Things To Do in Struisbaai

things to do in struisbaai

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While Cape Town is known as the heart of the Western Cape, nothing compares to the beauty that Struisbaai holds. You won’t fully understand until you’ve set foot in this quaint little town.

Welcome to Struisbaai, a scenic coastal town nestled close to the Southernmost tip of Africa. Struisbaai falls under the Cape Agulhas Municipality, roughly 4-5 km away from Cape Agulhas. Whether you’re a local to the Cape Agulhas region or a traveller exploring this little village for the first time, here’s everything you need to know about the top attractions, outdoor activities, shopping spots, and more things to do in Struisbaai. Let’s jump right into it.

Top Attractions In Struisbaai

Before I get into anything else, let’s tick the main attractions off our list first. These are the sights in Struisbaai and Cape Agulhas you will want to go and explore first to get a feel of the town and its culture.

Best for families: The Southernmost tip of Africa

Discover the allure of Cape Agulhas in Struisbaai, where the Southernmost tip of Africa beckons with breathtaking beauty

The coast around Cape Agulhas is breathtakingly beautiful – rocky cliffs, windy beaches, and lush greenery. Down a little pathway from the Cape Agulhas Lighthouse, you will find the national monument indicating the precise point where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet.

Don’t forget to snap a picture of yourself at this spot to commemorate the moment. Tourists usually spend an hour or two here before the wind picks up. The Agulhas National Park is open from 7 am to 6 pm.

With its rich history and stunning views, the Cape Agulhas Lighthouse is perched proudly at Africa’s southernmost point. The lighthouse overlooks where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet and is situated in Agulhas National Park. You’ll find the Shipwreck Museum near this historical landmark for a glimpse into maritime history.

Here, I learned how the “Graveyard of Ships” earned its name in the area and exactly why the lighthouse was established in the first place. I would advise you to catch the sunrise on this spectacular trip. It truly is one of the most breathtaking things you will witness in this life.

I also found that some shuttles can be booked to take tourists to and from Agulhas National Park. I spent at least three hours between the museum and the lighthouse, engulfing myself in all the information being passed around. The lighthouse is usually open from 9 am to 4 pm.

Best free: Struisbaai Beach

Escape to the pristine shores of Struisbaai Beach, a coastal haven where white sands stretch along turquoise waters

Speaking of the sun, I truly enjoyed basking in the sunlight (although my fair Scottish skin did get quite a tan), and watching the sunrise, as well as the sunset with my fiancé while we were here. It was definitely one of the highlights of our trip.

With crystal clear waters and soft white sand, floating the day away is all you will want to do here – if you can brave the cold water.

Did you know? Struisbaai Beach is considered to be one of the longest natural beaches in the Southern Hemisphere.

It’s super kid-friendly, and the locals that live close by often take their dogs for an evening stroll. Tourists typically spend their whole day here. There are numerous holiday houses in the area and a caravan park right across the beach. You can pack a picnic basket; however, a popular restaurant nearby called the Sea Shack offers fresh fish and seafood if you decide otherwise.

Outdoor Activities in Struisbaai

Now that we have finished exploring the Cape Agulhas Lighthouse and the other popular destinations, this is where the fun begins. Struisbaai offers many different activities that kept me entertained for my entire stay.

Fishing grounds

Struisbaai’s fishing scene is a delight for locals and visiting anglers, with local advice readily available from the town’s local fishermen. Around Cape Agulhas, Nearshore fishing usually entails catching fish such as Yellowtail, Red Roman, Red Stumpnose, Kob, and Geelbek.

For those seeking the thrill of deep-sea fishing, Struisbaai provides access to the open ocean. You can check out Fishing Booker, and Morgan Rose Fishing Charters to make online bookings.

These fishing boats usually come back with species such as Tuna types like Yellowfin, Skipjack, Bigeye, Bluefin, Black Marlin, and Dorado. You might even reel in the occasional Red Steenbras if you are lucky. I was not that lucky, and these fish know how to put up a fight. It is safe to say it was a very memorable experience, and I ended up having some tuna for supper that evening.

At Fishing Booker, the pricing usually starts at R5,000 for a half-day trip. However, you get to keep your catch, they provide all the equipment, and drinks are on board.

See the stingrays

Stingrays are attracted to Struisbaai Harbour because of the morsels thrown overboard by returning fishermen. Often, the fishermen cleaning fish on the harbour wall feed the stingrays themselves.

Though many people are in the water when they are around, I would still advise you to be aware of your surroundings. Stingrays are generally calm, but they have a natural defence mechanism in their tail, and accidentally aggravating them might be fatal.

Although I did not intend to go near one, I was in the water when one of their fins brushed by my leg ever so lightly. It was a very cool experience, and they feel more slimy than you could imagine.

Hiking trails

The hiking trails this town has for you to explore will surely knock your socks off, or in this case, your hiking boots. These walking or hiking trails can get pretty eerie if you ask me. The most popular is a hiking trail called the Spookdraai hiking trail in the Cape Agulhas region, which directly translates to “ghost trail”. The most common hiking trails in the Cape Agulhas region are:

  1. Spookdraai hiking trail4.2 km
  2. De Mond Nature Reserve6.0 km
  3. Agulhas Rest Camp Loop Trail4.8 km
  4. Struisbaai – Cape Agulhas13.4 km
  5. Struisbaai beach walk11.7 km
  6. Struisbaai Reserve10.3 km
  7. Molshoop walk5.8 km

Whale watching

All around Cape Agulhas, you can see whales breaching. However, Struisbaai’s harbour is the departure point for whale-watching expeditions. The village secured a permit for this activity in 2010, just before the Soccer World Cup took place in Cape Town, and boat-based whale spotting has since become a popular attraction for locals and tourists alike.

