Updated: Mar 7
The Slangkop Lighthouse is a white circular lighthouse located in the town of
Kommetjie. It is the tallest cast iron tower in South Africa, standing 41 meters high
with a circumference of 33 meters. The lighthouse consists of 272 cast iron
segments each weighing 500 kg, made in England and bolted together on site.
Photo by @majesticash06
The lighthouse forms part of the Marine Protected Area of the Table Mountain
National Park and is also one of South Africa’s oldest lighthouses.
Sir Francis Hely-Hutchinson, the Governor of The Cape of Good Hope, had it
constructed as a safeguard against shipwrecks along the rocky shoreline of the
The First World War halted the construction process, and it was only completed in
1919, instead of 1914.
Since then, its revolving electric light, which has an approximate candle power of 5
000 000 C.D, flashes four times per 30 seconds. The light reaches 33 nautical miles
out to sea.
The Slangkop Lighthouse used to be a three-man station, but following its
automation in 1979, it has been manned by a Senior Light keeper only. The
lighthouse draws its power from the Cape Municipality and has a standby diesel
generator that takes over in the event of a break in the mains supply.
The lighthouse is open to the public. Guided tours are offered at the lighthouse on
weekdays from 10 am to 3 pm. During the tour, you can climb the spiral staircase to
the top of the lighthouse and witness the magnificent views it offers.
It is 144 steps to reach the top but the view is absolutely worth the climb. You will
also learn more about the history with interesting stories about the lighthouse from
the Senior Lighthouse Keeper.
Although fully automated, the Slangkop Lighthouse is one of the few lighthouses in
the world that is still manned by a lighthouse keeper. If you’ve ever wanted to shake
hands with a real live Lighthouse Keeper? Be sure to pay a visit on your travels around the peninsula. Contact telephone +27 (0)21 783-1717 for more information.