The Swellendam to Cape Agulhas Route

You’ve decided that a vacation in South Africa’s Western Cape Province, with its beautiful shoreline and friendly inhabitants, is the ideal way to escape the usual hustle and bustle of life. There are numerous activities in the stunning province from scuba diving to whale watching, from wine-tasting to historical tours.

The Western Cape offers something of interest to everyone. For those who would like to explore a section of the Western Cape, the Swellendam to Cape Agulhas Route is well recommended. A driving trip, this route takes in the South Point area which is famed for its flowers, lovely beaches, historic missions and fine holiday homes. This is a great trip that will take you between 1 and 2 days to explore.

This remarkable journey begins at Swellendam. Head off on the N2 highway to Bredasdorp. This quaint town was originally established back in 1838 and is surrounded by sheep and wheat farms. Here you will also find the Shipwreck Museum. Inside the museum is a fascinating array of artifacts telling tales of numerous shipwrecks in the region. Heuningberg Nature Reserve is a must-see in April and May when the beautiful Bredasdorp lilies are in full garb. From Bredasdorp the route takes you through Napier and into Elim. Another quiet village inhabited by a small colored village, Elim’s architecture is marked by lovely thatched cottages. Visitors to the area are welcome to explore Elim’s fynbos drying sheds.

As you leave Elim you drive to Stuisbaai and L’Agulhas. Cape Agulhas is known as the “Cape of Needles” due to the dangerous rocks that line the coast. On reaching Cape Agulhas you have reached Africa’s southernmost point. Within the seas around Cape Agulhas are the remains of some 124 ship wrecks that occurred between 1673 and 1990. L’Agulhas is just one of the beach resorts along the expansive coastline. Here you can take a dip in the sea to cool of. You can also make your way to the Agulhas Lighthouse which was constructed in 1849. Inside is an interesting museum.

The route will now take you back towards Bredasdorp, but you can turn of to Arniston. Arniston or Waenhuiskrans is known for its huge cave. During low tide it is possible for you to investigate the impressive cave. Well-kept holiday homes are plentiful if you decide to spend the night here. Once again you drive from Arniston toward Bredasdorp where you take a side-route off to the De Hoop Nature Reserve. This remarkable protected area extends some 5 km into the open sea. Venturing through the park you will come across some of the 86 mammals and 250 bird species which reside here.

After enjoying some time in the Nature Reserve you can head north to the Breede River. The Malgas Pont will take you across so that you can drive through the Bontebok National Park and on to Swellendam. This is truly a journey you won’t forget.