Friday, December 23, 2011

Kommetjie and Kommetjie Lighthouse, Cape Town South Africa

Kommetjie (“small basin” in Afrikaans) gets its name from early beginnings, when settlers apparently used the natural basin as a convenient fish trap. Today the suburb’s main attraction is its wide, long, beautiful beach, which extends for more than 8km (5mi) to Noordhoek. Its length and flatness makes Kommetjie a popular dog-walking and horse-riding venue.

Another attraction is the tallest cast-iron lighthouse on the South African coast, the white Slangkop (“snake head” in Afrikaans) Lighthouse, which stands approximately 30m (98ft) high and is made entirely from steel. Slangkop Lighthouse has been operational since March 4, 1919 and has a rotating electric light that gives four flashes every 30 seconds. The central point of the light is 41m (135ft) above water, making it visible even in thick misty conditions. The lighthouse is powered by the Cape Municipality, but it also has a standby diesel alternator, which takes over in the event of an interruption in the main supply.

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