Ostriches, drag queens and beefcakes on South Africa’s gay bus tour

THEY call it The Glitter Trail, the self-styled “most fabulously gay bus tour ever to hit the roads of South Africa”, offering nine days of adventure, partying, ostriches and sensational scenery.

Travel on the nine-day trek is on – what else? – the Glitter Trail Bus, a luxury coach kitted out with pink paraphernalia and a glitter ball, bottomless bubbles by the glass and a drag queen host.

If you’re reminded of The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, which was both a hit movie and a critically acclaimed stage show, this is the real thing, but on another continent.

The itinerary takes in urban Johannesburg and its LGBTQ+ heritage and gay nightlife, heads south-west towards Cape Town, and stops off in towns and villages along the way.

Guests are promised culinary experiences, wine tastings, zip-lining, “fabulous gay parties”, wildlife, arts and crafts, jet-skiing, and an end-of-holiday dinner at drag destination Beefcakes.

Beefcakes, Cape Town

The trip starts with cocktails at Melrose Arch in Johannesburg, followed by a specially created LGBTQ+ Heritage Tour of the city and an eve of road trip dinner.

Next morning it’s on to Bloemfontein, where there’s a picnic and croquet at the Rose Garden, and dinner at eatery Seisoen, run by TV chefs, married gay couple Maritsa & Maradine Whitehorn.

The Owl House

Day Three’s itinerary includes the quaint village of Nieu-Bethesda,  in the Great Karoo, famous for Angora goats, Karoo lamb and the late Helen Martin’s extraordinary Owl House.

Then it’s on to Graaff-Reinet, an eccentric little place boasting art and culture, world-class restaurants and a starry night sky. Dinner will be at gay-owned restaurant The Yard.

Plettenberg Bay

Next day, the bus heads south to the Indian Ocean town of Plettenberg Bay, said to be one of the most LGBTQ+ friendly towns in the country, with seafood, scenery and sunrises.

Jet-skiing and canyoning are on offer for the brave, with wine-tasting and wildlife experiences at the Elephant Sanctuary and Monkeyland for more sedate fun.

Knysna Zipline

Day six brings high-flying adventure on the Knysna Zipline, where cables criss-cross tree-filled gorge at heights up to 200m, followed by a stop at Redberry Farm – a strawberry farm with the biggest maze in the Southern Hemisphere.

The day ends in Oudtshoorn, nestled between the Outeniqua and Swartberg Mountains and famous for the Highgate Ostrich Show Farm, with dinner at the Pepper Tree Restaurant.

Highgate Ostrich Show Farm

The seventh day takes in Calitzdorp, the gay village of Barrydale, and Montagu, famous for its fruit, preserves and trinkets, while Day 8 visits the Franschhoek & Stellenbosch vineyards.

The Glitter Trail ends next day in Cape Town, with a cable car trip up Table Mountain and dinner will be at Beefcakes – South Africa’s famous drag queen nightspot.

Table Mountain

For a full itinerary and pricing, head to the Afrigay site.

Categories:AfricaTags: , , , ,

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