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Cape Columbine:

South African Lighthouse No 2


This week's Lighthouse adventure takes us back to the future, so to speak.

Image found on Laura's Blog.

In contrast to Cape Agulhas, the second oldest working lighthouse in South Africa today, the Cape Columbine Lighthouse was only commissioned on 1 October 1936, which means that for a lighthouse it is quite young. However, being more than 60 years old, it is still protected under the National Heritage Resources Act 25 of 1999.

This lighthouse is the first South Africna lighthouse you'll spot when travelling by sea from South America or Europe, and it was named after the barque Columbine*, which wrecked just north of its location in 1829.

Photo by John (Flickr)
Although it was the last manned lighthouse to be built in South Africa, it differs from the older lighthouses in two ways:

  • Its design is different from what we normally expect - the light tower is angular, with indentations/niches on each of the tower's four walls, possibly reinforcing the structure as Cape Columbine stands on a massive outcrop of rock named Castle Rock (refer SA Venues).
  • It was the first South African lighthouse to have a light, fog signal and a radio beacon installed as a single combined unit.

The lighthouse is open to visitors during the week and the former lighthouse keepers' homes have been converted into self catering guesthouse accommodation with three cottages. (Contact 021 449 2400 or lighthouse.tourism@transnet.net for more information.)

Photo by Bernard Pretorius
NOTE: The Cape Columbine Lighthouse is situated inside the Columbine Nature Reserve, about 5km from Paternoster, but is also referred to as the Tietiesbaai Lighthouse.

*I was unable to find more info on his floundered vessel. Please hit me up in the Comments section if you know anything.

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