The most beautiful Cape in all the World. That is how Vasco da Gama described it and we agree. A day exploring around the Cape including Chapman’s Peak, Misty Cliffs, Cape Point and Smitswinkel Bay is a truly spectacular drive of about 110 kilometres. We suggest you start after an early breakfast if you want to take in the highlights and also to get ahead of the tourist buses reaching Cape Point. Here are some of the things you can discover on a Cape Town day tour with David Rogers.
Muizenberg and the False Bay Coast
We will drive through Muizenberg beachfront with its colourful bathing huts, surf culture and Art Deco buildings. This sleepy town includes some of the oldest buildings in South Africa and was once the home of South Africa’s mining magnates. Historical sea battles took place here between the British and the Dutch. It’s a great place to dip your feet in the sea as the water is warm. The coast from St James to Kalk Bay is spectacular with fishing harbour and sea views. We will explain to you why it’s called False Bay.
Next, we head to Cape Point which is said to be the meeting point between the cold Benguela and warm Indian Ocean. Crashing waves, cormorant birds and spectacular sea views are guaranteed. It’s a great place to contemplate the history of seafarers that rounded the Cape including Vasco da Gama, Batholomew Diaz and other explorers.
Cape Point National Park has endemic Fynbos vegetation, which is the endemic species of plants found in this the smallest and most diverse Floral Kingdom in the World. There is a good chance of seeing chacma baboons, bontebok, eland and birds such as sugarbirds as well as ostriches. In winter months from July to October it’s also possible to see Southern Right whales in the bay.
The next stop is Boulders Beach where thousands of threatened Jackass Penguins live and breed right on the urban fringe. They are highly engaging, and we can view them from a boardwalk or close up on the beach. Watch out not to touch – they do bite if you get too close.
There are some great spots for coffee and a light lunch snack in this is a historic town with a naval and colonial history. We look forward to sharing the stories about Just Nuisance, U boats and some other naval legends.
Chapmans Peak and 12 Apostles
We return along one of the most spectacular coastal roads in the world – Chapman’s Peak with its hair-raising bends and dramatic views into Hout Bay. We will now follow the glorious granite rumpled coastline to Camp’s Bay and enjoy the view back towards the range of mountains called the 12 Apostles.
Table Mountain and Signal Hill
Signal Hill offers a fine view of the city and Cape Town Stadium where the Soccer World Cup was hosted. If you are feeling energetic you can climb up the chain ladders and reach the tip for a fine view over Camps Bay and also Table Mountain – an especially popular event on full moon. A trip up the cable car to the top of Table Mountain is a must and best on a windless day or at sunset.
Other highlights of Cape Town which can be included on a second day in Cape Town include the following:
Cape Town City
The City of Cape Town was developed in Table Bay at the foot of Table Mountain as an overnight refreshment to replenish boats of the Dutch East India Company. Take a walking tour through the Company Gardens and you will see the Slave Lodge as well as a saffron pear tree which at 350 years, is regarded as the oldest tree in Cape Town. The oldest building is the Castle of Good Hope is also nearby built by the VOC in 1666.
The history of settlers in the Cape is also revealed in the Bo Kaap area which is now a colourful collection of houses which is home to many people of Malaysian descent. The smell of curry and spices is in the air and a fun option is to visit a home and enjoy a traditional cooking experience.
We suggest spending day at the Waterfront enjoying the history as well as shopping for curios and enjoying some of the restaurants. There are numerous points of interest here including the remains of train tracks used in the construction of the original harbour. The Shimansky Museum is interesting for anyone wanting to learn more about diamonds.
The Constantia Winelands has numerous excellent wine farms including the oldest wine farm in South Africa dating back to 1685. The Constantia Wines were drunk by the kings of Prussia and France. Groot Constantia has a farmhouse which is now a national monument run by the South African museum.
Klein Constantia is also well worth a visit – its is famous for its sweet Muscat wine called van de Constance which dates back more than 300 years. A wonderful option here is taking a 4×4 for a tasting in the vineyards above the farm.
You can get even better views at Beau Constantia which has an excellent restaurant called Chef’s Warehouse and offers a bespoke wine tasting experience. Some of South Africa’s finest restaurants are here including La Colombe.
Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens
For a quiet city experience take a walk through Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens on the slopes of Table Mountain. Its manicured gardens are exquisite. History buffs will enjoy the avenue of Camphor Trees was planted by Cecil John Rhodes in 1869. The gardens are now a world-famous repository of South African plant species and include a protea garden, succulent trees, and the winding overhead forest walkway called the Boomslang. On summer evenings on Sundays, concerts are held in the park.