Agulhas National Park

Travel Guide Africa South Africa Western Cape Agulhas National Park

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Introduction

Agulhas National Park is in the Western Cape of South Africa. Agulhas National Park is located on the southernmost tip of Africa where the Atlantic and Indian oceans meet. The park forms part of the Cape Floral Kingdom UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park was proclaimed in March 1999, but it will take a number of years in order to acquire and consolidate all the land that is to form the complete park.

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Geography

The floral diversity includes some 2,000 species of indigenous plants including 100 that are endemic to the area and over 110 Red Data species. The Agulhas Plain is an important component of the Cape Floral Kingdom, the smallest and richest of the six plant kingdoms of the world.

Many different vegetation types occur in this area. One of them is the endemic Elim (laterite) fynbos, restricted to a few patches in the region, the smallest land surface of any vegetation type in SA. Some of the species confined to this vegetation type are Leucodendron elimense spp. Elimense and Leucodendron laxum (vleirosie).

Limestone fynbos is the endemic-rich vegetation associated with the Bredasdorp Formation limestones. Lime-rich soils are mainly alkaline (pH values greater than 7,5, whereas other fynbos soils are acidic, with a pH value of 4,5 - 6,5) and represented by species like Mimetes saxatalis, Protea obtusifolia, Leucodendron meridianum and Watsonia fergusoniae.

Other vegetation types include acid sand proteoid fynbos, neutral sand proteoid fynbos, restioid fynbos and wetlands.

The climate is generally hot and dry in the summer months with most rainfall occurring during the winter.

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Sights and Activities

  • Cape Agulhas Lighthouse - Daily 9:00am-5:00pm (the last climb to the top of the lighthouse is at 4:30pm). The lighthouse was built to aid the early explorers on their passage of the rough seas off Cape Agulhas. 71 steps lead up to the top of the second oldest working lighthouse in southern Africa. Stone mined from the adjacent limestone quarry provided the raw materials for its construction. The building also houses a unique lighthouse museum. Remains of ancient stone fish traps used by the Khoisan people can be seen to the east of the lighthouse.
  • Southernmost tip of Africa.
  • Southern Right Whale - between June and November.
  • African Black Oystercatcher - an endangered species with a population of less than 5,000 adults.
  • Saltpans.

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Opening Hours

Overnight visitors must check-in during office hours (M-F 7:30am-6:00pm, Sa Su & public holidays 9:00am to 5:00pm) at 214 Main Road, Agulhas (the last building on the right before the lighthouse). Guests arriving outside the normal business hours need to phone the park on Tel: 028 435-6078 at least one day prior to arrival.

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Cost

  • South African citizens and residents (with ID): R37 per adult, R18 per child, per day.
  • #SADC nationals (with passport): R74 per adult, R37 per child, per day.
  • Foreign visitors: R148 per adult, R74 per child, per day.

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Getting There

It can be accessed via the N2 highway, which runs from Cape Town along the east coast via the Garden Route to Port Elizabeth, turning off at Caledon and passing through Bredasdorp when coming from the west. From the east, leave the N2 near Swellendam and pass through Bredasdorp to get to Cape Agulhas.

Alternatively, you can get there by scenic gravel road from the fishing village of Gansbaai via the rural hamlet of Baardskeerdersbos and the Moravion mission village of Elim. The nearest towns are L’Agulhas and the fishing village of Struisbaai.

Access roads to Rhenosterkop and Rietfontein are gravel roads.

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Sleep

The nearby towns of L’Agulhas and Struisbaai provide various options.

Agulhas Rest Camp has 2-person chalets R1,100-1,420, 4-person chalets R1,900-2,560, 8-person lagoon house R3,150-4,050.

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This is version 1. Last edited at 11:46 on Sep 8, 17 by Utrecht. 3 articles link to this page.

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