Cape Point, Cape Town
The baboons at Cape Point can be quite troublesome. There are guards that chase them, but unfortunately we will always have some stupid silly person that think they are cute and want to feed them. Please do not feed the baboons, they become a nuisance and eventually even aggressive and then they have to be killed.
We drove from Table Mountain and stopped off at Simons Town to see the penguins, has to be done! You can't drive through and not stop to see them in their natural habitat. The only time I've ever seen these creatures has been in Zoo's. After a drink and a bite to eat we ventured down to Cape Point. When we arrived we expected to see the baboons but none to be found. only on our return back.
We boarded the last Funicular that takes you up to the look out atop Cape Point. As it was the last one we were too late to get one back down, so we walked and it was all down hill, so it was not too bad!
There are proper walking trails for you to take and you can go as far as you want to. We wanted to get as far as we could go at Cape Point and the views were amazing.
We walked all the way back to our car to find lots of baboon familys having a walk about right where our car was! They were fine with us as we didn't make a fuss, we just quickly got into our car and then drove onto The Cape Of Good Hope.
Please be aware that the baboons can be dangerous, and are attracted by food. If they become conditioned to eat food from humans they may be destroyed.
The Main Attractions here are
The Visitor Centre
Hiking walks and picnic areas
Game, bird and whale watching
Flying Dutchman Funicular
Cape Point Lighthouse
Two Oceans Restaurant
2 Day Hiking Trials
There are many tour operators in Cape Town but we chose 'Cape Tours with Mac' as the itinerary included everything we wanted to see (we were limited in time so combined the Cape Point and the Winelands tour into one day, ideally would have done over 2) and also as Mac is an independent tour guide.
We made a great choice. Luckily we were the only 2 people booked on the tour that day so we had a personal tour but for no extra cost and Mac could not have been more accomodating. We drove all around the Cape Point with lots of interesting commentary from Mac en route, and he was very good at answering our constant questions! Having lived in South Africa for many years and being very enthusuatic about the places we visited there seemed to be nothing he couldn't tell us and gave us lots of history/facts etc as well and nothing was too much trouble, we could stop for a photo or spend more or less time anywhere along the route.
In one day we saw Cape Point nature reserve, the lighthouse at the point, the gorgeous penguins at boulders beach and the hundreds of seals on Duiker island (look out for the old guy at Fishhoek harbour who feeds the seals by holding the fish in his own mouth - amazing!)
We stopped by all the coastal towns on route and then in the afternoon we saw baby ostriches at the ostrich farm, had a tour around the cheetah sanctuary and even had time for tastings at 2 vinyards before a leisurely drive around the beautiful town of Stellenbosch and then being dropped off right outside our accomodation. We had a wonderful day and saw so much but we never felt at all rushed. We even got an excellent restaurant recommendation for that night! Will definitely go on another tour next time we are back in CT.
You really can't go to Cape Town without going out to the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point. I took a tour for one visit then went again with a group of friends. I spent about 3 hours at the Cape doing several walks and enjoying the views. You can walk from one Cape to the other and it is a lovely way to really appreciate the views and see the differing ocean currents.
Check out the old lighthouse after riding the funicular to the top - great fun!
I loved the area, the views were fantastic and it was just an overall great time.
On the organised tour I went via Hout Bay, Noordhoek, Twelve Apostles False Bay and a few other places. It was worth the money to see so many places on one trip. There are many different tour companies and all seem to offer the same for the same price so pick which tour suits you - morning, afternoon, full day. (Expect to pay about 450-500R per person)
Cape Point is the Southernmost point in Table Mountain National Park, the park that covers the cape peninsula south of Cape Town. Cape Point is actually further south than the better-known Cape of Good Hope, and is located a few miles to the northwest of Cape Point.
Cape Point ends at a rocky promontory, which has an observation deck and lighthouse at its summit. You can reach the observation platform by climbing up a long series of steps or by taking a short funicular ride to the top. At the top, you can get great views of the sea and my even see a whale or two. One thing that we enjoyed at the top was a pole with the distances to cities around the world. There are also a restaurant and gift shop at the top.
The Cape of Good Hope is the Southwesternmost point on the African mainland. Cape Point and Cape Agulhas are further south, but are also further east than the Cape of Good Hope. There is not a lot to see when you reach the end of the road at the head of the cape, other than rocky surf and a big sign where veryone has their pictures taken. However, if you like geography and history, like we do, you must go there just to say that you've been there.
