Welcome to Cape Point
Cape Point is situated within the southern section of the Table Mountain National Park, at the Cape of Good Hope entrance.
This tip of Africa ventures into treacherous waters and has some of the highest sea cliffs and freshest air in the world. And even though it is constantly, and incorrectly, referred to as the southernmost tip of Africa, it is still one of Cape Town's most impressive and frequently visited attractions.
Bartholomeu Dias, a Portuguese seafarer, was the first person to sail around the Cape in 1488. Upon returning, Dias stopped at the south-western tip of South Africa, naming it Cabo Tormentoso, or Cape of Storms. King John of Portugal also made the trip and later renamed the area Cabo da Boa Esperanca, or Cape of Good Hope. Vasco da Gama, another Portuguese explorer, travelled to this area in 1497 on his way to India.
Thanks to these journeys the Cape sea route was formed, meaning regular sailings around Cape Point. This trip, however, also claimed the lives of many sailors due to its unpredictable shores. Many shipwrecks and stone crosses found there today bear testament to the number of sailors and explorers who have lost their lives in these treacherous waters.
Today, Cape Point is home to a variety of fauna and indigenous flora found nowhere else on earth. Animals found here include buck, Chacma baboons, Cape Mountain Zebra and over 250 species of bird.
The lighthouse which stands proudly on Cape Point is the most powerful on the South African coast. The Flying Dutchman funicular takes passengers on a rather exciting journey 238 metres above sea level to the old lighthouse. The Shipwreck trail is a wonderful coastal hike starting at Olifantsbos on the western side of the reserve.
There are also a few marked paths allowing for pleasant strolls or longer walks within the reserve. A few safe tidal pools at Bordjiesdrif and Buffels Bay is also great for taking a dip, while the braai and picnic spots make for great family entertainment. Do not miss the restaurant situated within the reserve as it offers great food and spectacular views.
Cape Point is also home to a research laboratory where the South African Weather Bureau together with the Fraunhofer Institute of Garmisch in Germany monitors long term changes in the earth's atmosphere which may impact the climate.
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