Easily one of the most amazing places I’ve ever been in the world is the Cape Point National Park in South Africa. Which of course encompasses the Cape of Good Hope.
It was an amazing experience to be standing on the very same rocky promontory I’ve heard about all my life. One can’t make it very far in any history lesson or tale of the high seas without imagining how it must have been to round the Cape. Our world’s history changed forever as Bartolomeu Dias first accidentally sailed around the Cape in 1488.
As I stood at the Cape lighthouse, looking out over the Indian and Atlantic oceans*, it was very easy to imagine why it was originally called the Cape of Storms. We were there on a very serene day, and it still looked daunting for anyone who has to sail nearby.
It’s easily a full day worth of things to do in and around Cape Point. The coastal road leading to the park has Boulders Beach which is an area popular with African Penguins. Plus heaps of great beaches, coastal towns, and vistas which take you all the way back up to Cape Town.
Driving down from Cape Town we passed through several little coastal towns. Many of which still displayed a lot of cool historical architecture. One of those being the naval Simon’s Town, where we stopped to say hello to Just Nuisance. He’s just a statue now, but in the 40’s he was a Great Dane who sort of enlisted himself into the navy. It’s a charming story, so it was nice to give his statue a little pat on the head.
A little further down the coastal road towards Cape Point is Boulders Beach. The parks department has built a great little causeway down to the beach which lets you stalk the local African Penguins without disturbing them. They’re just the cutest little pikkewyne! We were there just before lunchtime, so most of the penguins were out in the ocean. However, there were still dozens of them lazing about the beach.
Some more scenic driving later and we were very quickly entering Cape Point. While the obvious attraction of Cape Point is the Cape itself and lighthouse, I was also very taken with the variety of the plant life. In my photos you’ll see a few of my attempts to capture the intricate colours and textures of the Fynbos. Sadly, I’m not enough of a photographer to really convey just how diverse and fascinating it all is.
On the same note of being a poor photographer, I’m not certain how I can begin to explain how awe inspiring it is to stand up on Cape Point and look out over a world worth of oceans. It’s gorgeous, amazing, and sometimes a bit tough to comprehend. I think for this you’ll just have to go there yourself. Perhaps if you’re especially lucky you’ll catch a glimpse of the Flying Dutchman as it yet again makes it’s ghostly voyage around the Cape.
I’ve put up a little album on Facebook with some of my favourite pictures from this day trip. I hope you enjoy them!
* To clarify where exactly the Indian and Atlantic oceans meet, let me paste some facts for you. Thank you, Wikipedia for stating this succinctly.
There is a misconception that the Cape of Good Hope is the southern tip of Africa, because it was once believed to be the dividing point between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. In fact, the southernmost point is Cape Agulhas, about 150 kilometres (90 mi) to the east-southeast. The currents of the two oceans meet at the point where the warm-water Agulhas current meets the cold water Benguela current and turns back on itself—a point that fluctuates between Cape Agulhas and Cape Point (about 1.2 kilometres east of the Cape of Good Hope).