Cape Point And The Waters Of False Bay...

False Bay stretches from Cape Point in the west to Cape Hangklip in the east. It's name came about because early navigators often mistook Hangklip for Cape Point, resulting in various shipwrecks along this hazardous shoreline. The cliffs at Cape Point are among the highest coastal cliffs in the world.

In 1488, Bartholomew Dias named the Peninsula "Cabo Tormenentoso" or the "Cape of Storms". Portugal's King John II later gave it the name "Cabo da Boa Esperanca", the Cape of Good Hope. In 1580, Sir Frances Drake described the it as : "The most stately thing and the fairest Cape we saw in the whole circumference of the earth."

With its diverse habitats, ranging from rocky mountain tops to beaches and open sea, the Cape of Good Hope is home to at least 250 species of bird while the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, the smallest but richest of the world's six floral kingdoms, comprises a treasure trove of 1 100 species of indigenous plants ("fynbos"; literally 'fine bush'), of which a number are endemic (occur naturally nowhere else on earth).

A popular misconception is that the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet off Cape Point, implying that the Indian Ocean washes the shores of False Bay while the Atlantic Ocean is found on the western seaboard of the Peninsula. This is not true.

The warm Mocambique Current of the Indian Ocean travels down the eastern coast of South Africa from the equatorial regions and meets with the cold waters of the Atlantic's Benguela Current off Cape Agulhas (the most southerly point of the African continent) - the main reason why fog is a common occurrence out to sea at this point of the coastline.

Therefore, the Cape Peninsula, a narrow finger of land with its many beautiful valleys, bays and beaches is bound by the cold waters of the Atlantic Ocean on all sides. Due to False Bay's geography and oceanography, the water temperature is higher in the Bay than it is along the open western coastline.




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