The Cape of Good Hope: Africa's Metaphorical Southernmost Point - Page 2

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Stacks of rocks on the Cape of
Good Hope (Nathan Borchelt)

Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve is now part of the Cape Peninsula National Park (www.cpnp.co.za/), so expect a nominal entrance fee. The Reserve itself was established in 1936 to protect the region's flora and fauna—this region alone has more plant species than in all of the British Isles.

Activities:
You can easily spend a day on the Cape. Extensive hiking trails weave throughout the Reserve (maps are available at the entrance). Be sure to dress for both hot and cold weather, as conditions change frequently and shade is practically non-existent, and carry lots of water. Cape Town's Downhill Adventures (021.422.0388; Orange Street Gardens; cybercapetown.com/tours/Downhill/index.php ) also offers guided cycling tours of the region and will provide you with bikes and meals, along with shuttle service to and from the city.

Getting There:
The Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve is about 40 miles as the crow flies from Cape Town, but the drive along the coast of the Cape Peninsula should not be rushed. You can approach from the west along the M65 after following the M6 out of Cape Town, but if you come from the east on the M4 along False Bay, you can also check out the penguin colony at Boulders.

South African Airways (27.11.978.5313; http://www.flysaa.com/) now offers direct flights from New York City's JFK Airport to Johannesburg. The flight is long—a full 13 hours—but you are crossing an ocean and traveling into the Southern Hemisphere. They also offer domestic service from Johannesburg to Cape town and all points domestic as well as throughout the continent.

Books
In addition to the usual guidebooks, I heartily recommend you snag a copy of Coast to Coast: How to Survive Backpacking in Africa, a humorous and comprehensive guide to the hostel and backpacker scene in South Africa, Lesotho, and Namibia. Best of all, it's FREE. (P.O. box 564; Simon's Town 7995; tel: 021.786.1742; fax: 021.786.2081; info@coastingafrica.com; www.coastingafrica.com

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Best Hotels in Cape Town

$131-$151
Average/night*
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#1
Cape Royale Luxury Hotel and Spa
$149-$247
Average/night*
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#2
Victoria and Alfred Hotel
$168
Average/night*
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#3
The Westin Cape Town
$57
Average/night*
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#4
Atlantic Affair Boutique Hotel

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