Cape Point, Cape Town
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.
Directions: 50 km south of Cape Town
Phone: Tel 021-7809204
The views surrounding Hout Bay are spectacular and the Mariner's Wharf is a quaint area to take pictures of all the sail boats and tour boats taking people out to Duiker Island to see all the seals. The Mariners Wharf is where you will be able to get glass bottom boat tours around the Island or boat tours out to Duiker Island. It's hard to believe how many seals you will actually see on the Island...or how bad it actually smells.
There is so much to see along the Cape Peninsula that getting a tour that makes stops at the major sights is worth the money if you are pressed for time. Since I only had a weekend, I did the tour on Saturday, and saw everything I wanted to see during the 8 hours. Each stop was long enough to spend some time at the sites, but not too long, that you felt you were wasting time. The peninsula is truly an unbelievable experience, and there are several tours that can do it justice, allowing you to squeeze as much in as possible.
A stop at Cape Point is a must if you are in Cape Town. The views of the Atlantic and Indian ocean meeting are amazing. Looking at the power of the sea against the highest sea cliffs in South Africa, it's easy to imagine the treachorous rounding of the Cape in the ships of the past. There is also a great variety of vegetation to admire on your walk along the paths and a restaurant with spectacular views, although a little pricey. The walk to the top of the point, is well worth a trip, if your able to make the walk in the time alloted. I had 90 minutes during my tour, which was plenty of time to make the walk and get lunch/beer at the restaurant.
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/
Phone: +27 21 701 8692
You have to pay up to enter this place. Once you are at the top you have to pay up once again to go up hill on foot or by tram. I was planning to climb up but hubby know that kids will not be able to reach up to the top since they are already tired traveling for the past few days. So decided not to go up but was so frustrated cause this is once a life time experience. Never hesitate to go up for you will regret like I do.
Beautiful site. The location is so mindblowing. The best part is that once you are at the top the chilly wind just blow you away. The chill factor at Cape Town in any case is high and at the top the winds are so strong that it is advised to stay at the center and also wear some this warm. Avoid late evening as they tend to be very chilly
It was an awesome place!
The Cape Peninsula is a rocky peninsula that juts out for 75 km (47 mi) into the Atlantic Ocean at the south-western of the African continent. At the southern end of the peninsula are Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope. On the northern end is the famous Table Mountain, overlooking Cape Town, South Africa. At the Cape Peninsular National Park, you can travel to Cape Point to see the lighthouse.
The Cape of Good Hope is sometimes given as the meeting point of the Atlantic Ocean and Indian Ocean.
Directions: See the map at this weblink
Cape of Good Hope is the most southwesterly point of Africa and is defenitely worth a visit (together with the whole peninsula). Unfortunately weather wasn't at it's best, but Cape of Godd Hope rewarded us with a lovely rainbow.
The scenery in the park is amazing, beautiful beaches, some steep hills and lonely lighthouses. Keep your eyes open for some wildlife, we saw baboons, ostriches and elans.
There's a visitor's centre shortly after the entrance gates and a restaurant and souvenir shop at Cape Point where you can also take a funicular up to an old lighthouse.
Admission to the Nature Reserve is 55 Rand/person.
Phone: 021-780 9204
The cape peninsula is a natural park; there are animals like babboons and antelopes adn the ostrich farm; however, the real attraction is Cape Point, where the two oceans meet: Atlantic and Indian. The contrast is evident: Atlantic ocean is windy, stormy, cloudy, and noisy; Indian ocean is calm, quiet, silent, event their color is different. Absolutely don't stop at the lighthouse: walk down to the end of the path, you will walk on a land strip that lets you look at the Atlantic on the right and at the Indian on the left, appreciating the difference.
This is of course a very busy, very touristed area - but for good reason!
Here you can hike up to the lighthouse and see stunning views, see both the Indian and Atlantic Oceans - this isn't where they really meet despite what the signs and guides tell you!
Of course, as well as exploring the old lighthouse, reading all of the history and taking in all of views, you can see the Cape Point.
This is looking down at the tip of the reserve. Spectacular view. Zoom to the top of the Point - Hop aboard the funicular and you’ll be whisked away on a scenic trip to the view site near the old Cape Point lighthouse. Over time, the means of transport to the view site changed from a diesel bus, named after the “Flying Dutchman” ghost ship, to an environmentally friendly funicular, the only one of its kind in the world.
The entire funicular has been produced from South African resources. 27 different safety features ensure practical and safe operation 24 hours a day. There are two funicular cars which travel from the parking lot to the view site, just below the lighthouse.
Now this one seem like it is a must on everyone's itenary when visiting Cape Town. Bartholomeu Dias, the Portuguese seafarer, was the first to sail around the Cape. This was in 1488. On his return voyage, which must have been particularly stormy, Dias stopped at the south-western tip of Africa, and named it Cabo Tormentoso, or Cape of Storms. King John of Portugal later gave it the name Cabo da Boa Esperança, or Cape of Good Hope. Another Portuguese explorer, Vasco da Gama, rounded the Cape on 22 November 1497 on his way to India.
This cape, part of the Cape Peninsula National Park, is very popular. Although is not the most southern part of Africa (that place is the Cape Agulhas), it´s an interesting trip. A 120 steps carved in the mountain lead to the old lighthouse of Point Peak, with very nice views.