4,000 people turned up, everyone was dressed up in a wild or wacky costume of some sort or another.

Unfortunately the actual gay scene in Cape Town is currently going through a bad patch at the moment. The cities main venue Bronx, which was a large bar and nightclub, has just recently been demolished to make room for a new shopping centre. They’ve only just relocated across the road into the old, late-night ‘Club 55’ venue, but it seems far too small for the gay scene’s demand in peak season and not a suitable nightclub to attract international gay travelers to the city. We went in on Boxing Day (26th December) and attempted to buy a drink at the bar, the venue which is probably only suitable for holding 100 people, had more like 1000 people crammed inside. It was absolutely astonishing; it was almost as if it was a Guinness World Record competition to see how many people you could fit in a small room. And to make it even worse there were only 3 bar boys serving everyone! Don’t get me wrong, Bronx was and still is a good venue for a night out, it’s just far too small for what the city needs. And its slogan “Action Bar” certainly lives up to its name!

The main gay scene is centered around the De Waterkant area of the city. I’d say Café Manhattan (on the junction of Waterkant and Dixon Street) is a good place to start off for a drink, snack, meal or just to meet some local boys.  Other bar’s in the area that are popular, before people head into Bronx (35 Somerset Road), are The Loft Lounge, Beaulah Bar, Bar Code (leather bar) and On Broadway (a theatre with some great drag queen shows). For a bit of fast love or horny relaxation, the gay sauna called The Hot House is located at 18 Jarvis Street. For gay shopping (trendy clothing, speedos and accessories) try FMO (For Men Only) at 122 Main Road, Sea Point. Another good Speedo pick up point is Balletique at 57A Regent Road, Sea Point.

If you’re a scene queen and want to stay in the middle of the action, you’ll want to get a hotel or guesthouse as close to De Waterkant area of the city as possible. Otherwise I’d recommend staying as near as you can to the V & A Waterfront, which is where you’ll probably spend most of your leisure time while enjoying Cape Town. Click Here for a list of web links to gay guesthouses in Cape Town.

Don’t forget Cape Town Pride at the end of February:

About Cape Town

When I came back to London with a tan people naturally asked where I’ve been. It’s surprising that as soon as you say Cape Town, almost always the first question they’d then ask is “did you have any trouble out there?” In the past the crime rate has been known to be very high, tourists often getting mugged and armed car jackings frequent enough not to even make the news. But times have changed and the city is a lot saver than it use to be. The main touristy areas are completely safe. Like anywhere in the world you have to be careful and yes there is still a lot of poverty and crime out there, but by taking simple precautions you'll be fine. Try not to walk the streets after dark, even if there are two of you and it's a short distance. Instead take a cab, they're so cheap anyway.

Cape Town is the third most populous city in South Africa and one of the most popular South African destinations for tourism. It’s regularly heralded as one of the most beautiful places on earth. Located on the southern most tip of South Africa, Cape Town offers white sandy beaches and a spectacular mountain backdrop. The flight is 11 hours from England, but as it’s near-enough the same time-zone, you don't get the jet lag as with other international destinations such as Australia or America.

Because it’s in the southern atmosphere its seasons are the opposite of our English ones and so Christmas and New Year are one of the most popular times to visit. The boys over there get their summer and Christmas holidays all rolled into one. December and January are the best times for the busy beach life.

Hiring a car is something I’d recommended very much, this is because most of the tourist attractions and beaches are a distance from the centre of Cape Town, plus it gives you a lot more security. The roads in South Africa are excellent and the maps are easy to follow. Vehicles in South Africa are right hand drive, the same as England and car hire is very affordable. Don’t worry if you can’t drive because taxis and coach tours are also very cheap, but taxis are not always around when you need to get back.

The beach life is of course one of the most important aspects of Cape Town when it comes to booking a holiday there. The weather gets very hot and the beaches packed with boys. Clifton Beach is where it all happens, just a 15-minute drive from the city. It's split into 4 sections by large boulders. Beaches 1 and 2 are quieter for couples and families, Beach 3 is the gay beach and the 4th is most popular with the young straight crowd. It's also home to the lifeguard station with many pumped muscle boys hanging out there.

The other gay beach that Cape Town has to offer is the nudist beach at Sandy Bay, Llandudno. It’s another 20-minute drive down the coast from Clifton Beach, and then a 20-minute walk from the car park along the beautiful coastal pathway. Don’t take anything valuable as due to is remoteness it’s also a place to get robbed. It's quite a large beach yet doesn't ever get very busy due to its remoteness. Those that do go don't anyway near match the sexiness of the Clifton Beach boys but it makes a change of scenery to your holiday. There are also some cruisy bushes to explore at the far end.

Apart from lounging around the beaches, there are plenty of other things to do in Cape Town. First and foremost why not try the “Hop On Hop Off” tour buses, they will take you around the historical city of Cape Town and beyond for just £7. You can hop on and off as many times as you like, aboard this open top double decker. This is a great way of seeing what Cape Town has to offer on your first day.

The city center is surprisingly small and is best explored on foot. Have a stroll in Company's Garden, a large public park and botanical garden. Here you’ll also find the South African Museum; it’s the biggest and oldest museum in Cape Town, founded in 1825. The exhibitions mainly deal with the natural history of South Africa, her biological and her cultural resources of the past and present. There are lots of impressive and fascinating things to see. This is the only museum in South Africa with an adjoining planetarium, with regularly changing daily shows. The facts about how the universe was created will blow your mind.

The biggest feature of Cape Town is the mountains. The most spectacular is called Table Top Mountain because of its distinctively flat top that towers over the city. Choose a day when there is no cloud, because even on a sunny day there can be some mist around the top of the mountain which will block your view. WOW the views from the top are breathtaking; you are so high up that you can almost see the curvature of the planet.

The most popular commercial area of Cape Town to hangout is the V & A Waterfront, located in the heart of Cape Town’s working Harbor. This is where everything happens (like the West-End is in London). It’s full of shops, bars, restaurants, live entertainment and a cinema. Set against a backdrop of magnificent sea and with the view of Table Mountain, the waterfront has so many activities and attractions which make it a very interesting and exciting place. Quay Four is a good choice for a nice meal, day or night. 

Also located at the Waterfront you’ll find the “Two Oceans Aquarium” which showcases the incredible diversity of marine life found in the Indian and Atlantic oceans. The Aquarium is one of the top tourist attractions in Cape Town and has over 3000 living sea animals, including sharks, fishes, seals, turtles and penguins can be seen in this spectacular underwater nature reserve.

Cape Point is one and half hours drive from Cape Town and is the most southwesterly point of Africa. Just the drive to get there itself is an amazing experience as you follow the coastline along. In particular “Chapmans Peak Drive” is a special 9 km (5 miles) cliff top drive, which offers a breath taking views of the Atlantic Ocean and magnificent mountains. You can stop and admire the beautiful scenery, it’s the perfect opportunity for taking some fantastic photos or you can stop and buy some of the African crafts along the side road. The wind in this area is incredibly strong, popular for watersports enthusiast such as Kite Surfing. A trip to Cape Point is a must for any Cape Town visitor. The southern end of the Cape Peninsula boasts two points of interest really; the Cape of Good Hope and the more southernly and a bit higher situated Cape Point. However, the most southern point of Africa is to be found 150 kilometres towards the southeast. There, at Cape Agulhas. It's a special place where the warm Indian Ocean meets the cold Atlantic Ocean.

On way back to Cape Town take the M4 road to Simons Town, where you can see a colony of African penguins wondering around the beach. It’s a great experience to watch them walking around in the wild and great to get so close to them. Their distinctive black and white coloring is a vital form of camouflage – white for underwater predators looking upwards and black for predators looking down onto the water

When you think of Africa you think of elephants, giraffes and tigers. So it makes sense to go on at least a day Safari to see them. Only a few miles from Cape Town, lay stunning wilderness areas where you are able to view all of Africa's wildlife. Fairy Glen Safari is the nearest to Cape Town at just over 1 hour away. Speak to your hotel concierge and they will arrange a booking for you and arrange transport from your hotel. We had to get up at 4am and it took all day but it was a very different and exciting day. We got to see the “big 5” (elephant, giraffe, lion, zebra and buffalo) plus many others via a big 4x4 safari vehicle.

Another exciting way of seeing Cape Town in a birds eye view is by helicopter. A 20 minute ride (costing about £70 / head) it will take you around the beautiful city of Cape Town, Follow the Atlantic seaboard (Golden Mile) past Signal Hill and Lion's Head to the white sands of Clifton and Camps Bay. Then along the Twelve Apostles mountain to the beautiful beaches of Llandudno and Sandy Bay nudist beach area. 


Gay accommodation:

Usefull Cape Town web sites:

Gay venues and events:

Clifton Beach

Sandy Bay Nudist Beach

Cape Town Beaches