Category Archives: Agulhas National Park

Agulhas National Park

Fifteenth century Portuguese seafarers named Cape Agulhas when they found that magnetic compass needles pointed precisely true north here (“agulhas” being Portuguese for “needles”). It is also the southern-most point of the African mainland, where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet, and has been inhabited by humans for over a million years with several sites of archaeological interest. The Agulhas Plain also has an incredible biodiversity and it was realised that what remained of it was worthy of protection, leading to the proclamation of the Agulhas National Park in 1999. Today the park covers almost 230km².

This is one of the world’s most treacherous coastlines. Since 1552, at least 125 ships met their fate around Cape Agulhas. For this reason the lighthouse at Cape Agulhas was commissioned in 1849, and is the second oldest of the 56 working lighthouses along our coast. It was designed as a replica of the Pharos of Alexandria, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, and at night its beam can be seen up to 60km offshore. One of the most easily seen wrecks is that of the Meishu Maru, a Japanese fishing vessel with a cargo of 240t of tuna, that ran aground in 1982, happily without any loss among the 17 crew members. Today, a fascinating museum and information centre is housed inside the lighthouse.

The vegetation of the Agulhas National Park consists mainly of fynbos, with an estimated 2,000 plant species finding protection within its borders, many of which are rare and occur nowhere else on earth. The vegetation doesn’t grow very tall here due to the extremely windy conditions that prevail throughout the year. The area is rather flat and featureless, with rocky and sandy beaches alternating and stretching for many kilometers. And the sunsets from the main camp, as the sun dips into the Atlantic Ocean (the camp lies west of the southernmost tip of Africa) is a sight to behold!

The Park is still being developed, and as such does not yet contain large terrestrial mammals in any significant numbers. Most of the mammal species that occur here are either marine or small and rarely seen. The Agulhas National Park is however a prime birding spot, both for land and sea birds.

Guests can overnight in the main rest camp, which consists of one or two bedroom cottages and the luxury Lagoon House, built right on the rocks at the ocean’s edge. A few historic farm houses spread throughout the inland portions of the Park has also been renovated to accommodate guests. An extensive network of walking trails have been laid on around the main camp. All modern services and amenities associated with small holiday towns can be found in nearby L’Agulhas and Struisbaai. The nearest big town is Bredasdorp, 35km to the north.

The Agulhas National Park is located about 250km southeast of Cape Town, with the main rest camp a short drive from the small holiday town of L’Agulhas. It was the third destination on our December holiday tour of eight of our country’s national parks.

 

 

 

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What a trip it’s been!

Happy New Year to all our friends here at de Wets Wild! We hope that 2018 has lots of opportunities to explore the outdoors, for you as well as for us!

We have just arrived back home safely after another epic summer holiday in South Africa’s wild places. All in all we were away from home for 24 nights and traveled a total of 5,550km, exploring eight of this beautiful country’s National Parks.

The route for our epic December 2017 holidays

Of course we came back with literally thousands of photos, which we’ll be sharing here in the coming weeks. We tried to post a daily update as we went along – here’s a quick recap.

Our 2017 in pictures

Looking back at the places we stayed at during another year of enjoying South Africa’s beautiful wild places.

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If you enjoy de Wets Wild as much as we enjoy sharing our love for South Africa’s wild places and their denizens with you, please vote for us in the 2017 South African Blog Awards.

We’ve entered the categories for “Best Travel Blog” and “Best Environmental Blog”, and you are allowed to vote for us in both. Clicking on the badge below will bring you to the voting site. After voting, you’ll receive an e-mail requiring you to click on a link to confirm your votes.

Thank you very much for your support!

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A profound realisation at Cape Agulhas

There are over 1.2-billion people on the continent of Africa. But at the time these pictures were taken this morning, none of them were further south than us three de Wets.

Cape Agulhas, in the Agulhas National Park, is Africa’s most southerly point.

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If you enjoy de Wets Wild as much as we enjoy sharing our love for South Africa’s wild places and their denizens with you, please vote for us in the 2017 South African Blog Awards.

We’ve entered the categories for “Best Travel Blog” and “Best Environmental Blog”, and you are allowed to vote for us in both. Clicking on the badge below will bring you to the voting site. After voting, you’ll receive an e-mail requiring you to click on a link to confirm your votes.

Thank you very much for your support!

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A room with a view, please!

We’ve arrived at Agulhas National Park, the next stop on our summer itinerary.

This is our home for the next two nights.

Jealous?

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If you enjoy de Wets Wild as much as we enjoy sharing our love for South Africa’s wild places and their denizens with you, please vote for us in the 2017 South African Blog Awards.

We’ve entered the categories for “Best Travel Blog” and “Best Environmental Blog”, and you are allowed to vote for us in both. Clicking on the badge below will bring you to the voting site. After voting, you’ll receive an e-mail requiring you to click on a link to confirm your votes.

Thank you very much for your support!

SA Blog Awards Badge