How to Save Water and Still have Fun during the Cape Town Water Crisis

While things are pretty dire, water-wise, in Cape Town and all the media reports are bemoaning our decreasing dam levels and dwindling water supply, it’s not all doom and gloom. We’re still privileged to live in one of the most beautiful cities in the world and there are still plenty of fun things to do that won't waste water.

ShutterstockTable Mountain from Blouberg - Shutterstock

The water crisis is not a reason not to visit. Tourism is a major economic driver for the city, one which we can’t afford to lose. Just because you can't bath, need to shower (for a minute only) in a bucket and use your shower water to flush the toilet doesn't mean you can't still be enjoying all that Cape Town has to offer.

We’ve done the blog to answer everyone’s questions about the Cape Town drought and to encourage visitors to continue coming (but to be aware and obey the water rules!), so we decided to, in true South African style, work out how to make the best of a bad situation.

Here, we’ve gathered some activities that won’t waste water, so that both locals and foreign visitors can still enjoy the beauty of Cape Town and all that it offers. 

The sea! The sea!

ShutterstockPure perfection - Shutterstock

Swimming pools are out this year but the sea is still there in all its glory: azure waves crashing onto perfect white beaches around the whole peninsula. Whether you're a surfer (or wannabe surfer), boogie boarder, paddler, kite surfer or the kind who loves 'long walks on the beach', Cape Town is the place. 

Martin FlischmanSurfer at sunset - Martin Flischman

Ten of Cape Town’s beaches have been awarded Blue Flag status for 2018, including Camps Bay, Clifton 4th and Llandudno on the Atlantic coast and Strandfontein, Muizenberg and Fish Hoek on the Indian Ocean side. 

Bonus: a good, long swim in the ocean means no need for a shower or, at most, just a quick rinse to get the salt off ... 20 seconds will do it. 

Tidal Pools

ShutterstockSt James - Shutterstock

Just like the African bush, the African sea can be wild too. If you're nervous about waves and/or sea creatures, fret not. There are numerous tidal pools scattered along the coastline in which you can happily float, without being bothered by waves or things with fins, scales, tentacles or teeth.

Bonus: same as above … less water wasted washing. 

Drink wine

ShutterstockConstantia vineyards - Shutterstock

The Cape is not only known for its beautiful beaches but also its spectacular vineyards. Just 20 minutes from the city centre lies the Constantia Wine Route, which includes nine wine farms. Organise a chauffeured day trip or hop on the Red Bus, so that nobody needs to be the designated driver and miss out on the fruits of the vine.

ShutterstockVineyards - Shutterstock

A little further afield, but well worth the drive, Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek offer breathtaking scenery and a smorgasbord of vineyards producing incredible wines. Day trips to these wine routes are offered by numerous operators.

Bonus: There are loads of restaurants in these areas offering culinary delights procured by award-winning chefs.

Visit Kirstenbosch

ShutterstockTree canopy walk, Kirstenbosch - Shutterstock

The gardens lie on the eastern slopes of Table Mountain, beneath its highest point, so they get the highest amount of rain on the Cape Peninsula. Admittedly, even there, this has been minimal in the past two years, but it’s still blooming spectacular.

ShutterstockIndigenous flowers, Kirstenbosch - Shutterstock

You see, while struggling a little with the lack of rain, Kirstenbosch includes mostly indigenous – and therefore, water-wise – plants. This means that, despite the drought in Cape Town, the botanical gardens are a pleasure to visit.

Bonus: Scones at the Tea Room.


ShutterstockBraai - Shutterstock

Almost considered a national sport, the braai (or barbecue) is an essential part of the South African lifestyle. In Cape Town we’re being careful about where we have our braais as lighting fires near dry bush is an absolute no-no, but we're not stopping braaiing for anything.

Bonus: Braaiing saves on water for cooking and washing up … we’re fans of (biodegradable) paper plates and paper cups for cool drinks; beer is drunk out of the bottle.

Drink Beer 

Beerhouse on Long99 bottles of beer on the wall - Beerhouse on Long

Speaking of which, Cape Town is Hipster Central and where there are hipsters, there’s sure to be craft beer. The city has had a renaissance when it comes to beer drinking as craft beer brewers pop up throughout the city and surrounds.

Beer tasting is now a thing. If you’re not sure where to start, head to the Beerhouse on Long in the CBD, who have a beer menu that will leave you gob-smacked.

Alternatively, check out our previous blog on cool spots to drink craft beer.

Hop on a plane to Kruger

ShutterstockElephant shower - Shutterstock

Okay, okay, we know the Kruger National Park isn't in Cape Town, but we're a safari company ... we LOVE Kruger. Speak to one of our knowledgeable travel consultants and head off away from the water crisis and enjoy a trip into the spectacular bush filled with all the animals and birds that make us love South Africa.

Bonus: There's no water crisis in Kruger (currently).

So now you know, there are plenty of non-water-wasting ways to fill your days in Cape Town and distract you from the fact that you had to use a small bucket of water to complete your ablutions this morning. And then had to use that to flush the loo.

Still have lots of questions about the drought in Cape Town? Then this is for you - Cape Town Water Crisis: FAQ

More ideas on fun things to do, despite the drought? Comment here and we’ll add them.

If you liked this post, these trips cover similar ground…

Leave a Comment or Ask a Question

comments powered by Disqus

Places Mentioned in this Post

Similar & Related Blog Posts

Below you’ll find further reading and articles related or similar to this post.

Cape Town Water Crisis: FAQ

Dan Mitler South Africa’s mother city, the splendid jewel that is Cape Town, is in the midst of a water crisis. By crisis, we mean that Cape Town is running out of water. Dams are dangerously low. Restrictions to certain residential areas are in place. Residents and visitors are being warned to prepare for ‘Day Zero’. But what does this mean for you and your trip to Africa? We answer some of the most frequently asked questions about Cape Town's current water crisis. Read on

Fifteen Fabulous Cape Wine Farms

Chris PreenCape Town is world-renowned for not only its sea and mountain but for the incredible wines made in and around the city. There are hundreds of excellent wine farms and producers. Here we introduce you to just a handful of our favourite Cape wine farms. Read on

Seven Cool Spots To Drink Craft Beer in Cape Town

Mellany FickA list of some of the coolest spots to drink craft beer in Cape Town – both breweries and restaurants. Read on

Shebeens and their Beer Brewing Queens

Greg WillisShebeens: the meeting, drinking, talking, dancing places of Africa. Previously illegal, now (mostly) above board, we explore the fascinating story of shebeens in this blog. Read on

40 foods to eat in Cape Town, recommended by locals

The Dogs Bollocks If you love to learn about a new place through food, read on. We asked Capetonians what they think visitors should eat when they come to their city. Some of these foods you’ll find only in Cape Town; the  others are available throughout South Africa. Read on

7 Reasons to Abseil off Table Mountain in Cape Town

Abseil AfricaYou will never forget it. Abseiling off the top of 1085 metre high Table Mountain - you drop down 112 metres! The incredible views alone, make facing the fear, worth the sheer descent. Read on

Our TrustPilot Reviews

Show us some FB Love

Follow @RealAfroSafaris