Cape of Good Hope

This was a "full day tour" to the Cape of Good Hope. Now normally I do not "do" tours and if I have to "do" them it tends to be, dare I say it, with a little bit of bad grace and even a touch of petulance. This one was one of the few ones in my life that I appreciated. The guide was good, knew her subject and spoke with clarity and fluency. I did make a point of thanking her., oh that all tour guides were as good.

The Cape of Good Hope itself is a rocky headland on the Atlantic coast of the Cape Peninsula.

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 - but the Cape of Good Hope remains the popular conception. 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).

When following the western side of the African coastline from the equator, however, the Cape of Good Hope marks the point where a ship begins to travel more eastward than southward. Thus, the first modern rounding of the cape in 1488 by Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias was a milestone in the attempts by the Portuguese to establish direct trade relations with the Far East. Dias called the cape Cabo das Tormentas. So "Cape of Storms" was the original name of what is now the "Cape of Good Hope"

The Cape of Good Hope is at the southern tip of the Cape Peninsula, about 2.3 kilometres (1.4 mi) west and a little south of Cape Point on the south-east corner. Cape Town is about 50 kilometres to the north of the Cape, in Table Bay at the north end of the peninsula. The peninsula forms the western boundary of False Bay. Geologically, the rocks found at the two capes, and indeed over much of the peninsula, are part of the Table Mountain Group, and are formed of the same type of sandstones as Table Mountain itself. Both the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point offer spectacular scenery; the whole of the southernmost portion of the Cape Peninsula is a wild, rugged, scenic, and generally unspoiled national park..

Click on any of the thumbnails below to get a larger photo

We motored down the west side of the Cape Peninsula. With the road at times clinging precariously to the side of the cliffs. A series of wide bays, dotted with the odd ..
ostrich farm. We got to the Buffelsfontein Visitor Centre where we managed to avoid the baboons, and set off on a guided walk on the flora of the Cape area. Afraid
most of the technical stuff on flowers went over my head, but the scenery was spectacular. The strong prevailing wind meant that there were few trees, and the flowers ..
were of the small and beautiful variety. Our flower guide and Cape Point in the distance. Here there was a break for lunch, before we took the funicular railway up to ..
..the top of the headland, where one got a great view over the Cape and its surrounds, including the old Cape Point lighthouse which is no longer used.
The Cape of Good Hope itself is a few kilometres away on the next headland - pause for tourist photos. Then on, past grazing game to the penguin colony at Boulders ..
..near Simons Town,a home to a unique and endangered land-based colony of African Penguins. It is in quite an urban area, and a high boardwalk keeps the grokels and.
the penguins separated. It is home to about 1000 of the 25,000 breeding pairs of the African Penguin left in the world. Photos were duly taken of both the natives and the
visitors, before heading back to the Silversea Explorer and our final dinner with drinks and photos all round. Then it was for us an early night and a 5am start next day.

On to Namibia by an early flight from Cape Town via J'burg to Windhoek.

Cape Town

Silversea Explorer Voyage

Shipboard Life