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Visitor Info - Cape Point
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Cape Point Info Centre
  • Tel: (+27) (0) 21 780 9010/11
  • Fax: (+27) ( 0) 21 780 9203
  • E-mail: capepoint@concor.co.za

Remember

One must exit the park by sunset.

Flying Dutchman funicular

Open Daily
October to March
09h00 until 18h00
April to September
09h00 until 17h00
  • Situated at the junction of two of earth's most contrasting water masses - the cold Benguela current on the West Coast and the warm Agulhas current on the East Coast , the Cape of Good Hope is popularly perceived as the meeting point of the Atlantic and the Indian Oceans. Geographically, however, the Indian Ocean joins the Atlantic Ocean at Cape Agulhas.

  • The local authority proclaimed the area a nature reserve in 1938 and it was incorporated into the Table Mountain National Park in 1998. It encompasses 7 750 hectares of rich and varied flora and fauna and its 40 kilometre coastline stretches from Schuster's Bay in the west to Smitswinkel Bay in the east. The cliffs at the southern point, towering more than 200 metres above the sea, consists of three clearly defined promontories - Cape of Good Hope, Cape Maclear and Cape Point.
  • History of human habitation dates back to the early Stone Age, and San hunter-gatherers and Khoi pastoralists lived here. Many middens are found along the coast.
  • Early European seafarers who circumnavigated the Cape of Good Hope include the 15th century Portuguese explorers, Bartholomew Dias and Vasco Da Gama , whose journeys led to the establishment of the Cape sea route to the East. To commemorate their voyages of discovery, two navigational beacons have been erected at strategic points.
Table Mountain Hiking
While exploring the wonders of the veld, feel free to stop off at the Veld Museum. This information resource centre is maintained by a group of eco-friendly volunteers, the Friends of Cape of Good Hope. They have compiled a series of pamphlets and exhibits on walks, fauna, flora and other notable features of this area.


Hiking Table Mountain

Cape Point is situated within the Southern section of Table Mountain National Park, the Cape of Good Hope entrance. The Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) encompasses the incredibly scenic Table Mountain Chain stretching from Signal Hill in the north to Cape Point in the south and the seas and coastline of the peninsula. The narrow finger of land with its beautiful valleys, bays and beaches is surrounded by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean in the west and the warmer waters of False Bay and has within its boundaries two world-renowned landmarks - majestic Table Mountain and the legendary Cape of Good Hope.

Lighthouses

The lighthouse at Cape Point is the most powerful on the South African coast. It has a range of 63 kilometres, and beams out a group of three flashes of 10 million candlepower each, every 30 seconds.

But, through history, mariners had taken a rather dimmer view of warning beacons around the Point…

A lighthouse was built In 1857 – on Cape Point Peak, 238 metres above sea level. The equipment for the lighthouse had been shipped from England on board the barque Royal Saxon on 30 May 1857.

However, because of its high position, clouds and fog often obscured the lighthouse. In fact, for an alarming 900 hours per year on average, its light was invisible to ships at sea at a certain angle. After the Portuguese liner Lusitania ran aground on 18 April 1911, the lighthouse was moved to its present location above Cape Point, only 87 metres above sea-level. Work on the site commenced in 1913. Transporting the building material there proved difficult. They had to use cranes, dynamite, trolleys and trucks. The sand was mined from a nearby cave. Labourers carried it in bags up a zig-zag path. Water was also carried about half a mile and then sent down a pipe. The weather also played its part in delaying the project: the men had trouble staying on their feet when the strong south-easter was blowing. The lighthouse was eventually brought into operation after the First World War – on 11 March 1919. The light had a candlepower of 500 000 cd. Electricity was introduced in 1936, which increased the candlepower to 19 000 000 cd. A stone replica of Vasco Da Gama's cross which was planted there in 1487 stands tall on the hillside above the beach. It marks the spot where the Portuguese explorers had come ashore.

Shipwrecks

On the night of 18 April 1911, the Lusitania, a ship of 5 500 tons, with 774 people aboard, struck the Bellows Rock below the lighthouse.

The T Tucker was an American Liberty Ship, built in 1942 and was intended for carrying troops and supplies during World War II. Relying on a faulty compass, she hit a rock in thick fog near Olifantsbos just off the Point.

The Phyllisia, 452 ton Cape Town trawler, struck the jagged rocks just 100 m off the rugged coast of the Cape Point Nature Reserve at about midnight on 3 May 1968. Eleven of her crew reached the shore in life rafts, but 14 still remained on the trawler. Two South African Airforce helicopters lifted them from the craft.

The Nolloth, a 347 ton Dutch trawler, ran aground, surround by jagged rocks in rough seas after she was struck by an unidentified underwater object. It is believed to be the Albatross Rock.
The legend of Antonie’s Gat

Lalu Abdul Kader Jaelani Dea Koasa: from political exile… to slave… to saint

The year was 1752. The Island of Sumbawa, Indonesia was under occupation of the mighty Dutch East India Company. Oppressed, but with their inner strength unconquered, men like Dea Pemangong, Lalu Abdul Dea Koasa, his son Lalu Ismail Dea Malela and other resolute islanders rose in defiance, fighting fierce battles with the Dutch East India Company (DEIC) in the name of freedom.

Then Lalu Abdul Dea Koasa and his son Lalu Ismail Dea Malela were captured. Shackled and chained, they were banished for life as political exiles - to Africa. They were brought to Simon’s Bay (now Simonstown) and incarcerated in the Slave Dungeons at the Old Court House.

After three years of wasting away in the cold, dark dungeon, Lalu Abdul managed to escape by digging a hole through the wall. He took one of the boats which had been tied alongside the prison, and headed out to sea. Lalu Abdul eventually landed close to the spot where the Vasco Da Gama monument stands today at Cape Point, near Bordjiesdrif and Buffels Bay.

Word got out that he had been seen in the Cape Point Mountains. Repeated attempts were made to capture him. A reward was issued. This man was dangerous, as he held great political influence. The Dutch Residency was nervous. The DEIC posted a notice, stating that Lalu Abdul Dea Koasa must be captured at any cost.

Meanwhile Lalu Abdul lay low for several years – spending time in what is now know as “Antonie’s Gat”, a cave near the beach at Buffelsbaai. Over time, he befriended a local farmer. He did odd jobs, tending cattle and cultivating the farmer’s land.

Oral tradition has it that once, when some of the farmer’s sheep had gone missing, Lalu Abdul Dea Koasa advised the farmer to look under a cluster of bushes near a spring at Groenwatervlei. It was as Lalu Abdul had predicted; the sheep were safe.

Lalu Abdul Dea Koasa then became the farmer’s Special Spiritual Adviser. It was soon clear that he possessed special spiritual and mystical powers as well as deep knowledge. This he put to good advantage when he used the farmer’s white horse on rare occasions to ride into Simonstown at night to visit his remote family. They would sometimes visit him at Cape Point in secret, and Cape Point eventually became the focal point for family gatherings. Here the descendants of Simonstown families received their teachings from the Great Spiritual Leader, Lalu Abdul, and later from his son Lalu Ismail. In this way, the word of Islam – and also political intelligence – was spread amongst the escaped slaves in the area.

Today, groups of Muslim worshippers may be seen praying on the cliffs of Cape Point, near the erstwhile home of the holy man, Lalu Abdul Dea Koasa.

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