20 August 2013

Cape Agulhas: The longest boardwalk in Africa

South African National Parks (SANParks), in partnership with the Department of Environmental Affairs, Provincial Department of Economic Development and Tourism and the municipalities of Agulhas and Overstrand, has completed the construction of a 1km boardwalk linking the Cape Agulhas lighthouse precinct with Cape Agulhas, the southern-most tip of Africa. The boardwalk, which is the longest in Africa, was build to protect the sensitive area around the southern tip from indiscriminate walking, to make the area more accessible to visitors, to provide a visitor friendly tourist facility and a quality experience, as well as to attract more visitors to Agulhas National Park and to extend the appeal of the park to local, regional and international visitors.

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According to SANParks, the new boardwalk is the first step in a massive infrastructure development plan to unlock the Cape Agulhas lighthouse gatewway precinct's full tourism potential and to focus attention on the sensitive natural environment. The funding to the value of almost R22 million has already been secured and planning and design has commenced. As part of the development, the precinct area will host full public facilities (ablutions and parking), a lighthouse museum, heritage centre, restaurant, vendor stalls and information services with the Cape Agulhas lighthouse remaining the main icon of the area.
SANParks will invest a further R17m in the Agulhas National Park for the restoration of the historic Ratelrivier Homestead that acknowledges the deep history embedded in the area. The Agulhas Rest Camp, located about 10km from the Cape Agulhas lighthouse, will also be doubled over the next few years.

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