Cape of Good Hope

Top choice in Simon's Town & Southern Peninsula

Roland W. Kunz / 500px

This 77.5-sq-km section of Table Mountain National Park includes awesome scenery, fantastic walks, great birdwatching and often-deserted beaches. The reserve is commonly referred to as Cape Point, after its most dramatic (but less famous) promontory. Bookings are required for the two-day Cape of Good Hope Trail, a spectacular 33.8km circular route with one night spent in a basic hut. Contact the Buffelsfontein Visitor Centre for further details.

Some 250 species of birds have been spotted here, including cormorants and a family of ostriches that hang out near the Cape of Good Hope promontory, the southwestern-most point of the continent.

There are many bus tours to the reserve but, if you have the time, hiking or cycling through it is much more rewarding. Bear in mind, though, that there is minimal shade and that the weather can change quickly.

It’s not a hard walk uphill, but if you’re feeling lazy take the Flying Dutchman Funicular, which runs up from beside the restaurant to the souvenir kiosk next to the old lighthouse (which dates from 1859). A 1km trail runs from here to its successor. It takes less than 30 minutes to walk along a spectacular ridgeway path to look down on the new lighthouse and the sheer cliffs plunging into the pounding ocean.