[photos to come]
Cape Point is a promontory at the south-east corner of the Cape Peninsula.It is at the southwestern tip of the continent . This tip of the peninsula is not actually the southernmost point in Africa; that is Cape Agulhas, approximately 150 kilometres to the south-east.The area is rich in flora and fauna- "fynbos" covers a huge area. Cape baboons are quite cheeky in this area. Do not feed or encourage themin any way.
The highest peak has the old lighthouse on the top. A funicular railway runs from a car park to the north up to slightly below the level of the old lighthouse and a short flight of steps leads to a viewing platform at the base of the lighthouse. From the end of the railway a second path leads to the lower peak.
A newer lighthouse is at a lower elevation (closer to sea level), for two reasons: the old lighthouse could be seen 'too early' by ships rounding the point towards the east, causing them to approach too closely. Secondly, foggy conditions often prevail at the higher levels, making the older lighthouse invisible to shipping. On 18 April 1911, the Portuguese liner Lusitania was wrecked just south of Cape Point at Bellows Rock for precisely this reason, and a new lighthouse was constructed to prevent such sea tragedies.
The new lighthouse location cannot be seen from the West until ships are at a safe distance to the South. The light of the new Cape Point lighthouse is the most powerful on the South African coast, with a range of 63 kilometres and an intensity of 10 megacandelas in each flash.
Both the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point are situated within the Table Mountain National Park. . The park is unspoiled and undeveloped and is an important haven for seabirds.
The view from the various vantage points here is staggering. Look out over the sea- There is no visible line where the two oceans meet- but the enormous swell and strong current is obvious. Countless ships that have braved these oceans over the centuries have watery graves right here.
I was looking at somebody else's Cape Point pictures and I wished I had taken a pic of myself at the Cape Point sign. And reviewing my pictures, I saw that I did take a picture there! I am really developing early Alzheimmer's!
WARNING: Excessive travelling can cause loss of memory!
On 18 April 1911, the Portuguese liner Lusitania with 744 people aboard was wrecked just south of Cape Point on Bellows Rock as a result the older, higher lighthouse --- so a new lighthouse was created to a lower, more reliable point with lesser fog. But I really think the older one looks better...
Although Portuguese navigator Bartolome Diaz was the first to cruise in the area, Vasco de Gamma was the first to line this point. It was also named Cape of Storms by Dias in 1488 (Cabo Tormentoso), and this has been a place of several shipwrecks.
Cape Point is also not the meeting point between Atlantic and Indian oceans - this point is 200 km farther. But this has been recognized by prominent people including Sir Francis Drake who in 1580 described it as "The most stately thing and the fairest Cape we saw in the whole circumference of the earth".
April 18, 1911 – the Portuguese liner Lusitania with 774 people aboard crashes at Cape Point on Bellows Rock because the old lighthouse did not do its job – being at a high elevation, ships see the lighthouse “too early” and foggy conditions could also cause mishaps.
So, this very nice red and white lighthouse was put to retirement and a newer brighter one was built at a lower elevation (100 m further south). This new lighthouse has a range of 63 kilometres, and beams out a group of three flashes of 10 million candlepower each, every 30 seconds.
During my visit to Cape Point, I did walk all the way up to the old lighthouse. The view from several hundreds of feet above sea level are just magnificent and perfect for picture taking! I think this old lighthouse is a very charming one, and so I took a lot of pictures with it. The equipment for this old lighthouse were shipped from England on board the barque Royal Saxon on 30 May 1857.
There is even a gift shop nearby where you can buy shirts and souvenirs.
There is also a funicular railway that runs from a car park to the north up to slightly below the level of the old lighthouse, and a short flight of steps will lead to a viewing platform at the base of the lighthouse. From the end of the railway a second path will lead to the lower peak.
But no matter how you climb it, this is a “must-see” when in Cape Town!
So, I just joined a bus tour which brought us to Cape Point, the most Southwestern point of the African peninsula. They do allow you to frolick on th beach for a few minutes and I noticed there were several seaweeds...and they were the biggest I've seen. Bigger than my forearm --- so I grabbed one and asked another tourist from the UK to make sure he clicks when the seaweed is up in the air! He did a good job (those Brits are good photographers, hehehe)!
