Did you know?
South Africa's Constitution was the first in the world to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation. In 2006 the country became the fifth in the world to legalise same-sex marriages.
Durban has a thriving gay community and there are many establishments dotted around this popular seaside holiday city that actively welcome gay clientele.
If you’re in search of a great clubbing venue, The Lounge is rated nationally and internationally as one of the best in South Africa. With a sophisticated, double-storey location featuring five bars, two dance floors, two outdoor balconies, lounge areas and pool tables, it’s the place to be seen. An extended happy hour lasts from 6pm to 9pm every night and karaoke evenings on Mondays include prizes.
Then there’s Bent, a monthly party held on the last Friday of every month. Keep an eye out for its roving parties at classy venues in the Durban suburbs, where crowds range from 200 to 600 patrons, usually attracting more girls than guys. Bent also features monthly LOTs (lesbians over 30s) events, catering for the more mature crowd.
The sun is always shining in Durban, where the Golden Mile beckons with safe beaches and golden sand. Unofficial gay nudist beaches include the beach north of Umhlanga (be alert for opportunistic thieves). About half an hour further south, Virginia Beach is also a favoured gay spot located between upscale Umhlanga to the north and central Durban to the south.
When eating out, try Spiga d'Oro for traditional and innovative Italian fare or Spice for fusion food, seafood and grills, both in trendy Morningside. Florida Road offers more than 2km of funky speciality restaurants and cool coffee shops where hip-and-happening Durbanites hang out.
The annual Durban Gay & Lesbian Film Festival features local and international filmmakers. Every year the repertoire includes new and innovative motion pictures, documentaries, shorts and related productions.
Durban Gay Pride is a celebration of Durban’s gay, lesbian and transgender communities. See the contact information to find out when the next event is scheduled.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Tel: +27 (0)31 303 9511
Tel: +27 (0)31 303 6375
Best time to visit
Durban is a year-round playground. It is very hot and humid in summer.
Tours to do
Gender preference is not an issue when it comes to tours in and around Durban. A visit to the 200 arts and crafts outlets in the nearby KwaZulu-Natal Midlands is a wonderful way to spend a weekend. You can also spend a night at one of many guest farms in the region. Spend a day at uShaka Marine World visiting the aquarium, seals, dolphins, penguins and dangerous creatures exhibition. Round off the experience afterwards with dinner at Moyo on the pier as the sun sets.
Self-drive is ideal, or enquire about taxis and airport shuttle buses.
Where to stay
From hotels to guest houses and B&Bs, there are many establishments that welcome gay patrons in Durban.
What to eat
Two of the trendiest areas in Durban to enjoy a meal are Florida Road and Helen Joseph Road, where straight and gay diners are equally welcome.