Yes, it’s official, this is the spot to get your photo taken at the southernmost tip of Africa.
Ocean currents between Cape Agulhas and Cape Point may be constantly moving and mingling, however, the official meeting place of the Indian and Atlantic Oceans, according to the International Hydrographical Organisation, is Cape Agulhas. This demarcation is cast in stone!
This wild and treacherous coastline known as the Graveyard of Ships only adds to the dramatic and remote beauty of the area. Pearl-like winter days, between the wild storms that lash this Cape, are gentle, peaceful, and windless.
A fascinating historic and cultural legacy has been left here by the Khoikhoi beach nomads, who lived along the Cape Agulhas coastline for many centuries. The well preserved shell middens and fish-traps are of interest to many a historian and archaeologist.
Visit the lighthouse on the southern-most tip of Africa!
Built in 1848, the Cape Agulhas Lighthouse was only the second one to be built in South Africa. Today the lighthouse is a national monument, housing the unique lighthouse museum and a small rustic restaurant.
The coastline here is a graveyard of shipwrecks. The sea off Cape Agulhas has long been notorious with sailors for winter storms and massive rogue waves, which can even sink large ships. The Arniston (1815), Cooranga (1964), Elise (1879), European (1877), Federal Lakes (1975), Geortyrder (1849), Gouritz (1981), and Gwendola (1968) are just a few of the vessels lost along this coast. Showpieces from some of these shipwrecks are on display at the Bredasdorp Shipwreck museum.
Owing to the hazards and following the loss of numerous vessels, notably the Arniston, the lighthouse was built. Seventy-one steps lead up to the top of what is now the second oldest working lighthouse in southern Africa. Stone mined from an adjacent limestone quarry provided the raw materials for its construction.
Visitors to the area can still see the Meisho Maru 38 wreck on the shores of Cape Agulhas. Remains of ancient stone fish traps used by the Khoisan people can be seen to the east of the lighthouse.
Need to know? The entrance fee to the lighthouse is R15 for adults and R7.50 for kids (2 – 11 years). This entrance fee is in line with other Transnet National Ports Authority’s lighthouses which are open to visitors.
Things to do near
*Distances are shown as the crow flies and not necessarily the actual travelling
Struisbaai (5.1 km from Agulhas)
The longest, uninterrupted white beach in the Southern Hemisphere? It's right here at Struisbaai - all 14 kilometres of it! Struisbaai beach is a wonderful walking beach with safe swimming. The quaint, bustling fishing harbour attracts photographers and artists alike and is an impressive sight when the fishing boats come in. Most of their catch is destined for community supper tables and restaurants in the area.
Suiderstrand (6.7 km from Agulhas)
The beach found at Suiderstrand is a gorgeous stretch of pristine white sand set across this sleepy seaside village.
The coast also sports plenty of rock pools, a marine lagoon, and pebbly bays to explore.
Arniston (15.1 km from Agulhas)
The Sterna Trail starts near the De Mond Nature Reserve office and meanders to an atmospheric suspension bridge over the Heuningnes River. From here it leads through coastal forest and fynbos to the estuary and beach. This circular trail is named after the rare Damara tern, Sterna balaenarum.
Duration: 3 hours
Distance: 7 km
Arniston (15.9 km from Agulhas)
The De Mond to Arniston Trail follows the De Mond Nature Reserve coastline to Waenhuiskrans Cave. Historical landmarks along the way include stonewall fish traps and middens that were constructed by the Khoisan. Also of interest is the relic of an old shipping beacon.
Duration: 4 hours
Arniston (28.4 km from Agulhas)
Arniston, Waenhuiskrans or Kassiesbaai? In reality all three names apply to this multi-faceted gem of a Southern Overberg coastal town. Arniston is a true mixture of, not only name, but many other things too.
The name Arniston commemorates an 1815 shipwreck; the Waenhuiskrans (wagon-house cliff) is so named after a massive limestone cave close by; and historic Kassiesbaai, a national heritage site, is one of the last remaining unspoiled fishing villages in the country.
Arniston is also known as Waenhuiskrans because of the magnificent limestone cave. You can get to this cave across the dunes to the west of Roman Beach. According to local lore, the cave is so big that wagons with a full span of oxen could turn around inside it. Waenhuiskrans can only be accessed at low tide.
Arniston (31 km from Agulhas)
Picturesque Arniston Beach is typified by soft undulating sand dunes in stark contrast with dark jagged cliffs. This pretty area in the Overberg is a sought after destination for artists and photographers, and the entire fishing village is one of the country’s National Monuments.
Local fishermen still live in the lime-washed and thatched cottages and go out to sea in traditional boats similar to what their forefathers used in the 19th Century. Dating back even further are the remains of ancient fish traps set by Khoisan strandlopers.
