Cape Agulhas

Cape Agulhas, the southernmost tip of the African continent, was previously called Cape of Storms because of the many shipwrecks these waters have seen. Cape Agulhas marks the official divide between Atlantic and Indian Oceans—although the actual currents dividing the oceans fluctuates seasonally between here and westward to Cape Point. The colliding currents and the fierce wind patterns make the passage hazardous for ships—but fun for tourists visiting by land.

The rocky crags make this area feel like an adult playground. I could have spent hours climbing on the rocks!

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While Cape Agulhas is the obvious attraction, there’s so much to see and do nearby. Spending a night makes it convenient to enjoy the cape at sunset. I was really pleased with the private rooms at the colorful and upbeat Cape Agulhas Backpackers; plus they serve up amazing traditional South African barbecue. While there, I chatted with Cornel who was born and raised in Cape Agulhas. As he was grilling lamb chops, chicken drumsticks and beef-lamb sausages over an open fire, he gave me this amazing list of local attractions:

  • Right before L’Agulhas is a stone wall next to a road leading north. Follow it up the mountain for amazing panoramic views.
  • If you can arrange pick up transportation, walk the coast starting at Arniston / Waenhuiskrans (the only South African city with two official names) and ending at Cape Agulhas.
  • Between Arniston and Cape Agulhas is De Mond Nature Reserve where you can visit an estuary with threatened species of birds.
  • In Arniston, visit Waenhuiskrans Cave at low tide. After entering through a small orifice, you’ll stand in an area that they say a cart with twelve oxen has space to turn around in.
  • The main city in the area is Bredasdorp with the notable Shipwreck Museum as well as a candle factory called Kapula. Also, here you’ll find a number of trails good for hiking, running, and biking. Maps and route profiles are online at Southernmost Foundation.
  • North of Bredasdorop is Napier, where the best pizza can be found at Suntouched Inn.
  • Just a bit west is Elim, where a historical settlement called Elim Moravian Mission town still stands.
  • Among the cellars in the area, Black Oystercatcher is worth checking out. There’s also a brewery in Struisbaai called Fraser’s Folly. Get dinner in Struisbaai at Fish and More.
  • If you have time to go further westward, there’s land-based whale watching at De Hoop Nature Reserve. In nearby Malgas, you can board a hand-drawn pontoon to cross the Breede River.
  • Opportunities for adventure and extreme sports abound; loads of tour companies offer abseiling, cliff jumping, longboard surfing, kitesurfing, tubing, paddle-boarding, horseback riding and more.

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