What is the southernmost point in Africa? It’s Cape Agulhas, (also known as L’Agulhas), and it happens to be the point where the Atlantic ocean meets the Indian ocean. Cape Agulhas is at this longitudinal point that the Atlantic and Indian oceans officially meet, but this point varies between Cape Agulhas and Cape Point.
The official position of the tip of Africa is 34° 49’ 58″ south and 20° 00’ 12’’ east. The cairn (above) marks the tip’s exact location.
If you are coming from Cape Town, it will take you almost 3 hours to get to Cape Agulhas.
Cape Agulhas attractions and activities
Check out incredible views from the lighthouse
It will take you 71 steps to get to the top of the second oldest working lighthouse in South Africa. It is worth it though because of the amazing views from above. It’s also worth the visit because the building houses a unique lighthouse museum, which holds the remains of ancient stone fish traps used by the Khoisan people.
The Cape Agulhas lighthouse was built to help the early explorers through the rough seas off Cape Agulhas. The building was stone mined from the adjacent limestone quarry.
Go hiking or mountain biking
There are a few picturesque routes to hike: Two Oceans (Agulhas rest camp), Spookdraai (L’Agulhas), Rasperpunt (L’Agulhas), and Grootberg (Napier).
Go Bird Watching
Enjoy a slow drive along the Struisbaai-Elim route. Here’s where you will find a wealth of birdlife in and around the Agulhas National Park, particularly at the salt pans and along the wetlands. Because of the exceptional birdlife, including endangered avifauna, (like the African Black Oyster-catcher), bird lovers will value a visit to the Agulhas National Park.
If you are a serious bird lover, you can buy a comprehensive Birding List from the tourist office (at the lighthouse.)
Go whale watching (June to September)
From July to December, southern right whales make an annual pilgrimage to the southern African coastline to calve and mate. However, locals claim that between June and September is the best time to go whale watching in Cape Agulhas.
You will be able to watch the whales from land or boat.
Go for a swim
The Cape Agulhas coastline is quite rocky, but you can take a dip in the lagoon. Better yet, take an 8-minute drive to Struisbaai and go swim there!
Struisbaai has crystal clear waters, outstretched white sandy beaches, and the longest stretch of beach in the southern hemisphere. Also, the Struisbaai waters are warmed by the Benguela current, which allows for great swimming and surfing. This lends itself to long days swimming, surfing, tanning, picnics, and long walks along the beach.
Visit the nature reserve
Cape Agulhas and the surrounding area hold some of the best nature reserves in South Africa. Nature lovers can visit the Agulhas National Park to delight in the sights and sounds of nature. The nature reserves include wetlands, endless fields of Fynbos, several species of wildlife, beautiful walking and hiking trails, spectacular bird watching, and protected areas of the ocean.
Rock and deep-sea fishing is a popular pastime for many visitors. You can buy fishing permits from the Struisbaai Post Office (which is at the Struisbaai Mall.)
Check Out The Shipwrecks
If you are interested in shipwrecks, this will be a treat! The Agulhas coastline is home to the Birkenhead, Zoetendal, Meisho Maru 38, and Armiston shipwrecks. (A half hour’s drive away, there are also showpieces from these shipwrecks on display at the Bredasdorp Shipwreck Museum.)