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Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve


When Bartholomew Dias was blown around Cape Point in 1488, and so became the first european to discover what was thought to be the southern-most tip of Africa, he named the point Cabo Tormentoso  (Cape of Storms).  However, King John II of Portugal felt that the name Cabo Tormentosa was too negative for such a great discovery, and renamed it Cabo de Boa Esperanza (Cape of Good Hope). 

In 1580 Sir Francis Drake described it as "..the fairest Cape we saw in the whole circumference of the earth". This 7 750 hectares nature reserve at the southern-most tip of the Cape Peninsula forms part of the Table Mountain National Park.  A number of trails in the reserve will give you the opportunity to experience nature in all its splendour.  With 1 100 species of indigenous plants, 250 species of birds, mammals such as whales (between July and November), Cape Mountain Zebra, Bontebok, Eland, Chacma Baboon, Rock Hyrax (Dassie), and a wealth of insects, reptiles and frogs, walking a trail in this nature reserve is a must.

A scenic drive along the False Bay Coast and a visit to Cape Point is included.

Optional at Cape Point (not included in tour price) :
Lunch in the Two Oceans Restaurant
Funicular ride to the old light house

Duration:  3 - 4 hours.
Exertion: Moderate to easy

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Eco-Information on the Western Cape, South Africa.
The Succulent Karoo is one of 25 internationally recognised biodiversity hotspots, and the only arid hotspot in the world. Succulent Karoo has the highest number of plant species of any semi-arid area, many of which are rare and endangered, and has the richest succulent flora in the world.

Semi-desert climatic conditions prevail, with less than 250mm of rainfall per year that falls predominantly in winter. Vegetation is sparse, dominated by dwarf scrubs of which most have succulent leaves. The most common of its succulent, or fleshy leaved plants are mesembs (Mesembryanthemaceae), commonly known as 'vygies'.

There are more than 2 000 different species of mesembs in South Africa, of which many occur in the Western Cape. Other succulent families include the Aloes, Haworthias, Crassulas, Euphorbias and Stapeliads. The Succulent Karoo is also very rich in geophytes, with spectacular displays in spring.