The drive around the Cape Peninsula is one of my favourite things to do in Cape Town. In my book, it’s also one of the most spectacular road trips in the world. I’ve driven this loop multiple 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.

cape peninsula self-drive route
Cape Peninsula seen from the air.

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 breathtaking 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 perfect day trip from Cape Town.

Cape Peninsula road trip route

First off, a map of the route:

View cape peninsula loop in a larger map

The Cape Peninsula 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 beautiful natural settings on the planet.

V&A Waterfront in Cape Town in the early morning

Kick off your Cape Peninsula road trip from Cape Town by taking 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.

View of False Bay from a vantage point in the hills near Simon’s Town
Gorgeous houses in Simon’s Town

Check out the stunning Cape Winelands route


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!

Welcome to Boulders Beach!
Boardwalks lead visitors down to the beach. Many penguins laze around or under the boardwalk.
How Boulders Beach got its name. 🙂
African penguin colony at Boulders Beach
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.

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!

Wild ostriches greeted us on the road to the Cape of Good Hope
Cape of Good Hope on a rather stormy day
The path that leads up the mountain to Cape Point. There’s also a funicular that takes visitors to the top.
Views of the Atlantic Ocean from Cape Point

Read about things to do in Cape Town

The route along the Atlantic coast

From Cape Point, head towards the villages 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.

Stunning scenery between Scarborough and Misty Cliffs
Misty Cliffs – guess how the village got its name. 😉

You’ll soon arrive in Kommetjie. Plan a stop here for a drink and a meal at Fisherman’s Kommetjie (the prawns and fish & chips here are legendary!).

Fish & chips at Fisherman’s Kommetjie.

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.

Noordhoek Beach

This is 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!

Chapman’s Peak Drive
Hout Bay seen from Chapman’s Peak Drive.

Read more about the best road trips from Cape Town

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!

The Twelve Apostles seen from Victoria Drive.
The peaks of the Twelve Apostles
Victoria Drive winds its way along the Atlantic coast back into Cape Town

End your Cape Peninsula road trip with a spectacular sunset. You can opt to stop for a drink and sunset views at the 12 Apostles Hotel & Spa or the beach community of Camps Bay. You’ll certainly be in the mood for one after this unforgettable drive!

Locals hanging out at Camps Bay beach at sunset.

This day trip from Cape Town can easily be done on your own in a rental car or you can opt for one of these full-day tours:






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