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Chapman's Peak Drive, South Africa

Chapman’s Peak Drive, South Africa

Chapman's Peak Drive is one of Cape Town's most famous and popular scenic drives.  Even the locals can't get enough of the amazing views and it's the most beautiful way to travel between the city centre and other great locations like Simon's Town, Kommetjie, Noordhoek and Cape Point of course. 

Chapman’s Peak Scenic drive information

This is a great drive to enjoy in the morning or early afternoon.  You want to make it there and back with plenty of daylight to spare.  While bikers often include this route as part of their club's breakfast run, you and your family or friends will probably feel much better travelling in one of Cape Town's fine rental cars.  Before making your way over this pass, you should take the time to stop in Hout Bay.  Apart from the lovely food, drinks and scenery, you can also enjoy some shopping at the local flea market. 

It is important to note that all along Chapman's Peak Drive there are mirrors to help you anticipate oncoming traffic around blind corners.  Make sure that you navigate with care and allow speedy drivers to overtake you rather than letting them push you to drive faster than you like.

As the mountain towers above you on one side, the cliffs drop off into the deep blue Atlantic Ocean and this is what the trip is all about!

You will also notice some indigenous flora growing on the side of the mountain.  This plant and flower group is known as Fynbos and it is protected so make sure you don't try to pick any flowers!  If you encounter any wildlife, it is strongly advised that you do not feed them or try to pet them.  Animals that you may encounter include squirrels, various birds and even baboons.  If you feel hungry before you make your way along this beautiful stretch of road, then plan to stop at Hout Bay for a bite.  Alternatively, you could always pack a picnic lunch and enjoy in Hout Bay or even on Noordhoek Beach.

Important tips to remember

Construction on Chapman's Peak Drive started in 1915 and was completed in 1922.  There were a number of rock falls over the years and the road was closed in the 90s for some serious safety renovations.  The road is constantly monitored for any signs of danger and, at times, the road is closed for maintenance. 

It's also important to note that this is a toll road but it is really worth it!  If you only want to travel one way, you can always make your way back via Ou Kaapse Weg.

Do not travel on either of these roads if visibility is poor.  The locals might be able to navigate their way just fine but, as a foreigner, it can be tricky if the fog rolls in.  Rather spend the night in one of the local towns and set out when conditions improve.

Check the local listings for when the Cape Argus Cycle Tour and the Two Oceans Marathon take place as this will mean that the roads in the area and Chapman's Peak itself will not be accessible by car. Remember, if you decide that you would like to spend some extra time in one of the friendly towns like Fish Hoek, for instance, then simply book your accommodation in advance to make sure that you reserve your room.