Galleries and Museums
Bredasdorp (31.6 km from Agulhas)
This treasure chest of a museum specialises in shipwrecks along the South African coastline and contains showpieces specific to the Overberg.
Three sections make up the museaum – one of which is the Shipwreck Museum. Housed in the old former Independent Church, you will find an amazing assortment of cannons, figureheads, chinaware, coins, ships' bells, buoys and other life-saving equipment.
The Old Parsonage, a typical Strandveldhuis (Overberg home), is furnished with articles collected along the coasts. Here too, for safekeeping, is a collection of newspaper cuttings and other trivia salvaged from various wrecks.
The Old Coach House exhibits Cape carts, a scotch-cart, two horse-drawn hearses and a splendid old fire engine. The buildings alone are beautifully restored examples of old Cape architecture - well worth a visit!
Need to know? Open Monday to Friday from 09:00 to 16:45, Saturday from 09:00 to 14:45 and Sunday from 10:30 to 12:30.
Bredasdorp (31.7 km from Agulhas)
Situated in the heart of Bredasdorp, EnviroWines Wine Shop offers exceptional wines produced through environmentally friendly practices and certified by independent environmental auditors.
The EnviroWines concept aims to give recognition and publicity to wineries that make a special effort in using sustainable practices that minimize negative impacts on the environment. Adhering to strict criteria, these wine estates receive the EnviroWines certification seal.
Along with fabulous wines, visitors will be able to purchase accessories for the wine lover and find some great gift ideas.
28 Long Street, Bredasdorp
Monday to Friday 09:00 – 17:00
Saturday 09:00 – 17:00
+27 (0) 28 424 2158.
Bredasdorp (32.5 km from Agulhas)
The 'warm art of Africa' lives in Bredasdorp! Visit the colourful Kapula Candles shop in Bredasdorp - the only Kapula store in South Africa. Entrepeneur Ilse Appelgryn started making candles at her home in Bredasdorp with the skill, equipment and inspiration left to her by her Aunt Jo. She called her company Kapula Candles, short for her expression "I'm making a couple o' candles!" Today the cottage industry has grown to a large scale industry, employing many local people and exporting many handpainted products. Definitely worth a visit.
Pearly Beach (37.5 km from Agulhas)
The Perlemoen trail is a three-day hiking route stretching across the coast from Quoin Point Nature Reserve, along Pearly Beach, to Gansbaai. The less energetic can book the day two or three hiking trail for a shorter experience.
On day one, the trail starts at De Dam, and leads you along the coast to Buffelsjag (15 km). You will have the option of walking a further seven km to Pearly Beach. On day two, you'll walk the beach to Franskraal (12 km) and on day three, Gansbaai to Die Plaat (eight km).
The trail is Green Flag accredited (HOSA) and boasts some of the most spectacular coastal scenery, including rocky cliffs, swimming beaches, indigenous fynbos and caves. Hikers have the option of budget self-catering or luxury B&B accommodation.
Napier (40.9 km from Agulhas)
Every Saturday morning sees the sleepy village of Napier come alive as the industrious local residents disply their wares at the local market. Goods for sale include jams and reserves, olive products, ceramics, home made ice cream, locally produced cheeses, clothing and much more.
Napier (41.2 km from Agulhas)
One dark autumn night in the beautiful Overberg town of Napier, three friends got together and started discussing what they could do to bring some extra sparkle to their village.
As they sat drinking beer after beer, the answer became obvious. It was staring them in the face. A quality local beer! Napier Bier was conceived that night and over the coming months the three friends set out on their journey to produce such a beer.
Brewed naturally on the outskirts of the village, Napier beer has become firmly established as a favourite of locals and visitors alike and is most certainly a case of where 'local is lekker'. Brews now include lager, ale and stout.
Galleries and Museums
Napier (41.2 km from Agulhas)
Visit the beautiful stately Dutch Reformed Church in the main street of Napier. Built in 1838, it features a teak interior and a stunning pipe organ.
De Hoop Nature Reserve (58.6 km from Agulhas)
One of South Africa's ultimate hiking experiences, the five-day Whale Trail is only three hours drive from Cape Town. The 54 km route meanders through the breathtaking De Hoop Nature Reserve where the fragrance of the fynbos intermingles with salty sea air.
The trail is renowned for its diverse fynbos vegetation, magnificent dunes and whale watching opportunities. On the trail you will experience breathtaking views of the Indian Ocean and Breede River Valley. The trail stretches from Potberg to Koppie Alleen and has five overnight stops.
De Hoop Nature Reserve (59.3 km from Agulhas)
The De Hoop Klipspringer Trail leads through the Potberg Mountains in the northeastern section of De Hoop Nature Reserve. Along with wonderful views of the Breede River Valley and pretty mountain fynbos, the route offers an unusual experience, a Cape vulture colony. With 25 breeding pairs, this is the only breeding colony in the Western Cape.
Duration: 2 hours
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Distance: 6 km