Cape Agulhas: the southernmost tip of Africa

L’Agulhas is the southernmost tip of Africa

Cape Agulhas

Cape Agulhas

For years now the beautiful Cape peninsula has drawn travellers who – either by educational misadventure or apparent disinterest – have ventured forth in the mistaken knowledge that Cape Point is indeed that continental southern endpoint.

If we look beyond South Africa’s school textbooks and the shoddy marketing organisations entrusted with spreading the good tourism word, it’s easy to see that Cape Agulhas has been fairly screwed by misperception.

Driving east along the N2 from Cape Town towards the magnificent Garden Route of South Africa, convenient, easy-to-reach destinations literally fall off the map, from Hermanus all the way through to Knysna and Natures’ Valley. It’s a case of literally flashing the indicator and you’re there.

The Cape of Good Hope is the southernmost tip of Africa

The Cape of Good Hope, South Africa

Cape Agulhas, on the other hand, is a relative case. It ‘demands’ a drive of little over an hour from the N2 Bredasdorp off-ramp to get there. But once you get past the occasional dodgy examples of boere-baroque holiday-home architecture, you end up in a virtual opposite – very trendy accommodation, right across the road from the ocean.

Named Ocean Art House, it’s an art gallery-cum-guest house with a staircase. And a cafe. Owned by a successful German sculptor and painter – Rudi Neuland and his wife, Anna, also an artist.

For starters, the Agulhas lighthouse is fantastic. The village is actually called L’Agulhas (the Franco-Portuguese reasons for which you can google), and that over 150 ships have sunk off the coastline. The jagged rocks that face out to the southern Ocean tell a story to the relatively gentle rolling breakers of Struisbaai – the bay quite literally a short jog around the corner.

Lighthouse at Cape Point

Lighthouse at Cape Point

Characterised by gentle rollers, it’s a white, sandy beach over 25 km long, anchored by a tiny fishing harbour, a lighthouse and a restaurant. Swimming right up to curious onlookers amongst the small fishing boats are a group of habituated eagle rays.

This is a beach quite simply as beautiful as any other, provided you don’t mind the absence of palm trees and coconuts. I’m not overly fond of the thick-steak nature of the geelbek fish on offer at the outdoor little eatery in the harbour, but that’s the fish that was running, and what the local fisherman had caught.

Should you require further information or wish to book accommodation along the Cape Agulhas Route, kindly contact us:

South African Tourism Company
Tel:    +27 (0)21 794 9050
Mobile: +27 (0)827 823 142
Fax:    +27 (0)21 794 9995


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