The variability of the inshore circulation of the Agulhas Current on the Natal continental shelf region is investigated using historical ship-based data, and more recent measurements made on moorings deployed at various points along the coast. The existence is confirmed of a recirculation flow inshore of the Agulhas Current on the wider shelf region, although emphasis is laid on the inherent variability. It is apparent that the different flow regimes along the coast are primarily due to topographic effects; in particular, a narrowing shelf serves to reduce the variability being transmitted downstream.