In the school holiday’s we planned a day trip to Cape Point Nature Reserve with the kids. I believe a successful outing with the kids all comes down to the planning as it was going to be a big day and lots of driving. In the planning, we looked at the weather forecast for the week ahead before deciding which day to go, to find the least windy day. Wind free is unfortunately not an option in the Cape 🙂
The night before we discussed our driving route, the plan for the day and packed the car with swim gear, extra clothes, hats, jumpers and the camera. I packed snacks and we bought rolls to make in the morning. Our kids love eating in the car so we always leave the house prepared!
My husband and I discussed which way to drive as I am use to driving down via Hout Bay and back via Kalk Bay, it was news to me you can drive either way there. Funny how we become so accustom to a certain way of doing something that we can believe it’s the only way! So, we decided to drive via Kalk Bay.
We planned to leave straight after breakfast, as early as possible, to be able to enjoy the day to its full. We left at 8am and headed to Kalk Bay where we decided to stop at the Olympia Café for coffee and baby chino’s. I’m sorry we eat breakfast at all as this would be the perfect spot, the food looked delicious. We did indulge in a yummy chocolate croissant and the coffee was brewed to perfection.
From here we headed straight to Cape Point Nature Reserve. I suggest to arrive at Cape Point as early as possible to beat the wind which is usually pumping in the afternoon. This is not a cheap outing, let me warn you. Entry into the Nature Reserve costs R135/adult and R70/ child (over 2 years) – so a total of R410 for our family of 4! If you are a Capetonian I highly recommend looking into purchasing a My Green Card (details below).
If you would like some information on the Nature Reserve stop in at the Visitor’s Centre, located a short distance down the road once you have entered the reserve, which will provide all the information you need on plants and animals to look out for in the different seasons.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.
Cape Point Lighthouse
We drove straight to the Lighthouse as the wind was starting to pick up. Follow the road all the way till you will arrive in a car park.
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.
If you have young ones, like us, you might prefer the Flying Dutchman, which is pram friendly. There is an additional charge for this but kids under 6 are FREE. Once you arrive at the Upper Funicular Station there are a few steep steps to climb to reach the Lighthouse and the spectacular views. Babies would travel best in a pouch to the top.
Lighthouse Keeper’s Trail
If it’s not too windy, and your kids are older (and you don’t have a pram), 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 the southern-most tip of Africa and where the Two Oceans meet). I have walked this before, but not this time with the kids as it was too windy.
Two Oceans Restaurant
After taking the Funicular to the Lighthouse, we had a drink at the Two Oceans Restaurant and enjoyed the gorgeous panoramic views over False Bay from the restaurant veranda. The Two Oceans Restaurant serves seafood cuisine and has a sushi bar. Remember it is a touristy restaurant and priced accordingly. Reservations recommended.
Next we drove to the Cape of Good Hope although we only stopped for the obligatory photo at the sign, as the wind was pumping by this stage. We even got to see a baboon sitting on a car roof watching the windsurfers.
After this we headed out the reserve and decided to start making our way back via Kommetjie and Noordhoek and stopped in at Cafe Roux in the Noordhoek Farm Village for lunch. For dessert don’t miss Kirsten’s ice cream shop YUM! The most delicious ice cream 🙂
Blue Water Cafe at Imhoff Farm would also be a great stop with kids, or Clay Cafe in Hout Bay. The drive over Chapman’s Peak to Hout Bay is breathtaking, definitely one of the most beautiful drives in the world and the engineering of Chapman’s Peak is very impressive!
Cape Point Nature Reserve is located 60km south west of Cape Town at the tip of the Cape Peninsula in the Table Mountain National Park and is a World Heritage Site. Cape Point is 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 is a very memorable day of absolute beauty.
Depending on your time it is possible to spend the whole day exploring isolated beaches, swimming, hiking, rock climbing, surfing, mountain biking, paragliding or horse riding in Cape Point. 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
TIP: This is not a cheap outing, if you are a Capetonian I highly recommend purchasing a My Green Card or a Wild Card if you are planning to visit a few Nature Reserves. Check it out:
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.
Wild Card & International Wild Card
The Wild Card membership provides one year’s unlimited access to more than 80 parks and reserves in Southern Africa. You pay no entrance fees to enjoy wildlife and unspoilt natural areas. Membership is available for an individual, couple or family, while foreign visitors can get an International Wild Card membership. Click here to read more.
Ensure your camera is fully charged, as you will not want to miss this photographic paradise.