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Visiting South Africa's Western Cape post water crisis

Stellenbosch, South Africa
Stellenbosch, South Africa

Cape Town is a mainstay of most South African trips but how has the city been affected by this year’s water crisis? Karl Cushing reports from the Western Cape gateway and finds a city and region in fine form

You’d need a hard heart not to fall for Cape Town. From the vibrant V&A Waterfront to that tantalising Table Mountain backdrop, the Garden Route gateway needs no introduction. So well known is the city, so beloved of British visitors that this Western Cape jewel usually sells itself. But these aren’t usual times.

 

Cape Town’s recent, much publicised water shortage saw a dip in the number of UK visitors, spooked by the spectre of a “Day Zero” scenario in which local taps run dry, leaving local tourism bodies scrambling to assure the UK trade that “Cape Town is open for business”.

 

And so it proves. Plugs may remain missing from hotel baths – and myriad signs still urge visitors and locals to be “water smart” – but water issues have zero impact during my trip.

 

This leaves me free to focus on more positive developments such as the V&A’s funky new Silo District, centred on the Zeitz MOCAA gallery and Silo Hotel, or drinking in the sweeping city and coastline views from atop Table Mountain after an early morning rotating cable-car ride.

 

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