The Cape of Good Hope – the good place from the legends

Boulder Beach Penguin Colony

The Cape of Good Hope is the famed peninsula which also happens to be the southern tip of Africa. This rocky headland was once thought-to-be the meeting point of the Indian and the Atlantic Ocean. Though it has been later proved to be the place Cape Agulhas, which is about 90 miles southeast from the peninsula.

Adventurous tourists often come to the rocky promontory with the hopes of witnessing the ghost of the crew of the Flying Dutchman but they have to curb their appetite with large numbers of penguins, dassies, antelopes and if you’re lucky with a southern right whale as well.

The interesting name of the peninsula dates back to the 15th century when Bartolomeu Dias while trying to find the southern limits of the continent Africa docked at the region and named it the ‘Cape of Storm’ which was later renamed as the ‘Cape of Good Hope’ by King John II of Portugal. Though some stories suggest, the name was given by Dias himself.

If you’re a sucker for nature, Cape of Good Hope is the place for you as the region has been considered as the World Heritage Site by UNESCO for the opulence of its plant life. It is also a particularly affluent area in terms of wildlife and sea life.

The banks of the peninsula are home to the Cape gannet, the African black oystercatcher as well as at least 4 different species of cormorant. The most famous birds in the region which tourists come from far-away to witness is the colony of jackass penguins at Boulders Beach.

You can discover the colony in False Bay, which happens to be one of the very few small numbers of mainland colonies to witness wild birds right in front of you. You may consider visiting between February and August if you want to witness the penguins breeding – fair warning, you might not be able to handle the cuteness quotient of the fluffy baby birds. Most of the areas in the Cape of Good Hope whole wheelchair-friendly walkways are available for people in need.

You will get to see zebras on the rocky slopes of Cape Mountain as often as you see cows at the farmland. And beware of the baboons because they are dangerous if they see delicious food in your hand and don’t shark away from attacking humans in broad daylight.

You must try some of the special dishes of the region while you’re there. Try the restaurants Two Oceans Restaurant as well as the Cape to Cuba in Kalk Bay. The later gets you authentic Cuban food with the view of the False Bay, while the first option is convenient in both its location as well as its pocket-pinch.

The Cape of Good Hope is a part of the Table Mountain National Park, though the actual mountain is located 70 kilometers out of the Cape area. If you fly to Cape Town it is also about a 70 km distance from there to the peninsular region.

For locals, the cost of visiting the Cape is about $5.29 for an adult individual whereas, for a child from 2-11 years of age the cost comes down to $2.72.

For international travelers, the cost of visiting the Cape is about $21 whereas, for children, it’s $10.59 for one.

A Cape is a place where you enjoy the natural beauty the most because the temperate weather and the gorgeous view makes it impossible to stay indoors even with the unpredictability of the atmosphere. The weather can be sunny and bright when you’re leaving your place and can drastically change its course with black, thick clouds covering the horizon, so there is really no telling with the climate conditions.

You get an incredible view from the lighthouse which gives you the top view of the horizon; an incredible sight stretching in front of your eyes where you can see the rough seas crashing against the side of the mountain and the coastal breeze blowing you away (literally, it can be quite strong). There are several ways to reach the top of the mountain, the best among those in the wide stone staircases which leads straight to the lighthouse and gives you the best view of the coastline to make the climb worth it. Another way starts by the parking lot and being a steady climb doesn’t really make it too strenuous for a non-hiker. You can easily make reach the top of the cliff where the lighthouse resides without losing all your precious energy.  There is also the option of a flying funicular if you want to get rid of the strain of climbing altogether.

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