A drive along the Cape Peninsula, a rocky headland jutting out over the Atlantic Ocean, is one of our favourite additions to our Cape Town itinerary. The highlights of a Cape Peninsula day trip are the southerly points of the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point and the dramatic cliff faces and ocean views will make you feel like you are at the end of the earth. The journey is just as good as the destination: the colourful beach houses of Muizenburg and the penguin colony of Boulders Beach are stand out sights along the way. The drive will also take you through the Cape Floral Region, one of the richest plant areas in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Here’s our guide to the best stops on a drive through the Cape Peninsula: prepare to be in awe of those views! If you prefer to do a tour check out this option of a full day tour from Cape Town.
1 | Muizenberg Beach
A beach side suburb of Cape Town, Muizenberg is best known for its white sandy beach and the very retro, brightly coloured beach huts which adorn it. The warm waters of the Indian Ocean are an added bonus and attract surfers from miles around.
Cape Point Sightseeing Tip: Stop for a pic of Muizenberg beach and its beach huts. It’s the stuff Instagram dreams are made off!
Renting a Car in South Africa
Renting a car in South Africa is the best way to explore the country and the Panorama Route, plus driving is relatively easy in the country (check out our tips on driving a rental car in South Africa). Having your own car gives you the flexibility to travel at your own pace a see place that are simply not possible on group tours or public transport.
We’re huge fans of road trips and have driven rental cars in over 40 countries so we have a lot of experience renting cars in foreign countries. Book your car now with RentalCars.com, where you will find the best rental car prices
Where to stay in Cape Town
The Cape Town sights are spread across the city and its suburbs. Our favourite locations are the Waterfront for sightseeing, Camps Bay (swoon!) for views and Long Street when you want to be in the heart of the action. Here’s our top hotel picks for a Cape Town stay:
- Protea Waterfront Breakwater Lodge: we stayed at the Protea Waterfront Breakwater Lodge. This waterfront hotel is an excellent choice if you want a V&A location at a lower price. The rooms in the main hotel building were our favourites and we loved being two minutes walk from the waterfront – Check prices now!
- POD Camps Bay: Camps Bay is a stunning Cape Town suburb within easy reach of the city and an awesome alternative to staying in Cape Town itself. The rooms are compact but gorgeous and the views are incredible with miles of ocean, a mountain backdrop and magical sunsets. – Check prices now!
- Long Street Boutique Hotel: if you want to be in the middle of the action Long Street, surrounded by restaurants, shows, cafes and bars is a great option. This quirky hotel is a fab boutique choice for leisure travellers and is good value by Cape Town standards – Check prices now!
2 | Simon’s Town and Boulders Beach
Simon’s Town is a historical and charming naval town on the shores of False Bay. The biggest draw is Boulders Beach, famous for the African Penguin colony which lives on its shores, and which is an absolutely unmissable stop on any Cape Peninsula route! Thousands of penguins go about their daily business, preening, waddling, minding their babies and mating (we saw a LOT of mating, we weren’t sure where to look!!).
Cape Point Sightseeing Tip: Boulders Beach charges a R65 entry fee which is totally worth it to see the penguins!
Cape Point Sightseeing Tip: Access on Boulders Beach is restricted to a series of wooden board walks. If you want to get closer to the penguins continue over the sand dunes to Foxy Beach but be warned: the penguins can be grumpy and if you get too close you will discover how sharp those cute beaks actually are!
Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve
The Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve is part of Table Mountain National Park and is home to some of the best sights on the Cape Peninsula.
3 | Cape of Good Hope
The Cape of Good Hope sits at the tip of the Peninsula and is one of the great capes of the Atlantic Ocean. On the first sailing around the Cape it was christened Cape of Storms by a Portuguese sailor but now goes by the beautiful Cape of Good Hope. The views are incredible and the raging Atlantic Ocean mesmerising. It felt like we were at the end of the earth!
Cape Town sightseeing tip: The Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point are often thought of as the most Southern points in Africa. That honour actually goes to Cape Agulhas which is a few hundred kilometres along the coast.
4 | Cape Point
Just over 1km east of the Cape of Good Hope is Cape Point and the peak above it is slightly higher than that at the Cape of Good Hope. It’s possible to catch a funicular, the Flying Dutchman, to see the lighthouses and views up above.
5 | Plant Life
The most southern area of the Cape Peninsula has outstanding floral and fauna and is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Cape Floral Region. Yep, a UNESCO site! It’s home to a wide variety of plants and trees, many of which are rare. Apparently there are more species of plant life in the Cape Floral Region than the whole of the UK!
Back to Cape Town!
The drive back to Cape Town is the perfect opportunity to catch a picture perfect sunset and some incredible scenery to wrap up an awesome day!
6 | Chapman’s Peak Drive
Nothing beats a drive along the windswept Atlantic Coast and Chapman’s Peak captures the ocean road at its most spectacular. The road is cut out of the cliff and the drive is a hair raising experience with near vertical cliffs and blind bends. It begins in the fishing village of Hout Bay and winds its way up to Chapman’s Point before ending at Noordhoek. The ocean views are beautiful along the entire route but the best are from Chapman’s Point, the highest point of the drive!
Cape Point sightseeing tip: Bring some cash as Chapman’s Peak operates as a toll road.
7 | Seapoint, Clifton and Camps Bay
Seapoint, Camp’s Bay and Clifton are gorgeous Cape Town suburbs which sit at the foot of the Twelve Apostles and adjacent to Lion’s Head and Table Mountain and have awesome beach town vibes! The beaches are some of the best in South Africa with pristine white sands and clear blue water and are the perfect escape from city life.
If you have time:
8 | Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden
Nestled at the base of the Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch is one of the great botanical gardens of the world and is also part of the UNESCO World Heritage Cape Floral Region. The scenery varies depending on the time of year and what’s in bloom and it’s a fantastic addition to a Cape Peninsula itinerary.
For more South Africa Adventures…
- For our guide to Cape Town and its sights click here!
- Intrigued by the Lion’s Head hike and its spectacular Table Mountain views? Read about our hike here!
- If you’re planning to drive the Garden Route check this post out!
- Driving through South Africa? Check out our driving tips here!