Western Cape Tourist AttractionsThe Cape Agulhas
The rocky headland of Cape Agulhas is the place where two great oceans – the Indian and Atlantic – meet. It's also the spot at which to have one's photo taken at the official southernmost tip of Africa, where there is a stone plaque that marks the place – right on the beach.
The plaque forms part of a wooden boardwalk that is easy to stroll and which offers incredible views over the crashing seas. Confusingly, the point at which the Agulhas current meets the Benguela current tends to fluctuate seasonally between Cape Agulhas and Cape Point. But the official meeting place, decided by the International Hydrographical Organisation, is unquestionably Cape Agulhas - lest there be contention amongst your party.
Most visitors though consider the beautiful, historic red and white Cape Agulhas Lighthouse as the icon that denotes the tip of Africa. Certainly it's worth climbing to the top, even if you're intimidated by the wooden flights of steps that are little more than ladders in parts, or frightened of heights.
West of the lighthouse (you can drive from the lighthouse directly into the reserve) is the entrance to the Agulhas National Park where there is a wide range of accommodation. The clear night skies and access to the rocky coastline of the Cape of Agulhas are highlights to a stay here.
Historically, the cape has been known to sailors as particularly hazardous - notorious for winter storms and huge rogue waves that can reach a spectacular height of 30 metres - so it’s no surprise that it's littered with wrecks, one of which - the Meisho Maru - lies in the Agulhas National Park. North east of the official meeting place of two oceans are the little towns of L'Agulhas and Struisbaai.
The two seaside villages seem to melt into one another providing a string of seaside cottages from which to experience the warm and beautiful sandy beaches. And on the other side of the towns is De Mond Nature Reserve. Cape Agulhas and the combination of incredible beauty, beachside holiday fun and major nature reserves, is hard to beat.
Popular Towns in the Cape Agulhas
Overnight? Accommodation in Arniston
Lying on the shores of Marcus Bay, just north-east of Cape Agulhas, is the tranquil little fishing village of Arniston, also known as Waenhuiskrans - ‘wagon shelter cliff’ - after a large low-tide sea cave, eroded in such a way as to...
More info and photographs: Arniston Information
Overnight? Accommodation in Bredasdorp
The quaint town of Bredasdorp, which claims to be the first town or ‘dorp’ established in South Africa, lies on the slopes of a fairly high hill known as the Preekstoel (pulpit), in the midst of giant proteas and wheat fields. The proteas...
More info and photographs: Bredasdorp Information
Overnight? Accommodation in Elim
The charming little village known as Elim, dominated by white-washed fishermen’s cottages and fig trees, is one of the few surviving South African mission stations, founded in 1824 as the third Moravian mission station in the Cape...
More info and photographs: Elim Information
Overnight? Accommodation in Infanta
The little village of Infanta is one of several villages that lie on the banks of the Breede River as it flows from its source near Ceres, although it is Witsand Infanta that lie at its mouth - Witsand on the eastern bank and Infanta...
More info and photographs: Infanta Information
Overnight? Accommodation in L'Agulhas
L’Agulhas or Agulas - The biggest draw card for Agulhas, other than the fact that it lies only two hours from Cape Town on one of the most beautiful coasts in the country, is that this little village lies on Cape Agulhas, the end of...
More info and photographs: L'Agulhas Information
Overnight? Accommodation in Malgas
Set on the west bank of the Breede River, which supports a significant variety of fish and birds and is one of the largest rivers in the country, the little historical village of Malgas was originally an important inland harbour and tended...
More info and photographs: Malgas Information
Overnight? Accommodation in Napier
The road to Napier takes you through never ending fields of wheat and barley, where the endangered Blue Crane can often be seen gathered together in large flocks. Napier is situated under the Soetmuisberg, surrounded by rolling...
More info and photographs: Napier Information
Overnight? Accommodation in Struisbaai
When asked to describe Struisbaai, many refer to the pretty little white-washed fishermen’s houses at the entrance to the village - the ‘Hotagterklip cottages’ - that have been restored and are now mostly holiday homes, despite their...
More info and photographs: Struisbaai Information
Overnight? Accommodation in Suiderstrand
In the beautiful Overberg District Municipality of the Western Cape is the little settlement of Suiderstrand (which means "southernmost beach"). It has an area of some 1.4 square kilometres and is home to only a few dozen folk. Still...
More info and photographs: Suiderstrand Information