Agulhas, The South Point of Africa
Agulhas is the most Southern tip on the continent of Africa. Portuguese
seafarers named this town "Needle Cape" because here,
their compass needles pointed to true north with no deviation
when sailing around the Southern coastline of South Africa. An
alternative opinion says that the name originates from the ragged
and pointed reefs offshore. Longer Garden Route tours stay in
Agulhas as one of their overnight stops, where shorter tours can
request it on private Garden Route tours.
the southernmost tip of the continent, Agulhas is also regarded
as the official location where the Atlantic and Indian Ocean meet.
The waters near the coast are quite shallow and informally known
as the best fishing areas in South Africa. these areas are called
the 'Agulhas Bank' and it is less than 100 metres in depth. Only
after 250 kilometres into the sea, does it go dramatically down.
The Indian Ocean have warmer waters than the Atlantic, making
swimming conditions in this area and along The Garden Route a
little more enjoyable.
Agulhas has rough winds and storms. The tens of shipwrecks here
are witness to the mighty storms in this region and around the
coast of South Africa. At low tide the wreck of the Meisho Maru
looms from the water. The coastline of the Southern Cape and Garden
Route has been hailed as The graveyard of shipwrecks. We have
many wreckage sights and a shipwreck museum which can be requested
and visited during Garden Route tours or our 2 Day Agulhas tours.
massive lighthouse of Agulhas, built in 1848, is worth a visit.
The lighthouse is until today, despite the gps navigation systems
of modern boats and vessels, fully operational. The mighty light
beam has a range of around 60 kilometres. Tours are available
to the tower and you can climb up the lighthouse for a birds eye
view over the shoreline. Because the coastal Fynbos vegetation
of South Africa is extraordinarily rich and diverse, the Agulhas
coastline was recently named a National Park. More than 2000 different
plants grow there, 100 of them are exclusive to this area. The
park blends in with the protected forests and vegetation of The
Garden Route, even though the official Garden Route only starts
in Mossel Bay.
Struisbaai is an old fishing village, founded in the middle of
the 19th century. Its harbour is still active. The pretty white-washed
fishermens houses and cottages have been beautifully restored.
They are under monument protection like the little thatched Anglican
chapel, too. Our advertised 6 Day Garden Route tours spend the
first night of the tours in this town, offering more than enough
time to explore Cape Agulhas and the tip of South Africa.