#4 Cape of Good Hope/Cape Point

South Africa Travel Blog

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The Cape of Good Hope is a rocky headland on the Atlantic coast of South Africa. It is a common misconception that the Cape of Good Hope is the southern tip of Africa and the dividing point between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. The true southernmost point is Cape Agulhas, about 200 km (120 mi) southeast. However, when following the coastline from the equator, the Cape of Good Hope marks the psychologically important point where one begins to travel more eastward than southward. Thus the rounding of the cape in 1488 was considered a significant milestone by the Portuguese attempting to establish direct trade relations with India and the Far East. The Cape of Good Hope is also sometimes given as the meeting point of the Atlantic Ocean and Indian Ocean.

However, Cape Agulhas, about 200 km (120 mi) to the southeast, is defined by the International Hydrographic Organization to be the dividing point between the two oceans. With that in mind, you might want to visit Cape Agulhas to make it official! J

The Cape Peninsula is a generally rocky peninsula that juts out for 75 km (47 mi) into the Atlantic at the southwestern extremity of the continent. At the southern end of the peninsula are the Cape of Good Hope, and about 2.3 kilometers (1.4 mi) to its east is Cape Point. Both the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point offer spectacular scenery, and with its diverse habitat, ranging from rocky mountain tops to beaches and open sea, the Cape of Good Hope is home to at least 250 species of birds, including the ostrich.

Large animals are not as common in the Cape of Good Hope, but there is a wealth of small animals. There are also some herds of zebra, eland and a variety of other antelope. Baboons also inhabit the area. The area offers excellent vantage points for whale watching. The Southern right whale is the species most likely to be seen in False Bay between June and November. Other species are the Humpback whale and Bryde's whale. Seals and Dusky Dolphins or Orca, the Killer Whales may also be seen.

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