Site Network: Struisbaai House | Mountain Cottage

The View from the Balcony! 


What to do & Where to go at the Southern Most Tip of Africa and Surrounds


There are many activities and sites one can go to in this most beautiful part of South Africa.

The Southern Most Tip of Africa has the highest concentration of Southern Right Whales in the world making this area a premium Whale Watching site.

The villages of Interest in the area of the Southern Most Tip of Africa are Cape Agulhas, Struisbaai, Elim, Arniston, Bredasdorp, Napier and Swellendam.


Click on the topic of interest or scroll down the page

What to do in:

Struisbaai        Cape Agulhas       Bredasdorp       Napier

Elim     Swellendam    Arniston


Calendar of Events in Struisbaai and Cape Agulhas



Restaurants
Struisbaai
     

Cape Agulhas



Useful Telephone Numbers

Doctors, Dentist, Vets, Libraries


Emergency Telephone Numbers

Police, Fire Brigade, Ambulance
           

Hospital, Pharmacies, NSRI Sea Rescue
       

Struisbaai Harbour, Municipalities




What to do in Struisbaai

Struisbaai is believed to have gotten its name from one of three sources. “Straw bay” - because of the thatched roofs of the fisherman's cottages. “Struisvogel”, meaning ostrich, or named after an old Dutch word meaning “huge” - in reference to the size of the beach.

Struisbaai and it's surrounds are very beautiful and very neat and the town was voted Town of the Year recently.
  • Walk along Struisbaai Beach. Struisbaai has the longest stretch of continuous beach in the Southern Hemisphere which makes for a great walk. As you come into Struisbaai and just opposite the Municipality turn left. Go down the road for 200m and you will see a large parking lot and a largish building saying Nostra Restaurant. The beach is right there. Walk along the beach to the East for 14 km.
  • Go Board Sailing and Kite flying along Struisbaai Beach.
  • Visit the charming little Struisbaai Harbour. It is a small quaint little harbour with small fishing vessels dotted here and there. The harbour was originally built in 1959 and enlarged in 1990. It serves local fishing boats, known as 'chukkies' as well as ski boats for the flock of visitors that come to the town during the holiday season When you come into Struisbaai, Carry on past the Shopping Centre; through the four way stop street and go on for +- 1 km until you see the sign to the harbour.
  • Charter a Boat and go fishing.
  • Visit the De Hoop Nature and Marine Reserve. This area boasts seven different eco-systems. Take your mountain bike and enjoy the abundance of wildlife, fynbos and birdlife. One can also go to Koppie Alleen and see the largest concentration of Southern Right Whales along the South African coast from this look out point when they come to calf from July to November. It is considered to be one of the best land-based whale watching look-out points in the world. For more information contact the De Hoop Nature and Marine Reserve at +27 (0) 28 542 1253
  • Hike the De Hoop Whale Trail. This is the ultimate hiking experience. The 5 day, 54 km Whale Trail meanders through the spectacular De Hoop Nature Reserve with it's diverse fynbos vegetation, magnificent dunes and whale-watching opportunities. At night, during the whale season, one can hear the whales bellowing in the waters below. Reservations are essential. Contact +27 (0) 21 425 5020
  • Go fishing at the De Mond Nature Reserve. Here one can also explore the mouth of the Heuningnes River. This magnificent estuary is teeming with rare bird species like the Giant Tern, the Black Oystercatcher and the Damara Tern. For angling permits and more info contact the De Mond Nature Reserve at +27 (0) 21 659 3500
>>To Top

What to do in Cape Agulhas

Portuguese seafarers named Africa's Southernmost Tip, 'the Cape of Needles' (Cape Agulhas) due to the phenomenon that a compass shows no real deviation between true north and magnetic north at this spot, and because of the jagged, needle-sharp rocks along the coastline.

The Cape Agulhas Area has a Mediterranean climate, with warm dry summers and cool wet winters. The average day in summer has 14 hours of sunshine.
For weather forecasts call 082 162 or visit
www.overbergagri.co.za for accurate reports on the area.

The waters near the coast are quite shallow and are the best fishing grounds in South Africa. It is called the 'Agulhas Bank' and is less than 100 metres in depth. Only after 250 kilometres out to sea does it drop steeply.

