Chapman’s Peak Drive – the world’s most beautiful road

Chapman’s Peak Drive – the world’s most beautiful road

Chapman’s Peak Drive, fondly known as “Chappies” by the locals is one of Cape Town’s most famous attractions.   The drive connects Hout Bay to Noordhoek in 9 kilometres of breath-taking scenery and arguably one of the most beautiful coastal drives on Planet Earth.  A mere 25km south of Cape Town’s City Centre, it’s been said that the route is a “Must-do” and “One of the most worthwhile tourist attractions” on any Cape Town itinerary.

Chapman’s Peak Drive is a mini paradise! It has the Atlantic Ocean on one side, mountains on the other side and this picture perfect postcard setting makes any visitor want to stop to savour the panoramic views.  It’s all about the view!  At one end, is the fishing harbor of Hout Bay – presided over by the Sentinel, an iconic landmark in this spectacular setting. The drive winds up to Chapman’s Peak View Point – with dazzling sea views and then drops down to the horse-filled paddocks of Noordhoek.

There are numerous points for motorists to pull over and enjoy the views, or capture the magnificence with a photograph (and feel like a professional photographer.)  Chapman’s Peak Drive is one of the major routes for visiting the Cape of Good Hope Section of Table Mountain National Park.  The route over Chappies is a way to explore nature at its’ best – whether you are heading to Cape Point, visiting the penguins at Boulders Beach or hitting the beach for some rest and relaxation with sunshine and sand.

The many ways of exploring Chapman’s Peak Drive

This magnificent wonder of nature continues to delight locals and tourists.  Popular for picnics and scenic drives, you can also experience its beauty on foot or by bicycle taking in the awe-inspiring views and winding along its spectacular curves.  Some are lucky enough to travel on a Harley Davidson, a vintage sidecar, a trike or a classic Cobra. And when you get to the other side, there’s more to explore.

The landscape and the lifestyle has inspired artisans of all disciplines to explore their craft and follow their passion in the surrounding towns and villages. Enjoy the riches of their honed skills from chefs and producers to artists and entrepreneurs.

Be Inspired by the wildlife on Chapman’s Peak Drive

Keep your eyes peeled! Chappies offers many different wildlife experiences in their natural habitat – on land, in the water and in the air.  From whales, dolphins and seals in the ocean, to insects, butterflies and beetles that pollinate the vegetation, to reptiles such as the endangered Western Leopard Toad (especially on the Noordhoek side), lizards, tortoises and sometimes snakes.  Small mammals can be spotted – baboons; rodents, ranging from the porcupine to mice and dassies (hyrax).  In the air marine birds – gulls, terns, waders, cormorants and gannets – can be seen along the coast and at any time of year. Keep a look out for fynbos endemics such as the Cape Sugarbird and orange-breasted sunbird and the commonly spotted red winged starlings.  Raptors such as the jackal buzzards are often spotted.

Active Adventures from Chapman’s Peak Drive

Being active in the great outdoors never felt better.  Chapman’s Peak Drive is a natural utopia for walking, hiking, rambling or ambling, whatever your ability or experience level. There’s no better way to communicate with nature and checkout the scenery, than to lace up your comfy shoes, strap on a backpack and hit the trail. Enjoy the restorative benefits of a great walk, the tranquillity of paddling in a sea-kayak below the towering cliffs, the adrenalin rush of surfing some big waves or the thrill of cycling on mountain passes.  All you have to do is. “Pick Your Pace!”

Chapman’s Peak Drive a national treasure

Chappies was named after a lowly Captain’s mate, John Chapman, who was sent ashore to look for supplies in 1907, when the ship called ‘Consent’, was stranded in the waters of Hout Bay. The ship’s pilot recorded the bay as ‘Chapman’s Chaunce’ (chance) and the name remained as such.

The Drive itself took 7 years to construct and cost ₤20 000.  On 6 May 1922 the road was opened by the Governor of the Union of South Africa, His Royal Highness Prince Arthur of Connaught. The drive was a remarkable feat of engineering. In recent times – rock-fall protections measures such as catch fences, half-tunnels and a canopy structure have earned engineers more accolades, and road users are kept safe from potential rock falls.

Chapman’s Peak Drive Toll Road

Chapman’s Peak re-opened as a Toll Road in December 2003. The drive is monitored by an integrated traffic & Incident management system, including weather monitoring, CCTV cameras and variable message signs. Any adverse or high-risk weather situations may result in immediate road closure.

Take a drive and see for yourself.