My Wild South Africa Adventure Tour
By Zachary Moses
The creation of my wild South Africa gay adventure tour started in 2012, when two HE Travel Alumni, Sam and Lou, joined me on one of HE Travel’s first high adrenaline gay tours in Israel. While on that tour, they both mentioned to me that they have always wanted to visit South Africa, but they would want to do it as a high adrenaline trip. I had never considered South Africa beyond the usual safari destinations. Naturally, being the adrenaline junkie that I am, I accepted the challenge to develop a trip with them in mind.
It took a good year and a half of research and phone calls, but after all my trials and setbacks, we now have the Wild South Africa Adventure. Everyone said I was crazy to shoot for such an action-packed two-week itinerary in South Africa. However, I was determined not to let Sam and Lou down, and I did everything I could to make sure that this tour launched, right down to personally guaranteeing the inaugural departure, even if I had to cover losses out of my own pocket. I was certain that this new tour could be a showcase to the world, showing that a gay adventure company can top even the biggest names in adventure tourism.
Day 1: The Inaugural Launch
When we met up in Cape Town, I felt like we were making history. At our orientation, there were the usual hellos with familiar faces, and the warm welcomes of new ones. However, breaking from the usual pattern of group orientations at a hotel, we held this orientation at a vineyard with a wine tasting.
Nothing breaks the ice like tasting fine South African wines. Whenever we didn’t like a wine, we poured the leftover into a pitcher and rinsed the glasses and poured that in there, too. When we were getting ready to go, I dared one group member to taste the contents of the “spittoon”. To my surprise he actually did it, and we’ve never let him live it down.
Our evening was made up of leisurely strolls through the city, viewing its many sites and attractions. My favorite sighting was this albino squirrel that was really just…pure evil.
Tonight we ended our evening with a gorgeous sunset view. Of course all of us tried to make the usual *inappropriate* pictures, as you can see here.
However, then I sat on a rock wearing gray pants, and didn’t notice that I had just sat in bird poop. Everyone got a hilarious laugh at my expense for being the guy who literally had poop on his pants. I think Lou even got video! I have elected not to show that image, but I’m sure you can find it on Lou’s Facebook page!
Day 2: Penguins and the Cape of Good Hope!
This morning we had to skip a planned kayaking activity due to extreme wind, so we altered our itinerary to see a penguin colony. There is no denying that penguins are one of the absolute most adorable creatures on earth.
Our next stop was Cape Point. We climbed to the top of the cliff, where the view was absolutely spectacular! Here I am looking toward my group of gay guests.
These are the guys that I am looking at.
This is Cape Point…Which is what THEY are looking at.
Needless to say, the view was absolutely spectacular! From here we started a journey to the other side of the peninsula to the Cape of Good Hope. We custom made John a walking stick, which you can see him modeling on the runway.
It took a while of hiking, and some of the drops were treacherous, but eventually we made it. The wind was blowing so hard that, a few times, I felt like I needed to crawl on all fours in order to not get blown right off. It was an amazing hike, and it ended standing at the sign for the Cape of Good Hope.
Tonight, we did dinner and drumming at an African-themed restaurant. The guys thought the drumming was ridiculous, but I absolutely loved it! After the drumming, people came around to our tables and painted our faces.
Then a performance group joined us for an over-the-top show. At the climax of the performance, the lead dancer shot gold dust into the air.
I probably should have covered my glass of wine with my hand. I hope those gold flecks weren’t toxic…because I kept drinking it!
Day 3: On Top of the Table!
Today we took a spectacular gondola ride to the top of Table Mountain (1000 m). The vessel rotated around in a full circle to give everyone a full panoramic view. The plan for the day was to abseil (rappel) from the very top.
Once we reached the top, one of our group members looked over the edge and said “No! That…is…way…too…scary!” It cracked me up! The way he said it. I love gay tours, just full of comic relief. It was for the best anyway, he took lots of great pictures of us from the top.
Here I am looking off the side of the cliff…wondering why I do these things…
The drop is a fantastic cliff-side decent, then suddenly halfway down, the cliff disappears and you have to jump into the unknown. I’ll admit a little panic at this point, They had told me there was a “surprise,” part way down. I guess this was it. So I leapt! It was incredible! I swung down under the overhang into a huge open space. As I rotated on my rope, I saw the waves crashing on the coast below. The view was quite humbling.
When we reached the bottom, we began a beautiful hike back to the top. Several of us took our shirts off and enjoyed the sunshine. At one point, we met up with another group, where there was a twenty-something guy with his shirt off. He looked like a chiseled porn star. No one in our group could keep their eyes off him. It was so much fun, like being in junior high.
When we got off the mountain, I celebrated by buying everyone a pair of socks printed with little elephants. We all had ice cream while we waited for our minivan to pick us up.
Our next stop was the Robben Island where Nelson Mandela served 27 years in prison. The conditions that the prisoners were kept in were atrocious. This is the cell where Nelson spent a huge portion of his life.
What a horrible way to treat a human being. Those items in the picture, were the sum of his earthly belongings. That red can, was his toilet. It gives me goose bumps just thinking about the place. I wanted off that horrible island as quickly as possible.
CLICK HERE to read Part 2.
CLICK HERE to join one of our next African Adventures!