Cape Town is known for breathtaking mountain and ocean views. This epic day trip from South Africa’s Mother City takes you to see some more of these mountain and ocean views and is sure to stun you with some jaw dropping scenery and adorable animals. Keep reading to find out how to have the best time on this epic day trip from Cape Town.
Stop 1 – Muizenberg Beach
Muizenberg Beach is popular among local surfers. It is actually a great place to learn how to surf but this is probably for another day as you won’t have time for it on this day trip from Cape Town. Stroll along the beach and take a picture or two in front of the famous and super colorful Victorian bathing huts that line the beach.
If you did not eat breakfast in Cape Town, you can grab something at either Bootlegger or Tiger’s Milk. Do have something to eat because lunch may be late (depending on how much time you spend at the next stops)
Stop 2 – St. James Beach
St. James is a little smaller but similar to Muizenberg Beach. This beach too has colorful bathing huts. It also has a tidal pool called Dalebrook Tidal Pool but the water maybe cold depending on when you go!
Stop 3 – Boulders Beach
Boulders Beach is probably one of my favorite places in South Africa! The beach itself is beautiful with massive rounded boulders and crystal clear turquoise waters, but what makes this beach special are its residents. Boulders Beach is home to a huge penguin colony! There are 2 parking lots at Boulders Beach on either side. If you are looking to map them, one is called Seaforth Beach Parking Lot and the other one is at the end of Bellevue Road.
Note – If you are driving and need to park your car, there will be folks who will guard your car at these parking lots for a small tip. This is the usual norm in South Africa. Just tell them you will tip them when you come back and your car will be safe and sound when you return!
There are 2 boardwalks that are on either end of what is called Foxy Beach. In order to get to these boardwalks, you need to buy a ticket at the Visitor Center. This visitor Center entrance is a lot closer to Seaforth Beach Parking Lot.
There is a 3rd entrance to a beach between the Visitor Center and the Bellevue Road parking lot. Walk along Willis Walk in order to get here. You will see a small pay station/hut here. If you already bought a ticket at the Visitor Center, you can show it for entry to the beach. You can actually swim with the penguins here if you like. Warning though that the temperature is always cold!
Your next stop is the Cape of Good Hope! The views from Boulders Beach to the Cape of Good Hope are amazing! So drive slow and stop at designated places if you wish to.
Stop 4 – Cape of Good Hope
Cape of Good Hope is the South-Western most point of Africa and is at the end of the Cape Peninsula. This area features dramatic landscapes, rugged cliffs, wildlife, flora, and of course the mighty ocean.
This area is actually a lot bigger than I had imagined it to be. To visit the Cape of Good Hope, you drive up to the entrance, pay the fee and you are then in and free to explore on your own. The main things to do here are:
See the South-Western Most Point of Africa
There is a board that marks this geographic location and is famous for pictures!
Visit Cape Point and the Lighthouse
There are a couple of ways to visit Cape Point. The long way is to hike from the South-Western most point of Africa. It is a steady hike that is not too strenuous. The only callout is that you will have to hike back and it will add time to your itinerary (1.5 hour round trip minus the stop at the top). With a few more things to do on this day trip from Cape Town, you may want to skip this. The only thing you may be missing are views of the ocean but you will see plenty of this the short way too. The short way is to drive to Cape Point. Once at Cape Point, you can walk up to the lighthouse for dramatic cliff and coastline views. If you don’t want to walk, you can take a funicular, called the Flying Dutchman (at an additional cost). However note that even with the funicular, you will still have to climb a few stairs to get to the very top.
To get back down, you can either take the funicular back or walk down (recommend walking down). My overall recommendation is to take the funicular up and walk down. It’s an easy walk down and the views are in front of you and stunning!
Visit Buffels Bay Beach
A pretty beach with nice views of the mountains in the backdrop.
Look for Wildlife
Baboons are all over the Cape of Good Hope! You may also see ostrich, eland and zebra here.
Stop 5 – Kalk Bay or Simon’s Town
After visiting the Cape of Good Hope, drive up to Kalk Bay for lunch! You can also have lunch at Simons Town (where Boulder’s Beach is) if you are really starving. Kalk Bay is about 45 minutes away while Simon’s Town is 35 minutes away. If you are stopping at Kalk Bay check out Lucky Fish & Chips for some casual dining or Live Bait for dining with a view. If you stop at Simon’s Town, the Lighthouse Café has good reviews followed by Fran’s Place and Saveur.
Stop 6 – Champman’s Drive
If you are at Kalk Bay head towards Boulders Beach for 2.5 KM until you get to the M65 turn off (just 4 minutes). Once on the M65, continue until you hit the M6. Turn off on to the M6 and drive until you see a sign board for Chapman’s Drive. I think this is another one of my favorites on this day trip!
Chapman’s Drive is one of the most scenic ocean view drives in the world! It runs from Noordhoek to Hout Bay. This drive is on a winding road overlooking spectacular cliff, mountain and sea views. There are many lookout points along the drive that you can stop and take in the scenery. Will cover this drive in more detail in an upcoming post.
At the end of Champan’s Drive is Hout Bay.
Stop 7 – Hout Bay Harbor
Because little happy feet penguins were not enough cuteness for the day, stop at Hout Bay harbor to see massive seals! These guys are amazing! They come right up to you (move aside if they do). You will see them playing in the water or chilling harbor side.
You can actually do this itinerary and day trip from Cape town in reserve, starting at Hout Bay. I have actually done this trip twice, once in each direction. My preference is to do it the way I have written this itinerary. The main reason for this is the Chapman’s Peak drive. All the stopping points of this drive are on the left hand side and since you drive on the left hand side in South Afica, it is a lot easier to stop along the way.
How to Get There
I really enjoyed driving on this day trip from Cape Town. Although I was a little nervous about driving on the other side of the road after almost 7 years, I was surprised at how fast I was able to pick right back up. The roads on this itinerary are so easy to drive on. You can easily hire a car in Cape Town for a reasonable price. Manuals are cheaper than automatics but automatics are still reasonable.
If you don’t feel comfortable driving, I totally get it! I did not drive for a long time on any of my trips! Here are some highly rated organized tours you can take instead.
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