Cape Columbine Lighthouse

The Cape Columbine Lighthouse lies within the Cape Columbine Nature Reserve, just 5 km from the picturesque fishing village of Paternoster along the Cape West Coast.

Candlepower 5 040 000 C.D.
Character of Light One flash every 5 seconds
Installation Date 01 October 1936
Range 32 sea miles
Structure 15 metre white square masonry tower with red painted lantern house
Type of Light Revolving electric
Other features Fog signal and radio beacon

Before the lighthouse was erected in 1936, the coastline between Saldanha Bay and Stompneus Bay was infamous for shipwrecks. The list includes that of The Haddon Hall (1913), the Lisboa (1910), the SS St. Lawrence (1876) and of course the Columbine (1829). The Lighthouse was named after the British wooden ship which was wrecked just 1.5 km north of where it stands today. The Cape Columbine Lighthouse is now usually the first South African lighthouse to be seen by ships travelling from Europe.

The lighthouse stands on a massive granite boulder called Castle Rock and is one of the last manned lighthouses built in the country and the last significant project of the famed Harry Claude Cooper.  The Cape Columbine Lighthouse still has a full-time Light-keeper and although it still does its job of lighting up the West Coast, it has also become a favourite attraction to visitors of the Nature Reserve as well as a popular picnic site. It is one of only four lighthouses that offer overnight accommodation, the others being the Cape St Blaize (Mossel Bay), Danger Point (Gansbaai) and Great Fish Point (Port Alfred).


For an authentic lighthouse overnight experience visitors can try one of the few self-catering cottages on site at the Cape Columbine Lighthouse. The cottages sleep between 2 and 6 people and costing ranges between R600 and R900 per unit per night. The nature reserve also offers a few campsites where visitors can stay over if the camping experience is what you looking for. 

Things to do and see

  • Lighthouse Tours
  • Curios & Memorabilia on Sale
  • Conference Facilities
  • Swimming pool & Jungle Gyms
  • Picnic Site
  • Camping & Self-catering Accommodation


Entrance fees are approximately, Adult R19 and children R13. Prices are subject to change, please contact the tourism office directly to confirm all prices.

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