On our last day in Cape Town, we picked up a rental car to continue our trip through South Africa with. But not before we'd go on a little Cape of Good Hope tour. I'd planned for us to drive from Cape Town to Cape of Good Hope within the Cape Point Nature Reserve and back, making a few stops along the way.
- Full-day small group tour of Cape Point, including penguin spotting
- Full-day Cape Point Instagram tour in small group
- Full-day electric bike tour of Cape of Good Hope, including a visit to the penguins
- Full-day private tour of Cape Point
- Half-day Cape Peninsula tour
And if you really want to do something unique, consider this helicopter fight over Cape Point.
Driving the Cape of Good Hope tour from Cape Town
There are two ways to drive from Cape Town to Cape Point. You can either take the M3 from the city center onto the M64 through the mountains and then head onto the M4 along the coast, or take the M5 from the city center and then head onto the M4 as soon as you reach the coast.
I highly suggest you do the latter, as the road along the coast offers some great views and takes you through Muizenberg.
Muizenberg beach is known for its good waves, surf shops, and its colorful beach houses. It's also a nice place to go for a long stroll.
There's a big free (but there's a security person you should tip) parking lot at Beach Road, from where it's just a minute's walk to the beach. We took some photos of the beach houses and then walked toward on a bit until we came across this shark sign.
Apparently, shark sightings do occur in the area and Muizenberg even has its own Shark Spotters. I looked into the Shark Spotting Program after and learned that it's a non-profit that “pro-actively reduces interactions and conflict between recreational water users and white sharks” (from SharkSpotters.org).
No sharks that day it seemed, as kids headed into the water to practice their surfing skills.
From Muizenberg, we drove on to the penguin colony at Boulders Beach in Simon's Town. We skipped the town itself as we'd already been there when we went on a whale watching boat trip two days earlier.
Because there's quite a bit to say about Boulders Beach, I dedicated a separate post to it. Read all about the penguins at Boulders Beach here.
Cape Point Nature Reserve
From Boulders Beach, we drove straight on until we got to the Cape Point National Park entrance. The data connection here clearly wasn't all that and it took a while for the machine to process our payment, but after a few minutes, we got in.
Along with our receipt, we'd gotten a map with the Cape Point route and sights on it. Although you really can't get lost inside the Cape Point park, the map is useful as it tells you what you can see where and helps you make sure you see everything there is to see.
There is basically one big road that runs from the Cape Point entrance all the way down to Cape Point, with side tracks leading to viewing points and beaches along the way.
There are quite a few Cape Point walks you can do as well, but then you really should stay in the park or at least take a full day to visit the park and as it's pretty big, you probably won't get to see everything when you go hiking.
While we saw some spectacular landscapes, I also have to say it isn't a place I'd go hiking in. The in-land is pretty much the same throughout. It's the views from the beaches and the cliffs that are spectacular.
The three main sites at the Cape Point National Park are, obviously, Cape Point, the Cape Point Lighthouse and the Cape of Good Hoop.
There's a large parking lot at the bottom of the trail that leads up to the Cape Point Lighthouse and when we got there, we saw plenty of baboons.
We'd see plenty more baboons later on our trip, but they were never as cheeky as the ones at Cape Point. The Cape Point baboons were clearly used to seeing people and they even went so far as to have a look inside cars to see if there wasn't any food to snatch.
At one point, we saw this baboon biting open a can of Cola that he'd probably stolen from someone's backpack. The sweetness splashed over his face before he finished the thing in one sitting.
So tip: hide your food!
The Cape Point lighthouse walk up is not that long, but it's quite strenuous. If you're not in great shape or are feeling a bit lazy, you can always take the Cape Point funicular up to the lighthouse. It costs R50/R20 for an adult/children and seniors to go on the three-minute ride one-way and R65/R25 for a return ticket.
Once you're up at the lighthouse, you can clearly see Cape Point, the tip of which is located behind the lighthouse at the edge of the peninsula.
While we did see a hiking trail that lead to the point, we didn't see any people there and we couldn't get to it from where we were at the lighthouse either, so I'm guessing you need to follow another route if you want to get there on foot.
Upon returning from the lighthouse, we drove to the Cape of Good Hope. If you want to hike, there is also a trail that runs from Cape Point to Cape of Good Hope. It starts at the Cape Point parking lot and runs away from the lighthouse, along Días Beach to Cape of Good Hope.
We got to the famous Cape of Good Hope sign just a little too late, arriving right behind a bus full of tourists. By the time we got out of the car, they'd all lined up to have their picture taken with the sign. One by one.
