A spectacular drive around the Cape Peninsula

The drive around the Cape Peninsula near Cape Town is one of my favourite routes in the world. I’ve driven this loop several times and each time was simply unforgettable. I once watched pods of whales frolicking in False Bay just fifty yards away from the shore. Another time, I stopped at the beach in Scarborough, pulled out my binoculars and spotted sharks breaching the water as the waves rolled in. The scenery is bewitching: from the bright blue expanse of False Bay framed by dark, brooding mountains, to the cute penguins at Boulder’s Beach, the dramatic shoreline of Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope, and the spectacular bends of Chapman’s Peak Drive. I could do this Cape Peninsula loop a hundred times and I would still be in awe of its beauty. As a tribute to this spectacular drive, here’s a photo essay of the route. Follow me as I navigate my way around the Cape Peninsula.

A drive around the Cape Peninsula in photos

First off, a map of the route:


View cape peninsula loop in a larger map

The drive starts in Cape Town. Backed by the Table Mountain, voted as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, the city certainly has one of the most spectacular settings on the planet.

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The V&A Waterfront in Cape Town in the early morning

From Cape Town, take the M5 motorway in the direction of Muizenberg. You’ll pass the back of the Table Mountain and the leafy suburb of Constantia before arriving at Muizenberg, on the shore of False Bay. The road then hugs False Bay, passing small communities like Kalk Bay, Fish Hoek and Simon’s Town, and stunning white, sandy beaches. If it’s whale season, look out for whales wherever the road skirts the bay.

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A view of False Bay from a vantage point in the hills near Simon’s Town

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Gorgeous houses in Simon’s Town

The penguins at Boulders Beach

Just outside Simon’s Town is beautiful Boulders Beach. Famous for its population of African penguins, the beach itself is a sight to behold!

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Welcome to Boulders Beach!

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Boardwalks lead visitors down to the beach. Many penguins laze around or under the boardwalk.

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The view across False Bay from Boulders Beach

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How Boulders Beach got its name. :-)

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The African penguin colony at Boulders Beach

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Too cute!

Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope

From Boulders Beach, the road continues along the coast towards Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope through a large nature reserve that extends from the southernmost tip of the peninsula to Table Mountain.

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Rainbows greeted us on the road to Cape Point!

From the main road to Cape Point, there’s a turn-off that leads down to the historic Cape of Good Hope, the southwesternmost tip of the African continent. Watch out for baboons along the way. I recommend keeping your windows closed!

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Wild ostriches greeted us on the road to the Cape of Good Hope

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The Cape of Good Hope on a rather stormy day

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The path that leads up the mountain to Cape Point. There’s also a funicular that takes visitors to the top.

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The views of the Atlantic Ocean from Cape Point

The route along the Atlantic coast

From Cape Point, head towards the village of Scarborough and Misty Cliffs. The ocean and mountain views are absolutely breathtaking. On some days, you can spot sharks in the water each time the waves roll in so keep your binoculars ready.

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Stunning scenery between Scarborough and Misty Cliffs

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Misty Cliffs – guess how the village got its name. ;-)

Chapman’s Peak Drive

The road then winds inland before meeting the coast again at Chapman’s Peak. From here, you have a beautiful view of the sandy expanse of Noordhoek Beach.

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Noordhoek beach – a popular place for horse-riding

This is also the start of another highlight of the Cape Peninsula loop: the Chapman’s Peak Drive! It’s a winding road that hugs the mountainside, with treacherous drops on one side and there are jaw-dropping views of the mountains and Hout Bay around every corner!

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Chapman’s Peak Drive

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Dramatic scenery along the Chapman’s Peak Drive

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Breathtaking Hout Bay on a stormy day

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Hout Bay is almost encircled by towering mountains

Back to Cape Town

From Hout Bay, the road continues as Victoria Drive along the Atlantic Ocean. You’ll pass the exclusive suburb of Llandudno, home to many celebrities. You’ll be at a loss of where to focus your gaze: the azure Atlantic Ocean or the rugged peaks of the Twelve Apostles!

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The peaks of the Twelve Apostles

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Victoria Drive winds its way along the Atlantic coast back into Cape Town

You’ll be back in time for a spectacular sunset. You can opt to stop at the beach community of Camps Bay to enjoy a sunset cocktail at one of the cafés! You’ll certainly be in the mood for one after this unforgettable drive!

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The Twelve Apostles at sunset – seen from Camps Bay

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A Camps Bay sunset

The Cape Peninsula loop can easily be done on your own in a rental car. Alternatively, I can recommend Escape to the Cape, an award-winning Cape Town tour company. It’s easier if you have a private guide/driver as you’ll be able to enjoy the views without having to pay attention to the road. Shaheed (the owner of Escape to the Cape) personally ensures his guests are well taken care of. He and his guides know every corner of the Cape and he’ll happily show you all my favourite spots (just tell him I sent you!). Oh, and his vehicles come equipped with free wifi! :-)

Search for hotels in Cape Town.

Note: a big thank you goes to Cape Town Tourism for your fabulous hospitality. As always, all views expressed above are mine.

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16 Responses to “A spectacular drive around the Cape Peninsula”

  1. miaa 09/07/2013 12:12 pm
    #

    amazing pics.. just loke woow :)

  2. bhavesh 29/04/2013 8:10 pm
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    Beautiful pictures dear friend…makes you want to go there :)

  3. Keith Jenkins 09/11/2012 11:43 am
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    Thanks Charlotte for your lovely comment. It’s such a spectacular route and it always looks different. Hope to return to do this route again soon. :-)

    Cheers,
    Keith

  4. Charlotte 08/11/2012 10:14 pm
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    Just did this last week for probably the fifth time. Like you I could it a hundred times and never tire.

  5. Kieu ~ GQ trippin 19/10/2012 4:43 pm
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    I’ve never been but looks stunning. I’m starting to like the scenic drives.. such a great way to see a place.

  6. velvet 15/10/2012 12:04 pm
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    Thanks! That’s one of my favourite photos too. :-) Hope you get to visit South Africa some day soon.

    Cheers,
    Keith

  7. OutsideTheGuidebook 15/10/2012 11:44 am
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    Lovely photos V’escape. I especially like the artistic one you took from the side of the car.. nice! Alas, it’s going to be a while till I visit South Africa :D

  8. Sonya 15/10/2012 2:15 am
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    What a gorgeous road trip and photos from around the Cape Peninsula! I really want to see the African Penguin in person some day!

  9. Logcabinsinwales 13/10/2012 8:03 am
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    It’s wow. The drive around the Cape Peninsula looks so fun and very interesting. It must be one of your favorite routes you’ve had. By the way, I like your shot of the sunset at Camp Bay.

  10. velvet 09/10/2012 12:16 pm
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    Thanks Charu! I’m sure you’ll love it there! :-)

  11. Charu 05/10/2012 11:43 pm
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    These are totally scrumptious photos, Keith! I would LOVE to visit. My sister lives in JoBurg and we’ve been meaning to go again and see her baby. Love the penguins too. Well done!

  12. Clare Appleyard 05/09/2012 9:11 pm
    #

    Great pics and post as ever Keith! Here’s a challenge for you though….join me in March next year to do route on a bicycle, for the Argus Cycle Tour. Shall we throw it down as a Blogger’s challenge? C’mon…..the most beautiful cycle race in the world!

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