March 29, 2012
A million points of view at Cape Point
Cape Point has captivated travellers since sighted by Bartholomew Dias in 1488 and continues to call nature lovers, adventurers and photographers, among others, to its shores. Few destinations boast a more scenic journey than the route along the Cape coast to the south-western tip of Africa. Enjoy some of these sights and moments captured by the lenses of visitors.
Young explorers on the rocks at Cape Point. The Point, as it was called by sailors, was regarded as a navigational tool during the day but by night the potential danger of Bellows Rock and Albatross Rock for passing ships led to the building of the lighthouse. Visitors can walk the shipwreck trail to see the remnants of ships whose journey ended at The Point.
Visitors enjoying some of the breathtaking ocean and mountain views. Between June and November each year, you can use the viewing points to spot whales in the bay below.
Whales aside, visitors can also see buck, baboons and Cape Mountain Zebra roaming the 7 750ha Cape Point Nature Reserve that is overseen by Table Mountain National Park. With more than 250 species of birds, the area is also a birdwatcher's paradise.
The Chacma baboons at Cape Point keep scientists intrigued, as they have adapted so well to their coastal habitat that they venture out at low tide to eat mussels, rock lobsters, limpets and crabs. Seafood is widely considered brainfood, which would explain how these clever primates are able to help themselves to a picnic basket in your car. Remember to keep your car doors locked and keep a wide berth because they are wild animals.
A restaurant with a view. The Two Oceans Restaurant's Seafood Platter is the signature dish and was even featured on the Travel Channel by BBC series presenter, Henry Cole. It consists of crayfish, large prawns, fish of the day, calamari, a traditional Cape Malay seafood curry and mussels almost as fresh as those enjoyed by the baboons on the rocks below!
To enjoy a truly invigorating experience, book a stay at one of three beautiful self-catering cottages aptly named the 'Olifantsbos' (Elephant Bush) Guest House, or Duiker and Eland (large buck) Cottages through SANParks. Hike an overnight trail, make inroads into photographing the 1 100 indigenous plant species that grow at Cape Point, swim in the Bordjiesrif or Buffels Bay tidal pools or go sea kayaking and mountain biking.
For more ideas on what to do at Cape Point, click here or watch the video The Legend of the Flying Dutchman lives on (below). If you prefer a smooth ride to hiking or biking, ride the Flying Dutchman funicular up to the viewing point, below the old lighthouse. This is especially popular with children and, with the rates per child starting at just R20, it's an affordable, fun activity.
Add to that the allure of a legendary ghost ship in the area and you have the makings of an unforgettable day out for the family.