The village of L'Agulhas, at the southernmost tip of Africa and just two hours drive from Cape Town, is thought to have been named Agulhas ('needles') because here the compass needle points due north without magnetic deviation. Residents of L'Agulhas are proud to be those Africans living closest to the South Pole.
This beautiful and rugged southern most tip has recently been proclaimed the Agulhas National Park. It supports a diverse intertidal and marine life and is breeding ground for the African black oystercatcher. Archaeological findings link deposits to early Khoisan inhabitants and remnants of ancient fish traps are still visible near the lighthouse.
The rocky coastline is infamous for shipwrecks on the shallow Agulhas Bank and the country's second oldest 18-million-candlepower lighthouse, built in 1848, is a national monument worth visiting. Visitors come to see the meeting point of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans from a nearby koppie ('hill'). The islands around L'Agulhas are home to seabirds and seals and seasonal Southern Right whales are a common sight along this coastline.