Cape Point: The Best Things To Do at The Cape's Most Beautiful Park
Do you speak blue? No? After spending a day on this crescent-shaped slice of paradise - undoubtedly the number one reason to visit Cape Point - you'll be fluent in the entire spectrum! We're talking a constantly changing rhapsody of turquoise, ultramarine, cobalt, electric, azure and navy - starting off as translucent aquamarine near the shore and becoming deeper and darker the further you go.
With the odd megayacht punctuating the horizon, you almost expect a buff Daniel Craig to emerge from the water, in those iconic swim trunks, goggles pulled up on his head.
With powder-soft sand, a clean, gently lapping ocean as far as the eye can see, braai and picnic spots aplenty, this rhapsody in blue is well worth the drive.
Walk the shipwreck trail
Also known as the Olifantsbos trail, this is a short and easily accessible three-kilometre walk (around one hour and 30 minutes). It leads through fynbos to the beach where the prominent SS Thomas T. Tucker, wrecked in 1942. This former WWII troops-and-weapons transport vessel is Cape Point's most photographed shipwreck and its hull is home to local birdlife. Before heading back or continuing to Sirkelsvlei, rest near the Nolloth, a liquor carrier wrecked in 1965. After that, follow guided tours for more coastline wreckage.
Good to know: Though these are year-round trails, the weather can be rough during winter, and windy in January and February, so check the conditions before setting out.
Game-spotting at Cape Point
Cape Point promises hikes, swims and historical discoveries, but there's also a plethora of fauna roaming the park. From baboons carrying their pups on their backs and herds of ostriches strolling about, animal lovers should keep watch, as the reserve is also home to a variety of antelope as well as Cape foxes, genets, polecats, mole rats, porcupines, mongooses, tortoises and snakes.
It's also an excellent birdwatching site, with over 270 species calling it home. And keep an eye on the horizon, as you might spot a whale or two during whale season (between August and October).
Cape of Good Hope
One of the Cape's most popular tourist destinations - not just because it's the most southwestern point on the African continent - The Cape of Good Hope also happens to be a spectacularly scenic picnic spot, with a slew of hiking and cycling trails around it. A steep wooden staircase leads to the lookout point, whose 360-degree views are well worth the climb.
Good to know The Cape of Good Hope is often mistaken as the southernmost point of Africa; that title goes to Cape Agulhas. It's the most southwestern point.
The Old Lighthouse
Instead of guiding ships to safety, Cape Point's first lighthouse, built in 1859, was often the cause of mishaps, because of its high perch above the ocean that concealed it among the clouds. In 1911 the new lighthouse was built, and remains one of the most powerful sentinels on the South African coast, with a range of 60 kilometres and a luminous intensity of 10 million candelas.
From the old lighthouse, breathtaking views of the two oceans and surrounding coastline can be enjoyed. And, from August to October, you might even catch sightings of whales although you'll need to use the onsite binoculars to squizz them properly!
Author Kendyll Neethling