The rocky promontory of Cape Point is reached via a drive though the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, the southernmost section of the Table Mountain National Park. In 1488, the Portuguese seafarer Bartolomeu Dias – who called this the Cape of Storms – was the first to sail around the Cape seeking a sea route to India. Today, shipwrecks and stone crosses bear testimony to the treachery and dangers of this historic sea route.
The first lighthouse was built in 1857 on the summit of Cape Point, 238 metres above sea level, with equipment shipped from England. However, its high position meant that clouds and fog often obscured the lighthouse. In fact, for an alarming 900 hours per year on average, its light was invisible to ships at sea at a certain angle. After the Portuguese liner Lusitania ran aground on 18 April 1911, the lighthouse was moved to its present location above Cape Point, just 87 metres above sea level.
This is the most powerful lighthouse on the South African coast. It has a range of 63 kilometres and beams out a group of three flashes of 10 million candlepower each, every 30 seconds.
Take a steep walk or let the Flying Dutchman funicular whisk you up from the car park to view the original lighthouse and enjoy the spectacular panoramic views and striking photo opportunities. The funicular departs every 3 minutes. On arrival at the top, there are various scenic viewpoints, as well as a short, steep climb up to the lighthouse itself.
Afterwards head to the Two Oceans Restaurant – as famous for its fine Cape seafood cuisine and sublime sushi as it is for its superb wooden deck with one of the most spectacular ocean views in South Africa.
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