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Welcome to L'Agulhas & Struisbaai
Welcome to the southernmost point of Africa, where the Indian and Atlantic Ocean collide in a spray of raw, tumultuous beauty and the lighthouse stands like a solemn monument for the many sailors that lost their lives. Where resident sting rays can be found at the harbour and whales frequent the coastline. A place that is bordered by lush mountains decorated with endemic fynbos and a myriad of birds attracted to the wildflowers’ sweet nectar. This geographically unique area beckons the wanderer’s footprints and anyone bequeathed with the wanderlust to explore the wonders of the world.
The Southern tip of Africa includes two towns that are truly a hop, skip and a jump away from each other. As you leave Struisbaai you will only need to blink and arrive in quaint L’Agulhas. Struisbaai has more shops, facilities and an incredible beach where L’Agulhas has the monumental features such as the southernmost point of Africa, a shipwreck’s remains emitting from the rocky depths and the Agulhas National Park. During the year the towns are sleepy seaside villages that comprise of holiday homes and a lazy insurgence of tourists attracted to its geographical significance. During the holidays however, there is a contagious vibrant atmosphere as holidaymakers flock to the longest stretch of beach in South Africa, relish in the natural attractions and devour fresh seafood.
Enter a bygone era where life is simpler and everything more charming. There is no traffic or noise pollution nor any hurry to get anywhere. Instead, people casually make their way through the small winding roads by foot or by car between tranquil suburban areas. Only a few of the houses have perimeter walls and the gardens of the homes spill into the natural fynbos-clad environment. Some of the houses are still standing since the town’s early beginnings with the traditional white-washed walls and thatch roofs. Interspersed between these rustic yet cosy buildings are modern houses that have emerged along with the popularity of the town. Struisbaai has retained that small coastal charm and some of the houses even have endearing names written on wooden plaques or on the front door. One thing for certain about Southern tip of Africa is that no matter the time of year it never lacks charm or character.
With a rich natural environment the Agulhas region is never short of exciting outdoor adventures. Avid walkers and hikers will be happy to hear that there are several invigorating hikes. Whether you decide on the Two Oceans or the Rasperpoint Hiking Trail you will be rewarded with stunning views. For something a little different there is always the Ghost Trail (Spookdraai) that leads you on a haunted trail of abandoned buildings, eerie symbols and hidden caves (not for the feint-hearted). As you are surrounded by verdant gardens and fynbos it is the optimal place to get your binoculars or camera out to bird watch. There is quad biking and paragliding for the adrenaline junkies and a long stretch of pearly white sand for the beach combers and chill-time seekers.
The ocean is in all its glory at the Southern tip of Africa and is the biggest attraction of this area. Know what it feels like to be the southernmost person in Africa as you stand above the small monument or stand daringly on one of the rocks. Let your wanderer’s feet take you further to the ship graveyard where one rusting ship stands vulnerable to time and nature’s wrath. The coastline has claimed around 150 ships over the years because of the ominous rocky outlets and rough seas. That is why now the lighthouse stands as a monument to the sailors and beacon of light. There are also boat trips, fishing (angling and deep sea), scuba diving and tidal pools that are perfect for swimming. The marine life never ceases to amaze with a resident Stingray that has been visiting for years and has become so domesticated that people can feed it. Then from July to December you can spot the V-shaped spray or magnificent breach of a Southern right whale as they journey to these parts to mate and calve.
After your day of exploring nature’s beauty, why not enjoy fresh seafood and delicious meals at one of the welcoming eateries in either Struisbaai or L’Agulhas. The air is clean, the food is good, the accommodation will make you feel at home and there is an adventure waiting to be had. You don’t need to think twice about ticking this location off your bucket list. Simply embrace the experience.