Chapman's Peak Drive, Cape Town
Did you know?
Lance Armstrong finished 9th when he first competed in the Cape Argus Cycle Tour in 2010.
Cape Town's Chapman's Peak Drive is all about the scenery. Overlooking Noordhoek and Hout Bay, this rocky coastal roadway offers numerous points at which motorists can safely pull over and savour a panoramic view across the deep-blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the shapely shoreline that meets it.
From stunning vantage points, some of which are up to 593m above sea level, it is not uncommon to see whales and dolphins frolicking in the ocean below, and baboon troops curiously observing passing tourists. This is a perfect place from which to take stunning photographs of the Cape.
Fondly known as 'Chappies' to Cape Town residents, Chapman's Peak Drive also forms part of the route for the Cape Argus Cycle Tour and the Two Oceans Marathon.
Although the road was closed intermittently for a decade or so due to safety concerns related to rock falls, a thorough civil engineering revamp saw the road reopen in late 2009. Chapman's Peak Drive will now only be closed as a precaution in the event of severe wind or rain.
According to a plaque along the route, construction of Chappies began in 1915 and, after several years of work, it was officially opened by the governor-general of what was then the Union of South Africa, Prince Arthur of Connaught and Strathearn.
Chapman's Peak Drive was a prominent location for vehicle television commercials in the 1990s, most notably BMW's acclaimed 'Beat the Bends' campaign, filmed in response to a commercial by competitor Mercedes-Benz.
There are 114 curves along Chapman's Peak Drive, making it necessary for motorists to drive slowly and cautiously – all the better to gaze out at the spectacular vistas!
Those who wish to save themselves the toll fee might prefer to hike up Chapman's Peak, along a path marked with clear signage. Hikers are advised to take lots of water, as there are no taps along the route or at the top.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Chapman's Peak Drive
Tel: +27 (0)21 791 8222
How to get here
Chapman's Peak Drive is 25km from the Cape Town city centre and is accessible from Hout Bay and Noordhoek.
Best time to visit
Chapman's Peak Drive is open every day of the year except when severe weather conditions persist.
Around the area
Table Mountain National Park is a wonderful walking spot where stunning fynbos has led to the creation of a biodiversity hotspot.
Tours to do
Horse riding on Noordhoek Beach.
Hiring your own car is the simplest, while hiking up Chapman's Peak is also an option.
What will it cost
The toll fee for using Chapman's Peak Drive is about R31 per vehicle.
What to pack
A good pair of binoculars will enhance your view, while a camera is simply essential. If you decide to hike, take plenty of water and don't forget the hat and sunscreen.
Where to stay
Try the Tintswalo Atlantic, a stunning boutique hotel that takes full advantage of the stunning sea view.
What to eat
Hout Bay is known for its excellent seafood restaurants. Enjoy some old-fashioned fish and chips at the Hout Bay harbour.
Over Easter the world’s most scenic ultra marathon, the Two Oceans, takes place in Cape Town, including a section along Chapman’s Peak Drive.