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Cape Point – A day just isn’t enough

written by:
Sharyn Hodges


Cape Point – A day just isn’t enough

Bartolomeu Dias named Cape Point the “Cape of Storm” in 1488 and if you have ever been you will understand the allure of “edge-of-world” vistas. The “Point” commanded respect from sailor for centuries, by day it served as a navigation landmark and but at night or in foggy conditions it became a menacing obstacle course, with hidden rocks and raging storms. Captains had to sail closely to obtain bearings and in so doing that, they were exposed to the huge dangers of Bellows Rock and Albatross Rock. The coastline is littered with shipwrecks from centuries past.  Alongside Table Mountain, Cape Point is most definitely of South Africa’s major tourist attractions.

Packen Sie den Picknickkorb und die Wanderschuhe und genießen Sie einen schönen Tag an einem der vielen Strände.

There is so to do in The Cape Point Nature Reserve, the most popular as it is walking distance or enjoy a fun three minutes ride with the Flying Dutchman funicular from the “parking area” is the visit to the lighthouse which was completed in 1859 on Da Gama Peak and stills stand proudly at 238 meters above sea level and this also happens to be the highest section of the peak and thus showing off dramatic and unrivalled vistas. The ocean seems endless as it extends in every direction the eye could see. On a clear day it’s possible to see all the way to False Bay. The newer lighthouse was built in 1914 and is the most powerful lighthouse in South Africa, it gives off the three flashes in a group every 30 seconds.

Cape Point Reserve is a World Heritage Site and is 7750 hectares of fynbos-covered valleys boasting diverse flora and fauna, tidal pools and rugged coastline. With over 250 bird species this has become a hot spot for bird enthusiasts. Animal life could include ostrich, eland, zebra, the nearly extinct bontebok and it wouldn’t be fair to forget the deadly Cape Cobra.

Bartolomeu Dias, a Portuguese explorer was the first to brave the unpredictable waters successfully in 1488. The nickname of “Cape of Storms” came from the notoriously bad weather conditions that could change within 5 minutes. Vasco da Gama navigated the same route a decade later and opened a new trading route for Europe, India and the Far East. King John II of Portugal was full of optimism with this new sea route to India and East, he renamed “Cape of Storms” to “Cape of Good Hope”.

So much to do around Cape Point, from the most spectacular viewpoints, serene and isolated beaches, animals and bird viewing hikes and enjoying a bite to eat at the restaurant, it’s impossible to fit them all in, here is my Top 15 things to do in Cape Point:


  1. Ride the Flying Dutchman Funicular up to the viewpoint, just below the old lighthouse.
  2. Stop and take in the most breathtaking views of ocean and mountains.
  3. Pack a picnic and enjoy the day at Bordjiesrif and Buffels Bay tidal pools.
  4. During the annual whale migration, look out for these majestic gentle giants of the ocean (from June – October).
  5. Birding, with over 250 species, you bound to tick off a couple.
  6. Keep an eye out for the Cape mountain zebra, the world’s largest antelope, the eland and the endangered bontebok.
  7. Walk the shipwreck trail and view of few of the 26 recorded shipwrecks around Cape Point.
  8. With so many hiking opportunities, get those boots on!
  9. There are more than 1100 indigenous plant species, take your time to photograph them as they grow nowhere else in the world.
  10. Enjoy a lovely lunch whilst taking in the views at the Two Oceans Restaurant.
  11. Mementos and gifts for loved can be purchased the curio shop.
  12. Cycling – if you are an enthusiast cyclist, there is no better way than to enjoy the fresh air, views, wildlife, fauna and flora than from the saddle of your bike.
  13. If you have time, overnight at one of three accommodation houses.
  14. Try and find the monuments dedicated to Vasco da Gama and Bartolomeu Dias.
  15. And lastly, keep a lookout for the legendary ghost ship – The Flying Dutchman!


You can’t the “Cape of Storms” without a few shipwrecks, there are 26 recorded shipwrecks in Cape Point that may still be seen today.

Vergiss nicht, hier ein Selfie zu machen! Der südwestlichste Punkt des afrikanischen Kontinents!

Die Landschaften variieren je nachdem, wo Sie sich im Naturschutzgebiet aufhalten.

Olifantsbos Point

On the Atlantic side of the Peninsula, you can see where the Lusitania collided with Bellows Rock in 1911.

The site has also claim three other wrecks.

The Thomas T Tucker in 1942 ran aground at the Point after striking Albatross Rock, the hull is still vistable on the shore.

The Nolloth in 1965 and there no visible wreckage.

The Le Napoleon in 1805, a French pirate ship was foundered after being chased by the Royal Navy frigate the Narcissus and the outline of the ship with a few cannons can often be seen.


The remains of the steam trawler, Phyllisia wrecked in 1968 can be viewed by take a stroll down to the beach from the parking area or by the trail leading along Kleinkommetjie Ridge to Die Hoek van Bobbejaan.


Buffels Bay

Buffels Bay (Buffalo Bay translated into English) earned it’s name from the ship that was wrecked during the 1700’s. Legend has it, the ship was transporting buffalo apparently hit the rocky shoreline and broke apart, freeing the buffalo, which made the swim across to freedom.


Cape Point

Take a walk to the rocky and rugged Cape Point, this is where the legendary ghost ship, the Flying Dutchman has been spotted over the years.

Why not make a weekend of it, there are three accommodation options at Cape Point; Olifantsbos Guest House and Eland and Duiker Cottage.

Doesn’t matter if you a South African or visiting my country, if you are in the vicinity of Cape Town, Cape Point is must. Pack your picnic basket, load the kids and bicycles and get there early. The more time you spend in this open vastness the more you will want to know every corner, every shipwreck, every plant, bird and animal.

Sharyn Hodges

South African

Sharyn Hodges likes to describe herself as “just lucky”. Home is Plettenberg Bay, South Africa, a sleepy little sea-side village where the sun rises and sets in colours one can only imagine.

She is inspired daily by nature’s ever changing canvas of textures, colours and patterns.

Her work varies from weddings and events to nature and landscapes, but her heart lies buried in the vast expanses of Plett’s beaches and the sheer splendour of the surrounding Garden Route and South Africa.

Photography is in her veins; her mission is to capture those fleeting seconds of beauty which characterises this fragile adventure we call life.

Her travel companion, Nikon D750.

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