Named the ‘Cape of Storms’ by Bartolomeu Dias in 1488; the ‘Point’ was treated with respect by sailors for centuries. By day, it was a navigational landmark and by night, and in fog, it was a menace beset by violent storms and dangerous rocks that over the centuries littered shipwrecks around the coastline.
In 1859 the first lighthouse was completed; it still stands at 249 metres above sea-level on the highest section of the peak and is now used as the centralised monitoring point for all the lighthouses on the coast of South Africa. Access to this historical building is by an exhilarating 3 minute ride in the wheelchair accessible Flying Dutchman funicular that transfers visitors from the lower station at 127 metres above sea level, to the upper station at 286 metres above sea level.
Table Mountain National Park forms part of the Cape Floral Region, a World Heritage Site. It includes the majestic Table Mountain chain, which stretches from Signal Hill to Cape Point, and the coastlines of the Cape Peninsula. This narrow stretch of land, dotted with beautiful valleys, bays and beaches, contains a mix of extraordinarily diverse and unique fauna and flora.
Cape Point has a long and colourful history, largely due to the search for a sea route to the East, instigated by Prince Henry the Navigator.
Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias was the first to round the Cape Peninsula in 1488. He named it the “Cape of Storms”, for the notoriously bad weather, which can blow up quickly. A decade later, Vasco da Gama navigated the same route and sailed up the coast of Africa, successfully opening a new trading route for Europe with India and the Far East. An explorer named John II of Portugal later renames is as the “Cape of Good Hope” because of the great optimism engendered by the opening of this new sea route to India and the East.
‘The Point’ has been treated with respect by sailors since it was first sighted by Dias in 1488. By day, it was a landmark of great navigational value until the introduction of radar. By night, and in fog, it was a menace. Ships had to approach closely to obtain bearings and thereby were exposed to the dangers of Bellows Rock and Albatross Rock. And so the lighthouse was built. The original lighthouse was built in 1859 on Da Gama Peak, the summit of Cape Point, 249m above sea level. It still stands here and is now used as a centralized monitoring point for all the lighthouses in South Africa. It is situated 284 metres above the high water mark which is a few feet away from the lighthouse in the horizontal plane. This made it very ineffective in mist which mandated the establishment of the second lighthouse at 286 feet (87 meters). The newer lighthouse, built in 1914, is the most powerful on the South African coast. It emits three flashes in a group every 30 seconds and revolves.
In 2003, Tolcon in conjunction with Thebe Tourism Group, were awarded the contract by South African National Parks to manage Cape Point in the Table Mountain National Park and promote it as one of South Africa’s key tourism icons. Facilities include the Two Oceans Restaurant, the Flying Dutchman funicular and the retail shops.
The Tolcon Group is the leading provider of transport infrastructure management services in South Africa. The primary focus areas being roads and rail. Since its inception in 1985, Tolcon has been involved in projects which have contributed significantly to the upliftment of transportation infrastructure, job creation, and economic development of South Africa. As subsidiaries of leading engineering and contracting Group, Murray & Roberts, the Tolcon Group is focused on delivering world class solutions and service excellence.
The principal business of the company is to project-manage, consult, operate and maintain all aspects of transportation infrastructure, funded by the application of the ‘user pay’ principle – with particular emphasis on road and rail infrastructure.
• TOLL ROAD OPERATIONS AND MAINTENANCE
• HIGH SPEED RAIL OPERATIONS AND MAINTENANCE
• RAIL OPERATIONS AND MAINTENANCE
• ROUTE PATROL
• CONTROL AND MANAGEMENT OF TRAFFIC
• ROAD MAINTENANCE CONTRACTS
• FACILITIES AND SYSTEMS MANAGEMENT
• ROAD INCIDENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS
• CUSTOMER CARE
The Tolcon Group currently has interest in the N3, Mariannhill, Oribi, N1 North, N17, Huguenot Tunnel, Chapman’s peak, Cape Point and Platinum Highway as well as the Gautrain operations contract.
Tolcon is committed to the broad based black economic empowerment (BBBEE) agenda of South Africa through its dedicated BEE department that strives to ensure efficient SMME management in terms of establishing effective partnerships and a comprehensive network of suppliers, ensuring a meaningful contribution to South Africa.
The Tolcon Group philosophy is “best in class”, which is underpinned by an employee recognition programme called PRIDE – Personal Responsibility In Delivering Excellence.
The Thebe Tourism Group is a 100%-owned subsidiary of Thebe Investment Corporation. Formed in 2001, the group is the oldest black-empowered South African tourism group and has a significant portfolio in tourism and related industries, offering innovative, integrated market-driven products.
Whatever your travel needs, Thebe Tourism Group has it covered with subsidiaries in car rental; travel agency; tour operators; foreign exchange; retail; event and exhibition management; even one of South Africa’s iconic tourist attractions. Our professional and experienced staff is there to help every step of the way in planning your trip. Local know-how, world-class service, and unsurpassed attention to detail will make your experience especially unique.
Thebe aims to be a trusted, world-class, African company that develops and invests in sustainable businesses for the long-term benefit of communities. Passionate about sharing Africa with the world and influenced strongly by our African heritage, Thebe Tourism Group aspire to be a world-class pan-African group of companies, providing five-star treatment for every budget.
There are a number of facilities and services available to visitors at Cape Point, to make your stay more comfortable and enjoyable. With a world-class restaurant, superb curio stores, and a fascinating funicular to whisk you up to the lighthouse, all of your needs are taken care of.