As South Africa's Cape Peninsula stretches south-west into the
South Atlantic Ocean, the rugged terrain narrows until it
terminates at the rocky headland known as the Cape of Good
Cape Point, the most south-westerly tip of the Cape of Good Hope
forms part of a designated nature reserve located within the larger
Table Mountain National Park and is renowned for the breath-taking
beauty of its landscape and of the diverse and abundant wild
flowers and plants that grow here.
Due to its treacherous weather and rocky waters this region was
originally named the 'Cape of Storms' in 1488 by its Portuguese
discoverer, Bartolomeu Dias, but was later renamed 'the Cape of
Good Hope' by King John II of Portugal. In 1859 the Cape received
its first lighthouse. Standing almost 250 meters above sea level,
today it can climbed to on foot or via the gently ascending Cape
Point Funicular Railway. The lighthouse's more recent successor,
installed in 1914, remains the most powerful lighthouse in
operation on the South African coast.
It is the natural wonders of the area, however, that are the
highlights of any tour of the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point.
Part of a UNESCO World Heritage site known as the Cape Floral
Region, Cape Point hosts 1,100 different plant and flower species,
more than 250 bird species and a diversity of wild animals
including zebra, eland, baboons and various reptiles.