The Cape of Good Hope, sometimes known simply as the Cape, is the rocky headland located on the south western coast of South Africa. It is commonly thought to be the most southern point of the African continent, but that is actually Cape Agulhas about 150 km (90mi) to the east. However, the Cape of Good Hope became the most well known cape in the area because it is the point when ships from Europe could begin traveling in a more easterly direction. This discovery led to the opening of a sea route from Europe to India and the Far East. It was considered to be one of the most important discoveries of the time. If you have ever wondered who was the first person on record to discover this location, keep reading to find out.
Who discovered The Cape of Good Hope?
The Cape of Good Hope was first discovered by Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias in 1488. Dias named it the Cape of Storms, but it was later renamed to the Cape of Good Hope by John II, who was the King of Portugal. He decided to use this name due to the excitement surrounding opening a sea route to Asia. 11 years after the discovery of the cape the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama reached India using the sea route discovered by Dias.
Did you know?
Bartolomeu Dias actually sailed around the cape earlier in 1488, but didn’t realize it because he had traveled too far south. He actually discovered the cape on his return trip!
Dias died on May 29, 1500 when a huge storm off the cape sunk his ship.