Cape Town - Nature Reserves & Parks

The Cape Peninsula encompasses the incredibly scenic Peninsula mountain chain stretching from Signal Hill in the north to Cape Point in the south - a distance of approximately 60 km.

The narrow finger of land with its many beautiful valleys, bays and beaches is bound by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean in the west and the warmer waters of False Bay in the east.

It has within its boundaries two world-renowned landmarks - majestic Table Mountain and the legendary city of Cape Town. Recognised globally for its extraordinarily rich, diverse and unique flora, this singular land formation - with rugged cliffs, steep slopes and sandy flats - is a truly remarkable natural, scenic, historical, cultural and recreational asset.

Areas of special interest include:
(See also Cape Town Things to Do.)

Boulders Beach situated in Simons Town and home to 570 pairs of the endangered African penguin.

Table Mountain National Park features amongst the top five most popular destinations in South Africa. Cape Point can be accessed by foot or by funicular.

Kirstenbosch (on Rhodes Drive) - on the eastern slopes of Table Mountain is a spectacular repository of indigenous plants.

Silvermine Nature Reserve (situated on the M64) - has a network of tracks and paths; walks include the Noordhoek Peak circuit of 7 km (3 hours) and Kalk Bay mountains and Echo Valley, 4 km (2 hours), one way.

Table Mountain, Signal Hill and Lions Head has a cableway facility to take visitors to its summit and numerous hiking trails.

Scenic drives may be taken along Boyes Drive, Chapmans Peak Drive, Victoria Road, the Ou Kaapse Weg, from Simon's Town to Smitswinkel Bay, from Kommetjie to Scarborough and to Cape Point.

Popular picnic spots are located at the Signal Hill lookout, The Glen, Van Riebeeck Park, Newlands Forest, the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, Constantia Nek, Oudekraal, Tokai, Witsand, Soetwater, Buffels Bay, Bordjiesrif, Miller's Point and Perdekloof.

There are many Hikes on Table Mountain and within the park that appeal to a wide audience - from those wanting a short or leisurely walk to those seeking a longer and more challenging hike.

The numerous beaches and reefs encircling the Peninsula also permit surfing all year round, and the ample supply of wind in the Peninsula makes this area the ideal spot for wind-surfing and sailing enthusiasts. The clear waters of the Cape Peninsula also provide excellent scuba diving and snorkelling conditions, although a wetsuit is necessary to ward off the cold.

The Cape has a Mediterranean-like climate with well-defined seasons. Winter occurs between the months of May and August and is generally cool, with an average minimum temperature of around 7C.

Most of the rainfall occurs in winter, averaging 500 mm per annum. Summers are warm and dry, with a relatively comfortable average temperature of around 26C. During the summer months - November through to February - the Peninsula is exposed to strong south-easterly winds.

Where to Stay
Cape Town Accommodation options are numerous; with a large variety of different types spread throughout the Peninsula.

Cape Town - Nature Reserves & Parks Cape Town - Nature Reserves & Parks Cape Town - Nature Reserves & Parks Cape Town - Nature Reserves & Parks


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