Holidays to Cape Agulhas, South Africa

Located in the Overberg region and covering 2,411 square kilometres of breathtaking beauty, South Africa’s southernmost point, Cape Agulhas, is characterised by its rocky headland, steel-blue mountains and an ocean full of gathering fish and whales. The two mighty oceans – the Indian and Atlantic – meet here with a surprisingly gentle touch, particularly when considering the areas reputation. This great cape was historically regarded by sailors as a major hazard, and the quest to discover and conquer this mystical region can be seen in the ghosts of violent shipwrecks; it’s believed that around 150 ships have been sunk over the past few hundred years and many of them still litter the coastline, including the Arniston, which was wrecked in 1815, right up to the Gwendola, which met its fate in 1968.

The seas here are notorious for their temperamental winter storms and gigantic freak waves that reach as high as 30 meters (100ft). Even those aboard the biggest ships would understandably have been hesitant to get caught up in one of these mammoth waves! A lighthouse was constructed in 1848 to try and prevent the loss of further vessels, but there are a number that still got caught up and didn’t make it to safety. This beautiful red and white lighthouse is iconic of Africa’s southernmost tip and is certainly worth the 71 rickety wooden step climb to the top. This is the second oldest working lighthouse in the country and was modelled on the Pharaohs of Alexandria lighthouse in Egypt; one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Shipwrecks aside, the waters off the Agulas Bank are relatively shallow and actually very peaceful in appearance; they are considered to be one of the best fishing spots in the country and you will no doubt find the area very tranquil. There’s a wooden boardwalk style trail leading from the lighthouse out to the point and you’ll pass lots of interesting rock formations that form their very own natural art gallery. You’ll be sure to want your camera, and will no doubt be unable to resist having a photo taken standing next to the ‘Southernmost Tip of Africa’ sign!

Highlights

  • Explore a coastline littered with ancient shipwrecks, sunk by giant rouge waves

  • Climb the lighthouse modelled on Egypt’s Alexandria lighthouse - one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World

  • Capture a photo standing next to the ‘Southernmost Tip of Africa’ sign

Jody
Travel Designer & Safari Expert
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I adore Africa and have lived and worked in South Africa as well as travelling across the wider region. Spotting a leopard during a night safari at Nambiti Private Game Reserve is definitely an experience I'll remember forever.

Map of Cape Agulhas