Driving to Cape of Good Hope, South Africa

A spectacular ostrich sunset at the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa

A gaggle of wild female ostriches at the Cape of Good Hope enjoy a colourful sunset and a natter.

Why Drive to the Cape of Good Hope?

Driving up to the wild and craggy Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point, which is more-or-less the same thing, via Chapman’s Peak Drive is a must-do. The coastal road is gorgeous stretching past Camps Bay and passing various surf spots as well as the naked attractions of Sandy Bay and famously scenic Chapman’s Peak Drive, the views are stunning. And then there are the penguins. . .

South Africa, cape town to Cape of Good Hope coast road

It’s a brilliant scenic drive from Cape Town to the Cape of Good Hope.

A cyclist on the coast road to Cape Point, South Africa

Or cycle it if you’re up for a challenge.

The two Capes are adjacent and along with with various interesting stops en-route make it a terrific, easy drive from Cape Town with no navigation difficulties.
There are superb short walks and views both when you get there and on the way.

It is possible to do the drive as a day trip but that would be rushing it, so if time permits do the journey over at least two days. Simonstown (as the place is also known) is a pleasant and quite English halt.

Simon’s Town

Simon’s Town.

Simons Town is cutely Victorian. Halfway between Cape Town and Cape of Good Hope, it’s very cal and relaxed while the Cape National Park itself has some excellent walks with occasional wildlife views, so leave time to stretch the legs.

Boulders Beach

Boulders Beach, Simon's Town, South Africa

Boulders Beach.

Boulders Beach is a couple of miles to the south of Simon’s Town. Boulders is popular with families as it’s calm and shallow with soft white sand interspersed with boulders of granite. The beach used to have a pengin colony attached but they have been moved to a protected reserve now (see below). So though Boulders Beach doesn’t offer swimming with penguins anymore the adjacent colony gives plenty of opportunity for unaffectionate pictures of the little stinkers.

Simon's Town penguin sanctuary, South Africa

The penguin colony. Humans are no longer permitted to share space with them. Poo! Literally!

There has been a colony of African penguins at Boulders Beach since 1985 when they arrived and settled for no apparent reason. There are only three penguin populations on mainland South Africa. The others are near Hermanus at Stoney Point and Betty’s Bay.

Cape Point, South Africa

Cape Point, the most southerly point in Africa.

The Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point are very close neighbours but not the same thing. Cape Point is a few hundred metres further out into the Atlantic and thus geographically more important as the most southerly point in Africa, but the Cape of Good Hope has a more emotive name and a lot more history. Sailors in old wooden ships particularly wanted to get around the Cape of Good Hope because that’s when the roaring winds and heavy seas that they had suffered for weeks calmed down and they could start to relax.