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The Cape of Good Hope, South Africa

December 30th, 2006 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 
 

Photo: The Cape of Good Hope view

The Cape of Good Hope (Afrikaans: Kaap die Goeie Hoop, Dutch: Kaap de Goede Hoop) is a rocky headland on the Atlantic coast of South Africa. While it is possibly the best-known of the southern African capes, it is not actually the southernmost point of the continent; this is about 150 kilometres (90 mi) south-east at Cape Agulhas. However, the rounding of the Cape of Good Hope in 1488 was the first major milestone in Portuguese attempts to establish a sea route to the Far East.

As one of the great capes of the Southern Ocean, the Cape of Good Hope has been of special significance to sailors for many years, and is widely referred to by them simply as The Cape. or Cape Point . The Cape is a major milestone on the clipper route followed by clipper ships to the Far East and Australia, and still followed by several offshore yacht races.

The term Cape of Good Hope was also used to indicate the early Cape Colony established in 1652 in the vicinity of the Cape Peninsula and just prior to the formation of the Union of South Africa it meant the entire region that was to become the Cape Province in 1910.

The Cape of Good Hope is located at 34°21′29″S, 18°28′19″E. It is at the south-west corner of the Cape Peninsula, about 2.3 kilometres (1.4 mi) west and a little south of Cape Point on the south-east corner. The peninsula forms the western boundary of False Bay. Geologically, the rocks found at the two capes- and indeed over much of the peninsula- are part of the Table Mountain Group, and are formed of the same type of sandstones as those exposed in the faces of Table Mountain itself.

The Cape of Good Hope is often thought of as being the southernmost point in Africa, and the dividing point between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans; however, this is actually Cape Agulhas, which lies about 150 kilometres (90 mi) east-south-east. Cape Town is about thirty kilometres to the north of the Cape, in Table Bay at the north end of the peninsula.

Map showing the Cape Peninsula, illustrating the positions of the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point.

Map showing the Cape Peninsula, illustrating the positions of the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point.

Both the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point offer spectacular scenery. Indeed, the whole of the southernmost portion of the Cape Peninsula is a wild, rugged, scenic and generally unspoiled national park.

The term Cape of Good Hope has also been used in a wider sense, to indicate the area of the early European colony in the vicinity of the cape.

[Source: Wikipedia]

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Photo: The Cape of Good Hope view no. 2

Photo: The Cape of Good Hope; looking towards the west, from the coastal cliffs above Cape Point.

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