A major milestone for the 5410Africa trip was reached when I visited the southernmost point of Africa. The point is situated inside the Agulhas National Park about 200km south-east of Cape Town. I self drove with frank and opted for a 2 night semi-luxury stay at one of the SANParks chalets.
Getting to the Southernmost point of Africa
The 200km trip from Cape Town to L’Agulhas is easily covered in about 2-3 hours. The entire drive is on tar road and there are numerous stops, shops and fuel stations along the way. From Cape Town you’ll take the N2 to Somerset-West. From there you can either go via the inland or coastal route.
I opted for the inland route which runs up the St. Lowry’s Pass, then Grabouw, down the Houwhoek pass and eventually onto the town of Caledon. Here you turn right, leave the N2 and drive through the town of Caledon, then Napoier and onto Bredarsdorp. Another right turn in Bredarsdorp and eventually you’ll reach Struisbay with L’Agulhas a few kilometers down the road.
Five family units, each with two bedrooms, en-suite bathrooms (bath and shower), DSTV (limited channels), open and fully equipped kitchen (kettle, toaster, two-plate stove, fridge, cutlery and crockery.
Ten single units – one bedroom, open plan kitchen (microwave and two-plate hob) and lounge, bathroom (shower) and DSTV (limited channels).
Things to Do at the Southernmost point of Africa
1. The Southernmost Point of Africa
The main reason for visiting the park is the bragging rights of visiting the southernmost point of Africa. The very large sign to the point is a few hundred meters after the main entrance to the park. Park your vehicle and a short walk on the boardwalk gets you there.
A large sculpture of the African continent welcomes you. The sculpture beautifully depicts the continent and some of its more prominent geographical features. A nice exercise is to identify the other cardinal most points on the continent. This is the easternmost in Somalia, northernmost in Tunisia and finally the westernmost in Senegal. From there, head directly south to pose for your picture at the southernmost point in Africa.
2. Climbing the 2nd Oldest Lighthouse in South Africa
The L’Agulhas lighthouse is the second oldest on the South African coast. It has kept sailors and their ships safe since 1848. Even though its primary role is improving the safety of coastal navigation, it also serves as a backdrop for beautiful pictures and a lookout point. The lighthouse is open to the public and for R35 per person you can climb all the way to the top. From there you can enjoy an uninterrupted view of the ocean, L’Agulhas town and surrounding landscape.
3. Visit the Meisho Maru No. 38 wreck
The Meisho Maru No 38 is a Japanese fishing vessel that ran aground in 1982 on one of those stormy cape nights. Fortunately, all 17 of its crew members were able to swim ashore and the only casualty was the ship itself. The wreck is situated halfway between the main entrance and the entrance to the rest camp. It is not difficult to find as it clearly visible from the main road. It is a great place to stop for a picture.
4. Going to the Beach
If you are spending a night inside the rest camp you will have access to a beautiful private beach a few hundred meters away. Take a walk down and enjoy the privacy offered by this stretch of sandy paradise. If you feel particularly brave, take a dip in the cold Atlantic.
5. Hiking in the Fynbos
Like the beach, if you are staying inside the park you will have access to three beautiful and private hiking trails. The main trail pass through indigenous fynbos and is about 10.5 km long and takes most hikers between four and five hours to complete There are two alternative routes – a 3 km (one hour) and slightly longer route of 4.5 km (two hours) for hikers who may not wish to walk the entire route. The route is marked with coloured markers (red, blue and yellow). Enquire at reception.
6. And a few more….
In addition, there is a beautiful boardwalk that runs from the lighthouse to the southernmost point. Park at the lighthouse carpark and opt for a beautiful walk.
Take a slow drive along the Struisbaai-Elim route and enjoy the vast wealth of bird life in and around the Park, especially at the salt pans and along the wetlands. The Park has exceptional birdlife. A comprehensive Birding List of the Overberg can be purchased for R10 from the tourist office located below the lighthouse.
The area is an extremely popular spot for rock angling and deep sea fishing. This includes inside the park. A permit is required which can be purchased from the Struisbaai Post Office at the Struisbaai Mall.
And that is how you have a spectacular stay at the southernmost point in Africa