Signal Hill (Cape Town)
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Signal Hill ( af, Seinheuwel), or Lion's Rump, is a landmark flat-topped hill located in
Cape Town Cape Town (Afrikaans: Kaapstad ; Xhosa language, Xhosa: ''iKapa;'') is the second-most populous city in South Africa, after Johannesburg, and also the legislative Capital city, capital of South Africa. Colloquially named the Mother City, it is ...

Cape Town
, next to Lion's Head and
Table Mountain Table Mountain ( naq, Huriǂoaxa, lit= sea-emerging; af, Tafelberg) is a flat-topped mountain forming a prominent landmark overlooking the city of Cape Town in South Africa. It is a significant tourist attraction, with many visitors using the ...

Table Mountain
. The hill was also known as "The Lion's
Flank Flank may refer to: * Flank (anatomy) The flank or latus is the side of the body between the rib cage The rib cage is the arrangement of ribs attached to the vertebral column and sternum in the thorax The thorax or chest is a part of th ...
", a term now obsolete. Together with Lion's Head, Signal Hill looks like a lion sphinx.


Signals

Signal flags were used to communicate weather warnings as well as anchoring instructions to visiting ships in order to ensure that they prepared adequately for stormy weather while in the bay. Similarly, ships could use flags to signal for assistance if, for example, an anchor line parted during a storm. It is known for the Noon Gun that is operated there by the South African Navy and South African Astronomical Observatory. In 1836, a time ball was set up at the Cape Town observatory, however it was not visible to ships in the harbour, so a second time ball was erected on Signal Hill in order to relay the precise moment of 1pm Cape Mean Time. In this way ships in the bay were able to check their marine chronometers. The daily practice of dropping of the ball continued until 1934, when it was made redundant by radio signals. The guns on Signal Hill were used to notify the public when a ship was in trouble and there was a possibility of casualties on the coast near Cape Town. Three guns would be fired from Chavonnes Battery, followed by a single gun in answer from Imhoff Battery.


Structures

There is a road to the summit and that vantage point provides views over the Cape Town city centre and Atlantic Seaboard and surroundings, including at dawn or sunset. Along Signal Hill Road is the Appleton Scout Campsite operated by Scouts South Africa. There are several tombs, or ''mazar (mausoleum), kramat''s, on the hill for Muslim missionaries and religious leaders. The most conspicuous one, a white square building with a green dome, is for the sheikh Mohamed Hassen Ghaibie (Shah al-Qadri), a follower of Sheikh Yusuf. Other tombs consist of raised rectangles, decorated with satin. They are still visited by some local Muslim people. There is a parking lot on top of the signal Hill. There are simple things to eat and mats provided for watching the sunset.


Ecology

Signal Hill is one of the only places in the world where critically endangered Peninsula Shale Renosterveld vegetation can be found. Peninsula Shale Renosterveld used to be the dominant ecosystem of the
Cape Town Cape Town (Afrikaans: Kaapstad ; Xhosa language, Xhosa: ''iKapa;'') is the second-most populous city in South Africa, after Johannesburg, and also the legislative Capital city, capital of South Africa. Colloquially named the Mother City, it is ...

Cape Town
City Bowl, but was completely endemism, endemic, occurring nowhere else in the world. Urban growth has now covered most of this ecosystem and — along with a tiny patch on Devil's Peak (Cape Town), Devil's Peak — Signal Hill has the only surviving sample of this vegetation in the world.


See also

* Lion's Head *
Table Mountain Table Mountain ( naq, Huriǂoaxa, lit= sea-emerging; af, Tafelberg) is a flat-topped mountain forming a prominent landmark overlooking the city of Cape Town in South Africa. It is a significant tourist attraction, with many visitors using the ...

Table Mountain


References

{{Table Mountain National Park Table Mountain Hills of South Africa Table Mountain National Park Maritime history of South Africa Renosterveld