A Day Trip to Cape Point, South Africa

On a Saturday we took the CitySightseeing Cape Point Explorer for a day trip from Cape Town, South Africa to the southwestern Cape. It costs 550 Rand ($42) per person, but we got it for 530 Rand ($40) per person by booking online.

The Cape Point Explorer bus.

We caught the bus in Sea Point and grabbed two upper deck seats on the right near the front of the bus. We found out halfway through the pick-up stops that two buses were running and that we would not be visiting the second half of the pick-up spots that were downtown. This meant that we had time to make an extra 20 minute stop in Simon’s Town. This extra stop was our first stop – we opted to enjoy the views of the coastline, get coffees from a nearby coffee shop, and buy some olive and rosemary bread (which became our lunch) from the once-a-month market in the square.

Sea-side in Simon’s Town.

Our next stop was to visit the Boulders Beach penguins just outside Simon’s Town. The 70 Rand ($5.32) per person entrance fee was not included in the bus tour fee – but the bus operators sold it for 80 Rand ($6.08) per person on-board. We bought the tickets on board, but there wasn’t really a line so we should have just waited and bought the tickets at the entrance.

It was interesting to watch a particular penguin for a while.

The penguins were incredibly cute, and we really enjoyed our hour watching them zip through the seawater, flirt on land, and generally be adorable. If you just want to see the penguins and Simon’s Town, take the train to Simon’s Town and then Uber or walk as necessary.

This penguin seemed interested in us too.
This young penguin seemed to expect to be fed.

We expected to see a few penguins, but as we continued down the boardwalk, we found the ‘colony’.

Penguins chilling in their beach dug-outs.
The penguins could swim incredibly fast!

After leaving the penguins, we traveled in the bus for a while to The Cape of Good Hope national park.

This sign was shortly along the path to the Cape Point lighthouse.

We walked up to the Cape Point lighthouse.  There was a funicular, but we found the walk up to be pretty easy (and pretty).

Partway up the trail to the lighthouse.

Once we reached the lighthouse, there was a trail that snaked out to the actual point.  We walked shortly down the trail to get some better views but then turned around.

JT on the trail towards Cape Point.
Views of the Cape of Good Hope from near the Cape Point Lighthouse.

At a set meeting time, those in the group that wanted to walk to the Cape of Good Hope met in the parking lot.  We then had a nice 30-40 minute walk to the Cape of Good Hope, where we caught up with the bus. The walk between Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope was easy enough, but the high powered winds made it feel dangerous at points.

The trail from Cape Point to the Cape of Good Hope was rocky and dusty.
It was also windy along the trail!
The views from high above the Cape of Good Hope were impressive.

After the walk, we took some pictures at the Cape of Good Hope before re-boarding the bus and returning to Cape Town. Most of the bus – including us – fell asleep on the ride back.

There was a large crowd wanting pictures at the Cape of Good Hope sign.
With patience, we got a picture with the Cape of Good Hope sign.

Cape Point is actually a nature reserve within the Table Mountain National Park.  As such, there are some opportunities to hike to backcountry shelters and really get away.  We feel like we only saw a small portion of the reserve on this day, but what we saw made us want to return!

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