L' Agulhas

 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 than 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 in 1848 in the Pharaoh style. 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 "vywers" (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 "vywers" 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 beach nomads, who lived along this coastline for centuries.

Main Photo: ©Shutterstock

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