Load shedding: How to make the most of your travels when the lights go out
It is every traveller’s worst nightmare: you are in the middle of an activity, or busy preparing to go for one at your holiday location when the electricity goes off.
You hear that there will be a two-hour wait time, meaning that you may have to cancel your plans until the lights are back on. Eskom's load shedding does have dire implications for the tourism industry in South Africa and may paint a negative image for travellers.
However, if there are no power outages, there could be implications for South Africans in the long- haul. Thankfully, there's plenty that travellers could do to pass the load shedding time.
Here are some tips:
Know the load shedding schedule: The schedule with days, times and the various stages of load shedding are available online at www.eskom.co.za/Pages/LS_schedules.aspx for the nine provinces.
Monitor the news or social media for updates: Eskom will alert people on any changes via its social media or news websites.
What to do
Now that you know the load shedding schedule, here's how to enjoy your time:
Organise a day in nature
South Africa boasts many natural attractions where travellers visit to immerse themselves in the culture and beauty of the city. You could either spend a day at the beach (if you are visiting a coastal city), go hiking or picnic at one of the parks. The options are endless- and it is bound to make great pictures.
Plan a road trip
Road trips are a great way to explore a nearby town and to discover hidden gems along the way. The load shedding schedules switch off the power in different areas at a time, meaning that some places have electricity when others don't. Try to research a few nearby towns and its load shedding times.
Get to know the locals
A sure way of experiencing a destination is through its locals. They know all the hidden gems of the location that does not attract many tourists and can shed insight into the culture, traditions and cuisine. Socialising helps to pass the time quicker, and you will end up making a few new friends.
Paint the town red
If you want to paint the town red and let your hair down, now is your chance. Some nightlife spots open daily with themes to attract different target markets. South Africa also has some trendy bars and cocktail lounges that offer live music, good food and even better drinks.