With Cape Point at its tip, this is perhaps the most popular section of Table Mountain National Park, and is one of the top tourist destinations in South Africa.
Visitors can see a variey of wildlife such as antelopes like bontebok eland and red hartebeest, cheeky chacma baboons, an array of reptiles and a great selection of birds – it literally teems with life.
This area of Cape Town’s South Peninsula, is also steeped in history, for it is here that the great Portuguese voyagers Bartholomew Dias and Vasco da Gama historically rounded the Cape in the 16th century, and opened up sea trade routes between east and west.
The coastline is littered with the wrecks of ships that fell prey to the violent storms and deceiving reefs that have earned this passage the accolade, “Cape of Storms”. The original Cape Point Lighthouse still stands and visitors can take the funicular up the hill to see for themselves, the treacherous conditons that caused it to be erected in the first place. While at Cape Point, dine at the Two Oceans Restaurant, which boasts spectacular sea views. If you prefer a picnic, head down to Buffels Bay – but you may have company, so look out for baboons. Be sure to visit the Buffelsfontein Visitor Centere for coffee and a snack, while looking at the exhibits showing all the plans and animals of each season.
Boulders Penguin Colony:
Visit the famous Boulders Beach colony of African Penguins. This is a truly special experience, with the option of a guided tour. After you have fallen in love with the penguins, swim in the comparatively warm sheltered coves, ideal for children. But don’t touch or feed the penguins – they can give a nasty bite.
Signal Hill, Lions Head and Devils Peak:
These three peaks flank Table Mountain and together hold Cape Town in a rocky embrace. Signal Hill is home to the noonday gun, which marks midday in Cape Town with a bang. A drive to the top of Signal Hill offers uninterrupted views of Table Bay and endless Atlantic Ocean. Lions Head peak has become something of a pilgrimage for Capetonions, who make the rocky climb to witness the full moon rising. Devils Peak protrudes from the flat line of Table Mountain and has challenging slopes.
Silvermine picnic and braai sites and wheel chair-friendly boardwalk (half an hour south of the city), overlook a picturesque reservoir in which you can take a refreshing swim. Half way back to the city is the popular jogging and picnic area in Newlands Forest, while on the Atlantic coastline is the beachside Oudekraal braai an picnic site.