Albatrosshouse Masthead
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37 Victory Way, Simon's Kloof, Simon's Town 7975


Cape Point Lighthouse

Situated at the junction of the earths' most contrasting water masses - the cold Benguella current on the West Coast and the warm waters of False Bay on the East Coast, the Cape of Good Hope is popularly perceived as the meeting point of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. Geographically, however, the Indian Ocean joins the Atlantic Ocean at Cape Agulhas. The local authority proclaimed the area a nature reserve in 1938 and it was incorporated into the Cape Peninsula National Park in 1998. It encompasses 7 750 hectares of rich and varied flora and fauna and its 40 kilometer coastline stretches from Schuster's Bay in the west to Smitswinkel Bay in the east. The cliffs of the southern point, towering more than 200 meters above the sea, consist of three clearly defined promontories - Cape of Good Hope, Cape Maclear and Cape Point.

The Cape of Good Hope is an integral part of the Cape Floristic Kingdom, the smallest, but richest of the world's six floral kingdoms.

This comprises a treasure trove of 1 100 species of indigenous plants, of which a number are endemic (occur naturally nowhere else on earth) Two types of fynbos ('fine bush'), coastal fynbos on alkaline soils and inland fynbos on acid soils, are found.

Characteristic fynbos plants include proteas, ericas, (heath) and restios (reeds). Some of the most striking and well-known members belong to the Proteacae family, of which up to 24 species occur. These include King Protea, Sugarbush, Tree Pincushion, and Golden Cone Bush.

Many popular horticultural plants like pelargonium, freesias, daisies, lilies and irisis also have their origins in fynbos.

With its diverse habitats, ranging from rocky mountaintops to beaches and the open sea, the Cape of Good Hope is home to at least 250 species of birds.

'Bush birds' tend to rather scarce because of the course scrubby nature of the fynbos vegetation. When flowering, however, proteas and ericas attract sunbirds, sugarbirds and other species in search of nectar. For most of the year there are more small birds in coastal thicket than in fynbos. Large animals are a rare siting in the Cape of Good Hope, but there is a wealth of small animals such as lizards, snakes, tortoises and insects. There are some herds of Zebra, Eland and a variety of other antelope. Small mammals also include Rock Hyrax (dassie), Striped Mouse, Water Mongoose, and Cape Clawless Otter.

The area offers excellent vantage points for whale viewing. The Southern Right whale is the species most likely to be seen in False Bay between June and November. Other species are the Humpback Whale and Bryde's Whale. Seals and dolphins may also be seen.

The strategic position of the Cape of Good Hope between the two major ocean currents ensures a rich diversity of marine life. There is a difference between the sea life west of Cape Point and that to the east due to the markedly differing sea temperatures.

The South African Marine Living Resources Act is strictly enforced throughout the Cape Peninsula National Park, and especially in the marine-protected areas. Disturbance or removal of any marine organisms is strictly prohibited between Schusters Bay and Hoek van Bobbejaan, but is allowed in other areas during season and with relevant permits.

Things To Do from Albatross House

Historical Simon's Town

Cape Point National Park

Southern Right Whale

Just Nuisance

Our Penguins

Albatross House
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