As you face the ocean, a plaque reminds you that this is where the Indian and Atlantic Ocean meet.
Behind you lies the whole continent of Africa, in all its 30,37 million km² glory, as you are also standing at the southernmost tip of Africa.
Botanical diversity surrounds your feet, to your left the small settlements of L’Agulhas and Struisbaai with its white-washed cottages embrace the salty air, and to your right and into the coastline’s distance are the products of unforgiving strong currents and gale force winds: shipwrecks. A lot of shipwrecks.
Cape Agulhas is wrapped up in degrees of comparison with the southernmost municipality/lighthouse/town/point in Africa. Struisbaai has the longest beach (14km) in the South Hemipshere, the Cape Agulhas Lighthouse is the (second) oldest working lighthouse South Africa and Soetendalsvlei is the most southerly lake.
The area is also rich in stories, and with more than 140 shipwrecks littered along the coast, it has its fair share of ghosts. It is believed that the ghosts of those who died have been seen wandering the coastline so regularly that the sheltered bay at the Cape Agulhas town entrance has been named Spookdraai (Ghost’s Corner). And there is also mystery. In the 15th century, when Portuguese vessels would round the Cape, something strange happened to their compass needles… it would swing, unable to determine true north from magnetic north (no wonder Bartholomew Dias called it Capo das Agulhas, Cape of Needles).
Today the mystery and ghosts still loom in the air, but visitors flock to Cape Agulhas to say that they’ve stood on the southernmost tip of Africa and have put one foot in the Indian, and one in the Atlantic Ocean.
(Technically the two forces meet kilometres into the ocean, and this spot in Cape Agulhas counts as the dividing line along the meridian, but on land, this is as close as you will get.)
11 Things to do in Cape Agulhas
1) Meet Thabelo, an artist who sells handmade replicas of the fishermen village’s houses at Hotagterklip.
2) Go fish. Rock and deep-sea fishing is a favourite in the area (you need to obtain a permit from the Struisbaai Post Office). Awesome Charters is a Struisbaai fishing charter offering boat-based angling trips (tackle and bait supplied).
3) Visit the southernmost tip of Africa and where the two oceans meet.
4) Spot Southern right whales between June and November every year.
5) Walk on the longest beach in the Southern Hemisphere.
6) Do one of the hiking trails in the area: there is Spookdraai (4 km) and Rasperpunt (5.5 km) at L’Agulhas, Two Oceans (10.5 km) at Agulhas Rest Camp and Grootberg in Napier a bit further inland.
7) Climb to the 71 steps to the top of the Cape Agulhas Lighthouse, it is open from 09h00 to 17h00 daily.
8) Go winetasting at Black Oystercatcher, situated between Elim, Bredasdorp and Agulhas. The Human Family of Black Oystercatcher Boutique Wines were the first to establish vineyards in the maritime ward of Elim in 1998.
9) Find out more about the shipwrecks along the treacherous coast at the Bredasdorp Shipwreck Museum.
10) Explore the bird life around the salt pans and wetlands (you can find a comprehensive birding list of the Overberg at the lighthouse).
11) Keep your eyes on the ground in Agulhas National Park and view the great diversity of flora, most species bloom between May and September.
Grab a bite in Cape Agulhas
Sea Shack Struisbaai
55 Knots Struisbaai
Find a place to sleep in Cape Agulhas
You can camp at L’Agulhas Caravan Park and Struisbaai Caravan Park. The Agulhas National Park have family chalets and a Lagoon House which is a restored historic house with four bedrooms.
There are also plenty of guesthouses and bed and breakfasts in the area.
Go the distance in style with Isuzu
For this trip to Cape Agulhas I used the Isuzu D-Max 300 D-TEQ LX 4×4, Extended Cab and this 6-speed manual bakkie is abound with space and comfort, whether you want to use it as a holiday runner or a day-to-day workhorse. The extended cab is also available in the Isuzu D-MAX 250 D-TEQ hi-rider 4X2 and the 300 D-TEQ LX 4×2 (manual and automatic transmission available).
You can get all the specs here, www.isuzu.co.za.
There is also some exciting news on the Isuzu horizon. South Africans can look forward to welcoming new Isuzu bakkie in 2020 (and boy, does it look good).
Read this article on www.cars.co.za to get a peek into the all new Isuzu D-Max.
This next generation bakkie will be locally engineered to meet the requirements of the South African and key Sub-Saharan Africa markets. Click here to read what Isuzu says about investing in the next generation bakkie programme for South Africa.