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The CAPE OF GOOD HOPE (Afrikaans : _Kaap die Goeie Hoop_ , Dutch : _Kaap de Goede Hoop_ (_ listen ), Portuguese : Cabo da Boa Esperança_ ) is a rocky headland on the Atlantic coast of the Cape Peninsula , South Africa
South Africa
.

A common misconception is that the Cape of Good Hope
Cape of Good Hope
is the southern tip of Africa
Africa
. This misconception was based on the misbelief that the Cape was the dividing point between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans . Contemporary scientific knowledge instead states the southernmost point of Africa
Africa
is Cape Agulhas about 150 kilometres (90 mi) to the east-southeast . The currents of the two oceans meet at the point where the warm-water Agulhas current
Agulhas current
meets the cold water Benguela current and turns back on itself. That oceanic meeting point fluctuates between Cape Agulhas and Cape Point
Cape Point
(about 1.2 kilometres (0.75 mi) east of the Cape of Good Hope).

When following the western side of the African coastline from the equator, however, the Cape of Good Hope
Cape of Good Hope
marks the point where a ship begins to travel more eastward than southward. Thus, the first modern rounding of the cape in 1488 by Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias was a milestone in the attempts by the Portuguese to establish direct trade relations with the Far East
Far East
(although Herodotus
Herodotus
mentioned a claim that the Phoenicians had done so far earlier ). Dias called the cape _Cabo das Tormentas_ ("Cape of Storms"; Dutch : _Stormkaap_), which was the original name of the "Cape of Good Hope".

As one of the great capes of the South Atlantic Ocean, the Cape of Good Hope has long been of special significance to sailors, many of whom refer to it simply as "THE CAPE". It is a waypoint on the Cape Route and the clipper route followed by clipper ships to the Far East and Australia
Australia
, and still followed by several offshore yacht races .

The term _Cape of Good Hope_ is also used in three other ways:

* It is a section of the Table Mountain National Park , within which the cape of the same name, as well as Cape Point
Cape Point
, falls. Prior to its incorporation into the national park, this section constituted the Cape Point
Cape Point
Nature Reserve. * It was the name of the early Cape Colony
Cape Colony
established by the Dutch in 1652, on the Cape Peninsula
Cape Peninsula
. * Just before the Union of South Africa
South Africa
was formed, the term referred to the entire region that in 1910 was to become the Cape of Good Hope Province (usually shortened to _the Cape Province_).

CONTENTS

* 1 History * 2 Geography

* 3 Fauna

* 3.1 Chacma baboons

* 4 Flora * 5 Legends * 6 See also * 7 References * 8 External links

HISTORY

Eudoxus of Cyzicus (/ˈjuːdəksəs/ ; Greek : Εὔδοξος, _Eúdoxos_; fl. c. 130 BC) was a Greek navigator for Ptolemy VIII , king of the Hellenistic Ptolemaic dynasty in Egypt
Egypt
, who found the wreck of a ship in the Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
that appeared to have come from Gades
Gades
(today's Cádiz in Spain), rounding the Cape.

When Eudoxus was returning from his second voyage to India
India
the wind forced him south of the Gulf of Aden
Gulf of Aden
and down the coast of Africa
Africa
for some distance. Somewhere along the coast of East Africa, he found the remains of the ship. Due to its appearance and the story told by the natives, Eudoxus concluded that the ship was from Gades
Gades
and had sailed anti-clockwise around Africa, passing the Cape and entering the Indian Ocean. This inspired him to repeat the voyage and attempt a circumnavigation of the continent. Organising the expedition on his own account he set sail from Gades
Gades
and began to work down the African coast. The difficulties were too great, however, and he was obliged to return to Europe.

After this failure he again set out to circumnavigate Africa. His eventual fate is unknown. Although some, such as Pliny , claimed that Eudoxus did achieve his goal, the most probable conclusion is that he perished on the journey.

In the 1450 Fra Mauro map , the Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
is depicted as connected to the Atlantic. Fra Mauro puts the following inscription by the southern tip of Africa, which he names the "Cape of Diab", describing the exploration by a ship from the East around 1420: Detail of the Fra Mauro Map describing the construction of the junks that navigate in the Indian Ocean.

