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The Cape Recife Lighthouse is situated within the Cape Recife Nature Reserve just outside of Port Elizabeth. The spine on the Eastern Cape's Indian Ocean floor bed is stacked with rocks for vertebrae that form the east coast bay backbone. This 'Thunderbolt Reef' rising out of the dark waters of the south entrance to Algoa Bay forms part of the Nature Reserve.

Candlepower 4 000 000 C.D.
Character of Light Fixed red (28°), fixed white (332°) flashing every 30 seconds
Installation Date 1 April 1851
Range 29 sea miles
Structure 24 metre octagonal masonry tower painted with black and white bands
Type of Light Revolving electric 
Other features Equipped with a radio beacon and a fog signal. Mains supply with one standby diesel/alternator set.

The lighthouse is painted with black and white bands with a chic collection of lights and is functional in its intention, but very pretty as well. Installed with irony on April Fool’s day in 1851 this warning system is now equipped with a fog signal, radio beacon and a red and white flashing light.

At this location in 1902, sailors as well as rescuers lost their lives to a hurricane that wrecked countless moored and sea-faring vessels. To this day it is still the most tragic event to happen at Cape Recife and will never be forgotten. The reef that separates the tides offshore has an interesting cutting nature to it, so reflecting that there is a single lane onshore that cuts through the biting breeze that leads up to the Cape Recife Lighthouse.

Cape Recife is also a well-known place for bird spotting and is known to have seven species of bird including; the Roseate Tern, Antarctic Tern, sometimes the rare Damara tern and the flightless bird everyone loves, the African Penguin is also spotted here.

Things to do and see

  • Lighthouse Viewing & Tours
  • SAMREC Penguin Rehabilitation Centre
  • Cape Recife Local Nature Reserve
  • Bird Watching
  • Hiking Trails


Cape Recife Nature Reserve Entrance Permits, R68 per vehicle

Lighthouse Entrance Fee Adults, R25 and Children, R15

Subject to change, please confirm prices with the Pine Lodge Resort

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