Wild seas and rocky shores line the coastline of Africa’s most Southern tip. Anyone who ventures there will be spellbound by its desolate beauty and fresh air mingled with the sweet scents of fynbos by the sea. There’s something awe-inspiring and mysterious about this part of the world that will leave you mesmerised.
A Weekend Getaway at Cape Agulhas
The Western Cape is a popular getaway and holiday destination for local and overseas tourists. It’s not hard to see why. Being surrounded by mountains and rich coastlines, you are spoilt for choice. I’ve been to Cape Agulhas before and was drawn to its wild winds, turquoise seas and dry heat in the summer.
The nearest town is Struisbaai (another holiday favourite with many), which lies just before Cape Agulhas. This is not a thrill-a-minute destination, it’s meant to offer a peaceful escape and an opportunity to enjoy the nature of the Overberg. Lying below and around the famous lighthouse landmark, are holiday homes, accommodations and camping grounds with a few restaurants on the main road. Yet, this is an iconic destination that has tourist buses coming through weekly to visit the continent’s most Southern point. I guess there’s something special about visiting the “edge of the world”.
Most accommodations are self-catering so you should preferably bring your food stuff before arriving. There is a small supermarket selling the essentials, but to avoid disappointment pack in most of your goods…especially for the braai.
For this holiday, I found a deal on booking.com for self-catering, fully-furnished apartments near the beach front.
Things to do
Besides relaxing there are some great outdoor things to do that aren’t too strenuous. Cape Agulhas is a landmark and also a nature reserve with some trails to explore.
The L’Agulhas Lighthouse
This lighthouse still serves its purpose to ships sailing along this rocky coastline. It has also become a museum where you can learn about the history of the area, the many shipwrecks of the past and you can climb to the top.
It’s windy up there, but I definitely recommend going up to enjoy the views. Did you know many of the wrecks along this area resulted in survivors eventually settling in South Africa. This includes ships carrying slaves and merchandise from the Far East from the 1600s .
Visiting the Most Southern Point in Africa
An easy walking trail leads you from the lighthouse to the most Southern Point.
The walk here was by far my favourite, as I decided to head off at sunset. I love sunsets and dusk. I found the crashing waves and beating winds whipping amidst the silence of nature beautiful. The path lead me around jagged rock formations silhouetted against the setting sun, which made it look like it could have been a setting from another world. As a sci-fi lover, my imagination naturally had to go there.
The Southern point landmark offers a large compass and ground statue that leads to the coast.
The Shipwreck at Cape Agulhas
Further on from the Southern Point Landmark you will find a picturesque shipwreck on the shore. It’s a photographer’s delight. This Japanese ship was called the Meisho Maru and was most likely carrying fish. It crashed in 1982 and has since become part of the landscape.
Tidal Pool Swims
The shores along Cape Agulhas are rocky and extend into a deep and violent ocean. Two tidal pools were built near the camping grounds for visitors. The water’s warm, otherwise white sandy beaches lie just a drive away at Struisbaai.
Cape Agulhas Chill
I decided to spend a long weekend in December (summer season in South Africa) before the onslaught of the festive season holidays. This is definitely a holiday to escape the city bustle and do nothing. There are more activities around this area and more trails, but I was in total relax mode to bother. I think I need to start planning for my next summer getaway.
Cape Agulhas is accessible by car and is about a 3-hour drive out from Cape Town.