Cape Point - Table Mountain National Park of South Africa

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    Cape of Good Hope near Cape Town, South Africa

    Cape of Good Hope near Cape Town, South Africa
    Cape of Good Hope Is the Southwestern Tip of Africa Cape of Good Hope near Cape Town, South Africa. Cape Point Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    Visit the Cape of Good Hope and See UNESCO World Heritage Site

    Cape Point is the end of the Cape Peninsula, which is part of Table Mountain National Park of South Africa. In 2004, Cape Point became part of the 553,000-hectare Cape Floral UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    Cape Point is only about 30 miles from Cape Town, but the drive can take anywhere from one to two hours, depending on how many times you stop. A full day driving tour of the peninsula allows time to see seal island of Hout Bay, the penguins at Boulders Beach, the Cape of Good Hope, and Kirstenbosch Gardens.

    One important piece of trivia -- although many people think that the Cape of Good Hope is the southern tip of Africa and the dividing line between the Indian and Atlantic Oceans, that distinction actually goes to Cape Aghulas, which is about 100 miles east. Cape of Good Hope is the southwestern tip of Africa.

    As these photos show, a day at Cape Point is a definite "must see" when you visit Cape Town. It's a beautiful area, with diverse wildlife like baboons and African antelope.

    Cape of Good Hope is one of three points at the end of the Cape Peninsula -- Cape Point, Cape Maclear, and the Cape of Good Hope.

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    Sea Birds at Cape of Good Hope

    Sea Birds at Cape of Good Hope
    Table Mountain National Park - UNESCO Cape Floral World Heritage Site Sea Birds at Cape of Good Hope. Cape Point Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    Thousands of sea birds lined the shore at the Cape of Good Hope.

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    Marker at the Cape of Good Hope - Table Mountain National Park

    Marker at the Cape of Good Hope
    Cape of Good Hope Is the Southwestern Tip of Africa Marker at the Cape of Good Hope, which marks the most southwesterly point of the continent of Africa. The southernmost point in Africa is at Cape Agulhas, about 100 miles southeast Cape Town. Cape Point Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    My mom and I at the end of Africa. Cape of Good Hope is one of three points at the end of the Cape Peninsula, along with Cape Point and Diaz Point.

    Everyone has to have their photo taken at the Cape of Good Hope!

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    View of Cape Point Parking Lot from Lighthouse

    View of Cape Point Parking Lot from Lighthouse
    Table Mountain National Park - UNESCO Cape Floral World Heritage Site View of Cape Point Parking Lot from Lighthouse. Cape Point Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    You can walk from this parking lot up to the lighthouse, but we took the funicular train since we still had 100 steps up to the lighthouse after the train.

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    Flying Dutchman Funicular Train to the Lighthouse at Cape Point

    Flying Dutchman Funicular Train to the Lighthouse at Cape Point
    Table Mountain National Park - UNESCO Cape Floral World Heritage Site Flying Dutchman Funicular Train to the Lighthouse at Cape Point. Cape Point Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    This funicular is named the "Flying Dutchman". Many choose to walk to the lighthouse rather than pay the fee, which is about $3 each way.

    The funicular is named for one of the Cape Peninsula's most famous legends, a ship named the Flying Dutchman. In 1680, the vessel foundered while trying to round the Cape in heavy weather. The Captain, Hendrik van der Decken, swore while his ship was sinking that he would round the Cape if it took him forever. Today, some believe he has kept his word since many have seen the Flying Dutchman in the waters around the Cape.

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    Views of the South Africa Coastline

    Views of the South Africa Coastline
    Table Mountain National Park - UNESCO Cape Floral World Heritage Site Views of the South Africa Coastline. Cape Point Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    Standing on Cape Point, you can almost pretend to see Cape Agulhas, the southernmost point of Africa, which is 100 miles east.

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    View of Cape Point Lookout from Lighthouse

    View of Cape Point Lookout from Lighthouse
    Table Mountain National Park - UNESCO Cape Floral World Heritage Site View of Cape Point Lookout from Lighthouse. Cape Point Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    The building on the right is the upper funicular station. The mountain in the distance is Cape Maclear, one of three points at the tip of the Cape Peninsula.

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    Baboons Are Wild Animals and Should Be Avoided

    Baboon Warning Sign at Cape Point
    Baboons Are Frequently Seen in Residential Areas of the Cape Peninsula Baboon Warning Sign at Cape Point. Cape Point Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    Baboons are large primates and although they look cute can be very dangerous, stealing cameras or even hurting tourists.

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    Cape of Good Hope, South Africa

    Cape of Good Hope, South Africa
    Cape of Good Hope Is the Southwestern Tip of Africa Cape of Good Hope, South Africa. Cape Point Photo (c) Linda Garrison
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    Cape Point, South Africa

    Cape Point, South Africa
    Table Mountain National Park - UNESCO Cape Floral World Heritage Site Cape Point, South Africa. Cape Point Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    This view of Cape Diaz was made from Cape Point, one of three points at the tip of the Cape Peninsula. (The third is the most famous - Cape of Good Hope.)

