Friday, June 11, 2010

Cape Point Nature Reserves new Funicular unveiled in time for the 2010 World Cup

We have previously reported that the Flying Dutchman funicular at spectacular Cape Point had been decommissioned to be replaced with a new upgraded facility. It seems that those involved must have done everything possible to ensure that the new funicular would be available to visitors to South Africa for the World Cup, and have succeeded. The Cape Point Partnership, which is a partnership between the Thebe Tourism Group and Tolcon Group unveiled the new and improved Flying Dutchman funicular to the Tourism authorities, the trade and media at Cape Point on 8 June 2010.

The funicular, which transports visitors up the steep slope to popular lookout points just below the lighthouse, has been upgraded at a cost of R6-million, complete with a new body, safer braking technology and large picture windows that afford a 360 degree view throughout the spectacular trip. The funicular comfortably carries 30 passengers every three minutes in each direction. The new system has been designed to minimise the funicular’s carbon footprint, and the new Flying Dutchman will be more environmentally friendly than before thanks to low solar powered batteries charged by photovoltaic panels while in transit. The new funicular is one of many improvements to this area of the Table Mountain National Park, in addition to a bigger parking area and upgrades of the information area, curio shops and restaurant. While the funicular will continue to transport visitors from the car park up a steep slope to just below the lighthouse, the more energetic can still enjoy the walk up the steps, and make friends along the way.

Speaking at the launch, SA National Parks Head of Communications Wanda Mkutshulwa praised the work that the Cape Point Partnership has done in maintaining and marketing the facilities within the park.

“We appreciate the good work that is done here, especially the reputation-building, so thank you very much,” she said. “Cape Point is one of our ‘big five’ parks, which receive optimum visitor numbers. It is these ‘big five’ amid our portfolio of 19 parks that effectively fund the sustainability of South Africa’s biodiversity.”

Head of the Department for Economic Development and Tourism in the Western Cape, Mr Solly Fourie, emphasised the role of corporate partnerships in contributing to the economic value of tourism in the province, and in growing the popularity of Cape Town as an international destination of choice.

Visitors to South Africa will find even more to enjoy on their Cape Town holiday; Noordhoek where one can find affordable family beach cottages is just a short drive from all of these attractions, and your ideal base to explore the many attractions of the Southern Cape Town peninsula.

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