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Cape of Good Hope

Commonly referred to as “The Cape” by sailors and seafarers alike sees many a stormy sea, along with the sighted apparition of the Flying Dutchman, a ghostly vessel crewed by damned souls that will attempt to round the Cape of Good Hope until Judgement Day comes.

50km from Cape Town is the place that was once thought to be the southern most tip of Africa, this is not so. It is in fact the most South Western point of the African continent, the place where ships begin to travel more eastward than southward. It is also known as a waypoint to the clipper route used by vessels traveling to the Far East and Australia. There are several yacht races, including “Clipper Round the World” that make use of the Cape of Good Hope.

Discovered and named Cabo das Tormentas (Cape of Sorms) by Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias, 12th March 1488, later to be named Cabo de Boa Esperança (Cape of Good Hope) by John Paul II of Portugal. The Cape of Good Hope is an excellent vantage point for whale watching. Killer whales, Bryde’s whales, Humpack whales, seals and dusky dolphins have all been sighted from Cape of Good Hope, however the whale most likely to be seen is the Southern Right Whale between the months of June and November.

There are 11 troops that consist of 375 individual Chacma baboons and are a major tourist attraction, however cute and fluffy a baboon may seem, they are wild animals and have the ability to be rather volatile. There is no need to fear them, but as with everything rather be safe than sorry. The baboons do have some threats to their wellbeing from human interactions which have interrupted their social structure and managed to reduce their numbers. However they have been listed classified in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species as the “least concern.”

There are also over 250 species of bird life present at The Cape of Good Hope, including the African Penguin (Jackass Penguin). The four Cape Mountain Zebra are sometimes spotted by a lucky visitor to the area, but usually keep out of sight. The Flora in the area consists of 1100 species of indigenous plants, many of them being endemic to the area.

To visit The Cape of Good Hope and stand at the waters edge, especially when a storm is brewing over the horizon, gives one the thrill of all the rich history that has taken place in the area, and who knows maybe you will catch a glimpse of the Flying Dutchman, or one of the Cape Mountain Zebra’s.

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