7 Tips for travellers to survive South Africa's water restrictions

2015-10-29 20:30 - Sam Smith
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Cape Town - Tshwane, Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni are under water restriction from water supplier, Rand Water. Restrictions take effect immediately, reports the Mail and Guardian. Citizens are advised to limit water usage outside of 06:00 and 18:00. 

The drought is verging on the worst drought in the past 23 years!

South Africa has felt the burn of El Niño’s weather oscillations in the Pacific Ocean – warming water and causing droughts across the southern hemisphere.

South African Weather Services also recently advised Gauteng, Free State, North West Province, southern parts of Limpopo and eastern parts of Northern Cape and northern parts of the Eastern Cape, to stay out of the heat at the beginning of October this year. 

MAP: Large parts of SA gripped by heat wave

El Niño caused two one year long droughts in South Africa, in 1982 and 1991. This year’s El Niño, warming the Eastern Pacific has increased sea temperatures in the east pacific by 2°C. This summer is said to be the hottest festive season in South Africa.

Scientists predicted average rainfall (South Africa has 450mm a year) will decrease by 150mm. An intended solution to Gauteng’s water problem was the Lesotho Highlands Water Scheme. However the project, currently in phase two of construction, has been put on hold due to numerous delays in the past. 

READ: 5 Places to cool down in and around Pretoria

Water reserves from neighboring countries have also felt the burn of the southern drought. Neighboring agricultural areas in Malawi, Zimbabwe, Madagascar and Lesotho, have now become more cautious with their water supply due to a huge drop in crop production, says Mail and Guardian. 

1. Cool off in a botanical garden

On a hot day, visit Lowveld National Botanical Gardens in Nelspruit to cool down. The Crocodile and Nels river flow through the area and merge into a waterfall. You can cool off in the whimsical rain forest... aaah!  

ALSO READ: Discover SA's 10 Botanical Gardens

2. Pack refreshing snacks for padkos

If you find yourself on road trip or hike, pack these hydrating fruits and snacks in your lunch box. Not only will you stay hydrated, but you will reap the benefits of healthy snack. 

Watermelon, Grapefruit, Peaches and Strawberries are all superb choices. 

3. Keep babies, senior members and pets cool on your travels.

SANParks is offering discounted tours for senior South Africans citizens at camping spots and sunset drives.  While you are pulling in the reigns on water usage, remember babies and animals need extra care and help to stay hydrated. 

READ: 40% Discount on guided game drives for all SA's senior citizens

4. Watch the weather and plan trips accordingly

Take weather, sunrise and sunset into consideration when planning a long trip across the country. 

READ: 15 Apps that travellers will be lost without

5. Dress so you won’t sweat

Avoid excess perspiration by allowing your body to breathe. Wear cotton and light loose fitting garment to keep dry. 

6. Avoid sugary drinks

Sugar will not quench your thirst, it only makes you crave more sugar - leaving you unsatisfied. Rather drink water.

7. Refuel with bananas and coconut water

Exhausted after a trek through (what feels like) Kalahari? Coconut water and bananas are filled with vitamins and electrolytes, calcium and magnesium. Packing these into your cooler for a day at the pool and say "no" to sweets. 

READ: Beat the heat at these Top 15 Secret SA swimming spots

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