The Cape Peninsula of South Africa is one of those places you simply must visit. The perfect way to experience the breathtaking views is with a road trip along the ocean. That way you are able to marvel at nature’s beauty from many of the viewpoints, as well as explore Cape Point Nature Reserve, and swim with penguins at Boulders Beach. Read along for the perfect Cape Peninsula road trip itinerary!
1. stop: Cape Point Nature Reserve
The first stop of the day should be Cape Point Nature Reserve. Try to arrive as early as possible – take the most direct route, as you will drive along Chapman’s Peak Drive later in the itinerary. Cape Point Nature Reserve is where you will find the southwestern tip of Africa. It is home to some magnificent views of the wild ocean and beautiful nature. During your time in the Cape Point Reserve, you should swing by the following places.
Cape Point Lighthouse
The first stop in Cape Point Nature Reserve is the lighthouse. This was built in 1859 and is nowadays known as the old lighthouse. Due to its position high above the ocean, the clouds often conceal it. Because of that, a new lighthouse was built on a lower cliff. You can reach the old lighthouse by walking or embarking on the Flying Dutchman Funicular. We would highly recommend walking to the lighthouse – even though it is a bit of a steep trip. But the amazing views along the way are worth it. At the top, you will be rewarded with a stunning panoramic view of the ocean and the peninsula.
Cape of Good Hope
From the lighthouse, you should head over to the Cape of Good Hope. This is the place that has made the nature reserve popular, as it is the southwestern tip of the African continent. It is possible to walk from the lighthouse to the Cape of Good Hope, but to make the best use of the time we would recommend you drive.
Afterward, you should drive toward Platboom Beach. On your way, you will pass Diaz Cross. This was erected in honor of Bartolomeu Dias, who was an explorer that reached Cape Point back in 1488. He named it Cape of Storms, as there were so many storms that wrecked ships. And the coastline lined with shipwrecks shows that the name was fitting.
When you have passed the cross you will reach Platboom Beach. This unspoiled beach is probably the wildest of the beaches in the nature reserve. It is a sight to behold!
From Platboom Beach you should drive toward Giftkommetjie – preferably along Circular Drive (there are signs). This will take you inland where you might be able to spot some animals – like ostriches and baboons. At Giftkommetjie you will find several viewpoints, which makes this a perfect time to get out of the car and stretch your legs.
Your last stop inside Cape Point Nature Reserve should be False Bay. From here, you have an incredible view overlooking the ocean. If you are visiting between May and October, you might even spot a whale or two. It is definitely worth stopping here before driving out of the reserve.
2. stop: Boulders Beach
Once you have left Cape Point Nature Reserve you should head along the coast toward Simons Town. In this quaint coastal town, you will find the famous Boulders Beach. It is actually one of the most visited places in all of South Africa. And the reason for this is the penguin colony living at Boulders Beach. You might think that it is weird to find penguins in such a warm country. But the African penguins actually prefer the sun over ice. Visiting the penguins at Boulders Beach is something you simply must do in Cape Town.
3. stop: Kalk Bay
When you are done watching the playful penguins swimming in the ocean you should head on over to Kalk Bay. This quirky little town was named one of the 12 coolest neighborhoods around the world by Forbes Magazine in 2018. Here you can find various shops, stunning views, beautiful street art, lovely cafés, and even two tidal pools. Wandering the streets of Kalk Bay is the perfect way to spend some time during your Cape Peninsula road trip. The harbor is especially worth a visit, as it is home to sea lions. And if you haven’t already eaten lunch, you should definitely stop by Kalkys for their famous fish & chips.
4. stop: Muizenberg Beach
Next up on the road trip itinerary is Muizenberg. This is where you will find the famous beach huts that can be found on every travel blogger’s Instagram. The colorful houses are located right on Muizenberg Beach and are definitely worth a quick look. Along the beach, you will find 4 rows of these colorful houses. Two of them can be found opposite Muizenberg Promenade, while the two others can be found along Beach Road – on the other side of the Civic Center. Walking along the beach with your feet in the water is a perfect way to visit the colorful houses of Muizenberg Beach.
5. stop: Chapman’s Peak Drive
The last stop on your Cape Peninsula road trip is the famous Chapman’s Peak Drive. This incredible drive will take you through dramatic scenery and offer some stunning views. This 9-kilometer drive winds its way through 114 bends while hugging the edge of the cliffs all the way. Along the way, you will be spoiled with breathtaking views – especially if you visit around sunset. Chapman’s Peak Drive is one of the most scenic drives in South Africa and it is the perfect way to end your Cape Peninsula road trip.