Explore South Africa's Top LGBTQ Friendly Hotels and Lodges
As one of the world’s first nations to adopt marriage equality in 2005, South Africa has become a favorite destination for LGBTQ travelers and remains committed to being a welcoming destination for all. The vibrant country is brimming with some of the world’s top accommodations including quaint coastal escapes, sophisticated city hotels and majestic safari lodges nestled in the heart of South Africa’s bushveld. Specialized in creating a diverse and inclusive environment for guests, all properties on this list are members of the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA). Once the time is right to travel again, don’t miss the chance to include these LGBTQ-friendly hotels and lodges as part of your ultimate dream trip to South Africa.
An extraordinary five-star premium hotel in Cape Town's V&A Waterfront, The Silo Hotel is surrounded by the natural wonder of South Africa’s Mother City. The multi-faceted windows inserted into the structure of the building glisten like diamonds during the day, while at night, the building transforms into a glowing beacon in the Table Bay harbour. The Silo Hotel is a celebration of art, style, architecture and design. The property is a shining tribute to timeless glamour and contemporary luxury offering the highest levels of personalized service synonymous with The Royal Portfolio. The Silo Hotel is a perfect jumping off point for exploring the city and is within easy walking distance of many of Cape Town’s favorite bars and restaurants.
An iconic resort, the Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel sets the stage for an unforgettable stay with its expansive grounds, a gorgeous mix of lush lawns, flowering gardens and historic palms. The hotel has been welcoming guests for over 120 years with a history as a true celebrity favourite. It was called “A Most Excellent Establishment” by Winston Churchill; John Lennon meditated on its lush grounds; and stars such as Leonardo DiCaprio and Charlize Theron have breakfasted on its sunny balconies. With 196 individually designed rooms and suites to choose from, the property offers different moods and views of the property. The resort also offers an array of activities to keep guests entertained, including heated pools, a children’s club, painting classes, wellness experiences at Librisa Spa and world-class cuisine by Chef Rudi Liebenberg’s with the option for an intimate dinner at his Chef’s Table in the heart of the hotel kitchens.
Ellerman House, located in Cape Town, South Africa and overlooking the spectacular Bantry Bay, was formerly known as the summer home of shipping magnate Sir John Ellerman. The iconic property House is a pristine example of Cape Edwardian architecture blended with understated elegance and modern luxury, offering 13 bedrooms and two 3-bedroom villas, uniquely designed to showcase panoramic ocean views and manicured gardens. The property also has the singular distinction of housing one of South Africa’s most impressive private art collections, as well as an onsite contemporary art gallery of over 1,000 works from both contemporary talent and Masters. The first of its kind, the Ellerman Wine Gallery marries the visual elements of a contemporary art gallery with the practical elements of a tasting room where guests can engage with the hotel’s collection of 7,500 vintage and rare South African wines.
Nestled in Constantia, also known as ‘Cape Town’s Vineyard,’ The Cellars-Hohenort combines contemporary luxury with classic charm. Surrounded by nine acres of perfectly manicured and award-winning gardens, the five-star country escape includes 51 guest rooms and suites that provide breath-taking views of Table Mountain. Decorated by late South African hotelier Liz McGrath, The Cellars-Hohenort embraces the traditional nature of the original 17th century property with wooden fixtures and historical features throughout. Rejuvenate your mind at the Fresh Wellness Spa and satisfy your taste buds at the two fantastic eateries on the property: the Conservatory and Greenhouse, both inspired by rich, local flavors and traditional South African fare.
From Bustling City to the Bush
While South Africa’s Mother City of Cape Town, often dubbed the ‘LGBTQ capital of Africa,’ is the ideal first stop on LGBTQ travelers’ South African itinerary, the next stop must surely be to visit the bush for an iconic safari experience.
This pristine lodge offers an intimate Big 5 Safari experience in Malaria Free Madikwe Game Reserve. Gay-owned and operated, the lodge is a non-discriminatory Big 5 Safari experience and gives guest exceptional service. Each stay is personalized to make guests feel welcomed while the lodge makes sure to only service 10 guests at a time during the duration of their stay. Attention to detail are the cornerstones of every waking moment at Jamala Madikwe Royal Safari Lodge, offering a private, luxurious stay with extravagant outdoor facilities including individual rim-flow pools, expansive wooden decks and private outdoor showers. Early morning and late afternoons game drives at the lodge become a treasure seeking experience with the sundowners in the bush to toast the approaching sunset and evening.
Londolozi Game Reserve, situated on the banks of the Sand River, is in the heart of the Sabi Sand Game Reserve within the Greater Kruger National Park and was the first game reserve in the world to be accorded Relais & Chateaux status. Described by Nelson Mandela as “a dream I cherish for a model of nature preservation in our country,” it is one of the best places in the world to see leopards in the wilderness. The unique Healing House is a tranquil spa where guests can relax, rejuvenate and indulge in the powerful art of touch therapy through massage with expert therapists. The reserve is internationally recognised for its progressive management of land and wildlife rehabilitation, creating the powerful combination of geography and wildlife atmosphere that returning guests call the “Londolozi feeling”. Wild animals move freely, offering spectacular game viewing and a true wilderness experience.