Cape Point Nature Reserve, Western Cape
Did you know?
The Cape Point lighthouse has a range of 63km and beams out 3 flashes, of 10 million candlepower each, every 30 seconds.
Cape Point, the beautiful tip of the Cape peninsula, has become famous for its ocean views, the Cape Point lighthouse, as well as the extensive range of flora and fauna you'll find here.
The Cape Point Nature Reserve, encompassing 7 750 hectares of rich and varied flora along its 40km coastline, extends from Schuster's Bay in the west to Smitswinkel Bay in the east.
Cape Point's headland consists of three promontories: the Cape of Good Hope, Cape Maclear and Cape Point itself. The cliffs of Cape Point, more than 200m above the sea, provide the perfect lookout spot for whales, prevalent between May and November. Dolphins can be seen throughout the year.
Since 2004, the Cape Point Nature Reserve has been part of the Cape Floral Kingdom, a Unesco World Heritage Site. It also forms a popular part of the Table Mountain National Park.
The diversity, density and endemism of the indigenous flora here is among the world's highest – approximately 1 100 indigenous plant species, some of which occur nowhere else on Earth.
Many people just head straight for the lighthouse – but that would mean missing out on so much. On numerous scenic hiking trails, twitchers can spot some 250 species of birds, including sea birds, eagles, Cape sugarbirds and sunbirds, as well as endangered African black oystercatchers.
Mammal species found in the Cape Point Nature Reserve include antelope such as klipspringer, steenbok and eland, as well Cape mountain zebra and the peninsula's endemic Chacma baboons. Shy predators such as caracal and small-spotted genet patrol the crags, and Cape clawless otters frolic in rock pools.
Reptiles and amphibians are abundant. Fortunate frog fundis may catch sight of the very rare Table Mountain ghost frog or Cape chirping frog.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Cape Point Visitor Centre
Phone: +27 (0)21 780 9010
Hoerikwaggo Trails Booking Office
Phone: +27 (0)21 422 2816
How to get here
From Cape Town follow the coastal road along Camps Bay and Llandudno to Hout Bay (via the M6). Travel along Chapman’s Peak Drive and turn right at Noordhoek. Follow the coastline through Kommetjie, Sweetwater, Witsand, Misty Cliffs and Scarborough before driving inland for a few kilometres. The Cape Point Nature Reserve entrance will be on your right-hand side.
You can also reach Cape Point coming the other way around the Cape Peninsula, via Simon's Town.
Best time to visit
The Cape Point Nature Reserve is open throughout the year. For the best whale watching, visit between May and October.
Tours to do
The Hoerikwaggo Trail, a five-day hike from Cape Point to the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway, is a must for hiking enthusiasts.
Hiring your own vehicle is best, allowing you to explore the area at your own pace. Many Cape Town tour operators also visit Cape Point on a daily basis.
What will it cost
Entrance is R80 per person for adults, R20 per child under 12.
Length of stay
Plan to spend at least half a day at Cape Point. A full day would be even better.
What to pack
Binoculars will come in handy for whale spotting. And don't forget to bring plenty of sunscreen and a hat no matter the season.
Where to stay
There are three self-catering cottages within the reserve: Olifantsbos Guest House, and the Eland and Duiker cottages. Contact SANParks to make a booking.
What to eat
Two Oceans Restaurant, perched high above False Bay, offers fresh seafood and spectacular views, though it's pricey. Otherwise, bring a picnic.