Cape of Good Hope

Beautiful scenery and intriguing legends and history surround the Cape of Good Hope in Africa. Flora and fauna in this area flourish due to its location within Table Mountain National Park. The beaches at the Cape of Good Hope offer a unique environment for visitors, and Cape Point is another nearby cape that shares in the attraction. Tours and accommodations are readily available for travelers on any budget, and no matter what things to do you choose for a South Africa vacation, this coastal wonder holds a treasure that everyone will enjoy.

First known as the Cape of Storms because of the treacherous weather surrounding the area, it later became the Cape of Good Hope, in light of the bright future of a new sea route to the East. In the fifteenth century, Vasco da Gama and Bartolomeu Dias of Portugal became the first European explorers to reach the cape. Visitors will find two stone crosses, Dias Cross and Da Gama Cross—beacons erected in memory of these men.

The crossing of the Cape of Good Hope marked the turning point in the journey and the meeting of two oceans. The Huguenots settled the Cape in 1687, and nearly one hundred years later, the British took over during the first and second occupations, and the area remained under the British control until 1910, when the colony became a division of South Africa.

Legend has it that the Flying Dutchman haunts the shores of the Cape of Good Hope in Africa. There are many versions of this story, but the most famous tells of a headstrong captain Willem van der Decken, who was determined to sail around the Cape during a terrible storm against the advice of his First Mate. Declaring that even if God would allow him to sail until Judgment Day, he would pass the Cape, he threw the First Mate and his Bible overboard, at which point, the storm subsided and God declared that he would sail until Judgment Day. Following these events, van der Decken’s crew mysteriously died one by one until van der Decken was alone, and he continues to glide through the waters in his ghost ship, unable to sail around the Cape of Good Hope.

Located within the boundaries of Table Mountain National Park, the Cape is home to a host of plant and animal life, including the chacma baboon, a major tourist attraction on the peninsula. Opportunities for whale watching await visitors in False Bay between June and November, during the migration of the humpbacks and bryde’s whales. Seals and orcas are another attraction for visitors to the Cape of Good Hope. In addition, the Cape Floristic Kingdom encompasses the area and is the richest of the six floral kingdoms in the world, known for the variety and abundance of vegetation.

Visitors to the Cape of Good Hope in Africa often traverse the hiking trail to the nearby Cape Point, where the coastal cliffs are among the highest in the world, and the beaches are among the beautiful. Cape Point offers opportunities for adventure diving to shipwrecks and surfing in addition to simply enjoying the tranquility of nature.

Rich in history, legend, and beauty, the Cape of Good Hope supports a wide variety of plant and animal life and welcomes scores of visitors throughout the year. To ensure a pleasant vacation, travelers should research amply and book tours and accommodations in advance, though the abundance of Cape Town hotels should make finding a place to stay relatively easy. Offering scores of activities and plenty of accommodations, the Cape of Good Hope in Africa is among the top places to visit in the world.

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