On our last full day in Cape Town we travelled to Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope which is the most South Western point of the African continent and is situated within the Table Mountain National Park. The park is home to a wide array of fynbos, over 250 species of birds, eland, baboons and Cape mountain zebra and is a wonderful place to explore.
The original name given to the Cape of Good Hope by Bartholomeu Dias, the Portuguese explorer who discovered the point in 1488 and thus showing Europe that there was a feasible route to India via Africa, was the Cape of Storms. One can only imagine the storm that Diaz must have run into when passing the Cape to have come up with that name which, subsequently was changed by King John of Portugal to its present name.
A light house was built on the top of the Cape Point but due to it’s height it was often not seen by passing ships and many were lost around the Cape. In 1911 the light house was moved closer to ground level following the sinking of the Portuguese ship SS Lusitania.
To enable to you take in the wonderful scenery from the top of the Cape Point you can catch the Funicular to the viewing site near the old Cape Light House but for those more energetic the walk to the top is a definite must. There is also a wonderful walk from Cape Point to the Cape of Good Hope which takes around an hour to cover the 3.3kms.
On our way to Cape Point we stopped at Boulders Beach, home to the African penguins, which now shelter in the safe waters near Simons Town. You are able to stroll around on boardwalks above the breeding birds and get up very close to these lovely creatures which stand between 60cm to 70cm tall. We were fortunate to see a number of birds sitting on their nests with young chicks and it is good to know that the colony is now over 3,000 birds having gone down to two breeding pairs back in 1982.
Our final dinner in South Africa was at a local market in Hout Bay and then it was time to say goodbye to this amazing group of travellers. It is always sad to say goodbye to guests who have now become friends and I hope that our shared experiences will stay with them for years to come.
As one trip finishes a new one is on the horizons and my next trip is just over a week away and I will be back with updates as and when wifi allows. This next trip will be an exciting one as it is a full week at a private game lodge in Botswana and I am looking forward to sharing this with everyone.