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This page displays all information relevant to this park/camp, except the following:

Visitor Tips

  1. Overnight visitors must check-in during office hours (Mondays to Fridays from 7:30am to 6:00pm, Saturdays, Sundays & Public Holidays from 9:00am to 5:00pm) at 214 Main Road, Agulhas (the last building on the right before the lighthouse).
  2. Guests arriving outside the normal business hours need to phone the park on Tel: 028 435-6078 at least one (1) day prior to arrival.
  3. Operating hours for the Cape Agulhas Lighthouse is from 09h00am to 17h00pm, seven days a week (the last climb to the top of the lighthouse is at 16h30pm).
  4. Access roads to Rhenosterkop and Rietfontein are gravel roads.

Where To Stay

Things To See

  1. Southernmost tip of Africa
  2. The Cape Agulhas Lighthouse
  3. Rasperpunt fish traps
  4. Southern Right Whale - between June and November
  5. African Black Oystercatcher - is endangered with a population of less than 5000 adults
  6. Saltpans

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Accommodation

Agulhas Rest Camp

This small camp is located 10,3km from the Cape Agulhas Lighthouse. The camp was placed and designed to meet high environmental standards and according to the 'touch-the-earth-lightly' principles by which, inter alia, development was limited to disturbed sites.

Chalet 2-Bed (CH2)

One en-suite bedroom with two single beds, ceiling fans, fully equipped kitchen, two plate stove (no oven), microwave and fridge. No smoking is allowed. The unit offers an open plan lounge/kitchen area, patio and barbeque facilities. The sleeper couch is only suitable for children under 12.

Chalet 2-Bed (CH2D)

One en-suite bedroom with a double bed, ceiling fans, fully equipped kitchen, two plate stove (no oven), microwave and fridge. No smoking is allowed. The unit offers an open plan lounge/kitchen area, patio and barbeque facilities. The sleeper couch is only suitable for children under 12.

Chalet 2-Bed (CH2Z)

One en-suite bedroom with a two single beds, ceiling fans, fully equipped kitchen, two plate stove (no oven), microwave and fridge. No smoking is allowed. The unit offers an open plan lounge/kitchen area, patio and barbeque facilities. The sleeper couch is only suitable for children under 12. This unit is universally accessible.

Chalet 4-Bed (FCH4)

Two en-suite bedrooms, each with two single beds, ceiling fans, fully equipped kitchen, two plate stove (no oven), microwave and fridge. No smoking is allowed. The unit also offers an open plan lounge/kitchen area, patio and barbeque facilities. The sleeper couch only suitable for children under 12.

Chalet 4-Bed (FCH4D)

Two en-suite bedrooms, one with two single beds, one with a double bed, 2 en-suite bathrooms (w/c and shower), ceiling fans, fully equipped kitchen, two plate stove (no oven), microwave and fridge. No smoking is allowed. The unit also offers an open plan lounge/kitchen area, patio and barbeque facilities. The sleeper couch only suitable for children under 12.

Chalet 4-Bed (FCH4Z)

Two en-suite bedrooms, each with two single beds, ceiling fans, fully equipped kitchen, two plate stove (no oven), microwave and fridge. No smoking is allowed. The unit also offers an open plan lounge/kitchen area, patio and barbeque facilities. The sleeper couch only suitable for children under 12. Unit is universally accessible.

Lagoon House

This historic house, located within the greater Rest Camp area, has been carefully restored and is situated on a peninsula to the west of the Suiderstrand enclave (of private residents) and with the sea comprising about three-quarters (270°) of the view from this house, it has an awesome location.

This house and farm used to belong to PK Albertyn who bought it from Mike van Breda in 1898 and in the same year a cottage was built for Mrs Albertyn as a birthday gift. The small bay to the west of the house reminded her of a book she had read, called the 'Blue Lagoon' and she called the property 'The Lagoon'. When the children got married rooms were added on both sides of the original cottage. This portion of the Park was incorporated into Agulhas National Park in 2001.

The facility has four bedrooms, of which two have separate external entrances and own en-suite bathroom (shower & toilet) and the other two are in the house with a single bathroom (bath, shower and toilet). There is also a kitchen and living area in the house.

Please note:

Accommodation images may differ from the actual units as refurbishment of various accommodation types occur on an on-going basis.

