Open Africa
Open Africa

Southernmost Route


Features

   Accommodation

Below is a list of accommodation establishments along this route. Bookings and enquiries can be made directly with the establishment.

Dreams
The perfect place for a relaxing holiday or getaway! Spacious and neat holiday home - ideally located! 100m to the beaut...

Kersgat Farm Guesthouse
Situated 5km outside the small Moravian church village of Elim is Kersgat Farm. Here guests are offered self-catering or...

Koppiehuisie Farm Guesthouse
Koppiehuisie Farm Guesthouse is a fully equipped self-catering farmhouse with accommodation for up to six people. This...

Langrug Lodge
Langrug Lodge is situated in the Overberg, between Bredasdorp and Struisbaai, alongside Soetendalsvlei - southern Africa...

Potteberg Guest Farm
Potteberg Guest Farm offers visitors accommodation on a working farm, which is situated on the boundary of the De Hoop N...

Southermost B&B
Southermost, the first house in the town of L'Agulhas, was built in 1929 as a family beach home by Michiel van Breda. Th...

Sunbird Lodge and Fynbos Reserve
Sunbird Lodge and Fynbos Reserve is located above the town of Napier, looking north. The view from most of the farm's va...

The Cottage
Situated in the foothills of the Potberg, and near to the De Hoop Nature Reserve and the Malgas pont (ferry), The Cottag...

Verfheuwel Guesthouse
Visit Verfheuwel Guest Farm, 4km on your way to Potberg (where the Whale Trail starts… if you are too late f...

Seashell House
Facilities: A self-catering unit with a sea-view that sleeps two people. There is also an outside braai (barbeque). T...

   Arts & Crafts

Below is a list of arts and crafts outlets and projects on this route. Enquiries can be made directly with the business.

Bel Don Goose Down Products
Bel Don Goose Down Products is situated across the Tourism Bureau in Long Street. The shop sells goose down products and...

   Environment

Below is a list of environmental attractions on this route. Booking and enquiries can be made directly with the business.

Anker Agri Agricultural Information and Farm Visits
Anker Agri provides visitors with information and insights into the farming strategies and practices of the Overberg. Th...

De Hoop Nature Reserve
De Hoop (named after the original horse stud in the area, Hope Farm) was proclaimed a nature reserve in 1957. It has bee...

 

Overview
History
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The Southermost Route is set in the south Western Cape and is geographically striking, as it is situated at the southernmost point of Africa. The area boasts the unique floral wonders of the Cape floral kingdom and historical sites of note include the Khoi-Khoi Caves and old fishing villages that have survived to this day. 

There are many shipwrecks that litter the coast and whale watching in season (September - November) always draws the crowds. The rocky coastline offers anglers and divers unending pleasure and the seas and rivers are favourites with fishing and boating enthusiasts. Heading away from the coast, the agricultural pursuits of the Overberg farms are worth a look in as are the nature reserves of this region. Two of the major projects here are the conservation efforts to save the Cape Griffin Vulture and efforts to revive the Cape Quagga.

Reasons to visit

The Overberg is home to a wide variety of wild flowers or fynbos, a unique feature of the Cape floral kingdom. It is the smallest of the six plant regions of the world, but it boasts the largest variety of plants - a staggering 9,000 species. Six thousand of these are found nowhere else in the world. De Hoop Nature reserve, the flagship of Cape Nature Conservation is nearby, covering 60,000 hectares of endangered fynbos. This reserve is home to South Africa's largest population of Bontebok and also the endangered Mountain Zebra. There are various hiking and mountain biking trails on the reserve and whales can be seen from June to November at Koppie Alleen and Infanta.

Arniston is a favourite hideaway for holidaymakers looking to get away from it all. Activities in Arniston include angling, swimming, hiking, whale watching, and seeing the loaded fishing boats come in to Arniston Bay. It was also once listed by Time Magazine as one of the 10 most popular tourist destinations in the world.

Nearby Kassiesbaai is a must-see. The 200-year-old fishing village, which is a national heritage site in its entirety, is characterised by unassuming white thatch cottages where locals still make a living from the sea. Quaint coffee shops and craft shops dot the streets and the relatively warm sea is great for swimming in. 

Check out the fascinating Shipwreck Museum in Bredasdorp which is filled with artefacts remaining from the many ships which have sunk along the treacherous coast of Agulhas, as well as the Audrey Blignaut Room which pays homage to the famous Bredasdorp born essayist. The Heuningberg Nature Reserve is great for nature lovers while nearby De Mond Nature Reserve offers superb angling and a number of wonderful hiking trails.

Elim is a National Heritage Site and offers something different. Steeped in religious history, a memorial thanking God for the emancipation of slaves in 1838 stands near the church and the village's restored corn mill was built in 1828. The mill has the largest wooden wheel in the country and visitors can enjoy tea, coffee or lunch here. There are also some fantastic wine farms here for those who enjoy a little food and drink.

