It is a must-do when travelling to South Africa: The Cape of Good Hope, only 60 kilometers from Cape Town away, is the most South-Western point of the African continent, although many people mistakenly think that it is the most southern point in Africa. Its steep cliffs rising into the water impress hundreds of visitors every day. Coming from Cape Town, you can spend a great day visiting the Cape of Good Hope and its surroundings.
We started our day trip at Hout Bay, a thirty minutes drive from Cape Town away. This small fisher village is an important tourist destination and famous for its boat trips to Duiker Island, also called Seal island, a small island on which you can observe dozens of seals. The boats for a 40 minutes cruise to the island leave at 08h30, 09h15, 10h00, 10h45 and 15h30 and cost R90 per Person.
We arrived at Hout Bay at around 9h30, bought our boat tickets for the 10 am trip right away and then had plenty of time to have a look at the stalls of the small market that sell African souvenirs.
We embarked a few minutes before 10 o’ clock and quickly spotted some seals jumping in the water. Only a few minutes of a bumpy boat ride later, we arrived at a small island with dozens and dozens of seals. The boat stopped only a few meters away so that everybody could take pictures and enjoy the show of seals jumping and playing around. After a while we turned around and went back the way we came from.
Chapman’s Peak Drive
From Hout Bay, we continued by car and soon arrived at the entrance of the Chapman’s Peak Drive. Although a small fee applies, the road’s scenic view is definitely worth it. This 15 km road offers a beautiful driving experience with a breathtaking view on Noordhoek Beach and its surroundings.
Unfortunately, we were not very lucky with the weather, but when it is sunny you should definitely have a walk on this 8 km long white beach.
Penguin watching at Boulders Beach
Next stop: Boulders Beach, a protected area for penguins that have colonised the beach. From two breeding pairs in 1982, the penguin colony has grown to 3,000 birds nowadays. In order not to disturb these little animals a limited path has been installed for tourists. We really could have spent hours watching these little birds.
We also learned that baby penguins had super fluffy feathers which they loose during a period called molting when they transform in adult penguins with sleek feathers. This is why you can see many penguins with one part of their body covered with fluffy baby feathers and another part with adult feathers. Molting is basically the penguin’s puberty when they look super weird and transform to adults. What a great experience to witness this process in real nature.
After this great observation, we headed to the place we came for, the Cape of Good Hope. We first went to the view point at the lighthouse. When arriving at the site, you can park your car at the huge visitor’s parking. There are two options to climb up the top of the view point: You can take the stairs or a funicular to take you up the hill.
The top of the view point offers a breathtaking view on the majestic Bay. Take a deep breath and imagine the thousands of kilometers of open sea that separate you from Antarctica!
A bit further away, you will notice the lighthouse. Indeed, it is possible to walk all the way up to the building. Even though I was not always feeling very safe with the high cliffs under my feet, this little walk is a great experience feeling the strong wind and listening to the noise of the open sea.
the Cape of Good Hope
We finally made it to the most South-Western point of the African continent. To get here, we drove from the lighttower to another, smaller parking by following the directions. This is where you can take a picture of this famous sign and walk on the rocky beach.
To be honest, this place is much less spectacular than the lighthouse site but being able to say that you have actually made it to the most South-Western point of Africa is definitely worth this small detour.
On our way back, we stopped at the Botanic Garden of Cape Town which, at least in May, was not very spectacular in our amateur point of view. However, the day trip was a great success with a mix of exotic wildlife observations and beautiful landscapes and we would definitely recommend it.
You might also be interested in our blog post 2 weeks road trip in South Africa: From Joburg to Cape Town.
To see more about our full South Africa experience, also have a look at the timeoffaroundtheworld youtube channel.