2. DRIVING AROUND THE CAPE PENINSULA (Full day trip – start 09h00 back at 17h50)
Set off along the M3 taking care to stay in the Right Hand Lane when you reach the intersection with the N2 at Hospital Bend (otherwise you will end up heading for the airport!) Look out for Muizenburg signs (pass University of Cape Town campus on the right and then a turnoff to Rhodes Memorial – a very pleasant diversion adding 30 minutes to your trip.) At the next traffic light (Rhodes Ave.) you need to make the decision whether or not to turn right and spend an hour or so wandering about Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens (www.sanbi.org/kirstenbosch) or take another half day trip to do this amazing garden justice). If you do go to the gardens then simply return to this intersection (Paradise Rd) and turn right towards Muizenburg again.
Keep following the ‘Blue Route’ as it is called until you reach a T-Junction with Steenberg Rd where you should turn Left at the light and at the next T-Junction (Main Rd/ M4) turn Right. Look out for a right hand intersection about 500m on from the turnoff and follow the road to Boyes’ Drive (lovely elevated views of False Bay where whiles are often visible between July and November. At the end of this drive you reach another T-Junction where you should stop and park (there is a small parking area but you can park on Boyes’ Drive near the traffic light as well.)
This is the fishing village of Kalk Bay with its picturesque working harbour and many Dickensian second hand book shops, bric-a-brac emporia and a lovely restaurant called The Olympia Café which we highly recommend (if only for a visit to their loo!) Please do not miss a stroll along the pavement here and also a little further to St James where the multi-coloured Victorian changing booths are always seen on postcards.
If stopping off for an early lunch at The Olympia Café then relax here for a moment. You will need to get into a patient mindset for the next leg of your trip because there has been annoying road-works underway for a year now (though we are promised that it will stop over the Festive Season.)
But at the end of the frustrations of having to wait for oncoming traffic you can look forward to a dip in the ocean if you feel that way inclined because Fish Hoek Beach is a gloriously relaxed and safe beach (there have been isolated shark attacks here in the past but they have now installed nets and if you stay between the beacons there promises to be no problem.)
Once through Fish Hoek, continue on the M4 through Glen Cairn and Simon’s Town which is worth a short stop, on your way to Boulders famous in these parts for its penguin colony (there is a small entrance fee to be paid here – Adults R35 Children R10). Then onwards to the Cape Point Nature Reserve (www.capepoint.co.za/ – 06h00-18h00 in summer) where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet. The Two Oceans Restaurant is a possible lunch stop. There is a short side trip to find the Cape of Good Hope (where there is a sign to prove that you have arrived there).
Be warned to lock your car and to leave windows shut. Baboons and known to open car doors and climb in to rifle your stuff looking for food – very messy!
On leaving the National Park, turn left on the M65 and head towards Scarborough a favoured surfing beach. Pass through the little town of Kommetjie (‘little bowl’) and on to a largish intersection where you must turn Left towards on Kaapseweg/ Noordhoek (M6). Follow signs to Chapman’s Peak Drive (there is a lovely ‘Farm Village’ with excellent restaurants just on the right before entering ‘C happies’. Once you are on Chapman’s Peak Drive you will find yourself winding along an amazing road, cut into the side of the mountains with precipitous drops into the ocean on your left. This is a glorious drive at sunset in the summer! In Winter there can be rock falls and the road is sometimes closed – need to check ahead of time. There is a small toll to pay on leaving the Drive (R33.00 can be paid by credit card).
You will now be driving through the village of Hout Bay. The first hotel (known by locals as ‘Chappies’ on your left on leaving Chapman’s Peak Drive is a popular watering hole for locals where the calamari and Portuguese steak cubes are renowned. Take time out for an early dinner or a drink if you can. The view is brilliant! The Harbour i Houtbay is worth a second visit because there is a fun market there and the Marriners’ Warf centre is popular for lunches as well.
Then, make your way back following signs to Cape Town or Camps Bay. You will lass above Llundudno – a gorgeous beach to which you should return for an afternoon – this is also the start of the well-known nudist beach ‘Sandy Bay’. After a breathtaking drive along the coast you will reach trendy Camps Bay. My own feelnig is that you should turn right onto the M62 (Houghton Rd) towards the city BEFORE reaching the beach area in the summer because this can be VERY congested. Rather take this route and
head up Camps Bay Drive towards the city (you can always return to the bustling beach area on another day or have dinner at The Grand Café one evening to watch the sun go down.
After a winding but beautiful drive, you will end up at the intersection with Table Mountain Rd which leads (at a roundabout) to the cable car. Drive straight through the traffic circle and on down Kloof Nek Rd. At the bottom of this road is a traffic light (intersection with Burnside). Drive across the light and take the second road left into Carstens Street where the Villa is at #19. WELCOME HOME.
Did you ask us to reserve a a table for you for dinner?