Home to the southern-most tip of Africa, the meeting spot for the Indian and Atlantic Oceans and the iconic Agulhas Lighthouse, Agulhas National Park is situated near Struisbaai. It is just 210km from Cape Town. The area is not known as the Cape of Storms for nothing. Many ships are buried in this underwater graveyard. The wreck of the Meisho Maru 38 is still visible on the shoreline today.
The park is also rich florally as it falls within the Cape Floral Kingdom, the smallest and richest of the six plant kingdoms in the world. It is the perfect spot to practice your macro photography skills with a variety of fynbos always flowering. This, in turn, attracts plenty of pollinators, from bugs and bees to sunbirds.
In fact, the birdlife is prolific and the rare Hottentot buttonquail was spotted in the vicinity before, just one of the reasons to visit the region. The hiking trails offer the perfect excuse to go exploring on foot.
The park area is also famous its large number of archaeological sites. Shell middens, stone hearths and pottery were found here, linking the deposits with the era of Khoisan migration and settlements. The ancient fish traps are still visible today and is best spotted from the top of the lighthouse during low tide.
There are many accommodation options available with the main rest camp next to the ocean an extremely popular choice. Options further inland offer farm-style accommodation.
Visitors can walk to their heart’s content, visit the Southernmost Point of Africa; soak up the sun and cycle in the area.
The nearest airport can be found in Cape Town and tourist towns such as Hermanus, a whale-watching hotspot, and is a short drive away.
The park doesn't offer specific guided tours. External operators might offer birding and cycling tours into the area.
Once you have visited the southernmost tip, climbed the lighthouse, hiked and relaxed, explore the southernmost wine route and the shipwreck museum in Bredasdorp.
If you overnight in the rest camp within the park, the lagoon is a good option. Unfortunately most of the beaches are covered in pebbles, so the next best option would be in Struisbaai.
There are not many terrestrial mammals to spot apart from the Cape grysbok antelope, but look out for Cape fur seals, whales and dolphins. Southern right whales visit between August and November annually. The area is great for birding and a large variety of birds are found in the area. Some of these species include blue crane, secretary bird and various species of sunbird. Raptors found in the park include yellow-billed kite, African harrier-hawk, martial eagle and African fish eagle.
Just like Cape Town, the area has a Mediterranean climate, so winters are cool and wet, while summers are hot and dry. Winter rainfall averages around 513mm. January, the hottest month of the year, has an average temperature of 20 degrees Celsius. July is the coldest month of the year with the average temperature recorded at 13 degrees.
This destination is ideal for laid back visitors. Walking and hiking is a popular pastime while some operators offer cycling tours. Birders are able to spend hours ticking various species from their lists not only in the fynbos vegetation, but also at the coast and the wetlands.
The main rest camp is situated in proximity to the lighthouse and town of Struisbaai and is a very popular option overlooking the ocean. There are units for both families and couples, all fully-equipped. For something more special, opt for the Lagoon House. It is within the borders of the rest camp, but further away from the other units, right on the lagoon. It is a historic house with a 270 degree view of the ocean.
Please see below for accommodation inside and near to Agulhas National Park.