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Afterward, walk through Sterkfontein Caves to see the relics of early humans such as Little Foot and Mrs.

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Ples, two of the most significant archaeological discoveries of our time. Soweto โ€” Take a half-day tour of Soweto, a township in the Johannesburg area, with a guide to visit some of its most historically significant sites. Lunch is included at a local shebeen. Joburg Pride Most are explicitly gay-friendly, so there is no need to worry.

Pure bliss, and a lavish hotel experience like no other! Then there is the show-kitchen, which encourages up-close chef interaction, while the bar and lounge are perfect for end-of-day drinks or new beginnings. Not to mention the all-day rooftop bar unique in the city and synonymous with firepits, statement cocktails, and a sophisticated clientele.

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Hallmark House โ€” Industrial edge meets modern chic in the form of Hallmark House, located in the ever-buzzing city of Johannesburg. Originally used as a diamond polishing-center in the s, this prime establishment offers a rooftop bar, spa, and swimming pool as well as contemporary urban spaces with degree views of the city. The forty-six rooms are brilliantly appointed with bright African textiles, bold colors, modern design, and high-quality finishes. Saxon Hotel โ€” At the heart of the City of Gold, beneath the warm sunshine in the affluent, tree-lined suburb of Sandhurst, lies the enchanting Saxon Hotel.

A uniquely perfect blend of rich cultural history and contemporary five-star service, the Saxon is situated on ten acres of magnificent indigenous gardens, providing a private and peaceful retreat like no other. Arum Place Guest House โ€” A new stylish owner-run guesthouse, set in a quiet area, positioned on the outskirts of Melville. A warm welcome awaits everyone at this lovingly restored house.

Arum Place has been designed to meet the needs of the business or leisure traveler seeking peace and luxurious comfort, warm hospitality, and personal service with attention to detail that only a home can offer. Relax on the terrace and enjoy outstanding views at sunset, or breakfast at sunrise.


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The hotel boasts 45 comfortable, newly refurbished air-conditioned rooms, and friendly staff who make it their priority to exceed your expectations through personalized service, ensuring your stay is a pleasure. Once in Joburg โ€” If you are not one for extravagance and luxe amenities, we also are kind of obsessed with this chic hostel offering clean sheets and dirty adventures. An accommodation concept designed to bring together new ways of traveling with the new age explorer, this hostel combines the luxuries of a boutique hotel and energy of a backpackers hostel, offering a mix of affordable and design-led accommodation types.

Perfect if you are on holiday as a single gay! Anything from jazz to punk to rock can be found at this fun little spot, and the crowd of creative-types that comes here enjoy art, music, and entertainment without strict set rules or social standards.


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Mootee Bar โ€” An authentic, unconventional interpretation of modern Africa. A new addition to the Melville drinking scene, this hip, and very different cocktail bar uses all local ingredients to create divine elixirs inspired by the continent that gave life to humanity. They pride themselves on their high standards of hygiene โ€” which we found to be much better than other places around the world โ€” and they actively work to keep providing a safe and secure environment for gay and bisexual men to have fun.

Johannesburg gay pride parade pits politics against partying | South Africa | The Guardian

There is a fully licensed bar offering a selection of beers, wines, spirits and cocktails, a large steam room and sauna, two video lounges, and a large indoor jacuzzi as well as an open-air garden. Complimentary private cubicles are provided, including three larger rooms each with their own TV, and there are three maze areas range from the mild to the wild. Of course, the Rec Room also has open showers to freshen up before and after. They also host weekly themed parties and, on occasion, some special events.

Gay Johannesburg Map. Not all were there to ride floats, drink beer and dance to acts like Flash Republic, however.


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  4. The parade was halted on Jan Smuts Avenue in Rosebank, when around 20 black lesbians and feminists from the One in Nine campaign staged a protest act โ€” a "die-in" โ€” on the road in front of Pride participants. The activists lay on the road, together with a number of mannequins, wearing purple t-shirts reading "Stop the war on women's bodies", and displaying banners which stated "Dying for justice" and "No cause for celebration".

    The One in Nine campaigners hoped to secure a minute of silence to commemorate those members of the South African queer community who have been raped or slain over the past few years because of their sexual orientation or gender expression. They passed out leaflets listing 25 names of such individuals, noting that there were "countless more, unnamed and unknown". But the activists did not find a receptive audience in the Pride participants leading the parade. Video footage shows an aggressive altercation between the activists and those parading, with the activists being pushed, sworn at, threatened with being driven over, and being told to "go back to your lokshins townships ".

    Police eventually moved the activists away. By all accounts it was a nasty scene, and the aftermath has been nasty too. One in Nine activists accused Joburg Pride organisers of running a depoliticised, elitist, commercialised event totally divorced from what the real function of Pride should be. Joburg Pride organisers have accused the activists of ambushing a well-run event, behaving deliberately provocatively in order to make a stir, and committing the cardinal sin of airing the gay community's dirty laundry in full view of all the heterosexuals.

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    But such a spat has been building for some time, and the fracas is simply showing up community divides which have been there all along. Gay activist Emily Craven's highly readable paper , "Racial identity and racism in the gay and lesbian community in post-Apartheid South Africa", provides a useful context for Saturday's events. Written in , it anticipates many of the problems around Joburg Pride today. Just because two people are gay, in a country as divided as South Africa , does not mean there will be any meaningful similarities between their lifestyles. The travails of a rich white gay man are unlikely to match the struggles faced by a black lesbian in an informal settlement.

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    In South Africa , race and class are far more significant determiners of social standing than sexual orientation. To even speak of a gay "community" here, though it may be politically expedient to imply unity, is probably misleading. An event like Pride, which must ostensibly aim to represent all facets of alternative sexuality in South Africa , faces a hell of a job.

    Gay pride events around the world normally have a dual focus: part party, part politics. One in Nine โ€” a campaign group founded in during the Zuma rape trial, with its name derived from the estimate that only one out of every nine rape survivors report their attack to the police โ€” says that Joburg Pride has now relinquished all pretence of a political function, being focused exclusively on a slick, money-making party spectacle.

    Craven's paper which draws heavily on Mark Gevisser's research reminds us that this stance is not unprecedented within the history of South African gay rights: the first major gay organisation, the Gay Association of South Africa GASA , launched in , was apolitical. They were, in fact, expelled from the International Gay and Lesbian Association in for refusing to condemn Apartheid.

    Some marched with paper bags over their faces to conceal their identity, scared of recriminations. They marched for gay rights, but they marched also to protest against the wider regime: "Dykes for democracy", read one poster, and "Lesbians and gays against Apartheid". So when I fight for my freedom I must fight against both oppressions. One in Nine cites Nkoli's words as evidence that Joburg Pride has its roots in a political struggle rather than a jol.

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    This is historically undeniable, but there is also little doubt that the tenor and function of Joburg Pride has shifted over the intervening years since that initial march in Paul Stobbs, who ran Pride in the mid '90s, was quoted in Anthony Manion and Shaun de Waal's book Pride: Protest and Celebration as saying: "The march at the time was too political and this was preventing people from coming. White gay boys want to have fun; they want to drink".