Tip of Africa - Cape of Good Hope
Trip Start Apr 05, 2012
60Trip End Jul 25, 2012
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We now entered the National Park en-route to the Cape of Good Hope. Along the way, we made a quick stop at the Ostrich farm, where the birds are raised for the meat and leather. It was a little strange to see pens as you would see in a cattle farm but with Ostriches!! Just before arriving at the turn-off for the Cape of Good Hope parking lot, a family of Ostrich crossed the road in front of the bus. We were told they were residents of the park and could be seen most days wandering around. It was a male, female and three young ones. Fun!
We made it to the Cape of Good Hope!!! Of course we took the obligatory photo in front of the sign, but I walked out on the rocks and watched the beauty of the water splashing up against the cliffs. What a sight! From here, we went up to Cape Point where we took the funicular for a ride up to the lighthouse. A breathtaking view from high above the sea. It was so windy up there, but awe inspiring. A little ways down I could see a house and a path. A few people were down there, so I decided to make my way there, further out on the point. The path was labeled as a 1.5 hour walk, but I only had 25 minutes before the bus was leaving. I debated a little, but thought the photos would be awesome so I ran down and was rewarded by magnificent sights of the ocean and the cliffs. While there, I also found a family of Dassie. What a precious sight. I had to run back up hill to make the bus, and I thought I was going to die (I am out of shape you know!), but I made with time to spare. I loved the view. I may come back on my few extra days in Cape Town and explore the park more in-depth.
As we left the Cape Point, we stopped along the road to view the very elusive Elan - the world's largest antelope. They were far away, but it still counts!!! Also, after exiting the park, there was a family of Baboons sitting by the road. Needless to say, no traffic was passing in either direction as everyone was too busy taking photos!!! We stopped for lunch in Simon's town right on the beach before heading over to the Penguin Colony.
These penguins are endemic to the Cape and oh so cute! We saw the complete cycle of life in the penguin world, adult penguins, chicks, young ones, mating, everything. I could have stayed there for hours watching them move around just as if we no one was around. I really want to go to Antarctica now and visit those colonies!!!
Our final stop for the day was at the Botanical Gardens of Kirstenbosh. It is a very large, beautiful garden below Table Mountain (on the back). Some extremely beautiful flowers, the Protea, which are very large and endemic to this area of South Africa. We saw the national flower of South Africa in full bloom as well as closed which we were told was rare especially since it was so late in the day. Gorgeous!
A great day exploring the Cape Peninsula and all it has to offer. Most beautiful landscapes, great wildlife, good people, an awesome day!