South of Cape Town is a spectacular peninsula,
most of which is part of the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve. From the nearby lighthouse on Cape Point, you can see beautiful vistas of the entire area. Baboons, ostriches, cormorants, and seals roam freely.In the spring the hills are lush with wildflowers.
Sometime during childhood I was taught that the southernmost tip of Africa was called The Cape of Good Hope, but I didn’t know why it was so named until we visited. Near the end of the fourteenth century, the Mongolian Empire was crumbling and the Ottoman Turks gaining power, making passage along the Silk Road unsafe for Europeans and putting pressure on traders to find sea routes to the East. In 1487, the Portuguese navigator, Bartholomew Diaz, took three ships to explore the southern extent of Africa. They were gone over sixteen months and first encountered the cape during fierce December storms, so they named it The Cape of Storms. However, after further exploration, they realized that this cape marked the beginning of the end, so to speak, because at the cape the warm Mozambique-Agulhas current from the Indian Ocean seemed to converge with the cool Benguela current from Antarctic waters and the Atlantic Ocean. Once this was understood, the cape was renamed The Cape of Good Hope, because European sailors were overjoyed to think a route to India and the East had been discovered. Diaz was lost at sea in 1500 during a storm off the coast of the Cape of Good Hope, but he had a grandson, Paulo Dias de Novais, who founded the first city in southern Africa and governed Angola a generation later. Today, Bartholomew Diaz is considered the greatest Portuguese navigator to explore the Atlantic during the fifteen century, although we now know that the Cape of Good Hope isn’t actually the southernmost point in Africa; that honor goes to Cape Agulhas, some miles ninety-three miles to the southeast. Did you know that? I did not! Here it is, nearly five hundred years later,
and misinformation is still being circulated as fact! How does that happen? Knowing exact details of geography aren’t critical to life, but some facts are. In particular, the existence of Christ and his resurrection from the dead are facts that are often misrepresented or denied, but they are critical to spiritual life, faith, and hope. Do you know the truth about Christ?“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).