Chapman's Peak Cape Town Hout Bay South Africa10169
The Chapman Peak Drive and Road
P1010163Chapman's Peak Cape Town Hout Bay South Africa
View from the Chapman Peak point across to Hout bay

One of the most spectacular things to do while in Cape Town, is to take a drive (or tour) along Chapman’s Peak Drive. If you do, take some time, your camera and maybe some food to stop along the way and soak it all in.

The Chapman Peak’s Drive is a road that was started in 1915 (so during the First World War) based on a master plan by first administrator of the Cape (Sir Frederic de Waal) and was finally opened in 1922. The route runs from Hout Bay to Nooordhoek and is basically a shortcut from Cape Town to the South Peninsula of the Cape.

It is a remarkable drive that runs along the side of the mountains and the Atlantic Ocean. It spirals and turns it way around the mountain, with some of the road even being blasted into the side of the hills. It is 9km long and has 114 curves and turns!

Along the way are stops and picnic spots clinging to the side of the road, and offering the most stunning views across Hout Bay. In Winter it is also a popular spot for Whale spotting as they come into the bay on their migration.

The road was closed for 3 years from 2000 to 2003 following rock falls, and was finally re-opened as a toll road and is managed by a company that uses the funds to keep the road as safe as it can be from rock falls. All along the route you can see massive nets and other devices up the mountains and slopes to stop any major rock falls. But you are warned the road is take at your own risk. The toll is 30 rands each way (about £3).

On the weekends the road is very busy with visitors and bus tours, as well as large numbers of cyclists and runners. These must both be very fit and maybe a bit mad, as these are huge hills and slopes, and take some effort.

It is worth taking it fairly easy, and stopping at many of the rest stops. It is also important to stop at the very top as there is a viewing platform and stunning views into Hout Bay and out to the Atlantic.

I have done this drive many times, and you can and never will tire of the views and experience. It is a truly beautiful and amazing sight and experience.

Chapman's Peak Cape Town Hout Bay South Africa
Chapman Peak Drive

Chapman's Peak Drive Cape Town
Part of the Chapman Peak Drive is cut into the Mountain
Chapman's Peak Drive Cape Town
Part of the Chapman Peak Drive involves some intricate engineering
Chapman's Peak Drive Cape Town
Part of the Chapman Peak Drive rock fall protection


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Gary Bembridge

I grew up in Zimbabwe, but I have been based in London since 1987. My travel life spans more than three decades and that includes more than 95 cruises. In 2005, I launched Tips for Travellers to make it easy and fun for people to discover, plan and enjoy incredible cruise vacations. And the rest, as they say, is history. I have the largest cruise vlogger channel currently on YouTube, with more than 3 million video views per month.

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