Tap Water in South Africa


The good news about tap water in South Africa is that it’s perfectly drinkable in all urban areas, and most rural ones, too. There are exceptions, such as in parts of the Kruger National Park, and in areas near the Namibian border, including the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. These areas – and most others where the water’s not drinkable – are well-marked with signs.

The bad news about the water here is that it’s different in small ways from the water that you’re used to drinking at home, and so may cause minor tummy upset until your stomach adjusts. (For instance, the mineral content may be higher or lower than your home water.) Unfortunately, there’s not much that can be done to counter this problem, except perhaps trying out different brands of bottled water (there are dozens – Valpre is Your Correspondent’s favorite) until everything settles down!

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If you know you’re going to an area where the water is not safe to drink, take precautions against water-borne diseases: boil the water, run it through a carbon filter, or use iodine tablets.