Cape Point is a part of the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa.
I am sure you have heard of the word, ‘Cape” in several instances.
- Cape Comorin
- Cape of Good Hope
- The Cape Horn
- Cape Calimere (Point Calimere)
Therefore, Cape is a geographical location that points to raised land, or rocky hillock that is projecting into a water body such as a sea or a lake. You can imagine a diving/jumping point from where, you jump and plunge into the water.
In geographical terms, the raised land is also known as a ‘promontory’.
Location of Cape Point:
Cape Point is abutting the Atlantic Ocean, in South Africa’s southwest coast, almost at the southern tip.
Here is the location map of Cape Point.
As you can see, Cape Town, one of the hottest holiday spots in South Africa lies 60 km north of it.
When you visit the Cape of Good Hope during your tour of Cape Town, you can walk up to Cape Point. In fact, there is an earmarked trail between the two ‘capes’. If you are a strong walker, you can reach the Cape Point in about two and a half hours from the Cape of Good Hope.
Alternatively, when you take a taxi to the Cape of Good Hope from Cape Town, you can stop at Cape Point on the way.
Cape Point- Fantastic Place to Visit in South Africa
Go to Penguins Beach
The official name is ‘Boulders Beach’. Since the African Penguins are found to be living in large numbers here, it is identified as penguins beach.
You need not go to the Arctic region to see the Penguins in their own habitat. They are very much seen in South Africa’s south-western tip, near Cape Town.
This penguin watching place is in Simon’s Town, 16 km north of Cape Point, on the way to Cape Town.
The penguins somehow found this coastal region to their liking in 1985. Two pairs of penguins are given credit for finding this new habitat.
Since then, the African penguins’ colony is a major attraction in Cape Point. They now number more than 3000!
These flightless birds that walk funnily are highly protected and are included as a part of Table Mountain National Park.
See their walking and swimming in Cape Point’s Simon’s Town.
By the way, do you know their favourite diet is freshly hunted (by themselves) raw Sardines.
In order to see the penguins very closely but at the same, without scaring them off, you can go to an adjacent Foxy Beach where there is a boardwalk called Willis Walk. It runs closely to the penguin’s habitat.
Unique Fact about the penguins.
Do you know the penguins dig out burrows on the beach sand, and live inside?
Have you ever seen the merging point of two oceans? If not, go to Cape Aguthas where the official dividing marker is seen. Here is where the Indian Ocean bids adieu to its identity and marries the Atlantic Ocean to become one.
It’s a bit far off from here. 265 km is the distance. Nonetheless, it is worth going there because of the thrill you get to:
- See the merging point of the Indian Ocean, and the Atlantic Ocean
- See the end point of African continent in the south. Yes, Cape Aguthas is the southernmost tip of South Africa and not the Cape of Good Hope.
I think I have given two valid luring factors to visit Cape Point, South Africa,
Flying Dutchman Funicular Rail car ride
You board the train from the car park below a small hill in the town. On top of the hill stands a lighthouse. Your joy quickly recedes when the funicular rail car stops at the base of the lighthouse.
The exciting ride lasts only 3 minutes.
From this point, you get spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean.
Interestingly, the train stops at two points (stations) ! The ascent is nearly 300 feet.
See below the funicular cars in motion.
You don’t see Funicular railway in many places in the world. So, don’t ignore the opportunity when you go to Cape Town. It is a big attraction in Cape Point for all age groups.
Remember that Cape Point is a part of the Table Mountain National Park. The NP located towards the direction of the Cape of Good Hope is a compulsory crowd puller, especially the nature lovers and ardent bird watches.
The scene is wild and largely untouched. Animals and birds are fearlessly seen wandering.
- Chacma baboon
This is a rare African animal that comes under the ‘antelope’ species.
- Cape Fox
- Water Mongoose
The aquatic birds are the ones that catch our eyes. A few of them are given below:
- Kelp Gull
Isn’t it very cute?
- White-chinned Petrel
- Shy Albatross
I detect some shyness in the photo. Do you?
- Cape Petrel
Go bird watching with a local guide. I am sure he will identify several more seabirds.
What can you buy in Cape Point?
You can buy myriad memorabilia such as coffee mugs, t-shirts, caps, and key rings on which, the Cape Point logo is printed.
There is an exclusive Logo Store from where you can buy curios.
- Interesting fact about Cape Point:
Cape Point’s former name was “Cape of Storms”. When a Portuguese sailor arrived at here, he experienced strong winds that even caused a few shipwrecks.
As a matter of fact, even now, tourists are taken through a special shipwreck trail to show the wreckages. Numerous parts of wrecked ships are found lying on the beaches along the trail.
It may not lure the majority of the visitors to this site.
As many as 26 ships were washed aside the shore. I think, the place should still be called “Cape of Storms”.
Wherever shipwrecks are notorious, they pull scuba divers who are crazy about diving and swimming through the remains of the ships that were destroyed.
Well, we have seen films and documentaries showing how divers fearlessly explore the wrecked ships lying on the sea bed.
It has more than 4 spots from where the scuba divers jump off to hit the bottom of the sea where the destroyed ships are lying.
A few organized boat tours are available in the Atlantic Ocean from Cape Point.
The boat tour up to Cape of Good Hope reveals the spectacular sights of the Cape Peninsula stretch.
I think it is a half a day trip from here. Actually, the boat tour departs from Cape Town. In the case, it is a full day cruise of the Cape Peninsula.
A visit to Cape Point and a two-day tour of the coastal city is worth the time and money spent.