Arniston, Western Cape, South Africa

Welcome to Arniston, also known by South Africans as Waenhuiskrans. The directions to Arniston take you on well-maintained roads and you are invited to explore a coastal area that offers visitors many things to do.

Although the history of the fishing hamlet can be traced back almost 2,000 years, it is an infamous tragedy that gave the town its modern-day-name. In 1815, due to an unfortunate navigational miscalculation, the troop-ship HMS Arniston was steered bow-first into the razor-sharp Agulhas Reef. It didn’t end well for those onboard and the ship ran aground and only six lucky souls managed to swim to safety. A monument for the 374 crew who perished can be found in the dunes on the beach and can be visited by the public.

The alternative name, Waenhuiskrans, is an Afrikaans word that refers to the size of one of the town’s biggest tourist attractions which is a spacious cavern in the cliffs that hug the shoreline. Directly translated Waenhuiskrans means ‘wagon house cliff’ and the space is truly big enough to house an ox-wagon and its span of oxen. The Waenhuiskrans Cave is best visited at low tide and the walk is relatively easy if you follow the boulders along the edge of limestone cliffs that lead to the massive cave.

The warm Indian Ocean plays host to a multitude of outdoor activities in Arniston and is a playground for Southern Right Whales in whale season. Pristine sandy beaches offer safe family-friendly swimming areas as well as fishing spots that are known for their abundant catches.

Restaurants in Arniston are known for their wholesome cuisine and you will be doing yourself a big gastronomic favour when you indulge in a traditional dinner in Kassiesbaai. Kassiesbaai is a world heritage site and the whitewash fishing houses with their neatly clipped thatched roofs are a National Monument. Cape Agulhas Tourism will point you in the right direction if you want a tour given by one of the friendly locals or to arrange fresh seafood and Cape Malay dishes at one of the fisherman’s houses.

If you are spending more than a day in the area you will find that accommodation in Arniston is readily available and includes a luxury spa hotel, a choice of comfortable self-catering homes and rustic cottages in the above mentioned Kassiesbaai. Real estate agencies in Arniston have realtors who are well-connected and ready to show you a multitude of properties if you decide that a longer stay is in the cards.

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