Explore the striking scenery of the city and surroundings as we circumnavigate the Cape Peninsula. An epic road trip exploring the coastal suburbs, a national park, one of the most scenic roads in the country as well as a visit to a penguin colony.
"Roads were made for journeys, not destinations."
Our journey takes us through the affluent suburbs of Sea Point, Clifton and Camps Bay, nestled at the foot of the 12 Apostles Mountain range. The beaches of Clifton and Camps Bay are world renowned with pristine white sands and clear waters. Following the coast road we make our way to the seaside suburb of Hout Bay. Fondly referred to as the Republic of Hout Bay, this little suburb is home to a thriving fishing industry, three French built forts from 1781 and is known as the gateway to the Cape Point Route.
Chapmans Peak Drive, starting in Hout Bay, is a scenic ocean drive cut out of the cliff-face. Named after the mountain peak, the drive meanders it’s way along the coast with many twists and turns. The peak itself was named after a ship’s pilot – John Chapman – who was sent ashore by the Captain of the Consent in 1607 to look for provisions. Known for its spectacular views, Chapmans Peak Drive took seven years to build and was opened in 1922.
Arriving at Cape Point, part of the Table Mountain Nature Reserve which is a World Heritage Site, you will soon notice the natural beauty of the windswept reserve. Home to Africa’s biggest and most rare antelope, the Eland, as well as baboons, zebras, otters and lynx to name a few. The area is most famous for its rocky outcrop which was mistakenly believed to be the most Southern tip in Africa. This accolade actually belongs to Cape Agulhas, a few hours up the coast.
Image courtesy of Cape Town Helicopters
The name "Cape of Good Hope" dates back to the 15th century, when Portuguese sailor Bartolomeu Dias became the first European to view Cape Point while in search of the southern tip of the African continent.
In fact, the Cape of Good Hope was originally named the Cape of Storms, a name not given lightly. The coastline bears testament with numerous shipwrecks littering the area, some are still visible today. The original lighthouse built in the 1850’s is no longer operational but can still be accessed by taking the Flying Dutchman funicular or an uphill walk.
The old lighthouse offers panoramic views over the bay. The funicular is named after a mysterious ghost ship from nautical folklore. Legend has it that it haunts the seas around Cape Point, unable to make port and destined to sail the oceans for eternity.
Our next stop on our road trip is the naval village of Simons Town, named after Simon van Der Stel, the first Governor of the Cape. Established in the 1680’s, Simons Town has been a naval town since its inception. It is well known for its penguin colony and a very special dog named, Just Nuisance. He was and still is the only dog ever to be officially admitted to the Royal Navy.
He is part of the history of the town and his statue takes a place of pride in Jubilee Square in the centre of the town.
"One cannot be angry when one looks at a penguin."
Boulders Beach Penguin Colony falls within the Table Mountain Marine Protected reserve and is a conservation initiative to protect the endangered African Penguin. Also known as the Jackass Penguin, the species is endemic to the continent. Few places offer you the vantage point of easy to navigate walkways so that you can witness the daily antics of this quirky bird species.
Numbers dwindled drastically in the early 1980’s and by 1982 there were only two breeding pairs left at Boulders Beach. Through a huge conservation effort the numbers have increased to approximately 3000 birds in recent years. Visiting the colony aids in the conservation program.
We end our road trip as we board helicopters for a scenic flight back to the V&A Waterfront. Making our way along the false bay coast, before heading inland over the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town.
Image courtesy of Cape Town Helicopters
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Highlights of Southern Africa | April 2022
An incredible experience of luxurious sights & safari, hosted by experts
CAPE TOWN / SABI SANDS / VICTORIA FALLS / OKAVANGO DELTA
Savor the beauty of Southern Africa in a journey packed with exhilarating expeditions and memorable experiences, hosted by our Premier team, there to assist you throughout your stay to ensure a seamless travel experience.