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Cape Point, Cape Town - Cape Town Landmarks and Attractions

Cape Town Conferences > Cape Town > Landmarks and Attractions > Cape Point

cape point cape townCape Point is situated within the Table Mountain National Park, within a section of the Park referred to as Cape of Good Hope. This section covers the whole of the southern tip of the Cape Peninsula and which takes in perhaps 20% of its total area. The Cape of Good Hope section of the park is generally wild, unspoiled and undeveloped and is an important haven for seabirds. There are a number of marked paths for strolls or longer walks within the Cape reserve. The Smitswinkel viewpoint is 15 minute walk through unique fynbos whilst the Cape of Good Hope trail is a two-day event. There are a couple of safe tidal pools at Bordjiesdrif and Buffels Bay for swimming and visitors are welcome to braai and picnic at designated spots. The Buffelsfontein visitors centre has a number of displays and presentations about the area and there is a restaurant perched above the booming waves with superb views.

Cape Point is a promontory at the southeast corner of the Cape Peninsula, which is a mountainous and scenic landform that runs north-south for about thirty kilometres at the extreme southwestern tip of the African continent. The peak above Cape Point is higher than that above the Cape of Good Hope. The rugged sandstone ridge that rises from Cape Point at sea level develops into two peaks. There is a major peak that dominates the skyline locally but there is also a smaller peak about 100 m further south. The higher peak has the old lighthouse on the top. The Flying Dutchman Funicular runs from a car park to the north up to slightly below the level of the old lighthouse and a short flight of steps leads to a viewing platform at the base of the lighthouse. From the end of the railway a second path leads to the lower peak.

The South African Weather Bureau, together with the Fraunhofer Institute in Garmisch, Germany, maintains a research laboratory at Cape Point to monitor long-term changes in the chemistry of the earth‘s atmosphere, which may impact upon climate. The laboratory, which was architecturally designed to blend into the western slopes of Cape Point, is one of the World Meteorological Organisation‘s 20 Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) stations. It monitors environmentally important air components, including trace gases like ozone, methane and carbon dioxide, as well as solar radiation and various meteorological parameters. The air at Cape Point is regarded as being particularly pure for most of the time, thereby providing insights into such phenomena as stratospheric ozone depletion and climate change.

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