Many people think the Cape of Good Hope is the southern tip of Africa. However, the Cape of Good Hope is actually the Southwestern-most tip of Africa. Sorry to burst your bubble, if you’re like me when you get there, you’ll picture yourself on a map and think, “whaaaatt? crazy!”
The actual southern tip of Africa is Cape Aghulas. It’s not as touristy as the Cape of Good Hope and about a 3 hour drive (105 mi/170m) to the southeast of Cape Town. Most people who go to Cape Aghulas, stay overnight since it is so far. And for those intrepid travelers that want to see the official geographic divide between the Atlantic and warmer Indian oceans, where the two bodies of water meet, you have to get out on the water.
And we were told that if you want to see really big white harks, you’ll have more luck at Cape Aghulas compared to Gansbaai.
The Cape of Good Hope is popular as the drive from Cape Town features stunning ocean and cliff views and local markets along the route. The first time I went there, I was on a group day tour. We stopped at a lookout point for lunch and I even saw a whale breach!
In my most recent visit, we hired a private driver as we weren’t interested in the multiple stops on the public tours. It was Saturday, so we made a small detour to the Old Biscuit Mill to pack some fresh bread, cheese and chocolate from CocoaFair to enjoy throughout the day. This recent time I was there, it was the beginning of June so the whales weren’t migrating but the views were just as stunning as I remembered them.
At the Cape we hiked around the rocks and saw loads of rock hyraxes.
We took the Old Dutchman Funicular Railway to the Old Lighthouse Lookout Point. You can walk up – it’s uphill, but not tough. However we thought it’d be fun to go on the funicular.
The views from the Lighthouse are beautiful and worth seeing. There’s been almost two dozen (known) shipwrecks at Cape Point and there are sign posts sharing details about the rich history.
The restaurant has quick grab n’ go items as well as a sit down and dine area with indoor and outdoor seating for visitors.
We grabbed beverages at the restaurant and enjoyed our bread, cheese, and chocolate. Somehow they were even tastier enjoying them at Cape Point. 🙂
Beware of the baboons! They’re used to humans which means they’re fearless. They’re known to grab food and items right out of people’s hands!
Unfortunately, we didn’t make it Cape Aghulas. We’ve added it to the list of things for our next visit, beautiful South Africa.
On the way back to Cape Town we stopped at Boulder’s Beach in Simon’s Town to see the beloved penguins. This is the only place in the world where one can get this close to African penguins. Boulders Beach is in Table Mountain National Park and wooden platforms welcome over 60,000 tourists every year who flock (pun intended) to see these adorable birds.
By the way, Simonstown is a lovely village for you to spend more time if you’d like to stay after visiting the penguins. Have a picnic on the beach, play in the water – it’s much warmer at False Bay compared to the Atlantic seaboard. Just make sure to check the tide tables as most of the beach is inaccessible during high tide.
Whether you make it to the actual southern tip of Africa or decide to check out the Cape of Good Hope and skip Cape Aghulas, you will not be disappointed! The Cape of Good Hope is closer to Cape Town. And Cape Aghulas is an overnight trip from Cape Town. If you want to see larger white sharks head to Cape Aghulas.
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I created the PassportPages travel blog, to provide nuanced, detailed travel advice, tips, and hacks for traveling all over the world — from a unique and different perspective than the other popular travel blogs. There aren’t as many travel blogs geared towards:
- nuanced, detailed travel tips and advice
- vegetarians/vegan travelers
- ethnic Americans, Canadians, and others
- petite women
As a non-Caucasian there’s an additional layer to traveling abroad that other popular travel bloggers can’t relate to, like my experience on my most recent trip to Paris.
When I’m not traveling and/or adventuring (and even when I am), I operate my tech startup, ShaadiShop. ShaadiShop is a marketplace for Indian-friendly wedding venues in California.
During undergrad I decided to study abroad which triggered my travel passion. I lived in Adelaide, Australia for a year and after that, for the next 10 years I spent 1-2 months each year, traveling to various destinations around the globe, on my own while I managed my direct marketing company.
I think traveling solo, prepared me to become an entrepreneur – journeying into new experiences, figuring it out as I went, self-reliance, facing your fears head on, trying new things, and so much more!
Then I decided to get a Masters in Business Administration, and I met my husband. Now we travel around the globe together and often. I love backpacks, vegetarian and vegan cooking and of course planning our next trip. I’m also kinda addicted to blueberries. =p
Check in on the blog or better yet follow PassportPages to get travel info from around the world. And definitely post your questions and comments. I love hearing from our readers! Cheers!
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What to Expect on an African Safari