So instead of having my photo taken with the sign, I decided to take a photo of the line :D
Good to know:
Cape of Good Hope is the most southwestern point of the African continent, not the southernmost point. That can be found at the Agulhas National Park. Agulhas, also in South Africa is also the official place where two oceans meet: the Atlantic and the Indian Ocean.
As it would get dark soon, we decided to head back after having seen the Cape of Good Hope. We'd stopped at almost all the viewing points in the park and as the one we hadn't seen was a bit out of the way, we agreed to skip it.
Practical information on visiting Cape Point
Cape Point entrance fee
Check the website for the up-to-date Cape Point entry fee. There are different Cape Point prices for adults and kids.
It's also best to check the website for up-to-date opening hours for both Cape Point as a whole and for the Flying Dutchman Funicular and the lighthouse.
Accommodation at Cape Point
Within the boundaries of the park, there are the Olifantsbos Guesthouse and the Eland and Duiker Cottages. There's also a Cape Point campground called Smitswinkel. It's located right outside the main entry gate. Cape Point fees are not included in the camping fees.
Getting to Cape Point: by yourself or with a tour
The easiest way to get to Cape Point is by driving there yourself. It's a super easy drive and you can easily use Google Maps to show you the way. Download a map of the area to use it offline if you don't want to use your data.
If you're not comfortable driving or for some reason can't rent a car, there are organized Cape Point tours from Cape Town.
This Cape Point full day tour gets good reviews.
If you'd rather have a private guide, this Cape of Good Hope private tour gets good reviews as well.
Other stops at the Cape Peninsula
Because the distance from Cape Town to Cape Point isn't that big, I'd actually planned more for us to do on our Cape Point day trip. We left the city a bit later than planned though and we really took our time at the places we stopped at while driving from Cape Town to Cape Point.
That meant that it already started getting dark when we started the drive back from Cape Point to Cape Town and so we decided to just go straight back to our hotel.
The other places we'd planned on stopping at were:
- Kommetjie Beach
- Noordhoek Beach
- Hout Bay Harbour
- Camps Bay
I'd also planned for us to do the Chapman's Peak Drive but have to admit that as we decided to head back to the hotel, I just wanted to get back. It had been a great day but I'd spent enough time in the car. Besides, it was after sunset by the time we got to the start of the drive.
If you do want to do Chapman's Peak, be sure to check if it's open. Later on our trip, I happened to come across a news message that said the road had been closed off due to bad weather conditions, so that can happen.
Renting a car in South Africa
As we knew we'd spend our first few days in Cape Town, we only rented a car on our last day in the city. That way, we could use it for our Cape Point drive and then for the rest of our road trip.
I'd always wanted to try Sunny Cars as they have this all-in-one concept where your car rental includes
- all necessary insurance
- unlimited mileage
- local taxes
- airport charges when applicable
- free changes to your booking
They also don't charge any booking fees, so you can be sure that whatever the price you find during your research, is the price you end up paying.
I got in touch with them and after explaining I liked their concept, Sunny Cars was kind enough to work with us for this trip. They provided us with a voucher so we could experience the whole booking process for ourselves.
We ended up booking a Compact car for less than €400 for 13 days. This included an extra driver, Express Service and pick-up in the city center but drop-off at the airport.
Making the booking was easy and when I emailed Sunny Cars a few days later because I wanted to change our pick-up time, that was arranged for us without any issues or extra charges as well.
We only had a bit of trouble with the Express Service, but that was on the local rental partner rather than on Sunny Cars. With the Express Service, you can fill out all of your details online so that you just need to sign the contract when you go and pick up the car at the local rental site. When we arrived, though, we still had to fill in a form. I told Sunny Cars about this and they immediately looked into it.
In cases like this, I feel that something can always happen and what matters is how a company deals with it. In this case, we just had to fill in an extra form and as Sunny Cars immediately looked into the problem, I'm happy with how things went.
Where to stay in Cape Town?
We spent three nights at an Airbnb in Green Point and two nights at boutique hotel Blackheath Lodge. You can find information about prices and availability at Blackheath Lodge here.
Don't forget travel insurance
Plan for the best, prepare for the worst. Travel insurance has you covered in case (part of) your trip gets canceled, you get sick or hurt abroad, and sometimes even when your electronics break or get stolen. I always make sure I'm covered every trip I go on.
Don't have travel insurance yet? Check out SafetyWing. They offer super flexible plans that you can even sign up for while you're already on your trip. On top of that, they were the first travel insurance to cover COVID, and when I got COVID, they reimbursed all of my expenses without making a fuss. Their customer support team is great and I can personally recommend them.
PIN FOR LATER
We were offered a rental car voucher for this trip by Sunny Cars.