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