The 200-meter-high cliffs at Cape Point in South Africa offer a fantastic panoramic view over False Bay – the Atlantic Ocean stretches as far as the eye can see. The old lighthouse is situated on the summit of Cape Point. You can either walk up the hill or use the funicular („The Flying Dutchman“). The view from Cape Point is also great for Whale watching in winter. At the Cape Point parking lot, you can find the Two Oceans Restaurant and 3 souvenir shops.
Lighthouses at Cape Point
Based on Vasco da Gama‘s optimism of finding a new trade route to the Far East, the first lighthouse had been built on the summit of Cape Point (“Da Gama Peak”) in 1859.
This old lighthouse was built 238 meters above sea level. Sadly, this was too high to be helpful during foggy weather (radar did not exist by then). Nowadays, this old lighthouse acts as a central control point for all lighthouses in South Africa.
The new lighthouse at Cape Point was built in 1914. It is 87 above sea level and is located at the tip of Cape Point. Every 30 seconds, it sends out 3 light signals. There is also a hiking trail that leads there (“Lighthouse Keeper‘s Trail”).
Funicular at Cape Point (“The Flying Dutchman”)
If you do not want to walk up o the Cape Point summit you can enjoy a ride in the funicular (“The Flying Dutchman”). It leaves the station near the parking lot every 3 minutes and covers a distance of 585 metres. The change in altitude is 87 metres.
Summit with Panoramic View and Signposts (9575 km to Berlin)
After arriving at the Cape Point summit you will be greeted by a stunning panoramic view. Here, you can also find a signpost that is photographed very often. It shows the distance to several cities all over the world. For example, the distance from Cape Point to Berlin is “only” 9575 km.
Hiking Trail to the new Lighthouse (“Lighthouse Keeper‘s Trail”)
The summit of Cape Point is also the starting point of a short hiking trail that leads towards the new lighthouse, which is situated right at the tip of Cape Point. This “Lighthouse Keeper‘s Trail” runs along sharp cliffs and offers breathtaking views of False Bay. You also have a chance to view the old lighthouse on the summit from a different perspective. The round trip takes about 1-1,5 hours. On your way back you have to climb up quite a few steps.
Restaurant and Souvenir Shops
The Two Ocean Restaurant at Cape Point offers delicious meals with great sea views. If you are not that that hungry and are just looking for a quick bite you can buy something in the Snack Shop. For visitors who would like to purchase a memory of their time at the southwesternmost tip of Africa, the three souvenir shops have a lot to offer.
Monkeys at Cape Point (please do not feed the Baboons)
Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope are home to many Baboons. Do not come too close to them as they have very sharp teeth and are dangerous. Often, you can find them near the Cape Point parking or near the restaurant. Please note: Hide your food and snacks and please do not feed the Baboons.