The small Overberg town of L’Agulhas is situated at the southern-most tip of Africa. It is also the official meeting point of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. Agulhas is more of a settlement of holiday houses than a town, but there is the odd small café, some art galleries, and restaurants.
The lighthouse near the southern tip is an icon of the town, and still warns ships of the rugged, rocky shore. The adjacent countryside of coastal fynbos falls within the Agulhas National Park.
Before reaching L’Agulhas visitors pass through the modern settlement of Struisbaai, the entrance to which is denoted by the historic lime-washed Hotagterklip fishermen’s cottages. They are national monuments that feature prominently in many paintings of the town. It’s a holiday town that thrums in summer, and goes into a sleepy lull out of season. It’s well known for its harbour of colourful fishing boats.
Look out for
The tip of Africa where the oceans meet - is the number one attraction marked by a cairn to the south of the lighthouse.
The Cape Agulhas Lighthouse - was built in Pharos style, and has been in operation since 1849, which makes it the country’s second-oldest working lighthouse.
The museum - is inside the lighthouse and is open from 09h00-17h00 daily. It offers a graphic account of lighthouse development over the years and has photos of all 56 lighthouses in South Africa, with a map showing where they are.
The Agulhas National Park - proclaimed in 1999, was established to conserve the lowland fynbos vegetation types and the important wetlands. Although there are currently no roads and few facilities in the park, the 72km-long coastal strip is open for walking and exploring.
Hiking Trails - The Spookdraai and the Rasperpunt trails are circular routes taking 2-3 hours. Each has several points of interest along the way. Detailed booklets for each are available from the tourist office.
The Struisbaai harbour - This small, quaint harbour has colourful fishing boats bobbing within its seawalls. At low tide the white sandy seabed is visible, and if you take time to meditate on a clear, still day, you might be privileged enough to see big stingrays come gliding past, or even an otter or seal.