A warning though is you have to balance yourself when you throw it up, and don't let the seaweed land on you, hehehe...
But, this tip is really just more to highlight this Cape of Good Hope location where you will find the sign saying that this is the Most Southwestern Point of African Continent. But take note that Cape Point is really not the place where the Atlantic and the Indian Oceans meet- the two oceans meet at Cape Agulhus which is southeast to Cape Point.
As we didn’t rely on an own vehicle, we chose this day tour to see all the marvels of the Cape Peninsula. Although I usually don’t like these kind of tours, I would surely recommend travelling with Hylton Ross. This tour didn’t show us only the most interesting points around the Cape, but was enjoyable and also funny. It included Table Mountain, Seal Island, Kirstenbosch Gardens, the penguin colony and of course, the Cape of Good Hope. As we were a small group of only six people, it was easy to adjust the tour to each one’s individual needs. For example, the Seal Island tour was optional and so was the Penguin Colony too. Of course, a lot depends on the group you are travelling with as well as your guide. But if you start your way back singing songs from each other’s country and enganging in conversations for hours, it speaks for a good tour. And if your guide is a good singer, it is even better. Hylton Ross tours have an average price compared to other tour companies, but is surely the most renowned tour company in Cape Town. In my opinion, the tour was worth more than the amount we payed!
The price includes entry to the Cape Peninsula National Park, but does not include meals, the boat tour to Seal Island and the entry fee to see the penguins. For details of the single places, please read my respective tips.
The Cape Peninsula National Park is located some 20 kilometers south of Cape Town. It serves as a preservation area for a rich variety of Flora and Fauna. The fynbos area does not offer a lot for larger species, so that you’ll surely not see the big 5 here. Zebras, ostriches, baboons, dassies and many lizard species are the most common here. Sounds not dangerous, but please keep in mind that the Baboon is not as nice as it may appear. While driving through the park, keep your windows shut most of the time and hide your food well. These nasty creatures may crawl into your car and turn its inside into a real mess.
For most tourists, the main reason to visit the Cape Peninsula National Park is the famous Cape of Good Hope. It is located around 13 kms away from the entrance gate and easily reached by car. Other notable points are Cape Point, the old lighthouse above the Cape of Good Hope and the monuments dedicated to Vasco da Gama and Bartolomeu Dias.
An entry fee is required, but do not ask me how much it was. If you are on an organized tour, it is usually included in the tour price. Have a look on the website for that.
Surely, this is one of the most famous spots on earth, with its own magic. Travellers from all over the world have come to South Africa just to stand at this point of our planet: The Cape of Good Hope. The Cape got its name from the dangerous currents which are caused by the clash of the cold Benguela Current and the warmer Madagascar and Mozambique Currents. The portuguese sailors of the renaissance were in good hope to pass this dangerous point while exploring new sea routes to Asia. Several myths and legends are told about the Cape, with the most famous being the one of the “Flying Dutchman”. But even here, there are many different versions told…
Many people believe that the Cape is the southernmost point of Africa or the point where the Atlantic and the Indian Ocean join. Both are not true, these honours belong to Cape Agulhas, which is around 150 kms to the southeast of it. The cape is also farther away from Cape Town than you may think. There are around 30 kms between the famous city and the legendary Cape.
The Cape of Good Hope is located in the Cape Peninsula National Park, which has its entrance gates 13 kms away from the Cape of Good Hope. An entry fee is required, but do not ask me how much it was. If you are on an organized tour, it is usually included in the tour price.
The original lighthouse on Cape Point was erected in 1860. However, it was constantly hidden by clouds and mist. Following the wreck of a Portugese liner in 1911, the lighthouse was relocated above Dais Point to 90m above sea level. The legend of 'The Flying Dutchmen' originated here from a 17th century Dutch captain attempting to round the point, and disappearing, starting stories of a ghost ship.
To get to the view site at Cape Point there is a new funicular railway from the car park. The views from the old lighthouse are unforgettable!
The southern end of the Cape Peninsula boasts two points of interest really, the Cape of Good Hope and the more southernly and a bit higher situated Cape Point.
The park is open daily from 7 am to 5 pm. Tel 021-7809204.