Cape Point - Table Mountain National Park of South Africa

Cape of Good Hope near Cape Town, South Africa

 Tripsavvy / 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
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 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
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
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
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
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
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 Point Photo (c) Linda Garrison
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Cape Point, South Africa

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
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
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
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
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
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
Cape Point Photo (c) Linda Garrison
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Baboon Sitting on Wall at Cape Point

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
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
Cape Point Photo (c) Linda Garrison
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Cape Point Baboon

Cape Point Baboon
Cape Point Photo (c) Linda Garrison
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Cape Point Baby Baboon

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
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
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
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!

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