Cape Agulhas, the southernmost tip of Africa, where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet, is often described as a goose-bump moment. Liesl Venter looks at what it offers.
Cape Point in the Peninsula is often mistaken as the southernmost tip of the continent, but it is actually Cape Agulhas, a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Cape Town.
A new and unique attraction is a 30-metre-circumference, map of Africa. “This 3D relief map pays homage to the African continent and is steeped in symbolism. The design shows the direction of the compass and includes representation of several African landmarks and lends itself to walking meditation or quiet contemplation. The meeting point of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans behind you only serves to add further to the moment,” says Inge Dykman of Wesgro.
A visit to the Lighthouse, which is in pristine condition, allows guests the chance to read up about the history of this area, says Diane Jacobs, General Manager: Business Development & Contracting at Tourvest DMC. The climb to the top also gives visitors a chance to take in the vastness of this area.
There are a number of tours that encompass Cape Agulhas and its attractions. Mile by Mile Tours offer a full-day tour from Cape Town to Agulhas, stopping several times along the way at other attractions such as Sir Lowry’s Pass, Botriver and Caledon. The tour includes a stop at the Lighthouse and the most southern tip of Africa about a kilometre further. African Blue Tours offers a similar package that can be tailormade to clients’ requirements and includes a stop at the Mishu Maru shipwreck not far from the Indian and Atlantic Oceans demarcation slab.
Tours are not the only option for this must-see site in South Africa. It is an easy self-drive with a beautifully tarred road that takes one all the way from Cape Town to Cape Agulhas.
Visits to shipwrecks, hikes among the fynbos, mountain biking or cold-water swimming are some of the other activities in the area that can be experienced along the way.
Selling Cape Agulhas
According to Andrea Schaffner, Market Manager for North America at Tourvest DMC, a good selling point for this remote but beautiful destination is that on the way, clients can take the scenic Clarence Drive from Gordon’s Bay, Betty’s Bay and Pringle Bay, and stop in Hermanus to go surfing and whale watching.
“The road trip is really what it’s all about. The scenery along the way is absolutely stunning. It’s a unique experience and not something that everyone gets to see unless they are self-driving,” she says.
Agulhas is remote (albeit only slightly) so does require some route planning if one is self-driving or wanting to stay over, says Jacobs.
“The area, however, boasts many guesthouses and other forms of accommodation that offer real South African hospitality and so it is very easy to include a Cape Agulhas programme into a Cape Town itinerary.”