With Table Mountain missing in action for the week so far and our trip to Robben island being postponed (for now, cancelled as i write), we hoped to have our next must see highlight hit the mark and we be blessed by some sunlight! First stop on our adventure south from Cape Town was delightful Hout Bay, which is where we intend to stay the night before we depart and head home. We stopped at the harbour, where sadly the first thing I saw was a man feeding a seal and treating it like a pet. It was good to see most people shun the man who was clearly trying to make money.
While we had a private car and driver it felt like our drive was really following the large tour buses that were growing in number. The view from up Chapman’s Peak is just stunning though looking across Hout Bay. The whole penisula south of Cape Town is a continuation of the geology that created Table Mountain. Its a very scenic and photogenic part of the world.
Its not just scenery though, but wildlife also. Baboons think they rule the penisula and probably do, but the rangers seem to have kept them away from all the areas tourists are in. Also sighted were ostrich and eland, even a short drive from Cape Town can become a mini animal safari. Eventually we got to a place called Cape Point. A very boring name for a point that has spectacular views and a funicular to get to the top. From Cape point you can see a lot of ocean and a much smaller cape called “Cape of Good Hope”. You may of heard that name before.
Contrary to what you may have thought, the Cape of Good Hope is not Africa’s southern most point either, that belongs to Cape Agulhas about 150kms East. That said the tiny wooden sign that indicates the Cape of Good Hope, sure does get a lot of people queuing up for a photo. There is nothing remotely spectacular here to see, unless you see an ostrich. Thankfully, Photoshop exists also because i wasn’t queuing up to a personless photo of the sign.
At this point of the day we’ve had a really good day and things probably couldn’t get better, except its now customary for me to go penguin spotting on my travels and that is exactly what we did in the afternoon. Sadly that is what all the tour buses also do, but I found a few good spots to watch the African Penguins frolic, but mostly just lie in the sun on the beach. They do all the same things that Antarctic penguins do without the belly slides on ice. In fact I think African Penguins like to have a few more fights and get a bit territorial on their beach, thus their nickname of Jack-ass penguins.
This was a pretty amazing day overall, magnificent scenery, reasonable weather, random wildlife spotting and a penguin colony! I’m glad we forked out for a private driver as we spent a good hour with the penguins and the tour groups came and went, giving us a few more intimate moments without dealing with the loud tourists.