"Around 1420 a ship, or junk, from India
India
crossed the Sea of India towards the Island of Men and the Island of Women, off Cape Diab, between the Green Islands and the shadows. It sailed for 40 days in a south-westerly direction without ever finding anything other than wind and water. According to these people themselves, the ship went some 2,000 miles ahead until - once favourable conditions came to an end - it turned round and sailed back to Cape Diab in 70 days".

"The ships called junks (lit. "Zonchi") that navigate these seas carry four masts or more, some of which can be raised or lowered, and have 40 to 60 cabins for the merchants and only one tiller. They can navigate without a compass , because they have an astrologer , who stands on the side and, with an astrolabe in hand, gives orders to the navigator". (Text from the Fra Mauro map, 09-P25.)

Fra Mauro explained that he obtained the information from "a trustworthy source", who traveled with the expedition, possibly the Venetian explorer Niccolò da Conti who happened to be in Calicut , India
India
at the time the expedition left:

"What is more, I have spoken with a person worthy of trust, who says that he sailed in an Indian ship caught in the fury of a tempest for 40 days out in the Sea of India, beyond the Cape of Soffala and the Green Islands towards west-southwest; and according to the astrologers who act as their guides, they had advanced almost 2,000 miles. Thus one can believe and confirm what is said by both these and those, and that they had therefore sailed 4,000 miles".

Fra Mauro also comments that the account of the expedition, together with the relation by Strabo
Strabo
of the travels of Eudoxus of Cyzicus from Arabia to Gibraltar
Gibraltar
through the southern Ocean in Antiquity , led him to believe that the Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
was not a closed sea and that Africa could be circumnavigated by her southern end (Text from Fra Mauro map, 11, G2). This knowledge, together with the map depiction of the African continent, probably encouraged the Portuguese to intensify their effort to round the tip of Africa. Map showing the Cape Peninsula , illustrating the position of the Cape of Good Hope. The main mountains and their peaks, including Table Mountain
Table Mountain
, and its relation to the City of Cape Town
Cape Town
are shown. Map of the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Agulhas the southernmost point of Africa. Main article: Cape Colony
Cape Colony
Reproduction of the Cross of Vasco da Gama at the Cape of Good Hope.

In the Early Modern Era , the first European to reach the cape was the Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias on 12 March 1488, who named it the "Cape of Storms" (_Cabo das Tormentas_). It was later renamed by John II of Portugal as "Cape of Good Hope" (_Cabo da Boa Esperança_) because of the great optimism engendered by the opening of a sea route to India
India
and the East.

The land around the cape was home to the Khoikhoi people when the Dutch first settled there in 1652. The Khoikhoi had arrived in these parts about fifteen hundred years before. They were called Hottentots by the Dutch, a term that has now come to be regarded as pejorative.

Dutch colonial administrator Jan van Riebeeck
Jan van Riebeeck
established a resupply camp for the Dutch East India
India
Company some 50 km north of the cape in Table Bay on 6 April 1652 and this eventually developed into Cape Town . Supplies of fresh food were vital on the long journey around Africa and Cape Town
Cape Town
became known as "The Tavern of the Seas".

On 31 December 1687 a community of Huguenots
Huguenots
—who are Protestants—arrived at the Cape of Good Hope
Cape of Good Hope
from the Netherlands. They had escaped to the Netherlands from France in order to flee religious persecution there; examples of these are Pierre Joubert who came from La Motte-d\'Aigues for religious reasons. The Dutch East India
India
Company needed skilled farmers at the Cape of Good Hope
Cape of Good Hope
and the Dutch Government saw opportunities for the Huguenots
Huguenots
at the Cape and sent them over. The colony gradually grew over the next 150 years or so until it stretched for hundreds of kilometres to the north and north-east.

When the Dutch Republic, during the Napoleonic Wars, was occupied by the French in 1795, henceforth becoming their vassal and enemy of the British, the United Kingdom invaded and occupied the Cape Colony
Cape Colony
that same year; relinquished control of the territory in 1803; only to return and reoccupy the Cape on 19 January 1806 following the Battle of Blaauwberg . The territory was ceded to the British in the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1814 and was thereafter administered as the Cape Colony . It remained a British colony until being incorporated into the independent Union of South Africa
South Africa
in 1910 (now known as the Republic of South Africa).

