The Cape Peninsula
Cape Peninsula Virtual Tour
The Western Cape with it’s scenic beauty is the ideal place to start an African journey. Described by Francis Drake when he rounded the Cape all those years ago as “A most stately thing and the fairest Cape we saw in the whole circumference of the globe”.
The Cape was also named “The Cape of Storms” by other voyagers, this difference in perception illustrates the huge variety of moods which influence this southern tip of Africa dominated by its famous flat topped mountain, rising 1000m out of the ocean. The Cape Peninsula comprises many parts, the vibrant night life of the V&A Waterfront to lonely windswept rocks of Cape Point, graveyard of many a ship.En route to the Cape you will see gracious homes set amongst vineyards in Constantia. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-6Bnh1Ldcw
Kalk Bay is a fishing village which still retains much of its original character and has a vibrant night life as well as interesting shops which are open seven days a week.The town was first inhabited in the seventeenth century by shipwrecked seamen and deserters.
In Simon’s Town, the Boulders beach penguin colony is one of only two mainland breeding colonies of the jackass penguin and also offers sheltered swimming. This penguin colony now also play host to lively street markets where bargain-priced jewellery, souvenirs and art may be found.
The “Historic Mile” of Simon’s Town (twenty one of the buildings in St Georges street are over 150 years old), is a popular walk along pavements once trodden by Admiral Nelson. The Simonstown Museum has displays on the early history of the town, and is open to visitors daily except Sunday.
Cape Point is a sight not to be missed and is the best place to take photographs of the Cape of Good Hope, first named “Cape of Storms” by early seafarers the reserve now boasts excellent tourist facilities. Whether your preference is for a hearty meal at the restaurant or a brisk walk to the top of the 249 metre high peak. For the less energetic the only funicular in Africa will whisk you to the top in style. Who knows, you may even spot the legendary 17th century ship “The Flying Dutchman”, which disappeared mysteriously while trying to round the Cape, and is reportedly sometimes still seen trying on a misty night. Hiking to the Cape of Good Hope in fine weather, is something you will never forget.
Not far from the magnificent white sands of the 8km Long beach in Noordhoek, a very gentrified Countryside Suburb facing West, you will hop onto Chapmans Peak Drive completed in 1922 and is now revered as one of the most spectacular coastal drives in the World. Sir Frederic de Waal (first administrator of the Cape) conceived the idea and work began on the road in 1915, blasting granite and sandstone to achieve a remarkable feat of road construction.
The town of Hout Bay and nearby Llandudno, lying on the opposite side of the peninsula from Fish Hoek and Kalk Bay, are fashionable addresses for the more wealthy.
Entering the City via Camps Bay (above) and Clifton will return you to the Down Town area with it’s famous flat topped mountain, the iconic symbol of Cape Town and a welcome sight to seafarers in years gone by, visible from 200 km out to sea on a clear day. It is still probably the most popular stop for visitors to Cape Town. Although looking out from its summit over the modern city 1087m below, it is hard to imagine that as recently as 30 000 years ago it was part of an island off the mainland of Africa.