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    Cape Point, South Africa View of Lookout

    Cape Point, South Africa View of Lookout
    Table Mountain National Park - UNESCO Cape Floral World Heritage Site Cape Point, South Africa View of Lookout. Cape Point Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    Those riding the funicular or walking up from the parking lot arrive at this lookout area. It's another 100+ steps to the foot of the lighthouse.

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    Cape Point Lighthouse

    Cape Point Lighthouse
    Table Mountain National Park - UNESCO Cape Floral World Heritage Site Cape Point Lighthouse. Cape Point Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    This lighthouse sits at the top of Cape Point and was used from 1860-1919.

    The working lighthouse was moved down to Cape Diaz after the sinking of the Portuguese ship the Lusitania in 1911. Cape Point was higher, but is frequently shrouded in fog and mist.

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    Steps to the Top of the Cape Point Lighthouse

    Steps to the Top of the Cape Point Lighthouse
    Table Mountain National Park - UNESCO Cape Floral World Heritage Site Steps to the Top of the Cape Point Lighthouse. Cape Point Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    It is over 100 steps from the upper funicular station to the top of Cape Point, but the view is worth it.

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    View of Diaz Point from Cape Point, South Africa

    View of Diaz Point from Cape Point, South Africa
    Table Mountain National Park - UNESCO Cape Floral World Heritage Site View of Diaz Point from Cape Point, South Africa. Cape Point Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    The new lighthouse sits down on Diaz Point rather on the top of taller Cape Point since Cape Point is often covered with clouds.

    Cape Point is 249 meters above the ocean, while Cape Diaz is only 87 meters high. The original lighthouse was at the top of Cape Point, but it is often covered in clouds and mist. After the wreck of the Portuguese ship the Lusitania in 1911, the lighthouse was moved down to Diaz Point. Note that the Portuguese Lusitania is not the same ship as the Cunard Ocean Liner Lusitania that was sunk off the coast of Ireland in 1915.

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    Directional Sign at Cape Point, South Africa

    Directional Sign at Cape Point, South Africa
    Table Mountain National Park - UNESCO Cape Floral World Heritage Site Directional Sign at Cape Point, South Africa. Cape Point Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    This Cape Point lighthouse sign shows that it's only 9,623 km to London, 12,541 km to New York and 11,642 km to Sydney.

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    Cape Point Lizard

    Cape Point Lizard
    Wildlife at the Table Mountain National Park, UNESCO World Heritage Site Cape Point Lizard. Cape Point Photo (c) Linda Garrison
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    Baboon Sitting on Wall at Cape Point

    Baboon Sitting on Wall at Cape Point
    Table Mountain National Park - UNESCO Cape Floral World Heritage Site Baboon Sitting on Wall at Cape Point. Cape Point Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    This baboon sat on the wall overlooking the point the entire time we were exploring Cape Point. He had a great view!

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    Cape Point Baboon

    Cape Point Baboon
    Baboons Are Frequently Seen in Residential Areas of the Cape Peninsula Cape Point Baboon. Cape Point Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    Baboons will open unlocked doors and windows and can wreck havoc inside a home.

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    Cape Point Baboon

    Cape Point Baboon
    Baboons Are Frequently Seen in Residential Areas of the Cape Peninsula Cape Point Baboon. Cape Point Photo (c) Linda Garrison
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    Cape Point Baboon

    Cape Point Baboon
    Baboons Are Frequently Seen in Residential Areas of the Cape Peninsula Cape Point Baboon. Cape Point Photo (c) Linda Garrison
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    Cape Point Baby Baboon

    Cape Point Baby Baboon
    Baboons Are Frequently Seen in Residential Areas of the Cape Peninsula Cape Point Baby Baboon. Cape Point Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    This baby baboon is climbing a wall surrounding a residential home on the Cape. Baboons will enter unlocked doors and windows and can wreck a home's interior.

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    Ostrich

    Cape Point Ostrich
    Ostrich Farm on Cape Peninsula Cape Point Ostrich. Cape Point Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    The road to Cape Point passes right by this ostrich farm. The farm sells decorated ostrich eggs and goods made from ostrich skin.

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    Male and Female Ostriches

    Male and Female Ostriches
    Feather Color Distinguishes Male and Female Ostriches Male and Female Ostriches. Cape Point Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    Female and male ostriches alternate sitting on their eggs. The female is lighter in color because she sits on the eggs in the daytime, and the male is darker because he sits on the eggs at night.

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    Close-up of Ostrich Face

    Close-up of Ostrich Face
    Ostriches Are Often Considered One of the Ugliest Animals in Africa Close-up of Ostrich Face. Cape Point Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    I don't think I would want to be this close to an ostrich that wasn't in a fence!