For many people, the term “Cape of Good” Hope instils a feeling of yearning or longing to travel and experience this beautiful place. It is one of the most favourite holiday destinations in South Africa. The Cape of Good Hope landmark is a small area of land and rocks in the famous Cape Point National Park. This whole area is also part of the Table Mountain National Park.
How the Cape of Good Hope was discovered
Bartolomeu Dias (Bartholomew Diaz) was the first European seafarer who discovered the Cape of Good Hope while looking for a sea route towards the Far East. Because of the many storms in this area, he named it the “Cape of Storms” in 1488.
Around 10 years later, Vasco da Gama tried to establish a new trade route between Europe, India and the Far East. Due to the emerging optimism about a possible sea route, King John II of Portugal named this area the “Cape of Good Hope”.
The Cape of Good Hope landmark is located about 10km from the entrance of the Cape Point National Park. There is a right turn towards Maclear Beach, which will lead to the famous sign. Here you can enjoy views of jagged cliffs and high waves.
Sturdy Shoes for Hiking
You should wear sturdy shoes when you visit the Cape Point National Park in South Africa. A lot of times you will be hiking from one place to another and you could easily slip or twist your ankle on the wet stones and rocks if you wear flip-flops or sandals. This area can be very windy therefore you should take a thin jacket or a pullover with you – even in summer. Please also don’t forget to bring your camera.
The Information Centre at Buffelsfontein offers a lot of information about the wildlife and plant species in Cape Point National Park. You can also take a brochure with you.
Take a Photo of the famous “Cape of Good Hope” sign
Of course, everyone wants to take a photo of the famous „Cape of Good Hope sign. That is why you should leave very early for the Cape of Good Hope. Otherwise, the queue of people waiting to get the perfect shot at this sign will be very long. A lot of tourist buses will also arrive around midday.
After successfully snapping some great photos at the sign you can climb up a small hill nearby and enjoy great sea views from the top. You could also walk a bit further on the hiking trail that leads to Diaz Beach and Cape Point.
Diaz Beach – Hiking Trail towards Cape Point
There is a scenic hiking trail between the Cape of Good Hope landmark and Cape Point. It takes about 2-3 hours to walk to the Cape Point parking lot and back (depending on how long you stop for a photo or a break to take in the beautiful landscape).
From the Cape of Good Hope parking lot/sign, you climb up some steep steps that lead up a small hill. From here, you can walk on a pathway with great views of the Atlantic Ocean. There are some sections where you have to walk over small rocks and stones but there also some wooden walkways. Various lookout points offer spectacular views of the ocean – if you are lucky, you might be able to spot some Dolphins or Seals (and even Whales in winter).