Green Point Lighthouse

Cape Town, South Africa | C.1824

Photo Credit: Barry Havenga

Cape Town’s Green Point Lighthouse was the first lighthouse on the South African coast. Constructed in 1824, it warned oncoming ships of the rocky coast with the help of only two lanterns, fueled by sperm whale oil.

Until the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869, all ships wanting to pass between the Indian and Atlantic Oceans were forced to sail around the southern tip of Africa. Cape Town was a layover port, where sailors could stock up on provisions and enjoy a night of brandy and solid ground after long months at sea.

Green Point has since been declared a national monument, and remains the oldest operational lighthouse in South Africa.

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