As I mentioned in our previous post, we are currently hanging out in limbo while we wait for the transfer of our house to be complete before we hit the road. So, we’ve been taking advantage of our time here and ticking off a few more things on our list while we are staying with Anton’s parents in the Southern Suburbs.
Cape Point was one of the places that Anton and I had been to before but the kids hadn’t visited yet. Since the entry fees are crippling for locals, we sorted out our SANPARKS Green Card and managed to get the whole family in for the once off cost of R125. That one visit only used 4 of our 12 clips on the card so we can go back again 2 more times to explore some more.
Home schooling has the added advantage of visiting touristy destinations in the middle of the week so we basically had Cape Point to ourselves when we arrived just before 9am. Since we wanted to see Cape Point beyond the usual tour guide focal points, we parked close to the curio shop and headed down a well marked path that looked interesting. The air was alive with the smell of fynbos and the sounds of birds chirping. As we approached a fork in the path, we passed a couple who mentioned that they had seen baboons on the path to the left. So, we took the path to the right.
This led us to a wooden walk way that would lead us to the Cape of Good Hope. We had just started down this path when the drizzle struck and we noticed 2 game rangers herding a troupe of baboons across the rise to our left. As we watched, one of them approached us on the path while his colleague worked with a catapult to move the baboons away from the restaurant and the tour buses where they know food is freely available. If a baboon sees you with food, he will approach you and take the food away from you. Even the cutest baby ones are far stronger than they look and I highly suggest you don’t fight them for what they want. You will come off second best.
The game ranger was very happy to answer all our questions and he even taught the kids how they shoot small stones toward the baboons to drive them away. They are very careful to aim near the baboons rather than at them so that none of the animals get hurt.
Once we ruled out the furnicular thanks to R58 per adult and R24 per child for a return trip to the lighthouse, we headed back to the car where we scrutinized the map we were given when we drove through the entrance. We found the directions to Diaz Beacon and headed that way. Would you believe that, despite the fact that I’ve been to Cape Point at least 5 times, I had never known this beacon existed? After reading about Da Gama beacon that makes up the 2nd point in a triangle of beacons to help guide sailors around the Cape of Storms, we had to go and see it for ourselves.
I cannot describe the beauty hidden around every corner in Cape Point National Park when you turn your back on all the “normal tourist stuff”. There is WAY more to Cape Point than just the lighthouse at the top of the very steep hill. The next time we go, we plan to visit the true lighthouse at the bottom of the hill where the mist and fog doesn’t cover it.