The fauna at the beautiful Cape of Good Hope / Cape Point National Park in South Africa is very diverse. Around 250 bird species, various mammals, reptiles and insects – from Cape Mountain Zebras and antelopes to tortoises, lizards or colourful grasshoppers – can be seen in this reserve.
Even whales can be spotted during the South African winter months. It is advised to stay away from the Baboons – and to refrain from feeding them. It might also happen that a few birds try and steal your food out of your hands.
The following wildlife is at home at the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point.
Cape Mountain Zebras
The Cape Mountain Zebras at the Cape of Good Hope are smaller than the Burchell’s Zebras and have a white belly (without any stripes). They are seen very rarely as they don’t like to be near human beings. Nevertheless, while driving slowly through Cape Point Nature Reserve you should still keep an eye out for Zebras that might be hiding in the Fynbos.
The ostrich in Africa is the biggest flightless bird in the world. An ostrich can reach a speed of 70km/h and rotate its head 180 degrees. Against common belief, an ostrich does not bury its head in the sand.
An ostrich egg can weigh up to 1,5kg and is equivalent to 22 chicken eggs. The plumage of a female ostrich is brown and for a male ostrich it is black and white. The brain of an ostrich is very small – about the size of its eye.
Eland antelopes are the tallest antelopes that one can see at the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa. They can weigh up to 800kg and like to graze near the Cape Point parking lot.
Bonteboks are the second tallest antelopes in Cape Point National Park. Bonteboks are endemic to the Western Cape Province of South Africa (they occur in the Cape Floral Kingdom area and along the Garden Route). They love open landscapes and Fynbos vegetation. At this reserve, they like to graze on sand dunes or near the information centre in Buffelsbaai.
The Cape of Good Hope also boasts Red Hartebeests, which are very shy antelopes. They can run very fast.
South Africa has the highest density of tortoises in the whole world. At Cape of Good Hope / Cape Point National Park, the chance of spotting one is very good. For example, you could stumble upon a Leopard Tortoise.
250 different Bird Species
It would take too long to list all the different bird species that occur in the Cape Point National Park. A few examples of the more common species are: cormorants, sunbirds, Black Oystercatchers, plovers, sandpipers, owls, various migratory birds (albatrosses, kingfishers, Peregrine falcons), various birds of prey (buzzards, eagles) – and of course also the already mentioned ostriches.
Whales, Dolphins and Seals
Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa boast scenic viewpoints that offer great whale watching opportunities. The Atlantic Ocean extends as far as the eye can see. The slightly warmer sea current in the False Bay attracts whales in the South African winter months (June-November) – for example, Southern Right Whales, Orcas or Humpback Whales. Bryde’s-Whales generally stay in this area year-round. With a bit of luck, you can also see Dolphins or Seals.
These small animals are also known to reside on Table Mountain. Of course, they are not missing in the Cape Point National Park. If you believe it or not, their skeleton makes them the closest relative to the African Elephant.
Baboons (hide your food)
Of course, there are also monkeys at the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa – the infamous Baboons. They like to sit on the side of the road and specifically seem to love to hang out around the Cape Point parking lot near the restaurant. You can also find them sitting on the cars (on the roof or even mirrors). These are not just some little monkeys. Baboons have very long and sharp teeth and are therefore dangerous animals.
Normally, they love to eat fruits, roots or insects. They are attracted to all the food and snacks that tourists may carry in their backpacks.
Please be careful and follow these rules regarding the baboons in the Cape Point National Park: Keep your distance. Hide your food. Do not feed the baboons (there is also a fine for this). Keep your car windows and doors closed.
Snakes are normally afraid of people so the chances are small of running into one. Of course, there are also puff adders or Cape cobras in the reserve but they are generally scared off by the sound and vibration of footsteps.
Other Animal Species in Cape Point National Park: