by Angie Gallagher

The Mr. Gay World delegates spent Monday, 21 May, enjoying a number of wildlife experiences around Knysna. The delegates visited official Mr. Gay World 2018 sponsors, the Monkeyland Primate Sanctuary, the Birds of Eden Free Flight Aviary and the Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary.

Monkeyland is the world’s first free-roaming primate sanctuary, and the Mr. Gay World delegates were lucky enough to see 10 of the 11 species that the sanctuary is home to. At Birds of Eden, the delegates went on a guided walk through the two-hectare dome and were able to see various local and international bird species, and the excursion ended with a visit to the Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary, where a close encounter with the king of the jungle was a highlight for many.

Enrique Grobbelaar of The Social Media ended the day with a crash course in social media for LGBT activists, and gave the Mr. Gay World delegates advice about the management of their online personas. The presentation lead to an engaging conversation about the lighter side of social media, more serious issues like online harassment, homophobia and bullying, and the many teaching moments that conflict on social media can provide.

The first day of Mr. Gay World Competition Week set the tone for five days of excitement and service, ending with the crowning of a king of an entirely different kind on 26 May at Villa Castollini in Knysna.