We will be open at 9:00 am. Call 020 7590 0610
Table Mountain, Cape Town

Cape Town drought comes to an end

Article content

16 July 2018 by Claire Benktander

After months of speculation and fears of the arrival of Day Zero in Cape Town – largely due to the media's hyperbole – the effort of local residents and the tourism industry over recent months have brought it to a halt. Day Zero would have meant Cape Town residents facing the prospect of having to use even less water after plummeting reservoir levels, but their efforts to reduce water consumption as well as significant recent rainfalls in Cape Town mean dam levels have risen and the tourism industry is thriving once again.

After water troubles since 2015, Day Zero was planned to take place when a certain low water level was reached – it would have made Cape Town the first major city to potentially run out of water. Not a real issue for tourists, who make up just 1% of the population of the Western Cape, the measures were specifically aimed at the locals – with tourists told to simply be mindful of how much water they use. Three years of drought in Western Cape with minimal rainfall meant reservoirs dwindled and there were fears that tap water would be cut off. Hotels and restaurants remained busy, but put rules into place such as two-minute maximum showers and hand sanitiser instead of soap and water in toilets, while supermarkets had a daily total water allowance per person and the daily allotment was lowered to 50 litres.

By March, Cape Town had reduced its daily water consumption by half, and this meant storage levels rose around 12% by the end of May 2018. By June this, plus good rains, meant dam levels increased to 43% of capacity. Residents' day-to-day changes not only caused this big change but also helped to combat environmental issues. Now, the city is flourishing again, and while ‘water wise tourism’ will still be in place – such as urging tourists not to have baths to preserve water consumption – there’s never been a better time to book a holiday to Cape Town. See our full list of Cape Town holidays here, from whale watching and Big Five safaris to world-class vineyard tasting.

Related offers

Aerial view, Wilderness Safaris Magashi Camp, Akagera National Park, Rwanda

Magashi Camp, Akagera National Park, Rwanda

Contemporary safari lodge

Hidden in Rwanda’s remote Akagera National Park, Magashi Camp is a new eco-retreat on the wildlife-rich tip of the stunning Lake Rwanyakizinga. With just six stylish safari tents, the focus here is on conservation and back-to-nature safari experiences, alongside gourmet dining, wine cellar and pool.

Arusha Coffee Lodge, Arusha, Tanzania

Elewana Arusha Coffee Lodge

Contemporary lodge

One of Tanzania’s premium coffee lodges, Arusha Coffee Lodge makes for the ideal start or end to any safari holiday, with gourmet dining, sprawling rooms and myriad excursions to explore one of the country’s largest coffee plantations.

Kruger Shalati, South Africa

Kruger Shalati, Kruger National Park, South Africa

Designer safari lodge

Kruger Shalati, opening December 2019, is a spectacularly unique train hotel, perched high on a railway bridge in the heart of South Africa's iconic Kruger National Park, with luxury suites, free standing baths, gourmet dining and included game drives.

Flamingos, Walvis Bay, Namibia

Wondrous Wildlife on Nautica

17-day cruise

Let the exuberant wilderness of Africa take center stage on this visit to breathtaking ports dotting the southern half of the continent, ideal staging points for a wide array of safaris across beautifully maintained natural reserves.

St Helena

St Helena Island & Cape Town

15-day tailor-made holiday from £4,525 pp incl. flights

Get away to one of the most remote places on Earth, taking in its unique colonial history and spectacular natural world on a full range of included excursions. To make the most out of your journey, we’ve also included some time in South Africa’s city great.

Cape Town, South Africa

Rovos Rail & South Africa Voyage on Seven Seas Voyager

20-day rail & cruise

journey through the grasslands of the gold-rich Highveld on Rovos Rail to the Great Karoo and onward as you trundle through the spectacular mountain ranges and scenic winelands of the Cape before your all -inclusive 14-day luxury cruise

Why book with Wexas Travel?

At Wexas, we specialise in bespoke travel experiences. Our itineraries are just samples of what we can arrange, and can be changed depending on your precise needs, finances and ideas by our experienced destination specialists.

Contact one of our consultants on 020 7590 0610 to discuss how we can tailor your holiday.

Learn why Wexas is the leader in creating luxury holidays. What is tailor-made travel?

Expert advice & support

Visit us in our London office

Let our travel specialists curate the perfect holiday:

  • Inspirational ideas based on experience
  • Established for over 50 years
  • Tailor a holiday to your precise requirements
  • Personalised quotes and documentation
  • In-depth Wexas travel guides

Every step of the way

Every step of the way

Our services are with you from start to finish:

  • Dedicated personal consultants
  • Wexas Travel App
  • Free airport lounges on qualifying bookings
  • Care and guidance pre, post and during holiday
  • Full financial security: ABTA & ATOL protected