I found my favorite place at the Cape of Good Hope by absolute accident. Of course you can only visit a place like this, when you hire a car from Aroundaboutcars. I am not saying this because I am the owner of Aroundaboutcars and we offer the best rates and cars in the country but because of the fact that there is no public transport for travelling to the Cape. An organized tour costs twice as much as a hire car for one day and a tour would never drive to my favorite place.
My friend Michaela came to visit me and like all the other tourists, she wanted to have a photo standing with the huge sign saying “”The Cape of Good Hope” as the background . Somehow we took the wrong turning in the national park and instead of the Good Hope, we only found the Thomas Tucker.
First we were assuming that maybe Thomas could be an interesting marriage candidate for my friend, who was single at this moment and also he must be famous because he also had his own sign. But no, it was an American wreck – hah – if they had asked us, we could told them from the beginning that ships are not happy to be named after any men!!!.
The first turning in the park will take you to Olifantsbos, where you can comfortably travel with a rented car . The Cape Point National Park is a World Floral Kingdom (the smallest, but species-riches plant-kingdom of the world with 9000 different kinds) and it is a world heritage.e site of UNESCO. Some of the plants only exist in this park and nowhere else Here you can also find the national flower of South Africa, the King Protea.
Per annum 700.000 people visit the 8.000 hectare park and plenty of them rent a vehicle from Around About Cars . Unfortunately the majority of them drive straight to the lighthouse at the end , take a few pictures and leave again
Only some locals and insane surfers find their way to the lonesome beaches of Olifantsbos, where the Thomas Trucker Shipwreck Trail (TT shipwreck hike) is located. Since the first time I went down to Olifantsbos ( Elephants Bush in English) I have always discovered something new and exciting.
Either a linx, which lies next to the road or loud sounds that keeps us screaming and running away during our hike. Funnily enough that loud sound was 2 tortoises mating!!! Zebras, bontebok, eland, baboons and 250 different birds join us all the time. The waves from the ocean bring interesting toys and things to the beach all the time. Sometimes we see the carcasses of dead animals, which always brings interesting questions from our children.
Often there are massive whale bones on the beach, which really brings home the enormous size of these gentle beasts.
The highlight is still the Thomas Trucker itself.
Again it is a fault of the Germans. It was during the war in 1942 and the American freighter Thomas T. Tucker needed to be close to the coast because of patrolling German submarines. Unfortunately the compass did not work correctlyt and big waves and fog did the rest resulting in the troopship being shipwrecked. Fortunately all the crew were saved. It was not the first and it won’t be the last ship that runs at ground on this coastline. It is not called the Cape of Storms for no reason. The children love imagining all the exciting events which led to the ships being wrecked and all these place are easily accessible when you rent a car
By the way, if you hike along the way, you will find many more wrecks – but this you have to discover by yourself, making use of a rented car from Around About Cars rather than doing a day tour.