Early Portuguese seafarers named Africa’s southernmost tip Cabo das Agulhas, translating to “Cape of Needles.” Why is still debated.
The one explanation springing most obviously to mind would certainly be that the pointed reefs off the shore were likened to needles by passing sailors. But then an interesting fact comes to light, viz that at Cape Agulhas compass needles do not show the usual deviation between true north and magnetic north. The ancient mariners might have named the cape in honour of that phenomenon. The truth shall probably never be known, but that does nothing to the fact that the Agulhas coast is one of the best fishing grounds around.
The town of Agulhas is a cluster of holiday cottages and accommodation for tourists who visit the spot where “Two Oceans Meet”. In itself it is a pretty enough village but inevitably becoming very commercial.
The Agulhas Lighthouse is the second oldest in South Africa. It was built in 1848 and became operative on 1 March 1849. On a clear night the beam purportedly could be seen for 30 sea miles (approximately 60 kilometres).