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Friday, July 13, 2018

The Stone Age Fishing Traps at Rasperpunt of Cape L'Algulhas

It is always a very special moment when you stumble upon something beyond unique which represents our very special South African heritage.  The historical Fish Traps at Rasperpunt - Cape L'Algulhas - is dated back to the stone age (as seen below) and a must-visit when exploring the most southern tip of Africa.

Looking at this photograph, the southern most tip is seen in the distance top left,
in relation to the fishing traps in the foreground.
Look further
Every person who visits the Southern Tip of Africa spends hours at the light house and the photographic podium, not realising that a couple of hundred meters away is something just as unique and special to explore.

Getting there
The weather did not play it's part during our visit.  Rain and howling westerly winds made it difficult to endure the 5.5km circular Rasperpunt hiking trail with a toddler and two teenagers.  We drove to the nearest fishermans' parking and with a quick and comfortable board walk we were delighted to witness this very special historical place on our earth.

Know Before You Go
The best time to visit and witness these fish traps is at low tide.

How does the Old Khoi Fish Trap work?
At the time when fish was more abundant, the Khoi fishermen would wait for the tide to rise and the fish would follow with the incoming tide.  As the tide drops, the fishermen would encourage the fish towards the shore, herding them into a trapped state as the tide drops.  Each 'fish trap wall' was built to help enclose a smaller area to make the catching process easier.

As seen in the image above, each Fishing Trap consisted of many layers of packed stone walls.  Each stone wall was carefully packed by the Khoi fishermen, just high enough to dam the fish up during the outgoing tide.

Fun for the whole family
Rasperpunt also makes for a fun and safe family stop for the youngsters to enjoy the water.

More Information to enjoy along the way
Should you chose to enjoy the coastal hike, there are 34 points of interest and signage to alerts hikers of their unique historical value.

Other Sources:
SANPARKS - Cape L'Algulhas National Park
Peter Chadwick - African Conservation Photographer
Arnold Ras - Wild Card Magazine : Top 5 Things to do in Algulhas National Park

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