Cape Town: A Circular Drive to Cape Point

Distance:  124 km from Constantia via False Bay, Cape Point, Kommetjie, Hout Bay.
Time: 2 hours 50 minutes without stopping

Leaving Constantia, where we were staying, we drove down the M3 then on to the M4 (Main Road) towards Muizenberg, where I lived in the 1970s and took a right shortly before the village onto Boyes Drive to Kalk Bay.

False bay
False Bay from Boyes Drive

This road climbs up above Lakeside and the bay with outstanding views from the top of Boyes Drive across Lakeside, Marina da Gama, the Cape Flats and the entire False Bay coastline. It clings to the lower edge of the Muizenberg Mountains until reaching Kalk Bay where you rejoin the Main Road.

Kalk Bay is an attractive character village with a great harbour where you can still buy fresh fish direct from the boats as they return with the days catch; I can recommend cooking a whole fish on a braai, freshly stuffed with limes and coriander and wrapped in foil  (they will scale and gut it for you if you ask).  It has several antique shops plus a very decent restaurant “The Brass Bell” situated right next to the railway station and directly on the waterside which used to do a very good crayfish thermidor in the past.

The Residency
The Residency

We stopped briefly in Simonstown to visit the museum there which is housed in a lovely building “The Residency” dating from 1772.

The Residency Museum
The Residency Museum

The views from the veranda across Simon’s Bay are well worth the visit and if you are interested in the Dutch East Indies Company, Simon van der Stel or the Royal Navy then it is a must see.

The “Historic Mile” (twenty one of the buildings in St Georges street are over 150 years old), is a popular walk along pavements once trodden by Admiral Horatio Nelson and Captain James Cook.

Warning
Warning

Next stop has to be at the Boulders Beach where you can walk along the boardwalk to see the African or Black-footed (formerly known as the Jackass) penguins that have colonised this area since 1983. March to May is the time when they are breeding in South Africa and we saw many birds on nests in amongst the bush and boulders.

African Penguins
African Penguins

They are noisy and it can be smelly, but on this occasion the wind was in the right direction!

Continue along what is known as the Cape Peninsula Scenic Route to Cape Point the most south westerly point in Africa which is at the end of the Table Mountain National Park chain stretching from Signal Hill. Not to be missed is the short hike from the Point to the Cape of Good Hope on the Atlantic side. Good walking shoes are a necessity plus a head for heights or if you are a serious hiker there are trails from here all the way back to Table Mountain. We came across ostrich at the Cape of Good Hope but you may well see kudu or sable.

Ostrich
Ostrich

A funicular railway replaced the little bus “the Flying Scotsman” in 1996 taking passengers up to the ‘new’ lighthouse at the top or if you want to spend all day in the park then head down to one of the secluded beaches at Buffels Bay or Bordjiesrif where there are tidal pools and you can picnic or have a braai (South African BBQ).

Diaz Beach
Diaz Beach at Cape Point

We decided to loop back to Constantia along the Atlantic coast road so headed for Scarborough (with its strange Camel rock formation, which we missed completely) and the twisty road towards Kommetjie, a peaceful rural delight with the Slangkop lighthouse.

Slangkop Lighthouse - Kommetjie
Slangkop Lighthouse – Kommetjie
View to Hout Bay
View to Hout Bay from Kommetjie

Just before Kommetjie is a stretch of road called ‘Misty Cliffs’ so called because of the sea spray which hangs over the road. Every twist in the road is a scenic delight and it is hard to keep concentrating on the road ahead, (but essential as the drop below is a long way).

Long Beach
Long Beach, Noordhoek

At Noordhoek we stopped to access the long beach which is still a place to go for horse rides on the beach or fly a kite and then we drove along the infamous ‘Chapmans Peak Drive’ with its 114 curves (though I confess I did not count them all). This is a now a toll road and cost us 24 ZAR (2008). The last time I went along this stretch of road was in the early 1980s.

Chapman's Peak Drive
Chapman’s Peak Drive

Every visit since then it has been partially closed due to rock falls and eventually was closed completely in 2000. Fortunately it re-opened in 2003 with a new tunnel so I was at long last able to fulfil my wish of driving along this road myself. The road ends in Hout Bay a seaside resort town about 20 minutes from Cape Town.

Chapman's Peak Drive
Chapman’s Peak Drive Tunnel

Dinner at ‘The Mariner’s Wharf’ in Hout Bay is recommended for the best lobster in town, though booking is advisable. Return to Cape Town via Constantia or around the coast road via Camps Bay, Clifton and Sea Point.

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Heyjude

I now live back in the UK, but spent several years travelling the world and then living in South Africa. I look forward to a long and leisurely retirement doing what I like most - gardening, photography, walking and travelling.

28 thoughts on “Cape Town: A Circular Drive to Cape Point”

  1. Thanks for sharing these lovely pictures. It takes me back a very long time to when we were in Cape Town. Places don’t get any more beautiful than Cape Town. It’s like Rio! Exceeds expectations.

  2. Reblogged this on TRAVEL WORDS and commented:

    Now you have had a taster of what to expect in the Mother City, it is time to take a drive around the peninsula to find penguins, ostriches and take one of the most scenic drives in the world.

  3. Fantastic route, now come the second weekend in March and do it on a bicycle- The famous Argus Cycle Tour. There is also the Brass Bell restaurant in Kalk Bay, in the old train station building. There is the beautiful Misty Cliffs Beach between Scarborough and Kommetjie with it’s turquoise waters. And in Hout Bay there are so much to see and do. The bird park, the butterflies. And some skinny dipping at Sandy Bay just behind Llundudno… Then a winding cruise to all the glamorous people in Kamps Bay, where you will find actors and supermodels and Ferraris… and sometimes me…

    1. The Brass Bell was my favourite restaurant when I lived in Muizenberg and Marina da Gama. I wouldn’t want to cycle this route though, especially up Chapman’s Peak Drive – we overtook a chap in his orange overalls on a bike there and stopped for the view, next minute he was cycling past us! Such stamina!

  4. Beautiful beaches and delicious food, all in good weather too.
    Who could ask for more Jude? I will have to try to win the Lottery, and re-create your trip.
    Regards as always, Pete. x

  5. What a wonderful tour this is Jude, but never in a million years would I have equated penquins with Cape Horn! Just shows my ignorance…ha! I would love to visit SA as I’ve said before so lovely to be able to get a taster here, loving it 🙂

    1. Cape Point Sherri – Cape Horn is South America, but they probably get penguins there too. There wasn’t a colony at Boulders when I lived there, we used to take the kids on the beach as it was sheltered behind the boulders, but it got very busy. Easier, but windier, at Muizenberg – the beach in the first photo.

  6. Ooops! I typed Cape Horn, was thinking Cape Point and meant to type Cape Town…no idea why I did that! Is it any wonder I get confused, haha!! Thanks for clearing that up Jude! Beautiful beaches to take the kids to… 🙂

    1. In my case it’s what you call a ‘senior moment’ in yours I suppose we could say a ‘blonde moment’ but that would be very uncharitable of me 😀

      I think my problem with moving is I am searching for a beach like that!! Not going to happen here I fear.

  7. Nice to revisit South Africa with you, Jude. I would love to visit Table Top mountain and drive the Garden Route, but I can’t say it’s somewhere I ever thought to live. How did you come to do so- work related for your husband? Or is that explained in the previous post, where I’m going next?

    1. A long story Jo – one I shall have to write about one day. I was on my way to Australia, travelling overland, but ended up in South Africa instead. The rest is… a very long story!

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