Power Outages South Africa

Old Jan 30th, 2023, 09:38 PM
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Power Outages South Africa

I finally planned my trip to South Africa for end of August beginning September 23 but recently heard there are substantial power outages all over the country. I was wondering if anyone can shed light on this.
Right now We are booked to fly into Cape Town, spend 3 nights, then fly to Mala Mala Sable Camp for 4 nights then to Franshhoek for 2 nights and back to Cape Town for 2 nights.

I assume Mala Mala has its own generators so probably not an issue there but will the power issues impact our time in Cape Town and Franshhoek?
Also we were planning on making our own way around Cape Town as I've traveled all over the world that way but should we be more concerned about crime there?

BTW we are also considering adding 2-3 nights to go to Sossusvlei Namibia for a change of pace and to see the massive dunes.
Thanks for any input you can supply.
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Old Jan 31st, 2023, 06:43 AM
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President Ramaphosa is supposed to be unveiling a new plan to deal with the energy issues sometime this week, so keep an eye on the news. I think Eskom moved to Level 6 load shedding this morning so it is not before time that some action is taken. The website loadshedding.eskom.co.za publishes schedules for the main metropolitan areas so everyone knows when they might be without electricity, but the schedules are change at fairly short notice. September is a long way off and hopefully the situation might have improved by then. If it hasn't you can use the website a day or two out to help plan the timing of daily activities if you need to.
Will the power outages affect your travel ? Probably not too much as most businesses have already been forced to find ways around the blackouts. The electricity issue certainly wouldn't make me reconsider travel. And yes, camps in the bush are seldom reliant on Eskom anyway..

Enjoy your travels. Graeme

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Old Jan 31st, 2023, 06:48 AM
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Ah yes, Eskom's "loadshedding". I don't know if it will affect a wealthy traveler's holiday. Most likely not in any serious way. Keep your cellphone charged, bring a backup battery and flashlight and keep them near your bed.

As far as crime in Cape Town I have been there once as an independent traveler for a week. I do live in a "gritty" city so tend to be cautious. Ask around about where it is safe to walk and drive. I spoke to many local residents about best roads to drive as I was visiting some natural areas. Warnings included not stopping in certain places. Parking would be inside a gated compound. Also, some B&Bs wanted only daytime arrivals.

If you read the trip reports here on Fodors you will also get an idea of where you can stay or go on your own. I especially enjoyed staying in Simonstown for a few nights, visiting Cape Point and the Chapman's Peak drive. Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden is also worthwhile.
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Old Jan 31st, 2023, 08:54 AM
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Look for a hotel in the V&A Waterfront area if you are worried about safety in Cape Town. Itís a recently developed part of town, and where the ferries to Robben Island depart. Itís all modern, so not much character, but many of the hotels and restaurants will have generators, and itís safe to walk around there even in the evenings. To get around other parts of Cape Town Uber is very cheap. There are walking tours led by locals, and the hoho Red Buses.

Iíve been to Cape Town four times, staying two or three weeks each time with my son-in-lawís family, and we always make trips to V&A for shopping. My favourite restaurant there is Den Anker, right on the wharf, which you can find with a Google search. There are other good places to stay on the Atlantic Seaboard, eg Sea Point, Camps Bay, etc, the latter being a beach suburb sometimes cold and windy in winter.

Also check out the TripAdvisor South Africa forum, which has many local contributors who can provide detailed information.

Last edited by Heimdall; Jan 31st, 2023 at 08:58 AM.
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Old Jan 31st, 2023, 10:01 AM
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Thanks everyone. I am less concerned about crime than the electrical outages. I have been wanting to go to Cape Town for a long time so don't really want to miss it but also don't want to be concerned that my hotel or the restaurants I want to go to lack power in the evening. I have been torn between staying at Labotessa in Church sq which looks like a very nice boutique with just a small number of rooms as I typically like staying in the midst of cities vs staying on the marina.
If anyone has more thoughts on that and reccos I'd appreciate it.

Also does anyone have any insight on Franshhoek? Will they have power at hotels and wineries?
Thanks again,.
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Old Feb 1st, 2023, 03:58 AM
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We spent a week in Cape Town in early December. We encountered no issues with load shedding anywhere that we were aware of. We stayed in an apartment and one night in a small boutique hotel in the De Waterkant neighborhood, which we liked very much. Went to lots of restaurants and all tourist sites. While we were generally out most afternoons and early eves, not always, and we were often “home” till late morning. Meanwhile an Uber driver told us that he was experiencing lots of issues…. Not sure if our luck was a coincidence of timing, or just that everywhere we stayed/visited had workarounds in place. Am also remembering that our hosts (at the Purple House) never mentioned the issue to us, so guess they weren’t anticipating Problems for us at the apt.

we loved Cape Town, don’t miss it. I did a trip report of our time there under my lonnnggg Africa at Last post. Can’t comment on South Africa camps, as we did our safari time in Kenya and Uganda.
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