Top 10 Cape Town Out-of-Town Excursions

By Michael Sieburg & Alison Bradley
Cape Agulhas lighthouse and landscape of Agulhas National Park, South Africa
NAUTICAL PROTECTOR: Cape Agulhas lighthouse and landscape of Agulhas National Park, South Africa (South African National Parks)

9. Visit Cape Agulhas
While Cape Point is often heralded as the place where the Atlantic and Indian oceans converge, Cape Agulhas is actually the southernmost tip of the African continent, and makes for a fascinating day trip for avid botanists, hikers, photographers, historians, birdwatchers, and curious travelers. The Agulhas Plain was recently declared a national park because of its astounding biodiversity; the area is home to approximately 2,000 species of indigenous plants, 100 of which are endemic to the area, not to mention endangered "micro" frogs, over 20,000 migratory and resident wetland birds, African black oystercatchers, Atlantic seals, and countless other species. Agulhas means "needles" in Portuguese and refers to the notorious rocks and reefs that have demolished many ships along the coastline. The Cape Agulhas lighthouse was built in 1848 to reduce the number of wrecks and is the second-oldest working lighthouse in South Africa. The lighthouse was declared a national monument in 1973 and now holds a museum and a small, rustic restaurant.

When to Go: Year-round; go during spring months to spot migratory seabirds.
Driving Distance from Cape Town: Cape Agulhas Lighthouse (140 miles); consider combining with a trip through Betty's Bay and Hermanus on the Western Cape.

Published: 24 Mar 2010 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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