Cape Point, Cape Town
Cape Point is where the Indian & Atlantic oceans supposedly meet. This point is quite a topic of debate here at home. If you take the fenicular to the top, you have a stunning view, but if you are fit, you can also walk up. Cape Point has a number of walks from 1 hour to 5 hours for the hicking enthusiast.
Cape Point is not the most southern point of Africa, although it is the most southern point of the Cape Peninsular. To get to the southernmost point you will have to drive about 3 hours East to Cape Aghulus. This is also where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet.
The Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve offers dramatic landscapes covered with yellow and red flowers. The scenic highlight is the fairy-tale Diaz Beach situated below rugged cliffs between Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope. The lighthouse at Cape Point is an awful tourist trap, but it's easy to find your own private paradise just ten minutes away from the parking lot since most of the bus tour package tourists fortunately don't get enough time to explore the area.
Take a trip to Cape Point
You can hire a car and take it at your own pace or book one of hte many organised tours. We took one of these. We drove to Hout Bay first where we got a bargain mahogany carved Hippo for £4! (£80 in the V & A Waterfront shops) went out to seal island here and then drove onto cape point. You can take a tram up to the top and then walk the last bit up some steps this takes you to the old lighthouse which now isnt working. Once you are here the views are great, but if you are brave you can walk along another path along the side of the mountain to the new lighthouse which really is the edge of Africa! we did this and it was a sight to see. You will come accross Ostrich, and baboons, do notfed them as they are dangerous.
There's a hiking trail from Cape Point to the Cape of Good Hope, but we cover this distance of about 2,5 km by car. Mariana tells us to keep our eyes open for animals. You can spot here antelopes, baboons, even zebras and lots of birds. Actually, we can see an ostrich marching along the shore. The vegetation of this area consists mainly of fynbos with a great variety of proteas. Many of the species are endemic and can be found nowhere else in the world.
Finally we reach the Cape of Good Hope. It feels strange to be in this corner of the world known from many books and school lessons. I remember that it was Barthlomeu Diaz, a Portugese sailor, who first sailed around the Cape in 1488 and named it the Cape of Storms. Only later King John of Portugal called it the Cape of Good Hope.
I gaze far at the sea. Is it a figment of my imagination or have I seen a strange object in the distance? Maybe, just maybe, it's the Flying Dutchman - a ghost ship which is doomed to sail the oceans for ever, never reaching the port?
This is a most interesting place to visit and also very beautiful. Cape Point is situated at the southern end of the Table Mountain National Park. There are two lighthouses and the highest can be reached by a funicular. I imagine the more hardy can walk up to the lighthouse.
Once there the view is spectacular and the photo opportunities endless.
The Two Oceans restaurant is located at the top. I cannot speak for it as we did not go there but we did get a snack before we went up the funicular.
The cost is R75 for adults and R12 for children under 12.
There is a very interesting visitors center that is loaded with information and great audiovisual shows.
Cape Point - the tip of the Cape Peninsula, is a place which everybody finds inspiring. When you get to its peak, the scenery around you is breathtaking - rugged cliffs, steep slopes and the endless ocean. The vastness of the ocean in front of you is so incredible that you seem to believe that far, far away you can see the white shores of Antarctica.
You can get to the top by a funicular that runs from the car park. The travel time is just three minutes and there you are. The other option is to climb 120 stone steps. Whichever you choose, you will surely enjoy the unique beauty of the place.
At the top there is an old lighthouse. It was built in 1857. Its high position (238 metres above sea level) turned out to be a drawback. Frequently obscured by clouds and fog, its lights were not visible to sailors who were looking for direction. After the tragedy of the Portugese ship Lusitania, a new lighthouse was built; this time at a lower location of 87 m above sea level. Its light is said to be the most powerful on the South African coast.
There are several hiking trails around Cape Point. You can walk from here to the Cape of Good Hope, which takes about one hour.
There's a big Two Oceans restaurant near the parking area. Situated on the side of a cliff, it offers a wonderful view over False Bay.
Cape point is NOT the most Southern point of the African Continent. this can be found 150 kilometres towards the southeast. There, at Cape Agulhas, the two oceans, the Indian and the Atlantic 'meet'.
