Lighthouses in Africa

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Lighthouses in Africa have stood the test of time, from guiding ships safely to our shores and now they attract travellers from all over the world. Africa has a fair amount of lighthouses with a lot of them in South Africa. Here below are the 10 lighthouses in Africa that are worth travelling for. 

 1. Green Point Lighthouse (South Africa)

Lighthouses in Africa

 Green Point Lighthouse is an outstandingly beautiful landmark in Mouille Point, Cape Town. The Green Point Lighthouse stands out with its bold red and white candy stripes. The lighthouse dates back to 1824, it was the first solidly constructed lighthouse built on South Africa’s coastline. The original lanterns were equipped with single wick Argand lamps fuelled by sperm whale oil. The weak rays could not be seen further than 6 sea miles.
In 1865 the tower was extended to its present height and was electrified in 1929. The lantern was replaced with a 3rd flashing light that can be seen for 25 nautical miles. Visitors can take a self-guided tour inside the tower of one of the must-visit lighthouses in Africa.

2. Pinda Lighthouse (Mozambique)

Lighthouses in Africa
Photo Credit: Lukas Spieker

 The Pinda lighthouse stands southeast of Memba in northern Mozambique, its principal purpose is to warn ships away from the Pinda Shoals, but it also serves to guide shipping bound for the port of Memba. This was the northernmost light station built by the colonial government until the Nyassa Company’s control over Cabo Delgado Province was ended in 1929. The 31 meters (102 ft) tower rises through the centre of a 1-story keeper’s house. Completed in 1923, the lighthouse is automated nowadays. 

3. Umhlanga Rocks Lighthouse (South Africa)

Lighthouses in Africa
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The Umhlanga Lighthouse was completed in 1954. Umhlanga means place of reeds in the Zulu language. The lighthouse takes its name from the reeds that accumulate on the banks of the Ohlanga River, which is just a short distance from Umhlanga Rocks. The lighthouse has a fixed red light that enables ships waiting to anchor in the outer anchorage, to track its position. If the red light can be seen from the ship, it often means that the anchors have dragged and that the ship is too close to shore. There are 95 steps to the top of the uMhlanga Lighthouse.

4. Cap Spartel (Morocco)

Cap Spartel
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 The Cap Spartel lighthouse is above the Caves of Hercules, near the northernmost point of Morocco, approximately 15 km west of the Port of Tangier. This is the place where the Mediterranean Sea meets The Atlantic Ocean. The lighthouse was built by Sultan Mohammed IV in 1864. The lighthouse is composed of 24 m (79 ft) square masonry tower with castellated gallery, lantern, and 1st order Fresnel lens.” A two-storey keeper’s house is attached.

5. Les Mamelles Lighthouse (Senegal)

 The spectacular lighthouse also is known as the roof of Dakar or the light of Senegal is a landmark attraction in Dakar. Les Mamelles lighthouse was built on the highest point in the city which overlooks the capital city and the surrounding areas. Built-in 1864, LesMamelles lighthouse guarantees you a panoramic view of the entire city and its infrastructure. All in white and 16m high, it has a lens with a reach of 53km. Take a free tour of this landmark monument in Dakar to learn about its history and how it works.

6. Mbita Lighthouse (Kenya)

 Kenya’s Mbita Lighthouse no longer warns ships away from rocky shores but is rented as a honeymoon suite by Lake Victoria Safari Village for locals and tourists, nothing more says romantic than spending a night with your loved one in a tower listening to the waves crashing against the rocks.

7. Cape Agulhas Lighthouse (South Africa)

Cape Agulhas

 Situated at Cape Agulhas, the southernmost tip of Africa, the Cape Agulhas Lighthouse has stood for over more than 150 years as a maritime chaperone over the notorious “Cape of Storms.” It was the third lighthouse to be built in South Africa, and the second-oldest still operating.

8. Cape Recife Lighthouse (South Africa)

Cape Recife

 The Cape Recife lighthouse was built in 1851. The lighthouse warns passing ships of the dangers of the equally romantically named Thunderbolt Reef, which has claimed many ships. The Cape Recife Lighthouse is an octagonal masonry tower and rises 24 metres high making its light beam visible from 29 miles away. The reef is named after the HMS Thunderbolt, a British Royal Navy Sail and Paddle Frigate. She was wrecked at Cape Recife, Algoa Bay on the 3rd February 1847. The lighthouse is part of the Cape Recife Nature Reserve and welcomes visitors by day.

9. Roman Rock Lighthouse (South Africa)

 The Roman Rock Lighthouse is situated at the False Bay Harbour Basin near Simon’s Town. The lighthouse is quite special and unique in that it is the only lighthouse in South Africa to be erected on a single rock in the middle of the ocean. Helicopters ferried supplies to this nautical garden in 1992 when it underwent an extensive makeover. 

10. Seal Point Lighthouse (South Africa)

Seal Point Lighthouse is a popular tourist attraction, the Seal Point Lighthouse of Cape St Francis is a 27.75 m high tower that was first lit in 1878. This landmark tourist attraction in South Africa’s tallest masonry lighthouse. The lighthouse has been in operation since 1878 and was declared a national monument in 1984. The circular lighthouse is equipped with a lantern house and second-order revolving lantern that has eight catadioptric lens panels.

Also, read 10 countries you need to visit in Africa

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Lighthouses in Africa