I had a memorable full day excursion to Cape Peninsula which is about an hour drive outside of Cape Town. It began with a scenic drive passing steep mountains, secluded coves and sweeping beaches en route to Cape Point at the southern tip of the Peninsula where we arrived at the Cape of Good Hope while savoring the stunning views of the coastline where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet. During the route, we saw lots and lots of baboons. Later, we drove along the majestic coastline along False Bay and visit the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens where we enjoy the magnificent display of indigenous South African flora.
Cape Point (Western Cape)
Lying 60 km southwest of Cape Town in the southeast corner of the peninsula is Cape Point, a nature reserve within the Table Mountain National Park and a declared Natural World Heritage Site. It is at a distance of about 2.3 km east and a bit north of the Cape of Good Hope and takes it probably 20% of the total area of the peninsula.
The Cape Point Lighthouse
The old lighthouse (built-in 1857) gave mariners a dim view. Due to its higher altitude (at 238 meters above sea level), it was often blurred by clouds and fogs. The new improved lighthouse is at a lower elevation (87 meters above sea level). This new lighthouse (shown below), which took 6 years to build, is the most powerful one on the South African coast: with an intensity of 10 megacandelas in each flash, it expands to a range of 63 kilometers (39 miles). It is used as an outlook and central monitoring point for all South African lighthouses.
Cape Point Ostrich Farm
The ostrich is South Africa’s largest bird. Established in 1996 and privately owned, the Cape Point Ostrich Farm has turned into a breeding farm of 65 hectares.
The Cape of Good Hope
So named by Portugal’s King John II this area has captured the imagination of European sailors such as Dias who first named it the Cape of Storms in 1488 and later in 1580 Sir Francis Drake who called it the “The Fairest Cape in all the World”. Rich in cultural and natural heritage this is one of the top tourist destinations in South Africa.
Boulders Penguin Colony
Boulders Penguin Colony in Simons Town is home to a unique and endangered land-based colony of African Penguins. This colony is one of only a few in the world.
Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens
Situated on the eastern slopes of Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch is internationally acclaimed as one of the seven most magnificent botanical gardens in the world. The 528 hectares estate includes a cultivated garden and a nature reserve. The developed garden displays collections of southern African plants including many rare and endangered species.
Wow! Did I have a full day and I left my Cape Town sweatshirt in the hotel! The scarf did keep me a little warm 🙂 Stay tuned for a bonus blog on Seal Island Cape Town.
Looks like a great roadtrip. I love animals so I especially enjoyed the photography of the baboons, ostriches, and penguins. Are there many places to stop for food along the way or did you take food with you? What a blessing to have such beautiful places so accessible.
Ooooh, I love Cape Town and Cape Point National Park. All these places are so familiar to me and I’ve many photographs, too. I staid in Noordhoek almost a year, walking on beautiful Noordhoek beach with my dog. He is now to old for such travels but the memories stay with me. Have you ever seen an other place like it?
Your photos really take me back to our own journey around the Cape Peninsula, we self-drove too so we could make stops anywhere we wanted to enjoy the views a bit more. The landscape and flora is so striking, and the sea views are just breathtaking. We bumped into friends at the Lighthouse, to our surprise! We loooved Boulders, especially the side with less people, which allowed us to just share the beach only with penguins!
Looks like a great trip, aren’t penguins the cutest little guys? Would love to visit the Cape of Good Hope, amazing history and cultural importance. Thanks for sharing
The Boulders Penguin Colony is so cute. We could sit there and watch their antics for a long time. They look like they have a lot of personality.
At first I thought cape peninsula would be an offbeat destination but I guess it’s not.. And what all the penguins lying there and the ostrich farm well looks like my kinda place because I absolutely adore animals..
I love photo tours and this one is amazing. Those penguins and ostriches are the cutest things ever!! True bliss… Cheers!!
We’ve been wanting to go to Cape Town for several years now. Pity that it was a cloudy day, but I’m glad to hear it didn’t detract from the views and it looks like you had a marvellous time. I can’t believe how close you managed to get to the penguins. The video is fun with them all just lazing about.
The Cape point lighthouse looks amazing, would love to hike up to it. The penguins at the penguin colony are adorable!I would also like to visit the ostrich farm, I’ve never seen ostriches! Capetown has been on my bucket list for so long, need to get there soon!
I’d really love to see the penguins at Boulders Beach! Is the beach protected so that people don’t bother the penguins?
What is the purpose of the ostrich farm? I’m curious what they do with the ostriches. We saw wild ostriches when we went on safari in Tanzania.
Cape Town seems to be so beautiful and amazing. I want to see the penguins with my own eyes, they look so cute! Thanks for sharing your impressions with me.
Wow. That sort of a weather would have kept most travelers in their rooms but you went out and captured it all. And ostrich farm and penguin colony in the same city!! That is just amazing and cape town seems to offer so much.
So glad you had a fabulous time! This brings back such amazing memories from our own trip – we rented a car in Cape Town and took in all the places you did. Boulders Beach was probably my favorite – couldn’t believe how close the Penguins come to the boardwalk!
Ohhh I loved that Penguin place. I could sit there for hours i think haha, good to see you went out exploring despite the weather. Good on you!
So many animals! And the ostrich look very cool by the beach! Nice excursion, I have never been that South in Africa but Cape Town looks like a nice area to explore
Woah, I thought it was going to be an entirely gloomy day! I loved the progression of your photos. South Africa indeed looks beautiful. And I hadn’t known there were penguins there. Another reason to go there!