The icy Benguela current moves from the Southern Ocean
(around Antartica) and flows northwards along the West Coast of
Africa. Because the Benguela reaches as far north as Angola,
ships found it extremely difficult to travel south of Angola by following the coast.
Bartholomew Dias became the first captain to successfully sail south of the northward flowing Benguela Current and around the southern tip of Africa.
Where the icy Benguela meets the warm, south- and
west-flowing Agulhas, a rich sea life lies beneath the
surface, but tremendous turbulence occurs above. South African folklore
considers the Cape of
Good Hope as the the place where the two oceans meet--the cold Benguela (Atlantic Ocean) and
the warm Agulhas (Indian Ocean). But the currents actually intermingle for several hundred miles east and west of the Cape.
Bathymetry and relief map of Atlantic
Western Indian Ocean adapted from NOAA