Agulhas National Park
Did you know?
There are about 9000 species of fynbos, with new species discovered almost every year.
Most people drive through the Agulhas National Park on their way to Cape Agulhas, the southernmost tip of Africa. There's a glamour, an explorer's thrill, that lies in visiting such a place.
The second oldest lighthouse in South Africa was built here in 1848, an exclamation mark at the continent's tip. (The oldest is the Green Point lighthouse in Cape Town, erected in 1824). The Agulhas lighthouse offers stunning views of this gently rounded coastal peninsula.
There is so much more to see. Even though this area is still in the process of being developed as a national park, it already attracts birders, beach-lovers, amateur botanists interested in the pristine fynbos, and anyone who loves a good shipwreck story. There's a shipwreck for every kilometre of coastline here.
Agulhas means 'needles' in Portuguese. The peninsula was named by navigators in 1500 because true north and magnetic north coincided here. The needle-sharp rocks may also have been a factor.
The weather at Cape Agulhas is quite mild, but every now and then mad winds whip up the sea, threatening ships with 30 metre-high waves. The dozens of ships that have foundered along this spectacular coastline are a source of tragic and comic tales of castaways, stowaways and, some say, ghosts.
Here you'll also find ancient Khoi middens and primitive stone fish traps, traces of life stretching back many thousands of years.
You may want to just succumb quietly to the rhythms of the sea. The Agulhas National Park protects a 56km coastline - white beaches from which to watch whales, giant dunes covered in strandveld, and fascinating tidal pools patrolled by black oystercatchers. Inland you'll walk through fragrant fynbos, fussed by long-tailed sugarbirds. It's ever so easy to imagine yourself a castaway in an untouched land.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
South African National Parks - Reservations
Tel: +27 (0) 12 428 9111
Shipwreck Hiking Trail: AfriTrack Tours
Tel: +27 (0) 83 540 4575
Tel: +27 (0) 82 774 4448
Bredasdorp Shipwreck Museum
Tel: +27 (0) 28 424 1240
Morning Glory Horse Rides
Tel: +27 (0) 82 853 6732