Located 60km south west of Cape Town at the tip of the Cape Peninsula in the Table Mountain National Park is this World Heritage Site. This is second on my itinerary to Cape Town (the first being Table Mountain); and a must see attraction to experience some of the most breathtaking ocean and mountain scenery in the world. Together with the drive down the peninsula this will be a very memorable day of absolute beauty. Easy to reach by car or tour this scenic drive will leave you breathless.
The reserve is fenced due to the variety of wildlife and here you will find and abundance of buck, baboons, Cape Mountain Zebra and over 250 species of bird. There is a diverse selection of fauna and flora and dense fynbos valleys. The Visitor Centre will provide all the information you need on plants and animals to look out for in the different seasons.
The Lighthouse and Flying Dutchman
To reach the Lighthouse you can choose to ride in the Flying Dutchman, a Funicular Railway, which will whisk you up in 3 minutes to observe the stunning 360 degree panoramic view or alternatively you can walk up the steep paved path which is less than 1km and take in the numerous scenic viewpoints while you catch your breath.
Don’t miss the Lighthouse Keeper’s Trail, a short trail that starts just behind the Upper Funicular Station and takes you along the sheer cliff face toward the lesser-known, new Lighthouse. The path is narrow and here you will certainly feel like you have arrived at the tip of Africa (although Cape Agulhas is actually the southern-most tip of Africa and where the Two Oceans meet).
Two Oceans Restaurant
Feeling peckish, head over to the picturesque Two Oceans Restaurant where you will be treated to delicious seafood cuisine and panoramic views over False Bay. There is a sushi bar as well. If you are lucky you might have the opportunity to witness some cheeky baboons from the restaurant, like we did. Reservations are recommended. Open daily from 9am – 5pm. Tel: 021-780 9200
Depending on your time it is possible to spend the whole day here exploring isolated beaches, swimming, hiking, rock climbing, surfing, mountain biking, paragliding or horse riding. If you are planning to participate in one of these activities please familiarise yourself with the rules and regulations of the park to protect and conserve the beauty and heritage of the reserve and check if a permit is required. You will find this information at www.sanparks.org
My Green Card (exclusive to residents of Cape Town)
The TMNP My Green Card is available exclusively to residents of Cape Town and provides the holder with 12 free entries into any of the Table Mountain National Park’s pay points: Cape of Good Hope (Cape Point), Boulders Penguin Colony, Oudekraal and Silvermine, as well as to the braai and picnic areas at Tokai, Newlands and Perdekloof. To find out more about this card, click here.
Ensure your camera is fully charged, as you will not want to miss this photographic paradise.