In South Africa, homosexuality is legal, LGBT rights are protected and same-sex marriage is legal. There are active and visible gay and lesbian communities in the major cities. For information on gay nightlife and events visit our Hotspots or What's On sections for more details.
Johannesburg: The annual Joburg Gay and Lesbian Pride Parade, held at the end of September / early October, is the largest and oldest gay and lesbian event on the African continent, having first taken place in 1990. The event traditionally sees between 10,000 and 20,000 people taking to the streets in a colourful parade. Visit www.joburgpride.org for details.
Cape Town: The Cape Town Pride Parade usually takes place in February. It is well attended and very festive, although not as large as Joburg's event. It is also usually accompanied by a week-long festival of events. Visit www.capetownpride.org for details.
Other cities/areas have smaller Pride events such as Soweto Pride, which is highly significant for its political impact, and Durban Pride.
Out In Africa: The Out in Africa International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival takes place at various times of the year in Johannesburg and Cape Town. Visit www.oia.co.za.
Neighbouring countries: Remember that outside South Africa homosexuality remains illegal in most neighbouring countries, although this is rarely enforced. Nevertheless, we suggest discretion. There are gay communities in these countries but they tend to keep a low profile.