Agulhas National Park
This might be the meeting place of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, but the Agulhas National park’s focus is on some of the most splendid examples of lowland fynbos and lowland fynbos on limestone soils - considered endangered and restricted largely to the southern Overberg. The Agulhas National Park is the mainstay of the Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative, whose aim is to address the main threats to the globally significant lowland fynbos biodiversity of the Agulhas Plain, and to improve the livelihoods of the region’s local communities. Their long-term ambition of turning what was a small piece of land around Cape Agulhas into an expanded park that crosses the borders of the Danger Point Peninsula, is already underway and includes the incorporation of a number of privately owned farms and reserves into a collection of heartlands, corridors and refugias that will lie side-by-side with working farms and settlements in one big mega-reserve.
In this way the whole of the southern-most part of South Africa will again become a natural area - re-introduced wildlife will roam free in a restored indigenous landscape and settlements and working farms will be fenced in. Rumour has it that the re-bred guagga, Cape lion and hippo are amongst the animals to be re-established in this former ‘Serengeti of the Western Cape’.
Other highlights of a visit to the Agulhas National Park include the cairn that marks the southern-most tip of Africa, the lighthouse at Cape Agulhas, the graveyard of ships that lie just off the coast once known as ‘the Cape of Storms’, where some 250 ships have been wrecked over time, and whale watching in season.
Geographical extremes capture the imagination. From ancient mariners to contemporary mankind, the quest has always been to reach the poles, sail around the tips of continents, conquer the highest peaks and dive to the ultimate depths.
This is the same spirit that captivated the explorers of yesteryear who braved one of the most challenging sea crossings of their time: the Atlantic-Indian Ocean crossing via Cape Agulhas. As the southern-most tip of Africa, it has always had its mysteries and adventure, and still captures the imagination of contemporary explorers.
Amongst the mysteries associated with this region, is the legendary 'Cape of Storms' which wrecked many ships en route to the east via Cape Agulhas. Ancient people also left their mark on the landscape. For example, archaeological middens remind contemporary man of a successful hunter-gathering culture that was in harmony with its natural environment; and a cultural heritage that dates back thousands of years to when the Khoi-khoi people trapped fish using ingeniously constructed tidal traps. This windswept, ruggedly beautiful coastal plain at the southern-most tip of Africa, with its rich cultural and natural heritage, has recently been proclaimed as the Agulhas National Park.
This windswept, ruggedly beautiful coastal plain at the southernmost tip of Africa, with its rich cultural and natural heritage, has been proclaimed as the Agulhas National Park on the 23rd of September 1999. The park started as a 4 ha portion of land at the southern tip and has grown through the additions of 36 portions, bringing the area of the Park to 20 959 ha.