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South Africa

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Meet South Africa

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, South Africa is waiting to welcome you.

South Africa is proudly 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 South Africa lies geographically in an area that naturally experiences low rainfall. In the last few years water scarcity has become more of a challenge.

But water scarcity does not mean you should delay or cancel your trip – South Africa is ready to welcome you on a once in a lifetime adventure while encouraging visitors to use water responsibly when travelling through our beautiful country.

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 South Africa’s indigenous plant species such as savanna, fynbos, karoo and others.

Take the time to visit the iconic V&A Waterfront, which attracts more than 23 million visitors a year. From the Waterfront, travellers can catch a boat ride to the Robben Island, shop, eat, watch movies, book a hotel room, and do a host of exciting activities at this iconic tourist destination. View more information on the water saving initiatives at Cape Town’s Big 7 tourist destinations here.

Experience the wild beauty of 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 as a potential visitor are experiencing uncertainty and are worried that your visit will put extra pressure on water demand,we have put together some handy tips and suggestions for making the most of your trip by being a Water Wise Tourist. 

HHOW TO BE A WATER WISE TOURIST

When travelling to the Western, Northern and Eastern Cape where water restrictions are in place, make use if 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, tdon’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 www.waterwesterncape.com for latest news, tips and FAQ’s on being a Water Wise Tourist.

The South African government has called on locals to welcome visitors with open arms and assist them deal with the water restrictions. Cape Town and South Africa are heavily reliant on tourism to sustain businesses and create much-needed jobs. The tourism sector only consumes 1.2% of all water consumption in Cape Town and the city has already cut its usage in half over the past three years, from 1200 mega litres a day in 2015 to 540 mega litres a day currently.

WHAT 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.

The South African government is encouraging locals and travellers in Cape Town to reduce their consumption of water 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.

Be part of the solution and join the movement of #WaterWiseTourism to be part of the conversation. There is no need to stay away from Cape Town or South Africa as climate change and drought conditions are a global issue and not only isolated to South Africa and Cape Town.

CAPE TOWN IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS

Cancelling a trip will place strain on a region that depends heavily on tourism with visitors spending approximately R40 billion, 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.
Don’t delay - visit Cape Town and South Africa and experience the beauty and the warmth that our country has to offer. Join the conversation on social media using #WaterWiseTousim.

Places to go

V&A Waterfront

Bustling city life
V&A Waterfront

The V&A Waterfront, Cape Town - Shopping in the shadow of the mountain

Groote Schuur Building - Explore the house where South Africa’s freedom was born

Vibrant culture
Groote Schuur Building - Explore the house where South Africa’s freedom was born

The old official residence of the president of South Africa, Groote Schuur, is the very place where the country’s bright, new future first came into being.

Mandela Rhodes Building - Grand old lady in the heart of Cape Town City

Vibrant culture
Mandela Rhodes Building - Grand old lady in the heart of Cape Town City

The Mandela Rhodes Building was built in 1903 and now houses the headquarters for the Mandela Rhodes Foundation.

The ‡Khomani Desert San – SA’s ninth World Heritage Site

Active adventure
The ‡Khomani Desert San – SA’s ninth World Heritage Site

The ‡Khomani San and their lands have been awarded the status of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the ninth such site in South Africa.

Nelson Mandela Youth & Heritage Centre - Reliving the early years of Nelson Mandela’s life

Vibrant culture

The Bhunga Building - Home of the Nelson Mandela Museum in Mthatha

Vibrant culture
The Bhunga Building - Home of the Nelson Mandela Museum in Mthatha

Built to house the Nelson Mandela Museum in Mthatha, the Bhunga Building hosts a number of exhibitions in its three wings.

Tuynhuys - Steeped in history and with architecture that tells the tales

Bustling city life
Tuynhuys - Steeped in history and with architecture that tells the tales

Feed your hunger for all things beautiful with a visit to Cape Town.

Nelson Mandela Burial Site - The final resting place of Nelson Mandela

Vibrant culture
Nelson Mandela Burial Site - The final resting place of Nelson Mandela

For the first time since his death, Nelson Mandela’s gravesite will be open to the public.

Mandela Memorial Square (Stellenbosch)

Vibrant culture
Mandela Memorial Square (Stellenbosch)

There’s much more to Stellenbosch than wine. The town is also an arts primer, boasting the Mandela Memorial Square among other artworks.

Explore St George's Cathedral, the oldest cathedral in southern Africa

Vibrant culture
Explore St George's Cathedral, the oldest cathedral in southern Africa

At St George's Cathedral, the church kept its doors open to people of all races throughout the apartheid era.

A symbol of peace and a token of reconciliation, a piece of the Berlin Wall in Cape Town

Bustling city life
A symbol of peace and a token of reconciliation, a piece of the Berlin Wall in Cape Town

Cape Town, the only city in Africa that is home to an enduring symbol of the cold war, the Berlin Wall.

Retrace the steps of Nelson Mandela at the 27 for Freedom Race.

Active adventure
Retrace the steps of Nelson Mandela at the 27 for Freedom Race.

Celebrate Nelson Mandela’s historic walk to freedom at the 27 for Freedom race event held Drakenstein Correctional Centre

Mandela Rhodes Hotel - Old world glamour meets new age charm at the Mandela Rhodes Place Hotel & Spa

Bustling city life
Mandela Rhodes Hotel - Old world glamour meets new age charm at the Mandela Rhodes Place Hotel & Spa

Old world glamour meets new age charm at the Mandela Rhodes Place Hotel & Spa

Drakenstein Correctional Centre

Vibrant culture
Drakenstein Correctional Centre

Drakenstein Correctional Centre

Fort Hare was the first university in South Africa to accept black students.

Vibrant culture
Fort Hare was the first university in South Africa to accept black students.

Fort Hare was the first university in South Africa to accept black students.

From marine life to history, discover more at the Port Elizabeth Museum

Vibrant culture
From marine life to history, discover more at the Port Elizabeth Museum

From marine life to history, discover more at the Port Elizabeth Museum

Touring Cape Town’s art galleries

Vibrant culture
Touring Cape Town’s art galleries

Touring Cape Town’s art galleries

Something’s sizzling at Mzoli’s Palace

Bustling city life
Something’s sizzling at Mzoli’s Palace

Something’s sizzling at Mzoli’s Palace

Explore South Africa while sowing the seeds of rural upliftment

Vibrant culture
Explore South Africa while sowing the seeds of rural upliftment

Have you heard of Agritourism? This is a category of tourism that provides visitors the opportunity to experience everyday life on working farms, ranches, wineries and agricultural industries.

Chavonnes Battery, Cape Town

Vibrant culture
Chavonnes Battery, Cape Town

At the V&A Waterfront, visitors can view the ruins of the Chavonnes Battery, which has a remarkable story to tell about the early occupation of the Cape by the Dutch East India Company. But the battery also has much more to offer the visitor ...

Things to do in January, without the pinch

Bustling city life
Things to do in January, without the pinch

January is a month known for new beginnings, New Year’s resolutions and also a time where everyone is still feeling the holiday vibes.

Mandela and the Mother City

Bustling city life
Mandela and the Mother City

‘Cape Town, more than any other city in South Africa, has been home to people from different cultures for a long, long time.’ – Nelson Mandela

Using South Africa’s public transport

Bustling city life
Using South Africa’s public transport

Travelling in and around South Africa’s bustling metropolitans is easy, convenient and affordable.

South Africa on social media

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