Take a day trip to the famous Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, the most southwesterly point in Africa, featuring dramatic views and coastal scenery. Mainly a floral reserve, the reserve encompasses 7 750 hectares along its 40km-long coastline and extends from Schuster’s Bay in the west to Smitswinkel Bay in the east.
The diversity of the indigenous fynbos flora is among the world’s highest: approximately 1 100 indigenous plant species, some of which occur nowhere else on Earth. It is also famous for the Cape Point lighthouse and for its sheer cliffs, which rise 260 metres above the sea to provide the perfect lookout spot for the whales that are prevalent between June and November. Dolphins and seabirds can be seen throughout the year.
Many visitors head straight for the Cape Point Lighthouse at the tip of the peninsula – but that would mean missing out on so much. Be sure to stop in at the Buffelsfontein Visitor Centre, which showcases all the plants and animals to look out for in the different seasons. Some bird species can be spotted here, including the Cape sugarbird and sunbird as well as the endangered African black oystercatcher.
Mammal species include antelope such as red hartebeest and eland as well as Cape mountain zebra and Chacma baboons. Shy predators such as caracal and small-spotted genet patrol the crags, and Cape clawless otters frolic in rock pools.
The uncrowded reserve has fantastic scenery for those participating in active sports, whether on land or in the water, and outdoor enthusiasts. Explore wild beaches and enjoy scenic walks; hiking trails; cycling; swimming in the tidal pools; snorkelling; diving; surfing; fishing; angling; and bird, whale and animal watching, all against the spectacular backdrop of the mountains and coastline of the Cape Peninsula.
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