Living in a water-scarce region means that it’s up to all of us to use water wisely!  The issue of water scarcity is a key focus of Responsible Tourism for the Cape Town Big 7 attractions; each have their own #WaterWise measures in place to conserve water in this time of drought.


Cape Point

Cape Point, as part of Table Mountain National Park, has streamlined its operations to create minimal impact on the environment, which includes the careful reuse of grey water for on-site vegetation. The Flying Dutchman Funicular also operates on 50% less electricity thanks to its advanced magnetic drive system, which also means no pollution is generated during the famous ride up to the Old Lighthouse. The Funicular is also incredibly quiet with no noise pollution and is fully wheelchair accessible.

Cape Point has implemented the careful re-use of grey water for on-site vegetation. Notices have been put up requesting visitors to use water sparingly due to the water restrictions. Watering of site gardens (as per the City of Cape Town’s schedule) happens before 10am.

Groot Constantia Wine Estate

As a member of the Biodiversity in Wine Initiative, Groot Constantia is committed to protecting its remaining highly threatened natural areas and adopting better farming practices to ensure functioning, healthy natural systems. Although the area of natural habitat under the estate’s control is very small, Groot Constantia acknowledges the fact that the farm’s vineyards and river streams is a valuable habitat to different creatures that are living in the Table Mountain National Park. Every effort is made not to disturb this habitat and to allow it to play a role as an important buffer zone for the Table Mountain National Park. Links, porcupine and fish eagle sightings on the Estate, to name but a few, are proof that this role is successfully fulfilled.

Save Water. Drink Wine!

Dongola Guest House – going above and beyond #WaterWise
In an effort to relieve some pressure on this precious resource, Dongala Guest House in Constantia sealed the Baths in the rooms with Baths and Showers.
They realise this may be inconvenient to their guests but they were rewarded with a free wine tasting at Groot Constantia!

City Walk

The Cape Town Partnership recently took to the streets to find out if Capetonians were aware of the new restrictions, how they’ve been saving water and how they plan on doing the same over the next few months. Find out what Capetonian said here.

In the June 2013 issue of City Views, Alma Viviers compiled some interesting facts and statistics that highlight why this resource is so precious in an infographic:

Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden

The Water-wise Garden at Kirstenbosch, demonstrates how to create a garden that is lush and colourful throughout the year, but which requires less water than the average garden. Important water-wise principles are explained, such as soil preparation, mulching, making windbreaks, creating shade, lawn care and grouping of plants according to their water needs. The plants are labelled with short descriptive notes as well as tips on identifying water-wise plant characteristics: underground bulbs, small hairy or grey leaves, succulent roots, stems or leaves, and more.

Table Mountain Cableway

The Cableway focuses on the three pillars of responsible tourism – environmental, social and economic responsibility – to maximize benefits and minimize costs.

They have reduced their water consumption by more than 5% per visitor since 2014 – which is enough to fill 32 cable cars!

Here are some of their great water wise initiatives:

  • Installed recycling toilets, which use less water, and waterless urinals
  • All toilets are fitted with a dual-flush mechanism
  • There are sensor-operated and push-button taps throughout our ablution facilities
  • Reduced the amount of grey water generated by a massive 1-million litres, by moving the production kitchen to the Lower Cable Station and using compostable cups, lids, cutlery and straws in our food and beverage facilities
  • Transport waste water and sewage to the Lower Cable Station, using our cable cars
  • Meters have been installed to monitor their water usage. This has seen them reduce their water consumption by nearly 32 cable cars full compared to 2013 and by over 5% per visitor since 2014.water-wise

Robben Island

Robben Island is a complex, sensitive eco-system and as such is protected by South African Law as a nature conservation area. In addition to this, it is designated a World Heritage Site and has to balance additional stringent conservation requirements in line with RIM’s mission of ensuring public access to the Island’s heritage. The Island’s complex and sensitive ecosystem includes Birdlife, Natural Vegetation, Marine and Wildlife, Geology and Cultural Conservation sites.

V&A Waterfront

In 2008, water saving initiatives were introduced which include water efficient toilets and urinals, water sensor taps in all bathrooms, drip irrigation and variable irrigation times. A waste minimisation drive has nearly halved the amount of waste going to landfills and tenants were incentivised to reduce waste at source by introducing new waste tariff structures.

Visitors to the V&A are also encouraged to participate in its green conscious ethics. Recycling bins have been located throughout the property and in order to encourage visitors to be “car-free”; bicycle lanes have been introduced. The V&A Waterfront Operations Team have also reduced vehicle patrols by increasing bicycle patrols instead.

The Waterfront is committed to applying best practice in Environmental Management and has set the following objectives, which you can read up on here.water-wise


Share your #WaterWise tips with us!

Connect with us via our Cape Town Big 7 Facebook or Twitter page. Better yet, snap an Instagram shot of your waterwise tip @CapeTownBig7 #WaterWise #CTBig7

One Destination, 7 Unbelievable Experiences

There is no one way to explore all of the Cape Town Big 7, and much of what makes each of them so special is the variety of things to see and do at each. So if possible, take your time to explore each of the city’s most visited tourist attractions in as much depth as possible – as any local will tell you, you can spend a lifetime at each of the Big 7 and still not tire of them. Find the 3 and 4 day itineraries and tips here.

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