Visit the Cape Point Lighthouse
South Africa › Cape Point
Added by John Chau
Check out one of the oldest lighthouses in South Africa - the Cape Point Lighthouse, originally built in the late 1850s and later decommissioned in the early 1900s after the Lusitania sank right off the coast, partly due to the fact that the original Cape Point Lighthouse was built too high up and it's beam was hidden by fog. Explore the trails and enjoy oceanside views that run alongside this Cabo Tormentosa (Cape of Storms) as named by Bartolomeu Dias in the 15th century. You feel like you're literally at the spine of the world!
This adventure starts at the Cape Point parking lot, from where one can also begin other adventures. After parking and locking your doors to prevent thieving baboons from breaking in, head up the path parallel to the funicular and follow its gradual slope up towards the various lookouts until you arrive at the old Cape Point Lighthouse.
It's a fairly easy and straightforward path, and if confused, you can always ask one of the park rangers or one of the many other tourists visiting this iconic landmark.
Once at the lighthouse, snap some pictures and then head down - but instead of returning to the parking lot, head down from the lighthouse and go right, following this other path as it loops around the north side beneath the lighthouse. Follow the dirt path all the way towards the end of the peninsula and pass by the old war bunker ruins that lie in between.
Oftentimes, the rangers or park staff that walk around the trails tend to be kind to the more experienced-looking tourist, so it wouldn't hurt to ask them if they could show you the new lighthouse that beams a light 60 km out to sea, but otherwise it's off-limits.
Then head back, and if you want another adventure then head over to Diaz Beach, that glistening white sandy strip thousands of feet below you to the southwest.
Afterwards, nourish your famished body by grabbing a bite to eat at the overly priced Cape Point Restaurant or head on over to Simon's Town for some fish and chips at the Salty Sea Dog (or grab some vetkoek in Masiphumelele or a gatsby in Ocean View.Notes:
- There is an approximately R125 (approx. $10) fee per adult to enter into the park.
- Be careful going out on some of the side, unofficial paths/ledges, especially ones that are roped off
- The park stays open from sunrise to sunset, and if you stay past sunset you can be fined approximately $50 (or locked in).
- Don't go into the frigid water at the beach - the undercurrent is extremely severe and with rocky cliffs (several thousand feet high) for miles around the peninsula, the chance of survival is pretty slim.
- Be careful of the baboons in the area - Lock your car doors, don't show them any food, and don't get near them - they can bite your face off.
- Snack (food can be bought at the restaurant near the parking lot but is * typically expensive)
- Daypack with first aid kit
- Sunglasses, hat, sunscreen
- Windbreaker or jacket
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Don't get locked in the park!
The lighthouse features unbelievable landscapes and are unforgettable. Its definitely a place that's a must visit if you are near Cape Town. Be sure to check the hours of the park once you enter because you can easily get locked in! If you do get locked in the guard at the front gate will have to call a park ranger which could take an hour and you may face a fine.
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