Cape Agulhas

About Driving the Strandveld

Route: Hermanus, Elim, Cape Agulhas, Waenhuiskrans, Bredasdorp, Napier
Description: beautiful bays, sand dunes, villages, caves and shipwrecks
Length: roughly 280 km
Time: a day, at least
Overnight: Any of the villages is worth an overnight stay but our favourites are Stanford, Cape Agulhas, Arniston and Napier.

Start the drive along the R43 from Hermanus, towards Stanford and Gansbaai. This scenic road follows alongside the Klein River Lagoon with the mountains on your left.

Cross the Klein River and enter Stanford. Not strictly on the route Stanford is, nonetheless, definitely worth a visit. Nip in for lunch at Marianna's if you have time.

Keep to the R43 until you reach De Kelders (the cellars) – really worth a visit, these cellar-like caves are etched below the cliffs. Up on the cliffs is a great place to view whales.

Press on to Gansbaai. Turn right onto the main road and take a drive through the town, particularly along the coast road. Gansbaai is famous for whales and Great White sharks (depending on what time of year you venture here). You can head out into the bay past Danger Point on a boat to this end.

From Gansbaai continue on the R43? Reach an intersection. Right takes you to Pearly Beach, take a left up Groenkloof (look out for proteas and fynbos) before taking a right at the T-junction (left takes you to Baardskeerdersbos, also well worth a visit!), and right at the fork a little later on. This road takes you into the mission village of Elim. Take a guided tour through the water mill, church and surrounding historical buildings.

On leaving drive past the church and take a right towards Bredasdorp/Agulhas. You join up with the R43 again briefly, before taking a fork right. At the t-junction with the R319 much later, turn right. You will pass Molshoop and the little Hotagterklip fishermen's cottages (a tea room is run out of one of these).

Enter Struisbaai, heading down Main Road and then left down Duiker Street to the wide beach. Return to Main Road.

Drive through Struisbaai and along the scenic Marine Drive, arriving at Agulhas lighthouse at the southernmost tip of Africa. Climb the lighthouse, or venture into the nature reserve.

Reverse the route back through Struisbaai, briefly taking the R319 and passing the road on which you arrived from Elim. Turn right to Waenhuiskrans/Arniston around 14 km from Hotagterklip onto a gravel road, taking a left at the t-junction and then a right again. Cross a cattle grid and turn right. Roughly 7 km later you are in the town of two names.

Alternatively take the R319 I nto Bredasdorp and then the R316 out again.

At the four-way stop the left takes you to the slipway, hotel, fishing village and Arniston memorial.At the memorial take a right, passing numerous character cottages now national monuments, the road changes to gravel and then reaches a parking area.

From here you walk to the mouth of the cave, across sand and rocks and then a steep decline to the shore. Reaching the mouth entails wave dodging across a 200 metre section of sand and rocks.

Retrace your route out of Arniston, taking the R316 to Bredasdorp, a busy holiday town. Continue on R316 down the hill, which will take you to Napier – plenty to do here, including a farmstall of note.

Take the R316 followed by the R326 back to Stanford.

Need to Know

WhereRoute: Hermanus, Elim, Cape Agulhas, Waenhuiskrans, Bredasdorp, Napier, Cape Agulhas, Western Cape

WhenBest during daylight hours.

How muchFree

OvernightThe closest town is Elim, in Western Cape

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