False Bay Panoramas

The full view: May 2001

A panoramic view from my balcony overlooking False Bay, where so many of the other pictures posted here, were taken (for those who are interested in such things, the approximate location of the South celestial pole is marked with a round spot, and due East is marked with a triangle).

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Photography done by Frank Bokhorst with Canon PS600 digital camera (1996 manufacture date) in 832x608 pixel mode, digitally cropped and stitched to make the panorama.

It is just past 7:00 am on what promises to be a wind-free day in late autumn. Not a single cloud is in sight! The view is to the East (arrow). We see the sun just peeping above the Hottentots Holland Mountains across the far side of False Bay, with Muizenberg beach in the foreground. The waters of False Bay lie in a wide arc, with Cape Hangklip and Cape of Good Hope guarding the entrance. Muizenberg is on the north shore of the bay, Hangklip is at the eastern tip and Good Hope at the western tip (to the right in the picture). The two extremes are clearly visible in the picture. At the far right, lie the mountains of the Cape Penininsula that skirt False Bay to the west, and in the furthermost corner lies Simonstown where the naval dockyard is located. On the left (i.e. north) of the picture the clocktower of Muizenberg railway station can be seen, from where the railway line runs along the water's edge all the way to Simonstown. At Muizenberg there is just enough space between mountain and the sea for the railway, a road and some houses.

The strip of land that joins the Cape Peninsula with the mainland of southern Africa lies behind the buildings extending into the distance on the left.

The far mountains are about 30km distant, and form part of the mainland. Cape Hangklip is about 60km distant, and the spit of land at its foot on which stands a lighthouse actually lies beneath the horizon as seen from here, but the light is clearly visible at night. Cape of Good Hope is about 25km distant, and also has a strong light easily seen from where I stand. In the middle of the bay is a small island (not visible in the picture) which forms part of an underwater ridge that runs north-south ending at Whittle Rock (a shoal actually) which also has a light, situated just about halfway between the two points.

The point corresponding to the South Celestial Pole is marked by a pink dot in the sky.

Photographs taken by Thys Bokhorst with a Pentax 35mm camera and physically joined before scanning to digital format. Date: November 1996.

Click on the picture to get the full-size image (approx. 220k bytes).
This view shows the full extent of False Bay as seen from the top of a mountain range that forms the backbone of the Cape Peninsula. On the left (north) lies the beach resort of Muizenberg (the point from which the panoramic view on the previous page was taken is shown with a red dot).

The railway line that skirts the rocky coast between Muizenberg and Simonstown can be clearly seen. Between Muizenberg and Simonstown lies the small fishing harbour of Kalk Bay, which is seen to the extreme right (indicated with a pink arrow). After Kalk Bay the shoreline curves out of sight to Fishoek and then stretches further south towards Simonstown which lies in a small bay just below the cloud above the mountain in the far distance (indicated with a red arrow). Simonstown is a naval base, but the harbour is not visible from here. Beyond the Simonstown mountains you can just see Cape Point at the southern tip of the Peninsula. Beyond that, lies the Atlantic Ocean and finally Antarctica.

Opposite Cape Point and only just visible, lies Cape Hangklip at the south-eastern extremity of False Bay (indicated with a green arrow). This forms part of the African mainland. From Cape Hangklip the Hottentots Holland mountain range is seen stretching northwards into the distance, where it forms part of the escarpment between the coast and the South African interior. Beyond Cape Hangklip lies the Indian Ocean, and it is sometimes said that the two oceans meet somewhere between Cape Point and Cape Hangklip.

Also clearly visible on the left is the sandy lowland called the Cape Flats which joins the Peninsula to the mainland.

Seal Island which lies in the middle of False Bay, is not visible, being obscured by the bright reflection on the water.


Created: 1999 Last updated: November 2008