“Is this the end of the earth?” Gliding swiftly over its currents, two oceans – The Indian Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean – gnarled and gushed impatiently from different directions, finding their peace when they merged happily at the Cape Point. Vast expanses of water stretched for as far as my eyes could see. My question got lost in the waves that surged excitedly against the rocks but my heart did a little somersault. Finally, here I was standing at the Cape Of Good Hope.
As a student, I had heard about the Cape Of Good Hope in my geography class. I had gained an extra mark because I had labelled it correctly on the physical map of South Africa in my school exam. The thought of going to the rocky headland on the Atlantic coast of the Cape Peninsula
It’s like this – each time I literally see places that I have read or heard about, I do a school girl twirl. I remember, on our earlier holidays, when I stood on the Prime Meridien in Greenwich, entered the Great Pyramid in Cairo, walked in Ireland on the Cliffs of Moher or stood looking at the world below from the World Trade Centre in New York. I got goosebumps each time as I saw my fantasy unfurl to reality. I knew I would undergo the same enthralling moment at the Cape of Good Hope.
Taking a day trip to the Cape Of Good Hope
The Cape of Good Hope takes up most of the day, but the trip is certainly worth the time. The three main sites of interest at the Cape Point National Park are – Cape Point, the Cape Point Lighthouse and the Cape of Good Hope. Cape of Good Hope is a headland off of the southern tip of South Africa and quite mistakenly referred to as the southernmost tip of Africa which actually is Cape Agulhas located about 200 km away on the Garden Route.
The Cape Point National Point can also be called “Baboon land”. Baboons are everywhere and you’ll probably spot them as soon as you enter the Cape Peninsula
At Cape Point, the best thing to do is to enjoy the raw, natural beauty. The merging of the two oceans- The Indian and the Atlantic Ocean amidst the backdrop of the clouds is breathtakingly beautiful. When the streaks of the sun cast a warm glow over the land, it is a dramatic landscape. Quite surreal! Of course, one may have to queue up to get the quintessential photograph in front of the sign. Do it anyway else nobody will believe you came to the Cape of Good Hope.
A 5-minute drive further on from the Cape of Good Hope leads to the main car park and the Visitor Centre. A non-functional lighthouse at the height of 250m above sea level offers an idyllic spot to grab the best views- – the looming sheer cliffs tumbling into rough waters, the splashes of huge waves ashore and the scenic vistas all around.
From the car park itself, a paved path leads all way to this lighthouse. The walk up is not long, but it’s strenuous. One can use either the steady flight of stairs or a funicular to the viewpoint. We preferred to walk up even though the Flying Dutchman Funicular will get you to the top in three minutes for a nominal amount of R50/R20 for an adult/children one-way and R65/R25 for a return ticket.
Once you reach the lighthouse that the vistas open up and you can see the tip of the cape – the Cape Point. The tip of South Africa’s map that we pinpointed and marked in school exams is presented literally in front of your eyes. The whole experience is overwhelming and must be done once in a lifetime, for sure.
Things to keep in mind while visiting the Cape of Good Hope:
- Do not feed the baboons or hurt them. Keep your cars locked at all times.
- It can get pretty windy by the coast and at the top of the trail so make sure you bring a jacket!
- If you are going up the trail, bring water and wear proper footwear because it’s part steps but also part climbing up rocks
Cost of Tickets for the Cape of Good Hope.
South Africans (with ID):
- Adults: R76
- Children (2 – 11 years old): R39
- Adults: R303
- Children (2 – 11 years old): R152