The Wild Coast isn’t called the Wild Coast for nothing. It may be paradise but it can get rough out there if it wants. So with that in mind, it’s nogal strange that there are only three lighthouses (some websites say four but I’m not sure which the 4th one is) along this whole piece of coastline, Cape Morgan in the South, M’bashe roughly in the middle and Cape Hermes at Port St Johns in the North. Out of the three only Cape Hermes is what I would call a traditional lighthouse. One built of brick and mortar. The other two are both lights sitting on top of lattice steel towers. Crossing back over the Kei Pont from Trennery’s Hotel recently I decided to make a quick detour and have a look at the Cape Morgan Lighthouse.
A roughly three-kilometer drive along a narrow dirt road took me up to the 12-meter high Cape Morgan Lighthouse built in 1964. The light is located in the Cape Morgan Nature Reserve and emits two white flashes every 10 seconds with a range of 24 sea miles.
The reserve saw Titanium mining take place here in the 1950’s and if you follow the path down to the coast from the lighthouse you will see the remains of the mine’s old seawater pump station. The 4-day / 3-night Strandloper Trail also starts at the new Eco Centre in the reserve and covers a distance of 57 kilometers to Gonubie in East London.
Driving away I was happy to tick off another light on my list of South African lighthouses. We seem to take them for granted seeing them along the coastline yet don’t always realise how important a role they have played over the years and still do. Flash on.