Cape Recife, Lighthouse and Grysbok Nature Reserve 4 x 4 Tour Code (HD14)



Climb the 101 steps to the top of the light only with Alan Tours; we learn the fascinating history and view the old machinery that kept sailors safe around this treacherous coastline. 

m_342_2...jpg9:00 am pick up at place of residence in Port Elizabeth and travel to the southernmost tip of Algoa Bay, Cape Recife, Cabo de Arrecife, the Cape of Reefs as it was named by the early Portuguese explorers. On arrival we collect the key and enter the reserve.

Our first stop is at the SANCCOB for a guided tour of this marine bird and penguin re-habilitation center. This is a modern facility designed to re-habilitate the endangered African Black footed with particular emphasis on the possible rescue of many birds in the case of a large oil spill in the bay and designed to release any Penguins back into their natural environment.

After our visit to SANCCOB we continue our tour of the reserve arriving at Cape Recife itself with its mobile sand dunes and historic, operational lighthouse which was completed in 1851, the 3rd oldest fully operational Light house in South Africa today.
















Parking the tour vehicle we walk the last 100 metres observing the wealth of shore birds and many species of terns that inhabit this often wind swept rocky point at the southern entrance to Algoa Bay and the very reason for the existence of this well maintained light.

As we enter the lighthouse you will be introduced to the old machinery that provided the mechanical power to operate this lonely outpost. Climbing the wooden, circular 101 stairs that bring you to the light at the top of the building one can only wonder at the efforts of those early lighthouse keepers, the steps worn smooth and polished by the weary footsteps up and down the stairway to keep the light burning and to maintain this beacon of hope, even in the worst of weather conditions. Stories of ghosts and intrigue stalk the very atmosphere of this ray of light.

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picture2.pngFrom the top of the lighthouse a clear view of the area and distant Port Elizabeth can be seen and if lucky and the conditions are good the remains of the early Khoikhoi fish traps that still exist here.

Leaving the lighthouse we continue to a series of settlement ponds where a wide variety of mainly aquatic birds can be viewed from the bird hide or if the invasive vegetation covers the waters we simply continue to the main road to enter the Grysbok Nature reserve a protected area of coastal Fynbos that surrounds the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU). This is a refuge for a number of antelope, Red hartebeest, Common Duiker, Bushbuck and Zebra amongst others but is also home to the diminutive Cape Grysbok after which the reserve has been named.

There area is also host to a surprising wealth of birdlife including a number of nocturnal (Owls) and diurnal raptors and ground birds.

While coursing the sandy roads of the reserve in our 4 x 4 vehicle we describe the many uses the hardy herbaceous vegetation had for the Early Khoikhoi many of whom inhabited and foraged in this area.


We point out a number of ancient shell middens or discard heaps of sea shell and other domestic debris left as testament to the lifestyles of these hardy hunter herders who occupied these windswept shoreline tens of thousands of years ago.


Tour includes:

  • Entrance/conservation fees
  • All travel in 4 x 4 vehicle
  • Bottled water in tour vehicle

Rate per person: R 750.00

Minimum two persons

Children 7 years and older, accompanied by an adult, are welcome to climb up to the top of the lighthouse

Rate valid until 31 October 2020


"Fish Traps" Herald newspaper article read here


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Cape Recife Lighthouse and Grysbok Nature Reserve 4 x 4 SUNSET SPECIAL 

starts at different times according to the seasons and does not include SANCCOB

  •        Winter departure (April – August) is at 15h30
  •        Summer departure (September – March) is at 16h30

Towards the end of the tour, before the sunsets on the western horizon, we stop in a sheltered spot, bring out a cool box, a few drinks and some snacks and take time to look back and discuss what we have learnt from the plant life, the people and the animals we have encountered as the sun sets and darkness draws close.

We continue after dark, hoping to bump into some of the nocturnal creatures such as Owls, Porcupines and maybe even the predator wild cat the Caracal which have been observed here.


picture1.jpgSUNSET SPECIAL Tour includes:

  • Conservation fee nature reserve and lighthouse 
  • Bottled water in tour vehicle
  • Drinks and finger snacks


Rate per person: R 850.00

Minimum two persons

Children 7 years and older, accompanied by an adult, are welcome to climb up to the top of the Lighthouse

Rate valid until 31 October 2020




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