Rhenosterkop Rest Camp

These historic cottages lie on one of the oldest farms in the Strandveld and was established in 1742. The Strandveld patriarch Matthys Rostock Lourens received grazing rights here on 21 February 1757, and the Cape Government in 1836 registered the land formally in the name of his son Matthys Johannes Lourens. The farmstead consists of four typical Strandveld buildings built according to the typical vernacular style. The oldest houses probably dates back to the middle of the 18th century while the youngest to 1939/40.

The cottages have been carefully restored for the modern day visitor. The name originates from the skull of a Black Rhino which was found in this area many years ago and is still being preserved in the Springfield Estate museum.

The cottages are situated 31km from the Cape Agulhas Lighthouse off the Struisbaai/Elim road. The road is a gravel road of approximately 18 kilometers and even though it is not necessary to have a 4x4, a high clearance vehicle is recommended, especially in the wet season (June to August). It is advisable to contact the Park prior to booking to confirm road conditions. Travelling time from the reception office to the farmstead is approximately 45 minutes.

Rhenosterkop Cottage (CO2Z)

The cottage offers one bedroom with two single beds, a toilet and shower. The unit is universally accessible.

Rhenosterkop Family Cottage (FA4)

The family cottage offers two bedrooms (each with two single beds) and a bathroom with WC and shower.

Please note:

Accommodation images may differ from the actual units as refurbishment of various accommodation types occur on an on-going basis.

Rietfontein Guest Cottages

Rietfontein is one of the original and oldest Strandveld farms. 'Rietfontein aan Zandberg' was awarded to Petrus Arnoldus Gildenhuyzen as a stock post in the late 1700's. In 1839 the Cape Government registered the land in the name of Dirk Gysbert van Breda. The facility lies on the southern slope of Soetanysberg from which the coast can be viewed. This historic homestead called "Langhuis" (or "long house") was carefully reconstructed after it was destroyed by fire in 2003.

The homestead is situated 63km from the Cape Agulhas Lighthouse off the Struisbaai / Elim road. The road is a gravel road of approximately 40 kilometres and a 4x4 or a high clearance vehicle is required. It is advisable to contact the park prior to booking to confirm road conditions. Travelling time from the reception office to the farmstead is approximately 45 minutes.

Rietfontein Cottage (CO2)

The cottage offers two single beds, WC and shower, a kitchen with a gas fridge and two-plate stove.

Rietfontein Cottage (CO2D)

The cottage offers a double bed, WC and shower, a kitchen with a gas fridge and two-plate stove.

Rietfontein Cottage (CO2EB)

The cottage offers two single beds, an en-suite bathroom with WC and shower, and a kitchen with a gas fridge and two-plate stove.

Rietfontein Cottage (CO2Z)

The cottage offers two single beds, WC and shower, a kitchen with a gas fridge and two-plate stove. The unit is accessible to the mobility challenged.

Bergplaas Guest House

Bergplaas, which is located on the northern foothills of Soetanysberg, was originally a stock post in the 1860's on the farm Ruigtefontein and the original house was built in the mid 1950's. In 1979/80 it was completely destroyed by fire and rebuilt in a more modern style that is still evident today. This land was acquired by SANParks in 2000, being the first acquisition for the newly established Agulhas National Park.

The guest house is situated 36km from the Cape Agulhas Lighthouse off the Struisbaai / Elim road. The access road is a gravel road of approximately 26 kilometers and even though it is not necessary to have a 4x4, a high clearance vehicle is recommended, especially in the wet season (June to August). It is advisable to contact the park prior to booking to confirm road conditions. Travelling time from the reception office to the farmstead is approximately one hour.

Bergplaas (GH10)

The guesthouse offers a relaxing country setting with endless views of the surrounding countryside. Accommodation at the guest house consists of five bedrooms. Four rooms have en suite bathrooms either with shower or bath and toilet. One bathroom has been adapted for mobility challenged.

Please note:

Accommodation images may differ from the actual units as refurbishment of various accommodation types occur on an on-going basis.

Take Note:

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Vital Information

Climate

The region has a Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and cool, wet winters.

