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Cape Peninsula Tour - full itinerary
Journey to Cape Point
Sir Francis Drake described Cape Point as 'the fairest cape in the whole circumference of the globe'. With fantastic vistas, lovely bays and coastline, penguins, and the most south-westerly tip of Africa - if you do only one thing in Cape Town, this self-drive day tour to Cape Point is it! It is a full day - try to get an early start.

From Cape Town, take the M3 ('Blue Route') south. You pass the Groote Schuur Hospital (where the first heart transplant took place in 1967), Mostert's Mill (1796 - and still in working order), the grand buildings of the University of Cape Town, and Newlands forest. At the traffic lights turn right onto Rhodes Avenue. You will come to the famous Kirstenbosch botanical gardens on the right. Stop here and take a walk in the gardens - they are spectacular.

Rejoin Rhodes Drive and continue south. At the junction turn right and proceed along Rhodes Drive surrounded by forest. Keep going along the windy road until the far end where you will find a traffic circle. Turn left down the Constantia Nek road (M41). As the hill levels out you will see a sign pointing right for Groot Constantia. Turn right. You may wish to stop at the small parade of fine shops on your left. Then carry on to the Groot Constantia Estate. Enjoy the old Manor House and some wine tasting at the tasting centre near the exit.

Retrace your steps and rejoin the Constantia Nek road and continue on. At the traffic lights turn right into Ladies Mile Extension. At the next set of traffic lights turn right into the Spaanschemat Road (M42). You will pass Peddlars on the Bend. At the top of the hill take a right turn if you wish to taste the excellent wines of the Klein Constantia estate- a beautiful and award winning wine estate, located at the very far end of the Klein Constantia road. Otherwise carry on. You will pass vineyards, forest and the Steenberg golf estate. Continue along this road, past the freeway, until you reach the T junction, at the end. Here you turn right into Main Road.

You will stay on Main Road all the way to the Cape Point Reserve. Once you pass Muizenberg you will see its magnificent beach. Very soon, on the right you will see Rhodes Cottage where Cecil John Rhodes died in 1902. You may wish to stop and visit the small museum. Look out on the left for the colourful beach changing booths in St James. Along this road you will pass interesting antique and art shops. You may wish to stop at Kalk Bay harbour - when the boats arrive it becomes a festive fish market.

Continue on, always keeping the sea on your left. You will pass through Fish Hoek. At the end of the high street keep left at the traffic circle, continuing along the coast. You will pass Glencairn and then approach Simon's Town. You may wish to visit 'Top Stones' which you will see sign-posted on the right - it is an impressive factory for cleaning and sorting semi-precious stones. Children love it.

The main road runs on through Simon's Town. Stop in Jubilee Square. You may wish to have lunch here and spend time enjoying this old British naval base. You can find details about the town at the information office.

Carry on, and soon you will see signs indicating 'Seaforth', 'Boulders Beach' and 'penguins'. Turn left down the hill and park in the car park. Follow the signs along the boardwalk to the penguin colony. Volunteers are available to tell you more about this wonderful colony.

Resume your journey south. You will pass the Black Marlin Restaurant on the left - this is a popular lunch stop (book ahead if possible). Carry on,and in due course you will come to the turning for the Cape Point Nature Reserve, enter here. The reserve is principally dedicated to 'fynbos', the indigenous flora. At the end of the reserve you will reach Cape Point. Spend time here - walking down along the cliffs or up to the Lighthouse. A good lunch is available at the Two Oceans Restaurant.

As you drive away from the Point you will soon come to a left turn for the Cape of Good Hope. If time allows take this, the Cape is the south-western tip of Africa and worth the extra 10 minutes drive to it.

Now retrace your steps out of the reserve. At the gate turn left. You will pass a big African market and then, on the right, an Ostrich farm. Guided tours of the hatchery are available. Carry on, the fence of the reserve will be on your left. When you come to a junction turn left towards Scarborough. You will head downhill. Soon the Atlantic Ocean comes into view and you will enter the holiday town of Scarborough. Drive on with the sea on your left all the way around the coast to Kommetjie. If you have time take a walk on the magnificent beach. Carry on along the Kommetjie Main Road (M65), you will pass Ocean View and eventually come into Sun Valley. At the major junction turn left toward Ou Kaapse Weg (M64). You will pass the Sun Valley shopping centre on the left. Take the left turn toward Noordhoek and the Chapman's Peak Drive. NB If a sign states that the Chapman's Peak Drive is closed follow Option 2 below.

The Chapman's Peak drive is magnificent - follow it until you come into Hout Bay. In Hout Bay follow the signs left to the harbour.

If possible, take the boat from the Harbour for the short trip to see the seals on Duiker Island. Upon leaving the harbour turn right and follow Victoria Road (M6) straight up the hill ('Suikerbossie') and all the way over the neck. You will see the beautiful suburb of Llandudno down to the left - this is worth visiting. Follow the magnificent coast road passing through the suburbs of Camps Bay, Clifton and Bantry Bay and along the Sea Point Beach Road until you reach Cape Town.

Option 2 If Chapman's Peak drive is closed take the following detour: carry on straight and climb up over Ou Kaapse Weg (M64). You will have wonderful views from the top. At the bottom of the pass there is a T junction, turn right. When you come to the freeway turn left onto the M3 toward Cape Town. If time is against you you may wish to carry on back to Cape Town (roughly half an hour's journey). To get to Hout Bay to rejoin the full tour turn off the freeway onto Ladies Mile. Turn left once you are off the freeway and you will now be on familiar territory - up Ladies Mile extension and left onto the Constantia Nek road (M41) to climb up to Constantia Nek. At the neck go straight over the circle and down into Hout Bay. Carry on all the way down and follow the signs directing you to the harbour. Then continue as above.

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