Cape Point Nature Reserve is one of the most spectacular and breathtaking natural attractions in South Africa. It is located on the southwestern tip of the Cape Peninsula, approximately 60 kilometres from Cape Town, the capital city of the Western Cape province. The Reserve is part of the Table Mountain National Park, a World Heritage Site that is home to an incredible diversity of flora and fauna. Cape Point Nature Reserve boasts rugged cliffs, dramatic seascapes, and pristine beaches, and it is a popular destination for tourists and nature enthusiasts alike.
Table of Contents
Cape Point Nature Reserve Background
Cape Point Nature Reserve has a rich history dating back to the 17th century. The Portuguese explorer, Bartolomeu Dias, was the first European to round the Cape of Good Hope in 1488. However, it was the Dutch East India Company that established a permanent settlement in the Cape in 1652. The Dutch called the Cape of Good Hope the “Cape of Storms” due to the treacherous waters that sailors had to navigate in order to round the Cape.
The British took control of the Cape in 1795, and it was during their rule that the Cape Point lighthouse was built. The lighthouse was completed in 1859 and was the first lighthouse to be built on the South African coast. It was erected in response to the many shipwrecks that occurred in the area due to the treacherous currents and rocky coastline. Today, the lighthouse in Cape Point is a popular tourist attraction and offers stunning views of the surrounding coastline.
Cape Point Entrance Fee (2023)
Adults – R376
Kids – R188
Adults – R188
Kids – R94
South Africans (with ID)
Adults – R94
Kids – R47
What to do at Cape Point Nature Reserve?
Cape Point Reserve offers visitors a wide range of activities, including hiking, surfing, picnicking, and birdwatching. The Reserve has a network of hiking trails that offer stunning views of the coastline and the surrounding mountains. The trails range in difficulty, from easy walks to more challenging hikes, and there are options for both guided and self-guided hikes.
The Reserve’s beaches are also popular attractions and offer excellent surfing and swimming opportunities. Diaz Beach, located on the western side of the Reserve, is a popular spot for surfing, while Buffels Bay, located on the eastern side, is a popular swimming beach. Visitors can also enjoy a picnic at one of the many designated picnic areas in the Reserve.
The picnic areas offer stunning views of the coastline and are equipped with braai facilities. For birdwatchers, Cape Point Nature Reserve is a paradise. The Reserve is home to over 250 species of birds, including the African Black Oystercatcher, the Cape Sugarbird, and the Jackal Buzzard.
Flora and Fauna in the Reserve
Cape Point Nature Reserve is home to an incredible diversity of flora and fauna. The Reserve covers an area of approximately 7,750 hectares and is home to over 1,100 species of indigenous plants. The Cape Floral Kingdom, which includes the Reserve, is one of the world’s richest floral regions and is home to over 9,000 species of plants, of which 70% are endemic.
The Reserve is also home to a variety of animals, including baboons, Cape Mountain Zebras, bontebok, eland, ostriches, and various species of antelope. The coastline is home to a variety of marine life, including dolphins, whales, and seals.
Cape Point Attractions
There are several attractions that visitors can enjoy. Some of the most popular attractions include:
- Cape Point: Cape Point is the most iconic attraction in the Reserve. It is located at the southwestern tip of the Cape Peninsula and is known for its dramatic cliffs and panoramic views. Visitors can reach Cape Point via a scenic drive or a hike up the mountainside.
- The Cape of Good Hope: Good Hope is another iconic attraction in the Reserve. It is located at the southeastern tip of the Cape Peninsula and is known for its rugged coastline and historical significance. Visitors can take a scenic drive or hike to the Cape of Good Hope and enjoy the stunning views.
- Two Oceans Restaurant: The Two Oceans Restaurant is located at Cape Point and offers stunning views of the coastline. The restaurant serves a variety of seafood and traditional South African dishes and is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.
- Funicular: The funicular is a popular attraction at Cape Point that takes visitors from the lower parking lot to the top of the mountain. The funicular offers stunning views of the coastline and is a must-do activity for visitors to the Reserve.
Cape Point Nature Reserve Accommodation
Cape Point Nature Reserve offers a variety of accommodations for visitors, including campsites, self-catering cottages, and luxury lodges. The campsites are located within the Reserve and offer basic facilities, while the Cape Point cottages and luxury lodges offer more upscale accommodations.
The campsites are popular among budget-conscious travellers and offer stunning views of the coastline. The self-catering cottages and luxury lodges are more expensive but offer more upscale amenities, including private pools and gourmet dining options.
How to Get to Cape Point Nature Reserve
To reach Cape Point Nature Reserve, situated at the southwestern tip of the Cape Peninsula in South Africa, you have a couple of options. If you’re travelling from Cape Town, the most convenient way is to drive. Take the M3 southbound from the city, which leads onto the M64 and then the M6, offering stunning coastal views along the way. Follow the signs to Cape Point, and you’ll arrive at the reserve’s entrance. Alternatively, you can opt for a guided tour or public transportation. Several tour companies offer day trips to Cape Point, providing transportation and insightful commentary. Public buses also operate from Cape Town, allowing you to enjoy the journey without the need for driving.
Cape Point Nature Reserve is a must-visit destination for anyone travelling to South Africa. The Reserve’s stunning natural beauty, rich history, and diverse flora and fauna make it a popular destination for tourists and nature enthusiasts alike. With its variety of activities, attractions, and accommodations, Cape Point Nature Reserve has something for everyone.
Cape Point Nature Reserve: http://capepoint.co.za/
- Q – What time does Cape Point Nature Reserve open?
A – Cape Point Nature Reserve opens at 6:00 AM daily during summer and 7:00 am in winter, allowing visitors to start their exploration early and make the most of their visit. Be sure to exit the reserve at sunset.
- Q – Can I bring my own food and have a picnic at Cape Point Nature Reserve?
A – Yes, you are welcome to bring your own food and have a picnic at designated picnic areas within the reserve. It’s important to follow the guidelines and avoid feeding any wild animals.
- Q – Are there any guided tours available at Cape Point Nature Reserve?
A – Yes, guided tours are available at Cape Point Nature Reserve. Several tour companies offer day trips from Cape Town, providing transportation, informative commentary, and a structured itinerary to explore the reserve and its highlights.