The Cape Town drought – should you visit or stay away?

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The lack of water in Cape Town is making world headlines, but as a tourist should you visit or not?

The Cape Town tourism industry’s view is that tourists should absolutely still visit the amazing city of Cape Town and its stunning surrounds. When a place is experiencing challenges such as these the impact of tourists staying away would make things so much worse. So please do still include Cape Town in your travel plans for South Africa and know that water usage for tourists’ personal hygiene and consumption has been factored into the City’s water consumption plans.

As a responsible tourist you are asked to recognise that the significant drought Cape Town is experiencing will have an impact on water usage and all tourists are asked to be mindful of their water use and rethink their water usage behaviours.

Your hosts in Cape Town will let you know what water saving initiatives are in place when you visit but responsible water consumption may include the following:

  • Keep showers to under 2 minutes in length
  • Do not use baths
  • Collect grey water and re-use grey water in your toilet cistern
  • “If it’s yellow let it mellow, if it’s brown flush it down” (i.e. only flush your toilet when necessary)
  • Hang up your bath towels and re-use them for a few days instead of having house-keeping wash them daily 
  • Be aware that some hotel swimming pools have been converted to ocean water
  • Be aware that many hotels, restaurants etc have implemented water saving plans and be respectful of their efforts.

Also, not all areas around Cape Town have been affected by the drought, including the Garden Route.

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