Ecologically, the South Western Cape Coastal area is famous for it's Fynbos, which is the name of the natural vegetation that occurs there. This relatively small area is the home of more than 8500 fynbos varieties of which more than 6000 are found no where else in the world and although the area is small, it is the richest of the six floral kingdoms making it internationally renowned especially amoungst ecological conservationists.

The best known fynbos species are the Proteas (national flower of South Africa) and the Ericas and the best time to view the fynbos is from Autumn to Spring when most species are flowering.


Legend has it that many years ago, the sole survivor of a shipwreck, a beautiful young woman washed up on the shore. She made her way to a cave in the mountains and later died there. Her spirit is not at rest and she still visits the area from time to time. Another ghost story is of a man decapitated in an accident whose headless corpse has also been seen wondering around the Spookdraai area.
Maps are available for the Spookdraai and Rasperpunt Trails at the Cape Agulhas Tourist Bureau Tel: +27 (0)28 424-2584, which is situated at the foot of the Light House.
  • Go to the Agulhas National Park situated in the Agulhas Plains at the Southernmost tip of the African Continent. Hiking and driving trails are available. Contact the Agulhas National Park at +27 (0) 28 435 6078
  • The Lighthouse in Cape Agulhas. The Lighthouse is the second oldest working lighthouse in South Africa and was built in 1848 to aid the early explorers on their passage through the rough seas off Cape Agulhas. The Lighthouse also has a lighthouse museum. There is a small fee to climb the 71 steps to the top of the lighthouse.
  • Facing the sea just to the East of the Light House are old rock wall pools called Vyfers. These ancient stone fish traps were built hundreds of years ago by the original Khoi inhabitants to catch fish and are still evident. They are situated close to the tidal pool.
  • Visit the Southern Most Tip of Africa. The official position of the tip is 34° 49’ 58" South and 20° 00’ 12’’ East  If one drives along the gravel road past the Light House for a few kilometres (+- 2 to 3 km) you will see a sign to the Southern Point. According to the International Hydrographical Organisation this is also the longitudinal point where the Indian Ocean officially meets the Atlantic Ocean.
  • If one continues with the gravel road for another 3 km or so, one will see a ship wreck, the Meisho Maru 38. It is very small these days. 10 years ago it was 4 times the size. But still it is a famous 'institution' in Agulhas and every year they have 'Die Skip Fees' (The Ship Festival) over New Years. I always take my 5 dogs to this spot every late afternoon when I am in Struisbaai.
  • If one continues further along the gravel road for perhaps 5 km or slightly more one comes to Suidestrand. Suidestrand is the end of the road and is a small settlement of Holiday homes and a few residents.Turn left into Suidestrand and continue for a short while (maybe 800 m) and you should see where the beach parking area is. Park in the parking lot at the beach.  
The beach is one of the loveliest rock beaches I have ever seen (made up of zillions of small to hand size rocks). If the tide is right, the water pushes up onto the rock beach and then pulls back again making an amazing sound. One could just sit there for hours listening to it. Then, if you are facing the sea one can walk to the West along the coast to the little house called 'Pieties se Huis'. Maybe it is about 1km maybe less. It is amazing to see this little house all by itself so close to the sea.
  • Take a Eco Tour  of the area on a Quad Bike. Contact +27 (0) 82 854 5078/9
>>To Top


What to do in Bredasdorp

Bredasdorp was established by Michiel van Breda in 1838. One of the main reasons contributing to the establishment of the town was because a dispute arose between Michiel van Breda and Pieter Voltelyn van der Byl about where the church should be built. Unable to reach an agreement, Michiel van Breda established his own town of Bredasdorp and Pieter Voltelyn van der Byl established Napier 15 km away each town with their own church.

Bredasdorp has a population of 20 000 and is the economic hub of the Suidpunt Region where all essential services are available.

  • The Bredasdorp Museum (+27 (0) 28 424 1240). The Museum is mainly a maritime Museum whose theme is “Shipwrecks along the dangerous Southern Cape Overberg Coastline  and their influence on the development of the Strandveld”.

