Signal Hill derives it's name from the days when a semaphore (communication) post on the side of the hill was used to send signals to ships in the harbour. Today, the hill is famous for the noon day gun - a canon that has been fired everyday except Sunday, since 1902. The firing of the noon day gun is carried out with military precision by the South African Astronomical Observatory who take such things quite seriously. An electric cartridge is loaded into the cannon which is then triggered remotely by the Observatory's master clock. Note that the noon day gun is not located at the top of Signal Hill, but rather a short distance down the side of the hill at Lion's Battery.
Signal Hill is also referred to as Lion's Rump due to it's position relative to Lion's Head. At 300m the hill affords an good view across the City Bowl and Table Bay. If you're unable to take the Cable Car to the top of Table Mountain, then Signal Hill is the next best thing.
Visiting the hill at night allows one to see the city lights and also provides an excellent vantage point from which to admire the floodlights that light up the side of Table Mountain in summer. But be warned that Signal Hill is not considered to be a safe place to visit at night.
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