Q: We are a couple planning a trip to South Africa in May. We intend to stay in Cape Town for 4N, Hermanus for 2N and a game reserve for 3N. We have been reading about the drought in Cape Town. Please confirm if it is OK to travel in May given the water crisis? Further, please confirm if the problem is only in Cape Town or its adjoining areas also, like Hermanus and the game reserves.

Marco Says:

If you are going to Cape Town in May, then unless they receive significant rain in the interim, you will be affected by the water crisis, I’m afraid. As of now, ‘Day Zero’ as they’re calling it or the date when the taps run dry, has been pushed to July 9. The whole of the Western Cape Province is affected by the drought. The tourism industry has been caught in a fix of neither being able to provide its tourists with ample water, nor being able to turn them away, seeing that so much of their business comes from visitors. Hermanus has some restrictions but nowhere near as bad as the Western Cape area. As for the games reserve, you didn’t tell me which one.

That said, with a little planning and mental preparation, you should be able to go and make a nice trip of it. Be prepared, however, to ‘save like a local’—short 90-second showers instead of baths, not flushing after each use, reusing towels, etc. Hotels have various measures in place, and you’ll be expected to cooperate. It would make sense to choose your accommodation carefully, in a place that has water-saving and contingency plans in place. Do check before booking, so you know exactly what to expect. The tourism board has a list of approved accommodation in Cape Town: capetown.travel/visitors/stay/waterwise-accommodation-in-cape-town