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CChapman’s Peak Drive on the Atlantic Coast, between Hout Bay and Noordhoek in the Cape Peninsula, is one of the most spectacular marine drives in the world. Chapman’s Peak Drive is affectionately known as “Chappies” and is a must for anyone who is passionate about the majestic scenery of Cape Town.
The route starts at the picturesque fishing harbour of Hout Bay and the climb winds steeply up to Chapman's Point, revealing breathtaking views of the sandy bays down below, until the road reaches lower levels again in the awesome area of Noordhoek.
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.
CChapman's Peak Drive also forms part of the route for the Cape Argus Cycle Tour and the Two Oceans Marathon, so it is truly iconic and one of Cape Town’s most treasured areas.
Chapman's Peak, Western Cape
AAccording 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.
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, so the road is safe and offers a wonderful day out if you are visiting this part of Cape Town.
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.
TThose 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. This may be the tougher option but the views and fresh sea air will most definitely make it worth it.
Chapman's Peak Drive, which takes motorists on a 9km winding route from Hout Bay to Noordhoek, is widely regarded as one of the most scenic stretches of road anywhere in the world. We suggest you take a drive and see for yourself, we guarantee you will not be disappointed.