The Cape Point is considered the most southern point because in the old days it was the turning point, when they reached the cape their battle against the sea was almost won because they past the Bay of Storms (Bay of Good Hope.)
Take the escalator to the top and have a look to the surrounding area.
You can see more in my travelogue under the Western Cape, A visit to Cape Point and A daytrip in the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve
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 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.
Part of Table Mountain National Park, Cape Point and Cape of Good Hope are a short drive south from Cape Town.
The area has been a nature reserve since 1938. The park encompasses 7,750 hectares with a 40 kilometer shoreline -- stretching from Schuster's Bay in the west to Smitswinkel Bay in the east.
The cliffs at the southern point, towering more than 200 meters above the sea, consist of 3 clearly defined promontories: Cape of Good Hope, Cape Maclear and Cape Point.
A common myth is that this is the point where the Atlantic and Indian oceans meet. Geographically, however, the Indian Ocean joins the Atlantic Ocean at Cape Agulhas (about an hour and a half drive from Cape Town).
Remember that the marine layer can cause the view to all but disappear and temperatures to drop, so bring a light jacket and be prepared for dissapointment. While I was there, Cape Point was under the marine layer, but the Cape of Good Hope was clear. There's actually no way to tell when or how long the marine layer will come in. When I arrived, it had been in for 2 days straight. Go figure.
The lighthouse in the selection of photos here was actually de-commissioned because of the thick fog. Here's the text from the tower:
"1860 to 1919
This prefabricated cast iron tower was erected on Cape Point Peak 249 meters above sea level. The white flashing light of 2,000 candlepower could be seen by ships 67 kilometers out to sea. The lighthouse proved to be ineffective as it was often covered by cloud and mist. After the wreck fo the Portuguese liner ‘Lusitania’ in 1911, it was decided to erect the present lighthouse on Dias Point below, 87 meters above sea level."
Cost to enter the park is 60 Rand per person as of January 2008.
The park website can be found at http://www.sanparks.org/parks/table_mountain/
The Cape of Good Hope is honestly the end of Africa. No kidding... I had to go see for myself and wow.... It was the best feeling I've ever experienced in my entire life.
Getting there - Rented a car from Cape Town, don't cost too much. Got some warnings from the car rental guy. Took the map and Vrooooom.... a really interesting journey all the way there.
Just before reaching there, you had to pay some sort of small toll for moving in a reserved area of S.Africa.
Then as you reach the end of the road, your next journey would be by foot. Paying the entrance fee, you have to hike up around 1 km but you'll be distracted by the sheer beauty of the ocean's view.
Up top, you'll come to the little lighthouse and that my friends is where you'll experience the best feeling ever! Imagine winds from 2 ocean's hitting you at the same time! Wow! Amazing feeling.... just amazing.
Those of you who have been there and don't want to go up, there's a great cafe by the foot of the place. Tourist shop sells pretty interesting stuff there too. I saw a can of 'Fresh South African Air' being on sale too lol.
Take a drive down to Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope. Not only is it a great drive down there but when there it's a really beautiful experience. On the drive down there stop off at Simonstown for a break or just outside Simonstown is Boulders Beach where you can take a look at the penguin colony.
This nature reserve is located on a peninsula stretching south into the Atlantic Ocean only 60kms southwest of Cape Town. It is home to baboons, zebra and springbok. However, the main attraction is the spectacular coastal views at Cape Point. You can do a hike from Cape Point to the Cape of Good Hope, this will take about 40 mins or you can take a scenic funicular ride to an old lighthouse.
When visiting Cape of Good Hope's Nature Reserve you'd go there at first to see the "southernmost tip of Africa" and the place where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet. This appears neither to be true for Cape Point, as to see that, you would have to travel further to Cape Agulhas.
Nevertheless, it's a very dramatic spot that I wouldn't have missed for any reason. Once you leave Simonstown you get this "end of the world" feeling upon entering the peninsula that makes your traveller's blood running faster.
Most people head for Cape Point and Cape of Good Hope, where you will also find the usual tourist traps. If you want to avoid all that, come early, take in the dramatic views and use the rest of the day to explore parts of the peninsula on foot, bicycle or car. Throughout the park you'll find some good picknick spots. We stayed a couple of hours at Buffels Bay, where there were even some spots in the shadow where we could put Youri to rest for his afternoon nap.