Situated at the water’s edge of the Knysna Lagoon, this magnificent 6 Bedroom House, plus 3 sea-facing cottages, offers the very best location on the South African coastline.
So named by Portugal's King John II this area has captured the imagination of European sailors such as Dias who first named it the Cape of Storms in 1488 and later in 1580 Sir Francis Drake who called it the "The Fairest Cape in all the World".
We planned today was going to be a long day out to the Cape of Good Hope, some 65km away to the south of Cape Town. Although it was not far, there were plenty of things to check out along the way.
Our route took us down along the M6 towards Camps Bay. It was another stunning morning, and the ocean was sparkling as we headed along the coastal shore, passing by the Twelve Apostles towering above us. Much of this section of the coastline is rocky, with tiny little coves. It was so beautiful that we had to stop a couple of times to take some photos. The next coastal town we came across was Llandudno, which was nothing like its namesake in North Wales – for one thing, the sun was shining and secondly, the sea looked inviting!
After Llandudno the coast curves into a bay called Hout Bay, which is a lovely little coastal town surrounded by lush green mountains. What could be more perfect?
Leaving Hout Bay, we continued following the coastal road. The next section of road between Hout Bay and the small town of Noordhoek is a toll road, called Chapman Peak Drive, which is purportedly one of the most spectacular marine drives in the world.
The next section of road cuts right across the Cape Peninsula and eventually brings you into Simons Town, which is dominated by the naval shipyard, a not-so-attractive, but interesting facet of this part of the Cape coastline.
A few kilometres beyond Simons Town is Boulders Beach home to a large colony of African penguins.
From Boulders Beach we carried on South to the Cape of Good Hope.
The Cape of Good Hope is a rocky promontory at the southern end of Cape Peninsula, Western Cape province, South Africa. The first European to sight the cape was Portuguese navigator Bartolomeu Dias in 1488 on his return voyage to Portugal after ascertaining the southern limits of the African continent. One historical account says that Dias named the promontory Cape of Storms and that John II of Portugal renamed it Cape of Good Hope (because its discovery was a good omen that India could be reached by sea from Europe); other sources attribute its present name to Dias himself. The waters here are legendary, due to the frequent storms that pass through and the meeting of the cold water from the Atlantic Ocean and the warm water from the Indian Ocean. There are 26 recorded shipwrecks around this part of the coast, some of which can still be seen.
The Cape of Good Hope sits within a National Park, so we had to pay our entry fee to go in. You could probably park outside and walk in, but it is a long walk to get to the shoreline from the entrance.
The land approaching the Cape of Good Hope is a perfect example of fynbos, a natural shrubland typical of the Western Cape. In the spring this is full of beautiful flowers. En route, we did a slight detour to see a monument to Bartholomew Dias, the Portuguese explorer, who was the first European to round the Horn of Africa. There was not a lot to see, and it was sadly littered with garbage from visitors, so we didn’t stay long apart from admiring the view and taking a photo!
We made our way to the main parking lot for the trails of Cape Point. After parking, we decided to go and check out the old lighthouse. The Flying Dutchman Funicular was not working when we arrived, so our only option was to walk up to the old lighthouse.
It’s quite a climb as they placed it on the highest point of this last part of the peninsula. The old lighthouse was first lit in 1860 but soon they discover that unfortunately, it wasn’t always visible for ships due to low-hanging clouds. The views along the way were magnificent, but nothing compared to the views from the top, looking down on the waves crashing on the rocks below. Absolutely stunning – and we were luckily blessed by a perfect day! 700m away from the old lighthouse along this outcrop is the new lighthouse, which is located lower down, thinking that it would be less likely to be shrouded in clouds.
After admiring the views and taking many photos we headed back down to the car park. By this time the funicular was working, but we’d already done all the hard work coming up, so we walked back down.
From the car park, there is a trail that leads out to Cape Point. The trail is a mix of rock, gravel and boardwalks and is quite easy. There are some parts with a drop off the trail, which was not great for my vertigo, so I spent a lot of time leaning inwards away from the drops. At the end of the trail, there is a climb up to a rocky crag which marks Cape Point. It is not the end of the cape exactly, as there is a beach below, which you can climb down to if you really want to get to the furthest point. You can also get to the beach by driving, and there is a car park right on the beach. We did neither, instead, we retraced our steps along the trail, soaking in the spectacular scenery in the late-day sun.
From the Cape of Good Hope, we headed back to Cape Town, but along the eastern side of the Cape. There was one place I wanted to check out, a seaside town by the name of Muizenberg.
About the Cape of Good Hope
The Cape of Good Hope is a rocky headland on the Atlantic coast of the Cape Peninsula in South Africa.
A common misconception is that the Cape of Good Hope is the southern tip of Africa, based on the misbelief that the Cape was the dividing point between the Atlantic and Indian oceans. In fact, the southernmost point of Africa is Cape Agulhas about 150 kilometres (90 mi) to the east-southeast. The currents of the two oceans meet at the point where the warm-water Agulhas current meets the cold-water Benguela current and turns back on itself. That oceanic meeting point fluctuates between Cape Agulhas and Cape Point (about 1.2 kilometres (0.75 mi) east of the Cape of Good Hope.