The mean annual air temperature is 15°C, while the annual rainfall varies between 400- 600mm, with 60 – 70% of the precipitation occurring between May and October. Sea temperatures average between 21°C in summer and 14°C in winter. The region is the coldest during June when the mercury drops to 7°C on average during the night.

Prevailing winds blow from the southeast in the summer and the northwest in the winter.

Handy Hints

Office Hours

Banks & Foreign Exchange

Most banks have branches in Bredasdorp. Normal banking hours are weekdays 09:00 - 15:30, Saturdays 09:00 - 11:00. ATM’s are available in Bredasdorp, L’Agulhas and Struisbaai. Foreign exchange can be arranged at bank branches as well as Harvey World Travel in Bredasdorp: Tel: +27 (0) 28 424-2821.

Check-in/out times

On the day of arrival occupation can be expected by 14:00 but not guaranteed, on the day of departure accommodation must be vacated by 10:00.

Take Note

Emergencies

Police
Struisbaai
Bredasdorp

10 111
+27 (0) 425-6440
+27 (0) 425-5400

Fire Brigade

10177
+27 (0) 425-1157

Ambulance

10177

Hospital (Bredasdorp)

+27 (0) 28 435-1187

NSRI 30 Sea Rescue (Agulhas)
Emergencies

+27 (0) 28 435-7777
+27 (0) 82 990-5952

General Medical Practitioner
Dr R Smit

+27 (0) 28 435 7130
+27 (0) 82 775 1575 a/h
17 Cinneraria Street, Struisbaai

Dentists (Bredasdorp)
Dr Engelbrecht

Dr Matthee

Dr Scholtz


+27 (0) 28 424-1811
+27 (0) 82 926-7015 a/h
+27 (0) 28 424-1250
+27 (0) 82 499-9932 a/h
+27 (0) 28 424-2931

Pharmacy (Struisbaai)

+27 (0) 28 435-6913
+27 (0) 82 573-6447

Poison Information Centre (All hours)

+27 (0) 931-6129


Contact Information

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Natural & Cultural History

The area around the southern-most tip of Africa, often referred to as the Agulhas Plain, has rich natural and cultural features, which make it worthy of national park status. The Agulhas Plain is of international significance due to its rich plant biodiversity, with species richness values equalling those of tropical rain forests.

It has approximately 2000 species of indigenous plants including 100 which are endemic to the area and over 110 Red Data Book species. Consequently, the Agulhas Plain is a very important component of the Cape Floral Kingdom, the smallest and richest of the world's six plant kingdoms.

The Agulhas Plain is unique in that a wide variety of wetlands occur in the area, contributing to a high diversity of wetland plants and aquatic invertebrates. This is also home to the endangered Cape platanna and the micro frog. In addition these wetlands attract a host of water birds, with over 21 000 migrant and resident wetland birds estimated to occur in the area annually. The coastline supports a rich marine and intertidal life, with breeding sties of rare coastal birds such as the African black oystercatcher. The nearby islands are home to a variety of seabirds and seals.

In spring and early summer southern right whales frequent the waters of the Agulhas coast. Besides its ecological importance, the Agulhas area has a rich cultural heritage. A reconnaissance of the area has established the presence of significant archaeological sites along the coast. The discovery of stone hearths and pottery, together with shell middens, link the archaeological deposits with the era of Khoisan migration and settlements.

The Agulhas area also provides history of a different kind – numerous shipwrecks of the early explorers attempting to conquer the wild seas off the southern tip of Africa, dot the coastline. Many national monuments are found in the area, such as the historical Cape Agulhas Lighthouse, which has been in operation since 1849. In addition, historical buildings such as the water mill at Elim and certain homesteads reflect the European influence in the history of the region.

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Birding in Agulhas National Park

Damara Tern breeds at De Mond Nature Reserve and can be seen along the Struisbaai Boardwalk. Denham's Bustard, Blue Crane and Secretarybird are some of the larger, more visible species present, while Southern Tchagra, Large-billed Lark, Agulhas Clapper and Agulhas Long-billed Lark, Cloud Cisticola and Grey-backed Cisticola are common amongst the smaller species.

This Park hosts a variety of habitat types and great biodiversity as far as birds are concerned. Large expanses of coastal fynbos allow birders access to species such as Cape Sugarbird, Southern Doubled-Collared Sunbird and Orange-breasted Sunbird, and the patches of renosterveld hosts vulnerable species such as Hottentot Buttonquail and Black Harrier.

