Best time to visit Cape Town

Chapman's Peak Drive in Cape Town

The most beautiful road in South Africa

Best time: all year round

Chapman's Peak Drive
Chapman's Peak Drive
Chapman's Peak Drive
Chapman's Peak Drive
Chapman's Peak Drive

Chapman's Peak Drive on the western side of the Cape Peninsula is a spectacular mountain road that hugs the almost vertical face of Chapman's Peak between Hout Bay in the south and Noordhoek, in the north, near Cape Town, South Africa. Chapman's Peak was named after John Chapman, the Captain’s mate of an English ship, who was sent to look for provisions to the shore in 1607. The road was constructed on the face of the mountain in 1922, and became a significant engineering break-through at this time. Chapman's Peak Drive hosts two largest races in SAR—the Two Oceans Marathon and the Cape Argus Cycle Race.

The scenic drive is about 9 km (6 mi) long. It has 114 curves along dangerous cliffs hanging over the ocean. The road is beautiful all year round. From mid-August through mid-November, whales can be spotted in Hout Bay. Chapman’s Peak Drive is a fee-based road, and fees are paid at the Toll Plaza. A Day Pass can be obtained from the Hout Bay side.

Chapman's Peak Drive features a few picnic areas with over 60 picnic tables & benches. Many scenic overlook spots let visitors pull over and admire the view. If you wish to go for a walk in this beautiful place, hike up to Chapman’s Peak. The hike is rated as moderate and takes about 3 hours both ways. You will see panoramic views of the Peninsula mountain chain, Hout Bay, Long Beach, False Bay, Fish Hoek, Gordon’s Bay, and the Constantia Berg.

Practical info

When is the best time to spot whales while driving on Chapman's Peak Drive?

Whale spotting on Chapman's Peak Drive is most favorable from mid-August until mid-November. During this period, the whales make their way down to the warmer waters when migrating from Antarctica, passing by the coast of the Cape Peninsula. Show more

Where can I obtain a Day Pass to enter Chapman's Peak Drive?

The Hout Bay side is where visitors can access a Day Pass and enter Chapman's Peak Drive, which has a Toll Plaza. For visitors to commence driving along the fee-based road, they must settle their entrance fee at the Toll Plaza on the Hout Bay side first. Show more

What is the story behind the name Chapman's Peak?

In 1607, upon the English ship stopping in Hout Bay, John Chapman was sent to seek provisions from the shore, and thus the peak was named after him. Since then, over 300 years later in 1922, Chapman's Peak Drive was helicoptered plateau on the mountain cliff, condensing travel time and providing a significant feat in engineering. Show more

Are there any hiking trails near Chapman's Peak Drive?

A moderate hiking trail up to Chapman’s Peak exists and lasts for approximately three hours round trip. The Peninsula mountain chain, Long Beach, Hout Bay, False Bay, Fish Hoek, Gordon’s Bay, and the Constantia Berg are some of the panoramic views hikers enjoy while on the trail. Show more

What is the cost of entering Chapman's Peak Drive, and how is it paid?

Chapman's Peak Drive has a fee-based entrance system, and the road's entry charge fluctuates depending on the season. It is advisable to visit the official site for the most recent entrance fees. Before starting on the drive, visitors are to pay their entrance fees and receive a Day Pass. Show more

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