A drive around the Cape

October 10, 2011 by

Day Trips, Local Recommendations, Sightseeing, Suggested Itineraries

Drive along Chapman's Peak Drive and get a close-up view of the Atlantic

Motoring around Cape Town can be a delight, with awe-inspiring scenery, excellent roads and generally considerate drivers (taxi drivers being a notable exception). Grab a hire car, get used to right-hand driving if necessary, and hit the road!

Start at Camps Bay and head south; you’ll soon come to Chapman’s Peak Drive, clinging perilously to the cliffs above the battering Atlantic. Carry on into Table Mountain National Park where you’ll see ostriches, baboons and possibly zebras. Park the car and head on foot to where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet at Cape Point, with stupendous views across False Bay and the Hottentots-Holland Mountains. Back in the driving seat, follow the bay to Constantia for lunch at a winery, admiring beautiful old Cape Dutch architecture and vineyards nestling in the slopes of Table Mountain.

After lunch, head across Cape Flats, past enormous shanty towns, and follow the spectacular coast road, with excellent whale watching from June to November. Stop at tiny, windswept Pringle Bay for its views across False Bay to Table Mountain and its laid-back atmosphere; this is where Capetonians come to escape the rat race. Head on to Betty’s Bay where you’ll encounter remarkably approachable penguins and the stunning Harold Porter Botanical Gardens, which creep up into a kloof (steep-sided ravine). Stop for tea and hear about the big-hearted park worker who used green fiberglass to repair a tortoise’s shell after it was run over.

Carry on inland through the quiet Overberg region, back over the Hottentots-Holland Mountains and down Sir Lowry’s Pass with its breathtaking view over the Cape Flats to Cape Town. Cut through the southern edge of the wine-growing region, watch paragliders float above your head and then follow the highway back into town in time to see sundowners overlooking the white sands of Camps Bay.

-James Conway

Planning a trip? Browse Viator’s South Africa tours & things to do, South Africa attractions, and South Africa travel recommendations, or book a private guide in South Africa for a customized tour!

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