Over the centuries, the Cape of Good Hope has been a marker for ships traveling the treacherous route from Europe to the Far East. The windswept sliver of land jutting southward from the African continent signaled that ships could now bear eastward, continuing their harrowing journey across the turbulent seas.
It may not be the most southerly point in Africa, as sailors once believed, but the peninsula once known as the Cape of Storms is a rugged place that captivates visitors. Its jagged cliffs soar hundreds of feet above a swirling ocean littered with visible shipwrecks from a distant era. The next notable landmass, Antarctica, is some 4,000 miles away.
For a day trip to Cape Point, follow these basic rules. Pick a day with good weather; check the wind, rain, and cloud cover. Try to secure your own vehicle, since tours won’t allow you to explore the park on your own. Get to Cape Point at sunrise to avoid the summer crowds, but also to see the park in the best possible light. Make a day of it: drive there along one side of the peninsula, and return on the other. Take your time to visit the quaint seaside towns and take in the dramatic views from the ocean roads.
Finally, don’t overlook the short, sharp trek up to the Old Lighthouse — but prioritize walks where the majority of visitors tend not to go. When you’ve got your perfect selfie, put the camera away and go find that quiet cliffside viewpoint or remote beach. Take a long silent walk on the pristine, white-sand beaches, where you’re more likely to stumble across inquisitive wildlife than other humans.