Photo Tour: Cape Agulhas, South Africa

The southernmost point of Africa is at the end of Cape Agulhas, just south of the village of L'Agulhas and its lighthouse; see below. But there's a lot more to this cape than the end of it: a lot of nice scenery and some remote towns (but cute, and worth the drive down dirt roads to get there). If you stretch the definition of "cape" to include the land quite a ways north toward the N2 highway -- as I'll do here -- you'll have a lot of sightseeing to do. Why don't I show you?

Before we get started, though, there's something you might not be able to see in the photos below. After living behind security gates and electric fences with signs saying ARMED RESPONSE, the openness here -- and most of the rest of the area -- felt good to me. If you're in Cape Town, tired of looking over your shoulder or wondering whether that cash machine is safe to use, a few hours' drive east will give you a welcome break. (In fact, most of the rest of my trip felt a lot more free and easy. Maybe I just needed a change of mindset?)

To get a larger version of any picture, click on it; a new window should open. When you close that window, this window should still be here.

The town of Elim was founded in the 19th century by Christians from Moravia and Bohemia (which now, in the 21st century, are part of the Czech Republic). It's still a religious community; the church plays a big part in the lives of  people from the town and of the farmers around it, as it did two centuries ago. It's also a tidy community of thatch-roofed homes and buildings, a friendly and interesting place for a stroll. I started with a walking tour from Elim's tourism information person, a man who grew up there and who returned, after some years in Cape Town, to a place where he could raise his son in peace and safety.

The top-left photo is the top of the church front. That original clock, and its bells, still keep time for the village. The architecture reminded me of some I saw in a village in South Bohemia; have a look and see what you think! At the top right is a view of homes along the main street. Lower-left is my rental car, ready to head southeast, toward the end of Africa, with views like the ones at the lower right:
Top of Elim church Houses along main road in Elim
Road out of Elim Fields around Elim

The lighthouse at L'Agulhas and some cottages at Struisbaai:
Lighthouse at L'Agulhas
Cottages at Struisbaai

Near the end of Cape Agulhas... and of Africa:
Fishing at end of Cape Agulhas
Road to end of Cape Agulhas

Businesses in the town of L'Agulhas, just above the end of the Cape, can take this "southernmost" stuff a bit too far, though. (The southernmost laundromat??) By the way, in South Africa a cafe is another name for a small grocery store:
Southernmost cafe in Africa
Southernmost restaurant in Africa
Southernmost supermarket in Africa
Southernmost launderette in Africa

The cape's landscapes can be interesting, too: bright colors (especially when it's sunny...), hills and fields in all sorts of shapes and textures, and rows of round-topped trees make the long drives a pleasure. Here I'm stretching the definition of "cape" a bit: these views are almost to the N2, the main east-west highway. (Aha! The southernmost east-west highway in Africa! :)
On the R319, 21 km south of the N2
On the R319, 21 km south of the N2

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[Tour start: Around the World 2003] [Tours]

(These photographs are Copyright © 2003 by Jerry Peek. Much higher-resolution versions of most images, and many other images too, are available at Jerry Peek Photography. Photos are available at reduced prices, or free, for non-commercial use.)

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