The Portuguese government erected two navigational beacons, DIAS CROSS and GAMA CROSS, to commemorate Vasco da Gama
Vasco da Gama
and Bartolomeu Dias as explorers who as mentioned were the first explorers to reach the cape. When lined up, the crosses point to Whittle Rock (34°21′24.63″S 18°28′26.36″E / 34.3568417°S 18.4739889°E / -34.3568417; 18.4739889 ), a large, permanently submerged shipping hazard in False Bay . Two other beacons in Simon\'s Town provide the intersection.

GEOGRAPHY

Sign at the Cape of Good Hope
Cape of Good Hope

The Cape of Good Hope
Cape of Good Hope
is at the southern tip of the Cape Peninsula
Cape Peninsula
, about 2.3 kilometres (1.4 mi) west and a little south of Cape Point
Cape Point
on the south-east corner. Cape Town
Cape Town
is about 50 kilometres to the north of the Cape, in Table Bay at the north end of the peninsula. The peninsula forms the western boundary of False Bay . Geologically, the rocks found at the two capes, and indeed over much of the peninsula, are part of the Cape Supergroup , and are formed of the same type of sandstones as Table Mountain
Table Mountain
itself. Both the Cape of Good Hope
Cape of Good Hope
and Cape Point
Cape Point
offer spectacular scenery; the whole of the southernmost portion of the Cape Peninsula
Cape Peninsula
is a wild, rugged, scenic and generally unspoiled national park.

The term _the Cape_ has also been used in a wider sense, to indicate the area of the European colony centred on Cape Town
Cape Town
, and the later South African province . Since 1994, it has been broken up into three smaller provinces: the Western Cape
Western Cape
, Eastern Cape
Eastern Cape
and Northern Cape
Northern Cape
; parts of the province were also absorbed into the North West .

FAUNA

Male ostrich at the Cape of Good Hope
Cape of Good Hope

With its diverse habitat, ranging from rocky mountain tops to beaches and open sea, the Cape of Good Hope
Cape of Good Hope
is home to at least 250 species of birds including one of the two mainland colonies of African penguins .

"Bush birds" tend to be rather scarce because of the coarse, scrubby nature of fynbos vegetation. When flowering, however, proteas and ericas attract sunbirds , sugarbirds , and other species in search of nectar. For most of the year, there are more small birds in coastal thicket than in fynbos.

The Cape of Good Hope
Cape of Good Hope
section of Table Mountain National Park is home to several species of antelope. Bontebok and eland are easily seen, and red hartebeest can be seen in the grazing lawns in Smitswinkel Flats. Grey rhebok are less commonly seen and are scarce, but may be observed along the beach hills at Olifantsbos. Most visitors are unlikely to ever see either Cape grysbok or klipspringer.

The Cape of Good Hope
Cape of Good Hope
section is home to four Cape mountain zebra . They might be seen by the attentive or lucky visitor, usually in Smitswinkel Flats.

There are a wealth of small animals such as lizards , snakes , tortoises and insects . Small mammals include rock hyrax , four-striped grass mouse , water mongoose , Cape clawless otter and fallow deer .

The area offers excellent vantage points for whale watching. The southern right whale is the species most likely to be seen in False Bay between June and November. Other species are the humpback whale and Bryde\'s whale . Seals , dusky dolphins and killer whales have also been seen.

The strategic position of the Cape of Good Hope
Cape of Good Hope
between two major ocean currents, ensures a rich diversity of marine life. There is a difference between the sea life west of Cape Point
Cape Point
and that to the east due to the markedly differing sea temperatures.

The South African Marine Living Resources Act is strictly enforced throughout the Table Mountain National Park , and especially in marine protected areas. Disturbance or removal of any marine organisms is strictly prohibited between Schusters Bay and Hoek van Bobbejaan, but is allowed in other areas during season and with relevant permits.

CHACMA BABOONS

Chacma baboons (_ Papio ursinus _) are the mammals most intimately associated with the Cape of Good Hope. Baboons inside the Cape of Good Hope section of the park are a major tourist attraction. There are 11 troops consisting of about 375 individuals throughout the entire Cape Peninsula. Six of these 11 troops either live entirely within the Cape of Good Hope section of the park, or use the section as part of their range. The Cape Point, Kanonkop, Klein Olifantsbos, and Buffels Bay troops live entirely inside the Cape of Good Hope
Cape of Good Hope
section of the Park. The Groot Olifantsbos and Plateau Road troops range into the park.