My fiancé and I decided to throw caution to the wind and book a trip with Whale Up Close. We did not expect just how giant these creatures would be. You could even say we had a “whale” of a time.

From exhilarating whale watching tours to exciting shark cage diving experiences, Ivanhoe Sea Safaris offers a range of sea adventures

Cape Agulhas offers a striking whale-watching experience at the Southernmost tip. Here are a few of the prices for whale watching that Ivanhoe Sea Safaris has to offer; these are just a guideline to prepare your budget:

  • Adults – R1600.00
  • Students/Senior – R1400.00
  • Children u/12yrs – R800.00
  • Children u/5yrs – Free

Shopping at Struisbaai

Local markets

There are often stalls along the roads in Struisbaai offering crafts and fresh produce. You can find these stalls on most days when the weather is good.

The Shed offers market days throughout the year on weekends. You can discover unique treasures and taste local flavours as you wander through stalls offering handmade crafts and fresh produce. These markets, are perfect if you want to get a sense of community spirit. You can check The Shed‘s Instagram for more information on when their market days are held.

Other Activities in Struisbaai

Old Cape Last Trading Post

Step into history at the Old Cape Last Trading Post in Struisbaai, where the charm of a bygone era meets modern coastal living

Overnighting here was not part of our original plan, but it was getting late so my fiancé convinced me to give this place a go, and boy, are we glad we did. They have an amazing restaurant, with some very tasty cocktails. I could not get enough of the fresh oysters, and the flame-grilled steak. The bedrooms were very neat and gave off a very nostalgic feel.

The Old Cape Last trading post got its name from being the last trading post in the Cape. While there are other places to overnight in the Cape Agulhas region, this place offers some of the lowest prices. You can now enjoy a unique dining experience there or just stay for the night. While the price does fluctuate throughout the year, the rate per night for two people usually starts at R 1406.00.

Night life

Experience coastal elegance at Pret at 55 Knots in Struisbaai, where a charming seaside setting meets boutique shopping

As night falls, join the locals in beachside festivities for a memorable and authentic experience. Beach bars are huge in Struisbaai, and are usually open until 2 am. The most popular spots right now are Pret at 55 Knots, Thirstys Struisbaai, and The Michael Collins Irish Pub. All of these places also offer the freshest seafood your taste buds might have encountered.

Day Trips and Excursions from Struisbaai

De Hoop Nature Reserve

De Hoop Nature Reserve is a coastal haven on the Southern Cape, offering an unspoiled sanctuary where pristine beaches, iconic limestone cliffs, and vibrant fynbos converge

De Hoop Nature Reserve is about an hour’s drive from Struisbaai. While Agulhas National Park is something to marvel at, De Hoop Nature Reserve offers bird watching, mountain biking, swimming, wildlife watching and the whale trail visiting centre.

Embarking on the Whale Trail is an incredible journey that guides you through one of the Western Cape’s most incredible nature reserves. Spanning 55 kilometres from Potberg to Koppie Alleen, the trail has five overnight stops, with the first night spent at Potberg before commencing. I decided to embark on this journey alone, and it was one of the most life-changing experiences.

When I started my trek, the guide briefed me on what I could expect and the general rules of the trail. Each night, when I reached my resting point, there would be a hut for me to sleep in. There was warm running water, which came as a pleasant surprise. We even had mattresses to sleep on, although I would still recommend taking your sleeping bag as it gets chilly at night. I suggest visiting there between June and November when the whales migrate to breed.

Waenhuiskrans cave 

The Waenhuiskrans cave is a 40-minute drive from Struisbaai Beach to Arniston. Legend has it that the name Waenhuiskrans, meaning “wagon house cliff,” originated from the cave’s size, supposedly large enough for an ox wagon and a team of 16 oxen to turn around inside. Although, it would be highly unlikely for them to get down there in the first place. My fiancé and I decided to talk a walk down there. We forgot to keep an eye out for the tide and got drenched on our way out; this cave can only be entered when the tide is low.

FAQs

Why visit Struisbaai?

Besides wanting to swim in the crystal clear water of Struisbaai Beach, many people flock here in the summertime to experience something they can’t in big cities like Cape Town. From the Spookdraai hiking trail, and standing at the Southernmost tip, it is clear to see why many people visit Struisbaai and Cape Agulhas when they get a chance. The locals are friendly and make everyone feel welcome. The whole of Cape Agulhas region offers a tranquil experience, and Struisbaai is at the top of the list.

Getting around Struisbaai

The whole Cape Agulhas region does not have the option to book for immediate transportation such as Uber. The most popular way to get around Struisbaai is by booking a rental car for you to get around. Day shuttles can also be booked for large groups of people.

Renting a car may be your cheapest option, starting from as little as R 276.00 a day. Here are more prices to look at if you are planning to rent a car. However, if you are unable to drive, it is best to book a shuttle. There is no fixed price; however, you can ask for a quote at Touring Travel.

Best time to visit Struisbaai

Winter would not be a good time to visit this coastal beauty; I would advise taking a trip down to Cape Agulhas in the summertime. Summer starts on the 22nd of December and ends at the end of March. Although, it does start getting warm at the beginning of November.


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