Cape Point – Table Mountain National Park

Fynbos covered ridges of the Table Mountain National Park, overl

Cape Point – Table Mountain National Park

Pristine fynbos in full spectacular floral bloom and a vista of views across False Bay and the Atlantic Ocean is just a fraction of what can be expected when visiting the Cape Point section of the Table Mountain National Park. With a number of day-walks that range between an hour and five hours in length and a good road network that covers the reserve, the diversity of habitats can be easily explored.

These trails cover both the coastline and the flatter inland fynbos areas of the reserve where endemic Cape Sugarbirds and Orange-Breasted Sunbirds can be easily viewed amongst the diversity of flowering plants. At The Cape of Good-Hope, which is the south-westernmost point of Africa, one of the most popular hiking-trails follows the coastline past the jagged cliffs of Cape Maclear and onto the sparkling white sands of Diaz Beach with a final climb up to Cape Point itself. A scan out to sea with binoculars is always worthwhile from here as there are often excellent views of pelagic seabirds such as the Shy and Black-Browed Albatrosses, White-Chinned Petrels and Sooty Shearwaters.

From the soft sands of Diaz Beach, the trail climbs to the Cape Point parking lot and then upwards and onwards on the final stretch to the Cape Point lighthouse. 360 degrees of breathtaking views surround you with False Bay and the distant Cape Hanklip lying to the north and east while to the south and west lay the vast deep blue of the Atlantic Ocean. Looking far down below into the seas where massive waves crash upon the shore, large game fish and sharks may be seen hunting as Cape Fur Seals and pods of Dusky Dolphins also swim past.

At Oliphantsbos, waves gently crash against the white beaches where scores of seabirds feed amongst the stranded piles of kelp. Bontebok, Eland, Ostrich and Chacma Baboons fed amongst the open grassy areas. Buffelsbaai is a great place for a picnic on the coastline and also offers good swimming and causal walks along the shoreline.

 

Habitats:

Cape Point has a diversity of habitats, covering mountain and coastal fynbos, whilst numerous wetlands and vlei’s are surrounded by thicket vegetation. The coastal habitats range from rugged cliffs to long sandy beaches with large beds of kelp lying just offshore.

 

Specials:

  • Black Harrier
  • African Black Oystercatcher
  • Cape Rockjumper
  • Cape Sugarbird
  • Orange-breasted Sunbird
  • Protea Canary

 

Getting There:

Follow the M4 past Fish Hoek and Simonstown through to the reserve entrance. An alternative approach can be via Kommetjie and Scarborough along the M65.

 

Contact Information:

South African National Parks central reservations:

Phone: 012 343 1991

Web: www.sanparks.org

First Published: 27 April 2015

Peter Chadwick

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