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WWhether you’re seeking a vibrant city stay in the cosmopolitan heart of Cape Town, a hike up Table Mountain, exploring the open expanses of the Northern Cape or the lush, dramatic coast of the Eastern Cape, planning a trip around a country with so much to offer is exhilarating. It’s your country, enjoy it!
Our country is home to the most awe-inspiring travel experiences in exquisite settings and you’d be hard pressed to find such diversity and natural beauty in such close proximity anywhere else in the world. Part of this beauty and uniqueness is that our country lies geographically in an area that naturally experiences low rainfall. In the last few years water scarcity has become more of a challenge in various parts of the country.
But water scarcity does not mean you should delay or cancel your trip – it’s about travelling responsibly and saving like a local when heading into an area that is experiencing shortages.
You can still head up Table Mountain or take a guided tour or a leisurely stroll through Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, Cape Town’s Garden of Eden, to admire the beauty of our country’s indigenous plant species such as savanna, fynbos, karoo and others.
Whether you are making your way to the Mother City for the Cape Town Cycle Tour, Two Oceans Marathon or Absa Cape Epic, take the opportunity to visit and support local tourism centric business whilst you are at it – they have implemented water saving initiatives and are open for business! Check out the Cape Town Big 7.
Take a #shotleft to the Eastern Cape and take advantage of the multitude of adventure activities from hiking, mountain biking, bungee jumping and paddling down Storms River. Visit our very own Garden of Eden in Tsitsikamma and Knysna, or head in to the Karoo and find yourself in the Valley of Desolation or visit small towns rich with culture and history.
Our Northern Cape province is home to the exquisite Richtersveld, incredible opportunities to star gaze, vast, quiet expanses of the great Karoo and a sublime opportunity to lose yourself and find yourself.
Whatever your preference, if you are worried that your visit will put extra pressure on water demand, here are some handy tips and suggestions for making the most of your trip by being a Water Wise Tourist.
HOW TO BE A WATER WISE TOURIST
When travelling to the Western, Northern and Eastern Cape where water restrictions are in place, make use of these water saving tips, which can help you enjoy a wonderful stay in South Africa.
Find and book eco-friendly accommodation. A number of hotels, lodges and Airbnb owners are already supporting the #WaterWiseTourism initiative through collecting rainwater, recycling water, and employing other water conservation strategies.
To save water, don’t have your towels washed every day. You are urged to wash clothes when there is only a full load instead of washing one or two items at a time, or pack enough clothing to sustain you for your trip.
When brushing your teeth, don’t leave the tap running as this can save up to six litres of water per minute.
Take shorter showers - visitors to Cape Town specifically urged to keep them down to 90-seconds. Local South African artists have created a selection of shower songs to make keeping time in the shower fun.
Visit http://www.waterwesterncape.com for latest news, tips and FAQ’s on being a Water Wise Tourist.
In his state of the nation address, President Ramaphosa called on South Africans to open their hearts and homes to tourists, and you too can play your part by showing international guests how to save like a local. Cape Town and South Africa are heavily reliant on tourism to sustain businesses and create much-needed jobs.
WWHAT YOU CAN EXPECT
Water is available in all areas where water restrictions are in play through the regular sanitary and hygiene systems for taps, showers, and toilets. In Cape Town specifically, water consumption is being carefully monitored to eliminate wastage while promoting responsible water usage by locals and travellers. If you extending your trip outside of Cape Town, this helpful map will give you clarity on which areas in the Western Cape are experiencing water shortages.
Travellers to Cape Town should reduce their consumption to 50 litres per person, per day -- which is the water restriction limit recommended by the World Health Organization for places around the globe that are managing water shortages. This is how locals are using their water responsibly.
CAPE TOWN IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS
Cancelling a trip will place strain on a region that depends heavily on tourism with visitors contributing R40 billion to the local economy, and creating over 300 000 jobs, which adds over 7.5% to the city’s total GDP. This spending helps significantly to fund the ongoing water saving projects being implemented and reducing this significant contribution by tourism to South Africa’s economy will create further challenges and financial strain.