THE CAPE OF GOOD HOPE
All the way down to the tip of the Cape Peninsula lies the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point, which marks the entrance to False Bay, so named because early sailors were often fooled into thinking they’d reached the bay at Cape Town (Table Bay). While not the tip of Africa (that would be Cape Agulhas some 100 miles farther east), the Cape of Good Hope marks the southwestern-most point on the African continent – from here, ships bound for Asia begin the turn eastward into seas of the Indian Ocean.
Less than a mile-and-a-half away, Cape Point juts above the ocean some 650 feet, in some of the most rugged and beautiful land-meets-sea-scape imaginable. The inclined railway that runs from the parking lot to the old lighthouse is a fun and scenic ride – and it beats taking the stairs. Its name, The Flying Dutchman Funicular, alludes to the centuries-old tale of the ghost ship which is said still to sail these waters. While you’re at the top, look for the remains of the gun emplacements which guarded this critical shipping lane during World War II.
The Cape of Good Hope Park summer hours are 6:00 AM - 6:00 PM; winter 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM (but remember, you’re in the Southern Hemisphere where summer is from September to March). Park admission R90 ($10), round-trip funicular ride R49 ($5).