L' Agulhas is the southern most town
in Africa where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans
officially meet. Early Portuguese seafarers rounding this
point called it L'Agulhas which means Cape of Needles
(referring to the jagged rocks of the coastline and also the fact that a compass shows no real deviation
between true north and magnetic north at this spot). L'Agulhas gets its rich heritage from the shipwreck survivors of many nationalities who settled in this desolate
place. The windswept, ruggedly beautiful coastal plain also lays claim to the Agulhas National Park which has more that 8500 species of flowering plants and the
coastline supports a rich marine and intertidal life, with breeding sites of rare birds such as the African Black Oystercatcher.
The country's second oldest working lighthouse was built here is 1848 in homage to the Pharos of Alexandria - one of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World from
the 3rd century BC (between 285 and 247 BC) on the island of Pharos in Alexandria, Egypt to serve as that port's landmark, and later, its lighthouse. You can
browse the fascinating lighthouse museum and curio shop or stop for a cup of tea. The koppie behind the lighthouse provides a panoramic view of where the two
oceans meet, ships pass and Southern Right whales play in spring and early summer. The actual Southernmost Tip of Africa is 1km west of the lighthouse and is
marked by a simple cairn. East of the tip are fish traps which were created by inhabitants of the area thousands of years ago. These traps were made by building
dams across shallow gullies so that fish would be stranded in them at low tide. Some fish traps have been maintained through the centuries and are still used today.
The discovery of stone hearths and pottery, together with shell middens are a valuable historic and cultural legacy left by the Khoi-khoi beach nomads, who lived
along this coastline for centuries.
The water here is very shallow and L'Agulhas is known to be one of the best fishing grounds in South Africa. L'Agulhas has several fynbos hiking trails including
The Ghost Corner hiking trail and there are also tidal pools and rock pools for swimming. To see rare birds, shells and archeological sites dating back 10 000 year
you can join in on a 4x4 Landrover beach safari. The small village of Suiderstrand is located just to the west of the southernmost tip, on the Atlantic side.
Completely surrounded by the Agulhas National Park and the ocean, this village is a nature lover's paradise. Coastal walks and hikes through the National Park
will reward the visitor with stunning views, pristine beaches, pebble bays, rock pools and a marine lagoon.