Chacma baboons are widely distributed across southern Africa
Africa
and are classified as ″least concern" in the _IUCN Red List of Threatened Species_. However, the South African Parks Department states in its publication _Mountains in the Sea_ that the baboon population on the Cape is "critically endangered." This is due to habitat loss, genetic isolation, and conflicts with humans. Cape baboons have been eliminated from the majority of their range across the Cape Peninsula, and the Cape of Good Hope
Cape of Good Hope
section of Table Mountain
Table Mountain
National Park provides a sanctuary for the troops that live within its boundaries. It provides relative safety from nearby towns, where people have killed many baboons after the baboons raid their houses looking for food. Baboons are also frequently injured or killed outside of the park by cars and by electrocution on power lines. Inside the park, some management policies such as allowing barbecues and picnics in the baboon home ranges cause detriment to the troops, as they become embroiled in conflicts with guests to the park.

FLORA

Fynbos
Fynbos
at Cape Peninsula
Cape Peninsula

The Cape of Good Hope
Cape of Good Hope
is an integral part of the Cape Floristic Kingdom , the smallest but richest of the world's six floral kingdoms. This comprises a treasure trove of 1100 species of indigenous plants, of which a number are endemic (occur naturally nowhere else on earth). The main type of fynbos ("fine bush") vegetation at the Cape of Good Hope is Peninsula Sandstone Fynbos
Fynbos
, an endangered vegetation type that is endemic to the Cape Peninsula. Coastal Hangklip Sand Fynbos grows on low-lying alkaline sands and, right by the sea, small patches of Cape Flats Dune Strandveld can be found.

Characteristic fynbos plants include proteas , ericas (heath), and restios (reeds). Some of the most striking and well-known members belong to the Proteacae family, of which up to 24 species occur. These include king protea , sugarbush , tree pincushion and golden cone bush (_ Leucadendron
Leucadendron
laureolum_).

Many popular horticultural plants like pelargoniums , freesias , daisies , lilies and irises also have their origins in fynbos.

LEGENDS

* The Cape of Good Hope
Cape of Good Hope
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. * _ Adamastor _ is a Greek-type mythological character invented by the Portuguese poet Luís de Camões in his epic poem _ Os Lusíadas _ (first printed in 1572), as a symbol of the forces of nature Portuguese navigators had to overcome during their discoveries and more specifically of the dangers Portuguese sailors faced when trying to round the Cape of Storms.

SEE ALSO

* Cape Peninsula
Cape Peninsula
* Cape Horn
Cape Horn
, its South American counterpart * Cape Point
Cape Point
* Western Cape
Western Cape
* History of Cape Colony
Cape Colony
* Simon\'s Town * Postage stamps and postal history of the Cape of Good Hope

REFERENCES

* ^ Every word in isolation . * ^ "Cape of Good Hope, South Africa
South Africa
- 360° Aerial Panoramas". * ^ The first circumnavigation of Africa. livius.org * ^ Sarah Mytton Maury (1848). _Englishwoman In America_. p. 33. * ^ _Along the Clipper Way_, Francis Chichester; page 78. Hodder & Stoughton, 1966. ISBN 0-340-00191-7 * ^ Map of the Park, showing the Cape of Good Hope
Cape of Good Hope
section (retrieved 27 March 2010). * ^ Tozer, Henry F. (1997). History of Ancient Geography. Biblo & Tannen. pp. 189–190. ISBN 0-8196-0138-1 . ; online at Google Books * ^ Tozer, Henry F. (1997). _History of Ancient Geography_. Biblo & Tannen. pp. xxiii. ISBN 0-8196-0138-1 . ; online at Google Books * ^ Marco Polo , p. 409 * ^ Needham 1971 , p. 501 * ^ Ehret, Christopher (2001). _An African Classical Age_. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press. p. 219. ISBN 0-8139-2057-4 . * ^ "Peninsula Sandstone Fynbos. Cape Town
Cape Town
Biodiversity Factsheets" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-12-12. * ^ "Cape Flats Dune Strandveld. Cape Town
Cape Town
Biodiversity Factsheets" (PDF).

EXTERNAL LINKS

_ Wikimedia Commons has

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