A trip to Cape Town is simply not complete without getting behind the steering wheel and aiming for Chapman’s Peak Drive, arguably one of the most breathtakingly beautiful drives in the world. As you make your way around the first bend, you’re greeted with the spectacular sight of towering mountains and endless ocean.The road cuts and winds its way along the rocky coastline, joining the quaint fishing town of Hout Bay and sleepy seaside village of Noordhoek, with remarkable views from absolutely every turn.
Chapman’s Peak Drive, or “Chappies” as it’s affectionately known to locals, is a feat of engineering excellence. The 9 kilometre route was originally constructed during the First World War, and features 114 curves. The sheer cliff faces are prone to rock falls and therefore the award-winning rock-fall protection measures implemented are world-class. They consist of a half tunnel, catch fences, slope stabilisation and canopy structures. Chapman’s Peak is only a short drive from the luxurious Steenberg Hotel in Cape Town and is accessed by means of Ou Kaapse Weg, another beautiful road that cuts over the mountains through the Silvermine Nature Reserve.
A drive along Chapman’s Peak should not be rushed. Pack a picnic and pull over at one of the many picturesque viewpoints. These are particularly beautiful at sunrise and sunset! At this time of year, it’s quite common to spot whales out in the bay, as they make their way along the coast, so don’t forget to pack your binoculars. The drive is also a photographer’s dream, with endless opportunities for the perfect shot. If simply driving along Chappies is not enough, you can lace up your hiking boots and hit one of the many mountain trails, taking in the views, fresh air, flora and fauna as you go.
Chapman’s Peak Drive is operated under a toll system and visitors are required to pay a small fee in order to enjoy the drive. Our staff at Steenberg Hotel will be more than happy to confirm the fee in advance and will be delighted to assist in any way that we can – whether that’s packing you a picnic lunch, booking a table for you at a recommended eatery in Hout Bay or Noordhoek, or simply pointing you in the right direction!
Images courtesy of Chapman’s Peak Drive