Cape of Good Hope, the southern end of Cape Peninsula of southwestern Africa. Cape Point, at the tip, is 30 miles (48 km) south of Cape Town, South Africa, and 100 miles (160 km) northwest of Cape Agulhas, the southernmost point of the continent. The Cape of Good Hope for centuries was a landmark indicating to navigators that they were at the meeting of the Atlantic and Indian oceans. The first Europeans to round the cape were members of a party led by the Portuguese explorer Bartholomeu Dias, in 1488. He named it “Cape of Storms.” King John of Portugal preferred “Cape of Good Hope,” according to tradition, because of his high hopes for trade with India to come from the new route.
Sahara, the vast desert of northern Africa, and the world's largest arid region. It occupies much of the broad northern half of Africa and covers some 3,500,000 square miles (9,000,000 km2), an area only slightly less than that of the United States.