    Of the +- 2130 Shipwrecks along the coast of South Africa, 130 of them have occurred along this relatively short section (100 km) since 1552. This dangerous section of coast is known as the "Graveyard of the ships" for various reasons like gale-force winds, high swells, treacherous coast line and ever-changing weather conditions.
    At the Museum one can view items from wrecked ships like figureheads, cannons, anchors, porcelain and rare coins. The Museum also documents the rich history of the area. Well worth checking out.
  • Visit the Heuningberg Nature Reserve overlooking Bredasdorp (30 km from Struisbaai). The Heuningsberg Nature Reserve is home to a large variety of Protea and Erica species as well as the rare Red Bredasdorp lily which flowers in April and May. The Reserve has Scenic Hiking trails ranging from 2 to 15 km. For more info contact the Heuningsberg Nature Reserve at +27 (0) 424 2584
  • Experience Farm life in the area by taking an Agri-Tourism Tour, highlighting sustainable farming practices, great farm hospitality and food and the top tourism attractions in the area. Contact Bredasdorp Info at +27 (0) 28 424 2584
>>To Top

What to do in Napier

Napier was establised in 1838 when Pieter Voltelyn van der Byl could not agree with his neighbor, Michiel van Breda  about where the church should be built. This resulted in the establishment of the two separate towns of Napier and Bredasdorp and two separate churches.

  • Go Horse Riding. Explore the Grootberg in Napier and enjoy magnificent views all the way to Struisbaai and Arniston. Napier is a very pretty little town and and has many great eateries and interesting shops. Contact Napier Info at +27 (0) 28 423 3325
>>To Top

What to do in Elim
  • Visit the picturesque village of Elim. This village has a fascinating history and is a National Heritage site. One can visit the Heritage Centre and go on guided tours of this culturally and historically rich village. One can also visit the 450 hectare Geelkop (Yellow Hill) Nature Reserve so called because it is completely covered with yellow flowering plants (mainly Leucadendrons) during Spring. The Reserve has a half day hiking trail and a circular drive with great views. For more info contact the Elim Info Office at +27 (0) 28 482 1806
  • Visit the Elim Wineries. Enjoy lunches on one of the farms and sample the delicious wines of the Southernmost Wine Route in Africa.
>>To Top

What  to do in Swellendam

Swellendam was founded in 1745 by the Dutch East India Company in an effort to exercise control over the independent frontiersmen who migrated over the Hottentots Holland Mountains at the beginning of the 18th century. The town was named after the Governor of the Cape at the time, Hendrik Swellengrebel and his wife, Helena Ten Damme.
  • Take a drive to Swellendam and visit the Drostdy Museum and the Bontebok Nature Reserve. Contact the Swellendam Tourist Info at +27 (0) 28 514 2770
  • Cross the Breede River by hand drawn pontoon at Malgas (40 km from Swellendam). It is believed to be the last remaining one of it's kind in South Africa. Be sure to get there in the daylight hours since it closes at 6pm. Contact Pont Info at +27 (0) 28 512 3772
>>To Top

What to do in Arniston

Arniston was named after the HMS Arniston that was wrecked there in 1815.
  • Take a drive to Arniston. To get there; there is a dirt road (check out a good map) which takes about 30 minutes. Or you can take the tar road to Bredasdorp and then turn right to Arniston. The tar road takes 45 minutes.
At Arniston, explore the Kassiesbaai Cave and the Waenshuiskrans Cave which is a natural rock formation which has to be seen. Waenhuiskrans (meaning 'Wagon House Cliff' - so-called because a wagon and six oxen can turn in it) is a massive limestone cavern eroded into the side of the cliff on the South side of Arniston (about 2 Km from the center of town). The cavern is accessible only at low tide, so check that the tides are right for you to see it. Phone the Cape Agulhas Municipality at +27 (0) 28 4251919 or the Arniston Tourism Bureau +27 (0) 28 424 2584.
  • Explore the 200 year old quaint fishing village of Kassiesbaai on the cliffs of Arniston. The entire village has been declared a National Monument, so every building is protected by law.
  • Have lunch at the Arniston Hotel Tel +27 (0) 28 445 9000
>>To Top


Calendar of Events in the Struisbaai/Agulhas Area:

March: Struisbaai Graca Yellowtail Festival and the Struisbaai Yellowtail Derby

June: Fynbos Flowers

July: Fynbos Flowers and Whales along the Coast

August:
Fynbos Flowers and Whales along the Coast

September:
Fynbos Flowers, Whales along the Coast and grain fields starting to change colour

October: Foot of Africa Marathon and Festival,
Fynbos Flowers, Whales along the Coast and the grain is reaped.