Planning your visit to Cape of Good Hope
Take the M4, Simon’s Town and Miller’s Point, on the M64 and 65 via Ou Kaapse Weg, Sun Valley, Kommetjie and Scarborough.
The M6 via Chapman’s Peak is currently open but it is sometimes temporarily closed for repairs after heavy rains. There is signage on the road some distance before Chapman’s Peak, which tells you whether it is open or closed.
Best time to visit Cape Town
The best times to visit Cape Town are from March to May and from September to November. These shoulder seasons boast enviable weather, fewer crowds, and lower prices. When planning your trip, it’s important to note that the seasons here are reversed: South Africa’s summer corresponds with America’s winter, and vice versa. That said, Cape Town’s summer is the most popular (and most expensive) time to visit. Hotels and attractions are usually overflowing with travellers. Meanwhile, the Mother City clears out between June and August when chilly weather and frequent rainfall put a damper on tourist activities.
Other places to visit while in Cape Town
1. VICTORIA & ALFRED WATERFRONT
The V&A Waterfront is an iconic 123-hectare neighbourhood which welcomes millions of people from all over the continent and world. We celebrate heritage & diversity, champion art & design, support entrepreneurship & innovation & drive positive social, economic & environment.
2. ROBBEN ISLAND
Robben Island was used at various times between the 17th and 20th centuries as a prison, a hospital for socially unacceptable groups and a military base. Its buildings, particularly those of the late 20th century such as the maximum security prison for political prisoners, witness the triumph of democracy and freedom over oppression and racism.
The Bo-Kaap is an area of Cape Town, South Africa formerly known as the Malay Quarter. It is a former racially segregated area, situated on the slopes of Signal Hill above the city centre and is a historical centre of Cape Malay culture in Cape Town.
4. KIRSTENBOSCH BOTANICAL GARDENS
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden is acclaimed as one of the great botanic gardens of the world. Few gardens can match the sheer grandeur of the setting of Kirstenbosch, against the eastern slopes of Cape Town’s Table Mountain.
Where to stay Cape Town
1. LUXURY – ATLANTIC VIEW CAPE TOWN BOUTIQUE HOTEL
Atlanticview Cape Town is a privately owned intimate 5-Star Boutique Hotel. It’s perfectly located close to all the main tourist attractions, nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and Table Mountain in Fashionable Camps Bay, “The South African Corniche”, packed with world-class restaurants, bars and beaches. The hotel is accessible to the Beaches (2 min), Table Mountain (5 min) Down Town or V+A Waterfront shopping Centre (10 min) and Cape Town International Airport (20 min). The Cape of Good Hope, Penguin Colony and Cape Winelands are less than an hour away.
The hotel has commanding 180-degree magnificent views sweeping from the top of Table Mountain and The Twelve Apostles range that disappears into the sea. It is truly the perfect place to holiday, honeymoon or simply take a break for a romantic weekend. This beautiful property is situated alongside a greenbelt/nature reserve in very quiet surroundings. It is far enough from the noisy crowds of the promenade but close enough to enjoy the beaches, bars and restaurants with spectacular views in all directions.
2. MID RANGE – ANCHOR BAY GUEST HOUSE
Anchor Bay Guest House is nestled on the slopes of Table Mountain within walking distance from the famous restaurants and nightlife of Sea Point. Less than 3.5 km away is the CBD of Cape Town, Cape Town Stadium, and of course, the extraordinary V&A Waterfront – a world-famous working harbour with many speciality restaurants, shops, boutiques, boat cruises, ferries to Robben Island, an aquarium and much more.
3. UNIQUE – THE GRAND DADDY
The Mother City’s most original, convenient and fun place to stay! The luxurious Grand Daddy Boutique Hotel on Long Street bustles with energy.
As well as standard rooms the Grand Daddy has an airstream trailer park on its rooftop. The seven original Airstream trailers each have their own decor theme and collectively reflect a typical South African road trip. Authentic Airstream trailers are incredible works of craftsmanship and their classic shape is unforgettably iconic.
4. BUDGET – LONG STREET BACKPACKERS
Accurately described as “The Soul of Long Street” (Lonely Planet, 2011), this famous hostel is the epicentre of action on Cape Town’s most vibrant street. There are literally hundreds of eating, drinking and entertainment options right on the doorstep.
Sleeping up to 80 guests, this hostel features a lush internal courtyard that’s perfect for braais, ping-pong, chilling, and meeting fellow travellers. The iconic brick building also boasts two large, sun-drenched balconies, with views of Long Street and Signal Hill. There are dormitory-style accommodations, as well as single, twin, and double private rooms, all with shared bathrooms. There is a TV room with satellite TV, a pool table, a well-stocked communal kitchen, and fibre-speed WIFI.