Cape Agulhas, Southernmost Tip of Africa (with Map & Photos)

Cape Agulhas is a steep rocky promontory of the Western Cape in South Africa. It is geographically the southernmost tip of the African continent and the beginning of the boundary line between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, established by the International Hydrographic Organization. Historically, the cape has been known among sailors as a major hazard on the traditional clipper route. It was sometimes regarded as one of the great capes. It was known in England as Cape Agulhas until the 20th century. Not far from the cape is the city of Agulhas.

Cape Agulhas
Cape Agulhas

Geography


Cape Agulhas is located in the Overburg region, 170 kilometers (105 miles) southeast of Cape Town. This cape was named by the Portuguese sailors, who called it Cabo das Agulhas, which in Portuguese means "Cape of Needles" - it was later noticed around 1500 that the cape indicates the direction of the magnetic field of the north (and therefore the "Needle" in the name - compass needle) has become the common name for north. This cape is located in the local municipality of Cape Agulhas in the Overberg district of the Western Cape of South Africa. Nearby is a small airport, Andrews Field serves Needle. The south of Cape Agulhas is washed by the warm Agulhas Current, which passes from the south along the eastern coast of Africa and returns back to the Indian Ocean. At the moment of rounding the cape, the current splits large ocean eddies moving into the South Atlantic Ocean and taking a huge amount of heat and salt into the neighboring ocean. This mechanism is a key element in the global cycle of heat and salt. Unlike its more famous cousin, the Cape of Good Hope, Cape Agulhas is relatively unprepossessing and consists of a gradually curving coastline with a rocky beach. The geodetic sign indicates the location of the Cape, which would otherwise be difficult to determine. The coastal waters of the Agulhas Coast are shallow and are known as one of the best fishing areas in South Africa. The rocks that form Cape Agulha belong to the Table Mountains group, which is often erroneously referred to as the Table Mountain sandstone. They are closely related to the geological formations found in the spectacular cliffs of the Table Mountains, Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope.

Cape Agulhas
Cape Agulhas

Climate


The climate is mild, without sudden changes in temperature and precipitation. According to the South African National Parks, which manage the natural protected area, the average rainfall is 400-600 mm per year, mostly falling during the winter season.

Cape Agulhas
Cape Agulhas

Dangers of Navigation


The sea off Cape Agulhas is known for winter storms and gigantic rough waves that can reach 30 meters (100 feet) high [citation needed] and sink even large ships. It is believed that in just a hundred years, about 150 ships sank near Agulhas. These circumstances are due to several factors. The naturally strong winds of the Roaring Forties, which blow from west to east, and the cold Antarctic Zonal Current, flowing in the same direction, collide with the warm Igol Current in the Cape area. These clashing currents of water of different densities, and westerly winds blowing against the current of the Igolny, can create an extremely dangerous wave condition; moreover, this is exacerbated by the shallow waters of the Needle Coast - a vast, The combination of these hazards has led to the Cape gaining a bad name among sailors. Shipwrecked off the coast: Arniston (1815), Curanga (1964), Elise (1879), Federal Lake (1975), Geortairder (1849), Guritz (1981) and Gwendola (1968) are just a few names of ships that have crashed near " Cape of Needles". Due to the dangers and consequences of the sinking of several ships, especially Arniston, a lighthouse was built in 1848. The lighthouse is now used as a museum and a small village restaurant.

Cape Agulhas Map