Ok, so strictly speaking Cape Point, South Africa isn’t the world’s end, but standing at the famed point it’s easy to feel like it is. The Cape of Good Hope is one of those evocative names, that almost every traveller wants to visit. Once there, the imagination begins to kick in, witnessing the powerful ocean crash against the rugged coastline. It could easily be the edge of the world.
In truth it’s not even the most southerly point on the African continent, that honour goes to Cape Agulhas, which is located around 150 kilometres away. The Cape is not even the meeting point of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, contrary to popular belief. This is at least relatively close however, the meeting point of the warm Agulhas and coldwater Benguela currents fluctuates, but is often as little as 1.2 kilometres away.
Cape Point is part of Table Mountain National Park, forming it’s own nature reserve, and only a short drive from Cape Town. Everything from cyclists to cars, campers and coaches have to pay a fee to enter. It does appear to great place to cycle around, the roads are relatively quiet, the scenery appears as rough scrubland flanked by isolated, sandy beach bays, perfect for taking in at a slow pace.
The flora is actually part of the Cape Floristic Kingdom a highly diverse habitat, which is the smallest of the world’s six recognised floral kingdoms. Over 9,000 plant species can be found here, and nearly 70 percent are endemic.
There is a variety of wildlife, rowdy Chacma Baboon troops, create havoc for any foolhardy car passengers that stop long enough for these mischief makers to weave their monkey business. Cape Mountain Zebra, Ostrich, Eland are easily seen, there’s also African penguins, mongoose, and otter, which are less visible, along with numerous numerous lizards and tortoise.
A steady stream of tourists arrive by car, and coach keen to pose in front of the sign at world’s end. Patience is required to get a clear picture of the famous sign, or for an opportunity to stand beside it for a Kodak moment.
Photography etiquette is not always observed, some people hogging the limelight for several minutes, and others not prepared to wait their turn. All’s fair in love, and world’s end photography.
I scanned the horizon for the The Flying Dutchman, a ship of the damned, crewed by ghostly sailors. It’s seems fitting that Cape Point would be home to such a ship of legend, doomed to sail without ever getting round the headland. It didn’t appear however, which was a shame, as a timely appearance by tormented sailors might have driven the competitive tourists away.