It is very easy to explore the Cape of Good Hope / Cape Point National Park in South Africa on your own. From the city centre of Cape Town, it is a 40-minute drive to the Penguins in Simon’s Town. From there, it takes another 20 minutes to the entrance of the reserve.
It takes at least 1 hour from the Mother City to the Cape Point National Park (Directions here) – depending on traffic jams or possible road works. You should leave Cape Town very early (you can visit the Penguins at Boulder´s Beach from 8 am already). You need to leave the reserve during sunset.
Self-Drive-Tour: Driving to the Cape of Good Hope (along the False Bay)
A typical route to the Cape of Good Hope leads along the eastern side of the Cape Peninsula (False Bay) – via Muizenberg, St. James, Kalk Bay, Fish Hoek, Glencairn and Simon’s Town.
From Cape Town, you reach this little coastal town in 30 minutes. It is very popular with Surfers. “Surfer’s Corner” at the beach, for example, has a lot of restaurants, cafés and surf schools on offer.
From Muizenberg, you drive to St. James. The little colourful beach huts here are world-famous and have been photographed many times.
You continue to Kalk Bay – a small fishing village with lots of boutiques and cafés with a beautiful sea view.
Your journey continues along the main road of Fish Hoek. You drive past lots of little shops and restaurants. At the roundabout, take the first exit left. From here, you continue your journey along the coast.
Glencairn has a shopping centre (“Harbour Bay Mall”) – perfect for a quick stop in case you forgot something (e.g. water, snacks, sunscreen). You could also grab a smoothie or a coffee-to-go at one of the small cafés near the Glencairn Hotel.
Penguin Colony at Boulder’s Beach in Simon’s Town
The gates at the Penguin colony at Boulder’s Beach in Simon’s Town open as early as 8 am. You should allow a minimum of 1-2 hours to be able to take enough photos and to stroll along the boardwalk towards the beach. If you want you can also take a short swim with the Penguins.
Cape of Good Hope / Cape Point National Park
At the reserve entrance, you might have to wait a bit as there will be a lot of cars waiting already – especially during the high season in summer. At lunchtime, a lot of tourist busses will arrive – so it is best to leave very early for the Cape of Good Hope.
Typical route and activities in the reserve:
Cape Point: From the reserve entrance it is about 15km (approx. 20 minutes – including several stops for photos) to the parking lot at Cape Point – a 200m high cliff that offers a fantastic panoramic view. In winter, you could even spot Whales in the False Bay from here.
You can climb up the hill towards the lighthouse or take the funicular. If you are feeling hungry afterwards, there is a restaurant offering meals or you can grab a quick bite at the snack shop. Please be cautious of the Baboons – they like to hang around the Cape Point parking lot, trying to snatch some food from the tourists.
Cape of Good Hope: You continue to the Cape of Good Hope and the famous sign that every visitor wants to photograph. If there is enough time, you can also climb up the steep steps that lead to an adjacent little hill and enjoy the wonderful view over False Bay. Take a short stroll along the hiking trail that connects the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point (approx. 1,5 hours for the round-trip).
Then you can drive to Buffels Bay and relax at the beautiful beach or swim in the tidal pools that are filled up by the ocean water.
There is so much to do and to experience that it is easy to spend the whole day at the Cape Peninsula. Just before sunset you should leave the reserve and make your way home (e.g. via the spectacular Chapman’s Peak Drive).
Driving back via Noordhoek, Chapman‘s Peak and Hout Bay
After an eventful day at the Cape Point National Park, drive back to Cape Town – via Noordhoek, the scenic coastal road “Chapman’s Peak Drive” and Hout Bay.
Noordhoek (beach view)
You can reach Chapman’s Peak Drive via Noordhoek (please check opening hours beforehand). From the road, you can throw a glance at the long and beautiful Noordhoek beach.
Chapman’s Peak Drive (famous coastal road during sunset)
It is best to drive along the famous “Chapman’s Peak” during sunset. The road winds from Noordhoek to Hout Bay and offers several parking bays where you can stop to take breathtaking photographs. You should stop here and watch the African sun setting over the Atlantic Ocean.
Hout Bay (dinner)
The small coastal town of Hout Bay has several restaurants on offer where you can savour a delicious meal in the evening after a successful day trip to the Cape of Good Hope (e.g. at Dunes Beach Restaurant, Mariner’s Wharf or The Lookout Hout Bay).
From Hout Bay, you drive along the Atlantic Ocean towards Cape Town – via Llandudno and Camps Bay.