As you may have heard in the news, Cape Town has been experiencing a serious drought. We want to assure you that we are proactively monitoring the situation in consultation with our contacts on the ground in South Africa.
Our hotel supplier in Cape Town, Tsogo Sun, has told us the following:
“Regarding the water situation, we have been getting a bit of rain and May is when the heavier rains usually start to fall. Hotels in Cape Town have installed low flow shower heads and removed bathtub plugs in the rooms, as well as encouraging people to take short showers and not to do laundry every day. Cape Town is carrying on as normal and there is water at restaurants and public spaces. They are just asking visitors to be water wise as they visit.”
Follow this link for more information about what the hotel will be doing to comply with water restrictions while ensuring guests have enough water for their needs. The article also talks about the importance of tourism to the economy of Cape Town.
As respectful travellers who care about the environment, we will do our best to conserve water in Cape Town but we will not be postponing our 2018 South Africa tour.
Audrey Voth Petkau
P.S. Below, read a message from tour leaders Len & Mary Friesen about the South Africa: A Rare Beauty Tour.
We are looking forward to our return to this unforgettable land. We are excited to show you some of its world-class highlights. Cape Town is much in the news these days. With drought-like conditions you may be wondering if it is safe to go to South Africa and if it responsible.
These are good questions. We are confident that access to fresh water will not be an issue for us during our stay in the Cape, as mentioned above in the note from the hotel.
But what of the larger question of “Is it responsible?”
At times it may be easy, living where we do, to ignore the immense challenges facing our world. But it is the future of the whole world that is at stake. Think of your time in South Africa as a chance to think about the eco-health of our planet.
We want to highlight three aspects to consider as you answer this question for yourself. (We will weave together these three threads repeatedly during our time together in South Africa.)
- On the tour, we’ll gain an appreciation for the varied and stunning natural beauty of South Africa. When we visit, it will be in full flower from the grasslands of Kruger Park to the “land’s-end” feeling of Cape Point, where oceans collide.
- We’ll learn how humans have interacted with that natural world over centuries, and how they transformed it, and then transformed it again. We’ll pay particular attention to how Cape Town came to be with the first Dutch settlers, and what their arrival meant for those native peoples who soon found themselves in the most difficult of circumstances. It is a story of triumph and tragedy, of the rich interaction of the human and the natural worlds.
- We’ll also look at the immense challenges confronting the residents of Cape Town, including the possibility that fresh water reserves have disappeared. The impact of climate change has also been great on the penguins of Simon’s Town. We’ll look at these difficulties and the remarkable efforts underway to adapt.
A final comment: tourism has become a vital part of the South African economy. Without tourists the problems facing the Cape would worsen dramatically. That’s why we think there’s no better time to explore the rare and fragile beauty of South Africa.
We are excited to have you join us and look forward to meeting you soon.
Len and Mary Friesen