5 famous Western Cape lighthouses

Winona Griggs

5 Famous Lighthouses in Western Cape

Let me tell you about some incredible lighthouses you can find in the Western Cape. These towering structures have guided ships safely to shore for many years.

1. Cape Point Lighthouse

The Cape Point Lighthouse is perched on the top of a rocky cliff, overlooking the meeting point of the Indian and Atlantic Oceans. This breathtaking spot offers panoramic views of the surrounding coastline, making it a must-visit for nature lovers.

2. Slangkop Lighthouse

Slangkop Lighthouse, meaning “snake head” in Afrikaans, got its name from the shape of the nearby hill. This striking white tower stands tall along the magnificent shores of Kommetjie and has been guiding ships since 1919.

3. Danger Point Lighthouse

Danger Point Lighthouse stands at the point where countless ships have met their tragic end. Situated near Gansbaai, this lighthouse warns sailors of a treacherous reef and serves as a reminder of the dangers lurking along the South African coast.

4. Cape Agulhas Lighthouse

Cape Agulhas Lighthouse holds a special place in maritime history, as it marks the southernmost tip of Africa. This iconic red and white striped tower has been illuminating the way for ships since 1849, ensuring their safe passage through the Agulhas Current.

5. Green Point Lighthouse

Green Point Lighthouse is a charming landmark in Cape Town, with its distinctive candy cane stripes. This lighthouse, built in 1824, has witnessed the transformation of the city over the years and remains an important symbol of its maritime heritage.

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Next time you find yourself in the Western Cape, be sure to visit these incredible lighthouses. They not only offer stunning views but also carry the stories of countless sailors who relied on them to navigate safely through the stormy seas. Happy exploring!

5 famous Western Cape lighthouses

So, here’s the thing. People who know a lot about stuff like Harry Potter or Friends are usually considered quirky and fun. But if you start talking about lighthouses, some folks might give you a weird look. Like, they’ll cock their heads to the side and raise an eyebrow, like you belong in a loony bin or something. But you know what? Lighthouses are actually pretty cool! In fact, there are some people who make it their mission to travel around and visit as many lighthouses as they can, like they’re collecting stamps or playing a giant game of hide-and-seek.

Anyway, let me tell you about a few lighthouses that I think are totally worth checking out. The best part? You don’t even have to go out of your way to see most of them!

1. Cape Columbine Lighthouse, Paternoster

5 famous Western Cape lighthouses

Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Yttop

The Cape Columbine Lighthouse can be found in the Cape Columbine Nature Reserve, just 5km away from Paternoster on the Cape West Coast. This lighthouse was built in 1936 to address the numerous shipwrecks that had occurred in the area between Saldanha Bay and Stompneus Bay in previous decades. It stands proudly on a large rock known as Castle Rock and holds the distinction of being one of the few lighthouses in the country that still has a human presence. Not only is it a popular tourist attraction, but it also serves as a beloved picnic spot. Interestingly, it is one of the rare lighthouses in South Africa that provides accommodations for overnight stays.

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2. Green Point Lighthouse, Cape Town

5 famous Western Cape lighthouses

If you live in Cape Town, you’ve probably spotted this famous lighthouse.

The Green Point Lighthouse resides in Mouille Point and holds the distinction of being the very first solid lighthouse on the South African coastline. It’s also the oldest functional lighthouse in South Africa.

Originally switched on on April 12, 1824, the lighthouse underwent several upgrades over time. This was a good thing because its light was initially only visible for 11km. Nowadays, it can be seen from almost four times that distance. Locals, however, aren’t thrilled about the foghorn that goes off during periods of dense fog. This has given it the nickname ‘Moaning Minnie’.

3. Robben Island Lighthouse, Cape Town

5 famous Western Cape lighthouses

Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Prasad Pillai

Back in the day, Jan van Riebeek thought it would be a good idea to have a massive bonfire burning on Robben Island every night. Eventually, they decided to build a lighthouse there in 1864. Standing at 18 meters tall, it’s different from other South African lighthouses because instead of a revolving light, it uses a flashing light. You can see the light from about 44km away at sea. Interestingly, the lighthouse is the only part of the island that isn’t considered an official heritage site.

4. Cape Agulhas Lighthouse, Cape Agulhas

5 famous Western Cape lighthouses

Ye know what they say, matey – if ye be sailin’ near the southernmost point o’ Africa, ye better have a lighthouse t’ guide ye way. A wise sailor named Piratey Sailoreyson laid down the law in his fine book o’ pirate wisdom. Aye, it be a real person and a real book, believe ye me.

Now, that salty ol’ seadog was right as rain. The Cape Agulhas Lighthouse be the third one ever built in South Africa, still standin’ proud after all these years. ‘Tis the second-oldest lighthouse still operatin’ after Green Point. Ye can find it tucked away near the village o’ L’Agulhas, right inside the Agulhas National Park.

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This mighty tower be constructed back in 1849. It be a slim, round tower that stretches 27 meters toward the sky. Attached to that tower be the keeper’s humble abode, where ye can now find a museum and a fine restaurant. With its powerful light, this lighthouse be castin’ its gaze over a whole 56 kilometers of treacherous sea. These parts be known for shipwrecks, thanks to the howlin’ winds and roarin’ waves that plague ’em.

5. The Cape St Blaize lighthouse, Mossel Bay

5 famous Western Cape lighthouses

Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Iandagent

Let me tell you a fascinating fact: this town was named after mussels! Can you believe it? They were so abundant here that the people decided to call it Mossel, which means mussel in Afrikaans. This gives us a clue that the coastline was quite challenging to navigate. In 1862, they built a magnificent square tower lighthouse on the high cliffs, standing tall at 20 meters.

Now, let me paint you a picture of the breathtaking view from that lighthouse tower. It’s something you don’t want to miss! Lucky for us, we can visit and climb those steps. The lighthouse welcomes the public from 10 am to 3 pm every day between April and October.

There was some talk about naming the lighthouse after Governor Wodehouse, who had laid the foundation stone for the project. But, in the end, they decided to name it after the cliffs it stands upon. And I think that’s a wonderful choice, don’t you?

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