A trip to Cape Point is a must for any Cape Town visitor. The southern end of the Cape Peninsula boasts two points of interest really, the Cape of Good Hope and the more southernly and a bit higher situated Cape Point. However, the most southern point of Africa is to be found 150 kilometres towards the southeast. There, at Cape Agulhas, the two oceans, the Indian and the Atlantic 'meet'. For the early seafarers the Cape of Good Hope marked the turning point in their luck because once the "Cape of Storms", as Bartholomeus Diaz called it in 1488, had been passed, the battle against the sea was basically won.
Both the Capes are situated in the 7800 hectare Good Hope section of the Cape Peninsula National Park, 13 kilometres behind the entrance gate. The access road leads to a big, often crowded parking lot, where there is a snack bar and an exclusive restaurant with a fantastic seaview.
The last short stretch to the peak of Cape Point Peak one either walks or takes the rack railway. 120 steps crafted from natural stone lead to the old lighthouse on the Cape Point Peak, 250 metres above sea level. One can see the Cape of Good Hope in the west from there. A hiking trail of 1 hour length (one way) links the two capes. The Cape of Good Hope can also easily be reached by car.
In the National Park there are many beautiful bays with hiking trails and picnic spots. Popular is Buffels Bay, with a stunning beach and a protected tidal pool. Often Bontebok and other antelopes can be seen grazing on the wide grass patches, and sometimes baboons come there. Keep away from them!
The park is open daily from 7 am to 5 pm. Tel 021-7809204.
Top right: Flight around Cape Point. Below: The Cape of Good Hope. Top left: Roaring surf at the Cape of Good Hope. Centre left: The Restaurant at the Cape. Bottom left: View from Cape Point to the Cape of Good Hope.