What is the Southernmost Point in Africa?

Cape Agulhas lighthouse at Cape Agulhas, the southernmost point in Africa.
Cape Agulhas lighthouse at Cape Agulhas, the southernmost point in Africa.

Cape Agulhas

The southernmost part of the African continent is the former clipper route as named by sailors, but currently, the region is called the Cape Agulhas. This area is not only the southernmost part of Africa but it is also the start of the borderline between the Atlantic and the Indian oceans. The area was commonly known as the Cape of L' Agulhas until the twentieth century when its name changed. Nevertheless, the cape borders a town known as L' Agulhas town. South Africa’s primary tourist attraction site is the national park within the Cape Agulhas. A portion of South African beautiful sceneries is on the beach of Agulhas and the cape itself.


Cape Agulhas is located 150 miles southeast of the Cape Town in a region known as Overberg. The initial name that the Portuguese gave Cape Agulhas was Cabo das Agulhas meaning Cape Of Needles. They called it the Cape Of Needles because when they are situated on the cape, the compass needle points the correct true-north direction. The cape is located at Overberg District in the Agulhas municipality of the Western Cape Province in the independent state of South Africa. The currents in Cape Agulhas can correctly explain the global conveyor belt since they typically flow east through the east coast of Africa and back to the Indian ocean. During this retroflection process, a significant amount of salt is carried and deposited in the nearby sea. Also, Cape Agulhas has a relatively beautifully curved coastline, a lovely rocky beach, and the coastal waters near it are shallow. These features provide the conditions for fishing, thus making the region the best fishing zone according to the fisheries organizations.


Cape of Agulhas features a warm Mediterranean climate as per the Koppen climate classification. The climate of Cape Agulhas, as well as its weather, are consistent throughout the year with moderate temperatures and rainfall. The average rainfall received in the area per year is approximately 400-600 millimeters, and more precipitation is usually recorded during the winter.

Shipping Hazards

During the winter, Cape Agulhas is well known for its wild and dangerous storms as well as massive waves. The waves are usually enormous and sometimes rise to a height of one hundred feet. There is a belief that the waves of the Cape Agulhas have sank more than 150 ferries. These hazards result from the roaring strong winds which blow from west to east and the Antarctic Circumpolar Current blowing in the same direction. The two winds blow against the Agulhas Current, bringing about the conflicting currents that end up creating massive storms. The waves accelerate due to the difference in densities of the currents. In general, these hazards have collectively make the Cape Agulhas the most famous bay in the Indian and Atlantic oceans. Some of the vessels that have been lost within this area include the Cooranga (1964), Federal Lakes (1975), and Gwendola (1968).


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