November: Grain is harvested and Whales along the coast.

December: Trans-Agulhas Rubber Duck Competition, Die Skip Fees (New Years)  and Whales along the coast


 
Restaurants in Struisbaai and Cape Agulhas:

Struisbaai: Click here to View Pics

1. Nostra Restaurant has two sections; a more formal dining room and a more informal pub area. Both are great and of course it is right on the sea with excellent views.Tel: +27 (0)28-435-7800

2. Bella Luna Restaurant. Just underneath Nostra. Perhaps more cosy depending on your taste. Tel: +27 (0)28 435 7240

3. The Michael Collins Restaurant. Irish Pub and Restaurant. Corner of Malvern and Cinneraria Street. Tel: +27 (0) 435 7979



Cape Agulhas: Click Here to View Pics

1. The Lighthouse Restaurant Tel: +27 (0)28 4357580. They have excellent Sunday Lunch Buffets.

2. Angelo's Restaurant (my favourite). They specialise in pizza but do everything else too. Tel: +27 (0) 28 435 6417


3. Cape Agulhas Restaurant Tel:+27 (0)28 4357975

4. The Cape Agulhas Fish and Chips shop Tel:+27 (0) 28 4357207.
Their fish and chips are legendary. Perhaps stop there for an informal lunch depending on the weather. They also sell fresh fish caught by REAL fishermen in REAL little Fishing Boats docked at Struisbaai Harbour.


Useful Telephone Numbers

DOCTORS:

Bredasdorp

Dr. C Retief 028 425 1132
Dr. P Albertyn 028 425 2745 A/H: 082 496 7884
Longstreet 45, Bredasdorp

Dr. P Bosch :  028 424 1161 ; A/H 082 453 3393      
Dr. B Saayman : 028 424 1161: A/H 082 453 3393
Dr. M Spamer :  028 424 1161 : A/H 082 453 3393 
Dirkie Uys street 20, Bredasdorp
 
Struisbaai/Cape Agulhas

Dr. R Smit: 028 435 7130 A/H: 082 775 1575
17 Cinneraria Street, Struisbaai

Napier

Dr. R Laubser 028 423 3250 A/H: 082 745 2329
C/O Main Rd & Wes Street , Napier
Dr. H Truter 028 423 3837 A/H: 028 423 3852
34 Sarel Cillier Street , Napier

DENTISTS:

Bredasdorp:
Dr Matthee:  028 424 1250 ; A/h : 082 499 9932
Dr Engelbrecht : 028 424 1811; A/h: 082 926 7015

VETERINARIANS:

Bredasdorp Animal Clinic : 028 424 1242

LIBRARIES:

Visitors may join libraries as temporary (holiday) members for a nominal fee.
Bredasdorp Library, Church Street, 028 425 5614
Struisbaai Library, Main Road : 028 435 7832
Arniston/Waenhuiskrans Library : 028 445 9556
Napier Library : 028 423 3431

Religion, Sport and Transport:
Contact the local tourism office on +27 (0) 28 424 2584 for a list of places of worship, sporting facilities as well as transport companies.

Emergency Numbers:

Police:
Struisbaai : 028 425 6440 
Bredasdorp : 028 425 5400
Napier : 028 423 8000

Fire Brigade:  10177  or  028 425 1157
Ambulance:  10177
Hospital ( Bredasdorp):   028 424 1167
Pharmacy (Bredasdorp):  028 425 1070 ;  a/h 082 573 6447
Pharmacy (Struisbaai):  028 435 6913;  a/h 082 873 9868
NSRI  30 AGULHAS:  028 435 7777 ;  emergencies 082 990 5952
Struisbaai Harbour office:  028 435 6220
Cape Agulhas Municipality:  028 425 5500
Overberg District Municipality: 028 425 1157




Please Also See: