LGBTQ+ honeymoon spotlight: Cape Town, South Africa
South Africans lovingly describe Cape Town as the “Mother City,” and this vibrant metropolis holds its own against any other city in the world. Its Mediterranean climate, miles of beaches, dramatic coastline, and stunning vistas make it a perfect selection for a honeymoon. It has a well-deserved reputation as a queer-friendly city—think of it as Africa’s San Francisco, with everything from the progressive attitude to the fog to a notorious offshore prison. There’s even a lovely Winelands region an hour’s drive away.
Standing watch over the city bowl is the magnificent Table Mountain, accessible by a cable car. The view from the top is simply breathtaking. Interesting wildlife is found here, as well, from the mild (penguins) to the terrifying (great white sharks.) And a short drive south of the city will take you to the Cape of Good Hope, which is almost the southernmost point of the continent.
Same-sex marriage has been legal in South Africa since 2006, and it remains the most progressive country on the continent by far. In fact, it is the only country in Africa with this right for queer couples. Additionally, it was the first nation in the world to protect sexual orientation in its Constitution.
Where to stay
The Silo, located amidst the city’s grand Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, is built into a former grain silo and is an architectural wonder. The service here at this luxury property is without parallel, and by the second day, every staff member seems to know your name and is asking how they can make your stay more memorable. The cuisine here is top notch, as well, with an array of excellent South African wines always at hand.
Where to eat
Gaze at the sunset from the porch of Chapman’s Peak Hotel, located in the suburb of Hout’s Bay, while drinking a glass of wine and eating what may well be the world’s best calamari. Or head over to Karen Dudley’s acclaimed restaurant, The Kitchen, near the heart of the city, where you can’t make a bad decision picking side dishes from the deli-like counter area. You’ll find that the city has a wide variety of cuisines, from typical (Italian, Mexican) to the more exotic, such as Malay.
Where to experience
Hop on the boat out to Robben Island, which housed an infamous prison, perhaps most famous for where Nelson Mandela was held for 18 of his 27 years behind bars. Located in Table Bay, about five miles from the V&A Waterfront, the small oval island has a rich history to tell about South Africa’s past and apartheid rule. As a bonus, you’ll likely encounter some African penguins here, and the view back toward the city and Table Mountain is picture-perfect.
Where to adventure
Not far from Table Mountain, adventure seekers can spend a few hours trying the ziplines with SA Forest Adventures. There’s an amazing variety of flora and fauna to see here, as you move between the 12 platforms. A lot of other options will excite even the hardiest couple, including river rafting, sandboarding and quad biking.
Where to romance
Take a drive up to Franschhoek or Stellenbosch, two renowned wine-growing regions, each located in lovely valleys northeast of Cape Town. Sample the local favorite, Pinotage, a red that is widely thought of as being South Africa’s signature wine. There are many wineries to visit here, from small independent operations to vast estates. The Franschhoek Wine Tram is a popular option, or simply wander the local galleries to find a treasure to take home with you.
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