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Cape of Good Hope

The rocky headland that for centuries was considered the southern tip of Africa and the dividing point between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans is the Cape of Good Hope. Even though Cape Agulhas is further south, the first rounding of the cape in 1488 by Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias was a milestone in the attempts to establish direct trading route with the Far East in the Era of Discoveries and Spices (although Herodotus proves that some Phoenicians had done so much earlier). Dias called the cape "Cape of Storms" before it was renamed to the "Cape of Good Hope". 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." It is the legendary home of The Flying Dutchman, crewed by tormented and damned ghostly sailors, it is doomed forever to beat its way through the adjacent waters without ever succeeding in rounding the headland.

With its diverse habitat, ranging from rocky mountain tops to beaches and open sea, the Cape of Good Hope is home to many of birds, including sunbirds, sugarbirds, ostriches and two mainland colonies of African penguins. Other animals: several species of antelope, cape zebras and chacma baboons are plentiful and easily spotted. The Cape of Good Hope offers excellent vantage points for watching the large marine species: the most likely to be seen are the southern right whales, humpback whales, seals, sharks, dusky dolphins (orca) and killer whales.

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