When you walk to the Padros near the rocks at Cape Vacca Point (“the point”), you will recognize that this stretch of coastline was the first to be sighted by European explorers.  The following inscription is to be found at the base of the padros:

“First Diaz sighting along the East Coast”

Had you stood here on the first 2 days of February 1488 you may have seen a Portuguese caravel sailing slowly eastwards.

Bartolomeu Diaz, having unknowingly rounded the Cape of Storms, initially sailed northwards.

He sighted land “near the mouth of the Gouritz River.”

In doing so, he became the first navigator from the northern hemisphere to sight the east coast of southern Africa.

Sailing further eastwards he landed at Sao Bras: Mossel Bay on February 3rd, 1488.

The entire coastline of this epic sighting is visible from the promontory.


The specific cross situated at Cape Vacca Point was erected to mark and memorialize this occasion so many years ago.  Diaz by-passed this point, naming it Cabos Vaccos (Cape Vacca) – “Cape of the cows”, the herds belonging to and associated with the indigenous people living there – the Khoi and San.  The cross was erected some 20 plus years ago by Roger Johnson, the current custodian of the reserve and Kanon.  It has since become an exceptionally well-known landmark in the area, particularly so for the fisherman.