L'Agulhas is the southern most town in Africa, where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans officially meet. Early Portuguese seafarers rounding this dangerous point called it L'Agulhas, which means Cape of Needles (referring to the jagged rocks of the coastline and also the fact that a compass shows no real deviation between true north and magnetic north at this spot). L'Agulhas gets its rich heritage from the shipwreck survivors of many nationalities who settled in this desolate place.

The country's second oldest working lighthouse was built here in 1848 in the Pharaoh style. Travellers can browse the fascinating lighthouse museum and curio shop or stop for a cup of tea. The koppie behind the lighthouse provides a panoramic view of where the two oceans meet, ships pass and Southern Right whales play in spring and early summer. The actual Southernmost Tip of Africa is 1km west of the lighthouse and is marked by a simple cairn.

Winter-time in Napier sees the surrounding fields illuminated in hues of green and yellow, making this charming town a popular getaway. Enjoy horse riding, hiking (Grootberg Trail) and tractor rides, while rare species of fynbos as well as flocks of the South African national bird, the blue crane, can be seen in the area. 

Struisbaai is a pristine fishing village situated a short drive from the southern most tip of Africa. The beach here is exquisite, with an almost subtropical feel. The water is crystal clear and it’s brilliant colour is exaggerated by the colourful fishing boats, which reside in the harbour. Other activities include whale watching, horse riding on the beach, charter fishing trips and visiting the many curio shops and galleries in the area.

This route traverses a region well-known for its contribution to the South African wool trade. A local farmer, Michiel van Breda, saw the potential of raising Merino sheep on his farm Zoetendalsvallei and that kick-started the now established local wool trade. The farm was named after the ship Zoetendaal, which was shipwrecked along the Cape Agulhas coast. Bredasdorp itself is named after Michiel van Breda.

The Overberg coastline is renowned for shipwrecks, and streets and businesses in Cape Agulhas bear the names of some ill-fated ships. These include Die Schonberg, St Mungo, Die Brederode, Mossa Senhora dos Milagros, Crentoo, Juno, Die Martha, Micobar and The Arniston.

Arniston

Arniston is a village where time has stood still; where the practices of generations of fishermen quietly continue without interruption. But this sleepy little coastal town has seen its fair share of drama.

The name Arniston comes from the British transport/hospital ship that sank near the coast in 1815, with a loss of 372 lives. Only six passengers survived the ordeal and a monument was erected on the beach in 1817 to commemorate the loss. A replica of this can be seen today above the beach in front of the hotel. 

Arniston is also known as Waenhuiskrans because of the magnificent limestone cave, across the dunes to the west of Roman Beach. This cave, according to a local theory, is so big that a wagon with a full span of oxen can turn around in it. Waenhuiskrans means 'wagon house' cliff in Afrikaans and it can only be accessed at low tide.

Bredasdorp

Bredasdorp, known as South Africa's first dorp, was established in 1838 on the farm Langefontein and named after a local farmer, Michiel van Breda. Van Breda was the first mayor of Cape Town and also regarded by many as the father of the merino sheep industry in this country. A rivalry between van Breda and his neighbour, PV van der Byl, led to the establishment of two separate churches on their farms and eventually two separate towns, Bredasdorp and Napier. Today, Bredasdorp is the economic hub of the dairy, wool and wheat farming Cape Agulhas region.

Elim

The quaint little village of Elim, found half way between Gansbaai and Bredasdorp is the oldest village in the Strandveld. Founded by Moravian missionaries in 1824 and largely inhabited by members of the Moravian Church, it’s short and sweet biblical name is from Exodus 15:27: The Israelites, after crossing the Red Sea “came to Elim, where there were twelve wells of water, and threescore and ten palm trees: and they camped there by the waters.”

Napier

Napier sits at the bottom of the Soetmuisberg and is surrounded by rolling wheat and barley fields. Established in 1838 this beautiful little town still contains much of its old world charm, and is fast gaining a reputation as an artist's community, playing host to numerous cultural events.

Named after the governor of the Cape at the time, Sir George Napier, Napier's main craftsmen were historically blacksmiths. The Dutch Reformed Church has rather unusual architecture, built in the form of a Greek cross with teak interior and a beautiful pipe organ. One of the first buildings in Napier, the Feeshuis, was restored in 1988 to celebrate the town's 150th anniversary. It was used as slave quarters between 1810 and 1920. Other interesting historical structures are the Ox Wagon monument, erected in 1988 commemorating the Ossewa Trek of 1838, and the giant sundial at the municipal offices.

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Open Africa Routes

A route is a cluster of travel attractions, accommodation, tour operators, local artisans, guides and restaurants. It brings people together from all levels of community to promote travel to their area. You select what interests you on a route and create your own itinerary.

South Africa - Western Cape

South Africa - Western Cape

The Southernmost Route is set in the south Western Cape region of South Africa and as the name suggests, the key feature of this route is South Africa's national bird.

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Key Contacts

Name:
Cape Agulhas Tourism Bureau - Annelien Snyman

Telephone: Click here
Website: Click here

Tags

escape coast food agulhas bredasdorp

 

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