Things to Do in L'Agulhas and Struisbaai
When visiting the Southern tip of Africa you can really leave your reality behind because it won’t follow you to these two relaxed coastal villages. Let time stand still and the natural beauty entice your imagination. The only tough decision to make is whether you feel like going on a seaside adventure, visiting a shipwreck graveyard or relaxing with a spectacular view. As soon you enter the sleepy seaside town with the rustic buildings and the lull of the ocean you will immediately begin to relax. Nothing quite says you are on holiday like a seaside vacation, but don’t relax just yet, there are plenty of exciting outdoor adventures to take part in.
The ocean is the base for many of the attractions and activities that you will enjoy. In Struisbaai you can stroll along the longest natural beach in the Southern Hemisphere, which is 14km long! This is an ideal spot to pitch an umbrella and enjoy some relaxing time on the beach. Otherwise a walk to the harbour and there you might be lucky to spot some of the resident stingrays that frequent one particular little spot. The locals have even dubbed the very first resident stingray Parrie and tourists often buy pilchards from the harbour fish stall and feed the docile marine animals. In L’Agulhas you can visit the renowned meeting place of the Indian and Atlantic Ocean. They collide in a surge of raw beauty that is unmasked by the spray of water against the protruding rocks. These same rocks line the coastline and were the reason for the maritime graveyard of shipwrecks that met their doom. One ship stands amongst the rocks, a picture of rust and long-forgotten fables. Stories still circulate the town of brave sailors, buried treasure and conniving locals that imitated the lighthouse to brining ships to their doom for their own monetary gain at an auction. A walk along the coast will include views of this lone ship and, between July and December, on occasion will include the sight of whales. The Southern right whales journey to this side of the coastline to enjoy a vacation while they mate, calve and enjoy the sunshine.
Once you’ve been fulfilled by the maritime culture and natural beauty, it is time to get in the water and have some fun! The area is great for fishing whether you are a fan of angling or deep sea fishing you will be spoilt for choice. Go out to sea and spend the day on a boat with a challenge just waiting to come your way. Otherwise cast your rod and enjoy the lazy day, until you feel the first pull and the adrenalin rush that accompanies it. Whilst the fishermen are concentrating on their sport the rest of the family can swim in one of the many tidal pools. If you prefer being submerged and exploring the underworld of the sea then scuba diving is also a possibility. Enjoy the calm of the underwater world and the amazing marine life just waiting to be discovered.
The land is no less of a wonder as the mountainous area is awash with endemic and diverse fynbos wildflowers that are a botanists dream. There are several hiking trails that will allow you to take in the natural beauty and take an invigorating walk. The Two Oceans Trail takes you past the southernmost point of Africa and you can decide how far you would like to walk/hike. There is a 3km blue trail, 4.5 km red trail and 10.5km yellow trail that will lead you to an amazing viewing point. The Rasperput hiking trail is 5.5km long and will take approximately 3 hours. The trail begins and ends at the Meisho Maru shipwreck and goes along the water’s edge and ridge passes. If it’s more than just breath-taking landscapes you want on a hike, then the Ghost Trail (Spookdraai Trail) is the perfect option as it is offers hiking with a twist. Rumours have spread that a beautiful woman who survived a shipwreck died in a cave here but her soul is unrested, while apparently a headless sailor roams the area at times. The painted ghost mark adorns rocks and signposts to point you in the right direction as you go through L'Agulhas village, past abandoned buildings, art that will make you look twice and hidden caves. For a more speedy adventure there is always quad biking and paragliding.
Whether it be kayaking or hiking you will not be disappointed by the selection of outdoor activities. There is something to do for all ages whether you want to relax or searching for the ultimate adrenalin rush.