Fly-Drive Adventure to the Southern-most Tip of Africa

6 Jan

Early Tuesday morning John flew off in the Hawk to Andrew’s Field, an airfield near Struisbaai that he knows of old and speaks very highly of. T.J. and I played ground-crew in the Benzie, its enormous boot easily swallowing all the camping gear and petrol for re-fuelling the aeroplane.


As John had promised, it is a fabulous facility with toilet, shower, shady spot to pitch the tent

Our shady camp

and lovely sheltered area for a braai.

TJ in charge of the fire

It was all set up by the owner, Andrew – a very nice man,  for the use of visiting flyers. There was no charge, no-one else there and just a walk through the sand dunes away from the most spectacular stretch of beach I’ve seen. Ever.

Shifting sands

Totally unspoilt


Unspoilt white sand, beautiful aqua sea, the most unusual and brightly coloured shells. And bones. No people. Perfect.

Surreal and spectacular

We flew each morning, early so as to avoid the high winds that always arrive later on, me and T.J. taking turns as John’s passenger. I’m not sure the pictures tell the whole story but, believe me, flying low over the shore is breathtaking. Surreal.

Fact: It’s the longest sandy beach in the Southern hemisphere.

Stress express indeed

It’s fire season here and, a real treat for the boys, there was a Huey  and a huge Russian plane there – both on stand-by for fire bombing duties.

John and bomber no. 9

Fire bomber


The Hawk mixing it with the big boys

We got to see the Huey in flight, coincidentally flying above us on one of our drives, and again back at camp on its return. The sound is unmistakable. Think Vietnam chopper.


Southern-most John

We poked around the harbour at Struisbaai and drove to Cape Agulhas, the southern-most tip of Africa, where the Atlantic and Indian oceans meet . Many, many shipwrecks in these waters. We dipped our toes, went up the lighthouse (not for the faint-hearted), the whole tourist bit. We also motored to Arniston, another gorgeous location, and took a spin around the fishermen’s cottages – lovely old buildings. We had planned to see the cave but it is only open at low tide and of course it wasn’t when we were there. No matter.

It’s a superb part of the world and largely affluent so sadly few examples of trashed motor cars that so amuse me. This is white 4×4 city with a fair smattering of beach buggies.

We did, however, see some delightfully eccentric vehicles and manage to spot the odd wrecker… see Cool Cars – coming soon.


On the way to Heidehof

Coastwise to Heidehof

I flew with John to Heidehof, halfway back; more endless beaches – even one with buried houses. We could just see the roofs above the sand. Quite strange.

T.J. met us there, more re-fuelling and then I transferred to the Benzie for the home stretch. We arrived back at the bus Thursday afternoon ready for a snooze – these 5am starts are killing me.

Cape Agulhas, Struisbaai and Arniston

Click on the map and look at all the shipwrecks.

Those three days were special.

2 Responses to “Fly-Drive Adventure to the Southern-most Tip of Africa”

  1. José January 9, 2012 at 11:39 am #

    How fantastic and what a wonderful experience.

    Why all the shipwrecks, is it particularly rocky or is it the currents?

    • Boatbird January 9, 2012 at 12:06 pm #

      Known as the cape of storms/shipwreck coast – very high winds and massive rogue waves. Thought I’d be blown away when at top of lighthouse – had to hang on tight!

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