Cape Agulhas, Western Cape, South Africa (with Map & Photos)

Cape Agulhas is the southernmost point in Africa. It rises 140 m above sea level and enters the ocean in the form of a sandy shoal 840 km long. Cape Agulhas is washed by two oceans - the Indian and the Atlantic and is the point of their confluence. This place is located in South Africa, 155 km from the Cape of Good Hope. At 36 ° S latitude, the underwater part of the coast is dangerous to mariners due to the shallow depth and fast current moving from the Indian Ocean to the Atlantic. It is called the Cape. The current creates large squall waves, which often became the cause of shipwrecks.

Cape Agulhas
Cape Agulhas

The geographical coordinates of Cape Agulhas are -34.83112 south latitude and 20.01304 east longitude.

The pioneer of Cape Agulhas was the Portuguese navigator Bartolomeu Dias in 1488. At this time he was returning home from India to Portugal. Not long before that B. Dias discovered the Cape of Good Hope.

Cape Agulhas
Cape Agulhas

The area received the name L'Agulhas from Portuguese sailors in the 15th century due to the observed magnetic anomaly. The compass needle (or needle - agulha) pointed strictly to the north in this place.

Weather at Cape Agulhas


Cape Agulhas is difficult to see from land, so a geodetic mark has been installed to mark it. It is a curving coastline with a rocky beach. Local waters are famous for the abundance of commercial fish species. The rocks that form the promontory belong to the Mesa group.

The climate on Igolnoye is rather mild, without temperature drops and a lot of precipitation. Most of the rain falls during the winter. At this time, strong winds begin to blow from west to east, the cold Antarctic Current collides with the flow of warm waters in the area of ​​the cape. As a result of the combination of masses of water of different density and temperature, dangerous waves with a height of about 30 m are formed. This condition is aggravated by shallow water - a shallow part of the continental shelf of 250 km, protruding to the south. A combination of dangerous factors influenced the fact that the Igolny gained notoriety among the sailors. So in just a hundred years, about 150 ships perished near the cape. It was here that the legend about the mysterious ghost ship "The Flying Dutchman" appeared. In order to secure navigation in the area, a lighthouse was erected in 1848.

Cape Agulhas
Cape Agulhas

The air temperature at the cape is between 18-25 ° C during the day and 7-18 ° C at night. The water warms up in winter to 21 ° C, the rest of the time - 16-18 ° C.

What to see


A trip to Cape Agulhas will appeal to fans of ecotourism and extreme sports. The road to it lies past local wineries, where guests are invited to taste and purchase wine made in South Africa. The village of Agulhas is located nearby, and its fishing houses are also part of the local flavor. At the port, you can buy freshly caught fish and ask to cook it in one of the nearby cafes.

The lighthouse, which stands on the edge of the promontory, houses a small museum and a restaurant. The exposition tells about the history of the colonization of Africa and about the sailors who visited the local coast. Tourists are happy to climb the 27-meter-high lighthouse to admire the two oceans and take some picturesque photos. Here you can also buy souvenirs: shells, painted ostrich eggs, jewelry and crafts of local tribes.

Cape Agulhas
Cape Agulhas

The main attraction is a small structure made of stone. An inscription is engraved on it, telling that two oceans are connected in this place. The arrows show where the Indian Ocean is from the observer and where the Atlantic is.

For those wishing to fish or take a boat trip, this service is provided in the neighboring village of Gansbaai.

How to get to Cape Agulhas


The Cape can be reached from the nearest major city, Cape Town. Tourists are encouraged to visit the attraction as part of a 9-hour guided tour. You can reach the cape on your own by a rented car. Take Highway 2 towards Port Elizabeth. The trip will take 3-4 hours one way.

Public transport from Cape Town to Agulhas runs only 2 times a day - at 8:30 and 13:00. The bus departs from Green Market Square to Cape Point. On the way, the driver makes a stop for 40 minutes to inspect the penguin family. The bus departs back to Cape Town at 13:00 and 17:15.

Cape Agulhas Map