Cape Agulhas is the southernmost point of the African Continent. It is situated in the Overberg region about 170 kilometers southeast of Cape Town.
This is formally the place where the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean meet, as well as being the official southernmost point of Africa.
Cape Agulhas as seen from the Lighthouse
It however, is not as renowned or as spectacular as the cliffs of Cape Point. Agulhas has a rocky moderate curving coastline and if it weren't for a marker indicating the location of the cape, it would otherwise be difficult to recognize.
This is a treacherous coast more than 125 ships have sunk in this area, it is often referred to as the 'graveyard of ships'.
The Zoetendal, Birkenhead and Arniston are some of the many shipwrecks found along the Agulhas coastline. At low tide the wreck of the Meisho Maru can still be seen.
Here at Agulhas is a beautiful red and white lighthouse, which is a national heritage site built in 1848 and is still fully functional today.
The lighthouse at Cape Agulhas
Visit the lighthouse for a breathtaking view, climb to the lookout at the top with narrow ladder-like stairs, if you have the nerve. The massive light can be seen approximately 60 km away.
The lighthouse museum has beautiful old photos and posters that depict the history of the area, and there is a curio shop where you can buy a souvenir or post a postcard at this southernmost post office of Africa.
There is also a coffee shop that serves light refreshments.
From the top of the lighthouse
The nearby town Agulhas - which means Cape of Needles, referring to the jagged rocks of the coastline is a small village, but there are a number of B&B's and accommodation available in the area.
The 4 ha of land around the Southernmost Tip was proclaimed a National Conservation area in 1998 and has more than 2000 species of plants. Known as the Agulhas National Park it falls in the Cape Floristic Region of the Western Cape.
It was proclaimed particularly to preserve the lowland fynbos vegetation and important wetlands, it contains specimens of unique vegetation such as limestone fynbos. Keep your eyes open there are beautiful flowers and plants to enjoy year round.
The Southernmost Tip of Africa
This is also an important breeding site of rare birds like the African Black Oyster catcher.
It also includes an important historic and cultural heritage site. Ancient fish traps left by Late Stone Age people, these snares where made by building barriers across shallow gullies to snare fish during low tide.
Some of these snares have been preserved through the centuries and are still in use today.
The discovery of pottery, stone fireplaces, and shell mid dens are a valuable historic and cultural heritage left by the Khoi-khoi beach roamers, who lived along this coastline for centuries.
Cape Agulhas is a place where one should not be in a hurry. Take your time to explore this unique piece of coast.
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