Napier Sundial

The Napier Sundial is generally accepted to be the largest sundial as well as the only vertical one in the country

Western Cape Tourist AttractionsThe Napier Sundial

The Napier Sundial is generally accepted to be the largest sundial as well as the only vertical one in the country.

Where? Napier Tourism Office, Napier, 7270, Cape Overberg

When? Open daily.

How? Call +27 (0)28 423-3325

Overnight? See Napier accommodation, in Cape Overberg

At the southernmost tip of Africa, Napier is a natural and historical delight for visitors to South Africa. This little town lies at foot of the Soetmuisberg Mountain Range and the rolling grain fields of the Western Cape Province. It is home to many tourist attractions, not least of all the Napier Sundial.

The Napier Sundial is generally accepted to be the largest sundial as well as the only vertical one in the country. It was erected by Danie du Toit in 1965, after years of his observing the movements of the sun and the shadows it cast, and researching the stars since his early years. It was when he read an article written by CJ Langenhoven on sundials and had been reprinted in 1936, that his interest was piqued. This sparked in Du Toit a special desire to create his own sundial.

He approached the local municipality, which provided the materials and allowed him to erect the sundial at the Municipal offices. It took him 18 months just to complete the markings for each minute, based solely on his observations of the shadow on the dial. Using his table, which explains the corrections between the sundial’s time and standard time, the time of day can still be determined within an accuracy of 30 seconds.

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Did you know?

Napier is a gem of a town, perched on a hill at the foot of the Soetmuisberg, its main road filled with restaurants, guest houses and quirky shops. It’s also en route to L’Agulhas or Elim, so it does not struggle for passing trade. A drive through the little avenues and roads above the town reveals characterful cottages, vegetable gardens and a whole dollop of charm.

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