capepoint.co.za
The Cape of climbs
The Funicular Trams A tough trip to the top In 1877, the lighthouse keeper at the Cape Point lighthouse began to keep a visitor’s book. The objective was partly for his own records and amusement, and partly to reward those who had made the arduous trip. “Hades of an ascent,” gasped one early entry. “Some climb,” panted another. “We want a road,” squealed a third. To give you an idea of how difficult the trek to the lighthouse was, between 1877 and 1915 there were only about 70 entries per year into the lighthouse keeper’s visitors books. And if you consider that most visitors’ groups consisted of at least 5 people per group, that’s an average of only 14 visits per year! In 1915 a decent road was built and visitor numbers ticked up but the climb from the road to the lighthouse was still prohibitively arduous. Of bus services and upgrades Before the funicular railway was built in 1996, there was a bus service that transported people from the car park to the staging point, from where they