The Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve is best known for Cape Point, the farthest tip of the Cape Peninsula. There are a number of drives and picnic sites in the reserve, which is home to baboons, zebras, elands, red hartebeests, ostriches, and the pretty bontebok. (Be aware that the baboons, which have become habituated to humans, can be dangerous; don't approach them, keep your car windows closed, and never feed them.) The usually wind-swept reserve can be pretty bleak, but the coastal views are arresting, and the beaches are almost always deserted. The walks from Gifkommetjie and Platboom Beach on the west coast (incidentally, a good place for windsurfing) are recommended, or follow the turnoff to Bordjiesdrif or Buffelsbaai Beach on the east coast, where you can swim in protected tidal pools or even braai (barbecue). At Buffelsbaai you can see the remains of one of the more than 20 ships that have wrecked on this coast.
Most head straight for Cape Point, taking the funicular (R34/$5/£2 round-trip; every 5 min. throughout the day) to the viewing platforms surrounding the old lighthouse (built too high, it was often obscured by mists) and walking to the "new" lighthouse -- built after yet another liner wrecked itself on the coast in 1911 and the most powerful on the South African coast. The spectacular view from these cliffs, towering more than 180m (600 ft.) above the lashing ocean, is truly "bird's-eye" -- hundreds of seagulls wheel below. Note: Despite the T-shirt slogans and the name of the Cape Point restaurant, this is not the meeting place of two oceans; that would be Cape Agulhus, to the southeast of Cape Point.
- © Frommer's 2013
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Ask Cape Town Locals about Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve
- Very Highly Recommended 2010
- tel: 021/780-9204
- Entrance off M4 and M65
- Cape Town
- Oct-Mar daily 6am-6pm; Apr-Sept daily 7am-5pm
- No Sweat
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