Cape of Good Hope (South Africa)

At the tip of the Cape Peninsula 60 km south-west of Cape Town, lies Cape Point, a nature reserve within the Table Mountain National Park; a declared Natural World Heritage Site. South Africa's Cape coast attracts thousands of local and international tourists each year to witness the Indian and Atlantic oceans splashing together - or so they believe.. Cape Point, an hour's drive from Cape Town, cashes in on the visitors who flock to witness this supposed natural phenomenon. An estimated 800 000 people a year visit its spectacular cliffs, lighthouses and "Two Oceans" curio shops. However, the residents of Cape Agulhas - over 100km east of Cape Point - insist that visitors wanting to see the confluence of the two oceans will have to travel a little further south ...Encompassing 7 750 hectares of rich and varied flora and fauna; abounding with buck, baboons and Cape Mountain Zebra as well as over 250 species of birds, Cape Point is a nature enthusiast paradise and rugged rocks and sheer cliffs towering more than 200 meters above the sea and cutting deep into the ocean provide a spectacular background for the Parks' rich bio-diversity. Cape Point falls within the southern section of Table Mountain National Park. The natural vegetation of the area, fynbos, comprises the smallest but richest of the world's six floral kingdoms. The scenic beauty of Cape Point is not its sole allure; it is also an international icon of great historical interest with many a visitor drawn to the area because of its rich maritime history. Named the 'Cape of Storms' by Bartolomeu Dias in 1488; the 'Point' was treated with respect by sailors for centuries. By day, it was a navigational landmark and by night, and in fog, it was a menace beset by violent storms and dangerous rocks that over the centuries littered shipwrecks around the coastline. In 1859 the first lighthouse was completed; it still stands at 249 meters above sea-level on the highest section of the peak and is now used as the centralized monitoring point for all the lighthouses on the coast of South Africa. Access to this historical building is by an exhilarating ride in the wheelchair accessible Flying Dutchman funicular that transfers visitors from the lower station at 127 meters above sea level, to the upper station at 286 meters above sea level.