Africa has four extreme points which are more or less easy to visit.
When we visited Tunisia, we knew we wanted to visit the continent’s northernmost point. We were travelling independently, and while we could find some information about how to get there, we wish we had known more details in advance.
To help you plan your trip and avoid the mistakes we made, we have put together this guide.
If you’re looking for help on how to visit Africa’s northernmost point, then keep reading.
How to visit the northernmost point of Africa
Where is Africa’s northernmost point?
The northern tip of Africa is called Ras ben Sakka, on Cape Angela, in northern Tunis.
If you stay in mainland Africa, you can’t go more north than this.
Originally, people believed that the point was in a different place called Cape Blanc, but Ras ben Sakka is around 30 metres further to the north. Or at least that’s what the internet says.
When we looked up Cape Blanc on the map, it seemed as if the difference between the two capes is more than 30 metres.
In any case, make sure to go to Cape Angela, as this is as far north as you can get in Africa.
If you include Africa’s islands, then the northernmost point is on the Galite islands in Tunisia, not far from Cape Angela. For this post, we’re concentrating on mainland Africa though.
General advice for visiting Cape Angela
When visiting Cape Angela, you have two options.
You can either go here on a day trip from Tunis or stay overnight in Bizerte, the closest town. We personally did a day trip from Tunis, but in hindsight, I would have preferred staying one night in Bizerte.
Bizerte is a charming town with a beautiful harbour, an ancient medina, colourful houses and great beaches. If you have enough time, it’s worth spending a day or two here.
Coming on a day trip from Tunis is perfectly possible, though, and we managed to go there and back again without problems.
How to get to Ras ben Sakka
How to get to Bizerte
To visit Ras Ben Sakka, you first need to get to Bizerte.
Bizerte is well connected to Tunis. The fastest way is to take a louage, which is a shared van. Louages leave from the Bab Saadoun louage station just in front of the Gare Routière Nord and take about an hour.
You need to wait until the louage is full before you can leave, but we only waited for about five minutes, and then we were ready to go. Many people make the trip from Tunis to Bizerte, so you shouldn’t have to wait for long.
In Bizerte, you arrive at the louage station south of the bridge that leads into town.
An alternative is to take a bus from Tunis to Bizerte, which leaves from the Gare Routière Nord. Buses are usually much slower than louages, so we recommend skipping the bus and opting for the shared van instead.
Bizerte to Cape Angela
You have two options to get from Bizerte to the northernmost point in Africa.
You can either take a taxi or hop on another louage.
We decided to go by taxi.
If you want to take a louage, you need to find the louage station first. Around Tunisia, you’ll notice that most cities have multiple louage stations, depending on your final destination. That makes getting around a bit difficult, and also more costly as you often have to take a taxi from one station to another.
The easiest way to find the correct louage station is to ask a taxi driver to take you to the louage station to go to Cape Angela. It helps if you speak French, but if you don’t, you want to ask for “station de louage à Cap Angela”.
The louage can then take you to Cape Angela. We recommend downloading a map for offline use, so you can tell the driver to stop when you get close. You have to walk for about twenty minutes to get from the main road to the cape itself.
An alternative is to get a taxi driver to take you there. This is what Daniel and I did, and we paid 20 TD for the trip. I’m sure you could get it for cheaper, but we thought the taxi driver would wait at Cape Angela for us and take us back again.
It turns out that he didn’t. We had agreed on a waiting time of 15 minutes, assuming that the taxi would take us all the way to Cape Angela. Unfortunately, driving to the cape itself is very difficult.
Eventually, a road branches off to the north from the main street. It looks like an asphalt road in good condition, but it eventually turns into a dirt road. Our taxi driver refused to go there, so we had to walk for around 20 minutes to get from the main road to the northern tip of Africa.
Visiting Cape Angela
On Cape Angela, you can find multiple structures. West of the northernmost point of Africa, you’ll see a lighthouse.
Close to Ras ben Sakka, the Tunisian government built two monuments to celebrate the northern tip of continental Africa.
If you look at Google Maps, you’ll notice that around 50 metres west of the monument, you can find another rocky outcrop that seems to reach out a bit further north.
When we arrived, during the high tide, it was impossible to get there. Water and rocks separate the rocky outcrop from the mainland, at least during high tide. And since the water only rises for a maximum of 30 centimetres during the high tide, we find it unlikely that the passage is accessible during low tide.
During our visit, we saw two tourists swimming over to that rocky outcrop, which seems to be more of an island than an actual point on mainland Africa.
Personally, I don’t think I would have gone swimming there. The waves were strong, and it was impossible to say whether there were any strong currents. If you get sucked into the ocean by a current, you’re far away from anyone who could potentially rescue you, so it’s best not to risk it.
Maybe it’s easier during low tide? Leave us a comment if you’ve visited the place during low tide.
Also, keep in mind that if the tide is getting lower, the risk of encountering currents that pull you out into the sea is higher than if the tide is rising. That’s something to keep in mind if you really want to visit that island.
