Cape Town to Cape Point
via Simons Town, South Africa
To gain a true understanding of the significant beauty of South Africa, and the Western Cape in particular, you have to be prepared to get out of the cities and onto the road along one of the scenic routes that proliferate all over the country. The Western Cape probably has the lion’s share of scenic routes, and this one, from Cape Town to Cape Point via Simons Town is one of the best. You can enjoy this drive as a day trip or combine it with the Chapman’s Peak drive over a couple of days to see both scenic sides of the peninsula which terminates at Cape Point where the cold Atlantic Ocean meets the warm Indian Ocean. The Cape Point Nature Reserve is exceptionally beautiful and you should plan on spending at least a half day there to enjoy it properly.
From Cape Town you will set off along the M3 towards Muizenberg and Fish Hoek; make a quick stop at Fish Hoek to see some of the old fishing boats moored in this working harbour before you continue along the coastal road to the historic naval town of Simon’s Town, today the home of the SA Navy. Just beyond the town you will come to Boulders Beach, where you just have to stop to visit the famous Penguin colony. You can walk along a network of wooden walkways between the nesting birds to observe their comical behaviour. The beach is lovely here too and in summer you may be lucky enough to have a penguin join you for a swim.
From Boulders Beach you continue south to the entrance of the reserve, which has a wide diversity of things to do and beautiful vistas to enjoy. There are many isolated and deserted beaches, dozens of dazzling viewpoints, many walks and hikes that will take you past sublime scenery, and a funicular to whizz you up to the top of the view point by the lighthouse.
The Reserve is also home to Cape Mountain zebra and eland, among others, and also to many baboons; these can be a menace and you need to remember to close all your windows when you leave your vehicle, otherwise they will be inside in a flash and you will have lost your lunch!
There are a couple of options for your return drive back to Cape Town; either re-trace your steps past Simons’ Town or drive back along the famous Chapman’s Peak scenic drive. A good overnight stop between the two routes in a Motorhome would be the Chapmans Peak Caravan Park in Noordhoek or Sunnyacres in Kommetjie.