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Arniston

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Arniston is a special town with two names. The Afrikaans name is Waenhuiskrans (wagon house cliff), after the huge cave on the coast, eroded to resemble the structures used by settlers to house their oxen and wagons. The cave is accessible at low tide. The English name comes from the shipwreck of a British troopship the “Arniston”. that ran aground in the spring of 1815. Only 6 men made it to shore alive.

The coastline here shows many spectacular results of sea erosion - huge caverns, arches and all manner of odd shapes. Backpackers can search for prehistoric fish traps can also be found along the coast. These low stone-built enclosures are submerged at high tide and fish are trapped as the tide recedes. Huge piles of fish bones and shells on the beach serve as memorials to the feats of a vanished people known as strandlopers (beach walkers) who once scavenged the shore for food.

Arniston is flanked by two nature reserves - the De Hoop Nature Reserve, which conserves a major wetland and is home to almost 100 aquatic bird species and the De Mond Nature Reserve which lies at the mouth of the Heuningnes River and is well known amongst budget travellers for it's great fishing.