History

Province: Western Cape
Overberg
Coordinates: 34°49’58 S 20°00’12E.
Municipality; Cape Aghullas

Many of the original inhabitants of Cape Agulhas were sailors who had been shipwrecked in the vicinity. A town slowly developed and was given the name “L’Agulhas”, mainly because of the influence of French settlers. L’Agulhas is the southernmost village in Africa. The name is Portuguese for needles. This is because at this place the needle of a compass points due north with no magnetic deviation. The other possibility is that the sharp rocks that caused ships to wreck, inspired the name. The shallow Agulhas bank stretches south from the tip of Africa to a distance of 250km then drops into the great depths of the ocean. The seas off Cape Agulhas are notorious for winter storms. Waves can reach up to 30 meters in height. The area is littered with shipwrecks, and at least 150 ships are known to have sunk or foundered due to the treacherous conditions.
The  L’Agulhas lighthouse was lit on March 1, 1849. It is the second oldest lighthouse in South Africa and it was designed by Colonel Charles Cornwell Michel. The flame was fuelled by fat from sheep tails and it burned for 100 years. In 1936 the lighthouse was electrified. The lighthouse was declared unsafe in 1968 due to weathering so some restoration was done. The lighthouse was declared a national monument in 1973. It was fully renovated and automated in 1988. This is the only lighthouse museum in the country. Many ships lie at the bottom of the ocean at the tip of Africa due to the dangerous Agulhas reef. Unfortunately, even with the 27-meter high lighthouse ships still meet their end at the dangerous reef. Some remains of these ships can be seen at the shipwreck museum in Bredasdorp.
L’ Agulhas was discovered in the early 1400s by the Portuguese. In May 1488 Bartholomew Dias named the area Cabo dos Agulhas  “Cape of needles”.
The most southerly tip of the continent is 34°49’58” south and 20°00’12” east

The postcode for L’Agulhas is 7287 (Streets and Boxes)

Things to see in L Agulhas:

  • A visit to the Lighthouse with a view from the tower
  • Take a guided walking tour with Voice Map
  • Shipwreck of Meisho Maru
  • Relief map of Africa at Agulhas National Park
  •  The musical Pebble Beach of Suiderstrand. Visit on a quiet morning to listen to the waves wash over the pebbles which makes a beautiful sound

 

WEATHER IN L’AGULHAS TODAY

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Useful Numbers

  • Police: Struis baai 028 435 6440
  • Municipality; 028 425 5500
  • Traffic department: Bredasdorp Traffic Department-028 424 2440
  • Fire: 028 425 1690 Bredasdorp
  • Water: 028 425 5500
  • Electricity: 028 425 5500
  • Ambulance: 10177
  • Post office; Struisbaai postal agency 028 435 6871
  • Library: Struisbaai 028 435 6538
  • Closest hospital;Struisbaai Clinic-028 435 7548
  • Pharmacy;Struisbaai Pharmacy-028 435 6913
  • SPCA: AACL Bredasdorp-082 898 0787
  • Schools:Zoetendal Academy – Agulhas-028 435 6556
  • Walking club: 083 233 4084
  • Tourism: 0284242584
  • Museum; Lighthouse museum-028 435 6078                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   [/vc_column_text]
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