The historical Springfield Saltpans is a yearly haven for hundreds of Lesser and Greater Flamingo, the rare Chestnut-banded Plover, thousands of Little Stint, Sanderling, Curlew Sandpiper, and some scarce species such as Eurasian Curlew and Red Knot. Along the Zoetendalsvlei and Nuwerjaarsrivier, waterbirds such as African Rail, African Purple Swamphen, Black Crake and an array of other waders occur frequently. Other raptors found in the area includes Lanner Falcon, Yellow-billed Kite, African Harrier-Hawk, African Marsh-Harrier, Martial Eagle, Booted Eagle, African Fish-Eagle, Steppe Buzzard, Jackal Buzzard and Forest Buzzard.

The Agulhas National Park certainly is a birders paradise and has something to offer for novice as well as experienced twitchers.

(For more birding information and park bird checklist, go to Information for Birders)

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Mammals

Not many terrestrial mammals occur, but the Cape Grysbok is something to look out for in the coastal fynbos.

In the Ocean one can look out for Cape Fur Seals and a variety of Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises. The Southern Right Whales come to the bays to breed from August to November.

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Vegetation

The Agulhas Plain with a plant diversity and species richness equalling those of tropical forests, makes the Agulhas National Park a jewel in its own right.

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.

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Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative

Images courtesy of Peter Chadwick, Wildlife Expressions

The Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative (ABI) is one of several landscape initiatives in the Cape Floristic Region. It integrates and coordinates efforts to minimise the further loss of threatened natural habitats on the Agulhas Plain.

ABI is implemented by a number of partners who have agreed to work together and pool their resources to conserve biodiversity and ecosystems on the Agulhas Plain. Through their efforts they want to make sure that benefits flow to the local economy through activities such as responsible nature-based tourism and the sustainable harvesting of the natural veld. The area of approximately 270 000 hectares near the southernmost point of Africa is a mosaic of agricultural land separated by stretches of rare and endemic coastal lowland fynbos and wetlands.

Some landowners have conserved their land and veld for many years, but at the start of ABI only 14% of the Agulhas Plain was conserved under legally binding arrangements. Through stewardship agreements with landowners and the expansion of the Agulhas National Park, this figure now stand at 37% (102 000 hectares). At least 40% of this area is privately owned, which reinforces the important role that landowners and the agricultural sector play in conservation.

Images courtesy of Peter Chadwick, Wildlife Expressions

The fynbos of the Agulhas Plain is of global significance, therefore ABI was able to source funds from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) for its preservation. Substantial funding has also come from the ABI partners. The ABI programme supports the Cape Action for People and the Environment (C.A.P.E.), another GEF-funded programme.







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People with disabilities

Wheelchair access

Accommodation

Accommodation for the mobility challenged persons consists of two units (one 2-bed and one 4-bed unit) in the rest camp and one 2-bed cottage at Rhenosterkop. At Bergplaas one of the bathrooms has been converted for the mobility challenged person.

Rhenosterkop:

Rhenosterkop Cottage

Universally accessible. These historic cottages lie on one of the oldest farms in the Strandveld and was established in 1742. The cottages have been carefully restored for the modern day visitor. Energy requirements are provided by solar panels for lighting and gas for cooking, hot water & refrigeration. The facility comprises one bedroom with two single beds and a bathroom with a shower.

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Agulhas Rest Camp:

Chalet 2 bed (CH2Z)

Universally accessible. The unit features one en-suite bedroom with two single beds. A fully-equipped kitchen includes a two-plate stove (no oven), microwave and fridge. The unit provides a patio and barbeque facilities. A sleeper couch is also available but it is only suitable for children under 12.

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Family Chalet (FCH4Z)

Universally accessible. The unit features two en-suite bedrooms, each with two single beds. A fully-equipped kitchen includes a two-plate stove (no oven), microwave and fridge. The unit provides a patio and barbeque facilities. A sleeper couch is also available but it is only suitable for children under 12.

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Please note:

Accommodation images may differ from the actual units as refurbishment of various accommodation types occur on an on-going basis.

Accessible Activities & Facilities

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