Close to Cape Angela, you can find beautiful white beaches. The most accessible beach to access is just west of the cape, but we found a more beautiful beach by walking towards the east.
If you’re planning on staying at Cape Angela for longer than just taking pictures, make sure to bring food and drinks. You can find a gas station on the main road, but that’s the only available place to buy water, cold drinks or snacks.
Cape Angela to Bizerte
After having visited Cape Angela, you need to get back to Bizerte.
If you’ve arrived by taxi, make sure to agree on a pick-up time with your driver.
Remember how I mentioned that we had initially asked our driver for 15 minutes at Cape Angela to take pictures? Once it was clear that we had to walk for twenty minutes to get there, this wasn’t an option anymore.
We asked our driver for 60-90 minutes, but he told us that it was Friday and he couldn’t come back that soon. Instead, the only option he offered us was to wait for three hours until he was done with the Friday prayer.
That meant we suddenly had three hours to kill. We went for a very long walk along the beach, looped around to the main road and finally found the gas station, where we had a cold drink and a chocolate brownie.
An easy option to get back to Bizerte, if you don’t have any arrangements with a taxi driver, is to take a louage. While sitting at the gas station, we saw two louages pass by. If we hadn’t made arrangements with our taxi driver yet, we easily could have taken it to get back to town.
As louages only leave when they’re full, this option might mean that you have to wait for a bit. But on the other hand, it’s much cheaper than a taxi, and it also gives you a bit more flexibility.
Bizerte to Tunis
Getting back from Bizerte to Tunis is very easy. Remember that louage station where you arrived earlier? Just come back here to catch a louage to Tunis.
The journey takes around an hour, and you shouldn’t have to wait for long until the louage fills up.
Spending time in Bizerte
If you have enough time, we highly recommend staying in Bizerte for at least a few hours.
This town is much less touristy than places like Sousse or Djerba Island, and it’s got a beautiful historic centre. Here are a few things we recommend doing:
Things to do in Bizerte
#1 Stroll around the harbour
The Old Harbor of Bizerte (called the Vieux Port) is one of the most beautiful areas in the city. On one side, you have the old fortifications of the Medina. On the other side, you can see colourful houses. Add fishing boats, cafes and restaurants into the mix, and you end up with a beautiful, lively area.
To get a fantastic view of the harbour, head to Rases Bridge. From here, you can take great photos.
#2 Visit the Medina
If you’ve visited the Medina in Tunis or Sousse, you will have noticed that many streets consist purely of souvenir shops.
The Medina in Bizerte is different. While it is much smaller than other cities, it’s also much less touristy. Most houses are residential, and it’s fun to get lost in the maze of streets without constantly being bothered by shop owners.
#3 Climb to the Spanish Fort
Above the Medina, you can find the Spanish Fort. It’s a bit of a walk, but you can get nice city views from here.
#4 Relax at the beach
While Bizerte isn’t as popular for sunbathing as other areas of Tunisia, you can find numerous white beaches here. It’s a great spot to relax for a day or two and enjoy the crystal-clear water.
#5 Eat seafood
Bizerte is a seaside town, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it’s a great spot to eat fresh fish and seafood.
We ate at Restaurant Bedouine, which is a fantastic place if you want to splurge on a good meal. If you’re travelling on a budget, on the other hand, you can find lots of good restaurants lining the harbour where you can get grilled fish.
Where to stay in Bizerte
As we already mentioned, we recommend staying in Bizerte for at least a night or two if you have enough time. There aren’t many hotels in this city, but here are a few suggestions:
Dar El Kasba Bizerte: Despite its superb location in the city centre, this hotel is one of the cheapest options in Bizerte. You’ll get the chance to stay in a traditional Tunisian house in the Medina, and you’ll even receive a complimentary breakfast. This is where we would base ourselves if we came back to Bizerte. Click here to check it out!
Residence Ain Meriem: If you prefer to stay by the seaside, check out Residence Ain Meriem. This hotel has a pool and a private beach area, so it’s great if you want to relax a bit. Just be careful. The only disadvantage is that the location is a bit out of town (and it’s not where booking.com shows it, so check here for its real location). Nevertheless, it’s a great option if you like to relax at the beach, so make sure to take a look at prices and availability!
Hotel Nour Congress & Resort: This hotel is a bit closer to the centre of Bizerte compared to the previous one, but the ratings are a little bit worse. Nevertheless, it’s a great option if you want a hotel with a pool and a private beach and wants to be close to the city. Click here for more information!
We hope you now have a good idea of how to visit the northernmost point of Africa.
It’s a bit out of the way, but it’s a fun trip to northern Tunisia. If you’ve been looking to get off the beaten path, then you’re going to love Cape Angela. You’ll barely see any other visitors here, and even Bizerte is not as touristy as many other Tunisian coastal cities.
Leave us a comment below if you’ve been here or are planning on going.
Before your trip, make sure also to check out the following resources, which you’re going to find useful:
- Check out these handy travel apps and resources for your trip to Tunisia
- Flying to Tunisia? Then you need these long-haul flight essentials
Until your next adventure!
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