Experience the stunning scenery and a wealth of native wildlife at what is almost Africa’s most southerly point.
Stand at the top of the 650 foot (200 meter) high cliffs at the Cape of Good Hope and you can well imagine the trepidation felt by the early sailors who navigated this coast on their way to India. Look down to the crashing waves and swirling ocean currents. This is an awe-inspiring place, with wild ostriches, baboons and Cape zebras adding to the area’s rugged scenery.
The cape is not actually the most southerly point in Africa, as that title goes to a peninsula around 90 miles (150 kilometers) to the southeast. Still, the Cape of Good Hope is a major tourist attraction, and you’ll almost certainly want to have your photo taken with the iconic wooden sign.
The cape is located 30 miles (50 kilometers) south of Cape Town, and a visit here will fill the best part of a day. From the car park you’ll take a short, steep walk to the site of the old lighthouse, from which you will have sweeping views of the southern Atlantic Ocean, with nothing but sea in between you and the Antarctic. If you don’t fancy the walk, then a swift ride in the Flying Dutchman funicular will whisk you to the top.
Make a day of it by enjoying a meal at the Two Oceans restaurant. As you eat, keep one eye on the ocean for a view of the whales that migrate past this point. Humpbacks, southern rights and Bryde’s whales can all be spotted from here at different times of year.
Nature lovers will be in their element, with hundreds of bird species and more than 1,100 varieties of plants existing within the cape’s 19,150 acres (7,750 hectares). If you’re a keen walker then continue your day by hiking one of the many trails. If you are interested in maritime history, take the Shipwreck Trail, which points out the sites of 26 wrecked vessels.
The Cape of Good Hope is open daily throughout the year with longer opening hours in summer. There is a small charge for entry.