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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Cape Recife Lighthouse

  1. What is the Cape Recife Lighthouse?

    The Cape Recife Lighthouse is a historic maritime beacon located near Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Established in 1851, it guides ships safely through the treacherous waters of Algoa Bay.

  2. Why was the Cape Recife Lighthouse built?

    The lighthouse was built to address dangerous sea conditions and hazardous reefs around Cape Recife. It ensures the safety of vessels navigating Algoa Bay.

  3. What makes the Cape Recife Lighthouse distinctive?

    Cape Recife in Port Elizabeth - Historic Lighthouse and Nature Reserve

    The lighthouse is easily recognizable by its black and white horizontal stripes. This distinctive color scheme enhances its visibility during both daytime and nighttime, helping mariners identify it from a distance.

  4. Why is the Cape Recife Lighthouse black and white?

    The black and white stripes enhance the lighthouse’s visibility, making it easily identifiable against the sea and sky. This color scheme helps mariners recognize the lighthouse from a distance, ensuring safer navigation.

  5. How tall is the Cape Recife Lighthouse?

    The lighthouse stands at a height of 24 meters (79 feet), allowing its light to be visible up to 29 nautical miles out to sea.

  6. What kind of light does the Cape Recife Lighthouse use?

    Cape Recife Light House Tours

    Originally, the lighthouse used an oil lamp, but it has since been modernized to use electric lights. The light has a focal plane of 28 meters (92 feet) above sea level and emits a white flash every 30 seconds.

  7. Is the Cape Recife Lighthouse still operational?

    Yes, the Cape Recife Lighthouse remains operational and continues to serve as a crucial navigational aid for ships near Port Elizabeth.

  8. Can visitors tour the Cape Recife Lighthouse?

    The lighthouse is open for tours daily from 07h00 to 17h00. Some outbuildings are used as a luxury villa for overnight guests at Cape Recife Lighthouse. The surrounding Cape Recife Nature Reserve offers hiking, birdwatching, and coastal exploration.

  9. What is the significance of the Cape Recife Nature Reserve?

    The Cape Recife Nature Reserve, established around the lighthouse, is important for protecting the local marine and coastal ecosystems. It provides a habitat for various species of wildlife, including birds, seals, dolphins, and endangered African penguins.

  10. What kind of wildlife can be seen around Cape Recife?

    Fauna at Cape Recife Lighthouse

    The area around Cape Recife is rich in biodiversity. Visitors can spot whales, dolphins, penguins, seals, Cape clawless otters, porcupines, blue duiker, Cape grysbok, bushbuck, and numerous bird species.

  11. How can I get to Cape Recife Lighthouse?

    Cape Recife Lighthouse is located near Port Elizabeth. Visitors can drive to the lighthouse via Marine Drive, which leads to the entrance of the Cape Recife Nature Reserve.

  12. Are there any shipwrecks near Cape Recife Lighthouse?

    Yes, the waters around Cape Recife are known for numerous shipwrecks due to the hazardous reefs and strong currents. The lighthouse was constructed to mitigate these risks and has since helped reduce the number of maritime accidents in the area.

  13. How did the fog horn at Cape Recife Lighthouse work?

    In the old days, the fog horn was powered by compressed air or steam and was used to emit a loud, low-frequency sound that could travel long distances. This sound helped ships navigate safely through foggy conditions when the lighthouse light was not visible.

  14. What was a day like for a lighthouse keeper at Cape Recife?

    Lighthouse keepers led a life of constant vigilance and routine maintenance. Their duties included cleaning the lenses, maintaining the light and fog horn, recording weather conditions, and ensuring the lighthouse remained operational day and night.

  15. What is the history of Bennie Jordan and Bob Murray at Cape Recife Lighthouse?

    Bennie Jordan and Bob Murray were long-serving lighthouse keepers at Cape Recife. Tragically, Bennie Jordan fell to his death along with Bob Murray, highlighting the dangerous and demanding nature of lighthouse keeping in the past.



ERF 2410



South Africa, 6001


Phone: +27 (0)42 235 1450