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Cape Agulhas & Struisbaai

Western Cape

230km from Cape Town

Cape Agulhas & Struisbaai Snapshot

Measured on atmosphere, our very own Cape Point feels more like the southern tip of Africa than Cape Agulhas does. Those expecting the drama of an exposed spear of rock plunged deep into the ocean’s heart, angry waves attacking on all sides and weatherbeaten natives warring with the elements, might be a tad disappointed. But fact remains, Agulhas is as far south you can go short of rolling up the trousers and taking to the water. So you might as well spend at least one weekend of your life here, if for no other reason than to say, “been there, done that, and have the wet T-shirt to prove it.”

Struisbaai lies a little up the road from Agulhas. Some say it was named after the straw cottages built years ago by fishermen; others ascribe the name to the ‘Vogelstruis’ (ostriches) that once roamed wild in the area. What we do know is that Struisbaai has the longest stretch of white beach in the country, and that it’s a popular family holiday resort with a lot of mediocre houses. According to an old lady we met on crutches, Die Skip (as they call New Year in these parts) is to be avoided by the faint of heart. “Just like the Woodstock Festival,” she muttered, and hobbled off.

Things To Do

  • Not that much to do on the southernmost tip of Africa besides fishing and climbing the 71 steps to the top of Cape Agulhas Lighthouse – the second oldest in the country. The lighthouse was first lit in 1849 and has been flashing ever since. From the top, you can just make out a long thin line of foam where the Indian and Atlantic Ocean meet. Would we lie to you...?
  • One kilometre west of the lighthouse is a dais and plaque marking the actual southernmost tip of Africa. Request a certificate from the Lighthouse Restaurant to prove to your friends that you have been there. The restaurant is a novel outing as it’s situated in the lighthouse itself – antiques and museum pieces complement the setting.
  • No fewer than 120 ships have sunk or gone aground off the Agulhas coast. One of these, the Meisho Maru 30, is still visible 4km due west of the town.
  • God made Struisbaai’s 14km beach for long, long walks, swimming, fishing and most other things one does on a beach.
  • The fishermen’s cottages at Hotagterklip (at the entrance to Struisbaai) are all national monuments and worth a visit.
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