I always thought that Cape Point was the southernmost tip of Africa, but while planning another road trip along the coast of the Western Cape, I discovered that the southern tip of Africa, and therefore of South Africa, is located at L’Agulhas.
We spent a day in Mosselbay and from there we were going to Cape Town for a few days to explore the Mother City. Visiting L’Agulhas was an opportunity we could not pass by despite the additional hours required to drive there.
How to get to the southern tip of Africa
Getting to the southernmost tip of Africa requires a car. L’Agulhas is not en route to anywhere. Visiting L’Agulhas has to be a conscious decision as it ads several hours on any road trip in the region.
Driving from Cape Town to Mosselbay or the other way around means following the N2. To get to L’Agulhas, one has to get off the N2. If you are coming from Mosselbay, you will most likely turn off towards Bredasdorp/Struisbaai after leaving Swellendam. From Swellendam, it will take another 90 minutes.
If you are coming from Cape Town’s side, you will leave the N2 after reaching Caledon. From Caledon, it will take about 90 minutes to get to L’Agulhas.
L’Agulhas and Struisbay are two small towns next to each other. They appear to not be quiet during non-peak times.
Things to do near the southern tip of Africa
For such a small area, there are many things to do. What follows is not an exhaustive list, but features the highlights of the area.
Climbing to the top of the Cape Agulhas lighthouse
The Cape Agulhas lighthouse is in the Agulhas National Park. Entrance to the Park is free, but there is a small fee for entering the lighthouse. Before purchasing your tickets, bear in mind that the steps to the top of the lighthouse are steep. The view from the top of the lighthouse is unbeatable!
The Cape Agulhas lighthouse is near the entrance to the Agulhas National Park, and parking is available. The lighthouse is the third oldest lighthouse in South Africa. It is also the second oldest lighthouse still in operation (the Green Point lighthouse is the oldest operational lighthouse in South Africa). The Cape Agulhas lighthouse was declared a national monument in 1973. Currently, the lighthouse keeper’s house now features a museum and a restaurant.
Visiting the southernmost tip of Africa
The southern tip of Africa is near the Cape Agulhas lighthouse. Be warned; it is probably the busiest attraction in the Agulhas National Park! We had to wait 20 minutes before we could take our pictures at the marker as there was a constant stream of people wanting to capture their visit to the southern tip of Africa with a photograph.
Near to the southernmost tip of Africa is a map of Africa, which is missed by many people since they are so focused on the marker at the southernmost tip. The Map of Africa is only a few meters from the marker and worth seeing.
The Meisho Maru 38 shipwreck
There are many shipwrecks along the Agulhas coast. The easiest to spot from the shore is the shipwreck of the Meisho Maru 38. This shipwreck is Instagram worthy, especially at sunset.
There is a shipwreck museum in Bredasdorp, which is a town near Struisbaai. Unfortunately, we did not visit the museum, but it is something to add to our list for a future road trip!
Eating at Sea Shack
Eating at the Sea Shack is quite an experience. The Sea Shack’s tables stand on the beach; you can drag your feet through the beach sand while eating. We were there for lunch, and the place was quiet. I imagine evenings may be busier and livelier, especially during peak season.
The food was fresh and tasty and the prices were reasonable – we thoroughly enjoyed our meal. The portions were large – don’t be tempted to buy extras!
Worth the extra hours on the road?
We found the visit to the southern tip of Africa worth the extra hours on the road. The roads to Agulhas were in good condition and not too busy.
We did not spend a night in Struisbay or L’Agulhas, but that would have given us some extra time to explore the area as there are many things we did not get to do and see. There are several hiking trails in the Agulhas National Park I would love to explore. Spending a relaxing few days in L’Agulhas or Struisbay could be just what the doctor ordered!
Have you ever visited the southernmost tip of Africa? Did you try any of the other sights and activities in the area?