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Posted on: Friday, 23 August 2013

Revamp for Cape Agulhas

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The Cape Agulhas Lighthouse itself, as well as the precinct that surrounds and supports it, has, for some time, remained somewhat untouched and unexplored. For those that have visited this, the southernmost tip of the African continent, it is a very special and beautiful area, one that resonates deep within the soul. Defined by its unadulterated landscapes and its rich variety of faunal and floral species, it is also a natural treasure. However, due to its not being on the regular route of the average tourist, it remains an untapped gem just waiting to be explored.

 

he Cape Agulhas Lighthouse
Photograph: The Cape Agulhas Lighthouse

 

SANParks (South African National Parks) has partnered with various key players (including the likes of the Department of Environmental Affairs and the Provincial Department of Economic Development and Tourism) to remedy this situation with an exciting new development initiative that will not only make for a fabulous and unique tourism experience, but will also mean job creation and development for the local Agulhas community.

This facelift will begin with a boardwalk that extends for the full one kilometre between the lighthouse precinct and the tip of Africa. The uninterrupted views along the course of this structure promise to be nothing short of spectacular, and will make for magnificent photographs.

There are a number of goals and potential benefits associated with this project. For one, it will be an integral part of protecting the sensitive areas from pedestrians that are wandering around. It will also make this exquisite part of the landscape more accessible to visitors and will, in turn, attract more people to the fantastic Agulhas National Park. In these ways, the entire park will gain recognition and acclaim as a local, regional and international hotspot. This will be true, not only in terms of tourism, but also in terms of its environmental value and impact.

 

Cape Agulhas

Photograph at Cape Agulhas

 

In addition to the boardwalk, an entire infrastructure will be established so that the Agulhas Lighthouse and its surrounds become veritable tourist attractions. This will include ablutions and parking, a heritage centre, and information services. In addition, there will be a museum, restaurant and vendor stalls to complete the experience. Combined, this will create a fabulous place for the family to spend the day or for visitors from all over the world to experience.

It is important to note that, through any and all development, SANParks is determined to protect and conserve the local plant and animal species. Therefore, precautions will be taken and major studies and investigations have already been completed to gauge the effect of this development and to ensure that it will not harm the environment or local communities.

The rest camp that already exists is due to be doubled in size to accommodate many more visitors that want to stay over and enjoy the world-class facilities.

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By promoting tourism in the area, jobs are created, awareness is raised and the opportunity to raise funds for the continued protection and maintenance of the region is established. With the goal of building the longest boardwalk on the African continent, development will be an ongoing process, always adding to the allure of this area. Building is expected to begin in the latter part of 2014.

 

Cape Agulhas

 

Amelia Meyer

About 

Amelia is a freelance writer and editor with a passion for all things travel-related. She is based in Knysna, but has studied, lived and travelled further afield. She studied Film, Media and Literature at the University of Cape Town. She began her solo career in the form of Voxate Writing & Editing in 2008 and loves every minute of it. Amelia believes in silver linings, lessons learnt and the responsibility to do what’s right. When she is not writing, she can frequently be found at the local animal shelter, on the bicycle trails of the nature reserves or sampling new restaurants with her family.

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1 comment about Revamp for Cape Agulhas
  1. August 24th, 2013 at 09:20
    Helen says:

    Ive visited Agulhas and the lighthouse – wonderful to hear SANParks will be giving the area a facelift.