A Guide to Chapman’s Peak Drive

Last Updated on May 22, 2024 by thecapetownblog

Did you know that Cape Town is home to one of the most beautiful drives in the world?

I mean, it makes sense given how stunning the city is, but the first time I drove along Chapman’s Peak Drive, it took my breath away! It’s a short but stunning stretch of road that winds along the rocky red cliffs of Chapman’s Peak, while overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, and it’s bookended by the stunning coastal suburbs of Hout Bay and Noordhoek. 

In my opinion, driving along Chapman’s Peak is one of the very best things to do in Cape Town. It’s cheap, easy, and the payoff is huge. So without further ado, I’ve written a complete guide containing all of the need-to-know details to help you plan your drive.

About Chapman’s Peak Drive

Chapman’s Peak Drive is a toll road, since the route requires a lot of maintenance but trust me, it’s worth the small fee. I mean, if Mercedes Benz shot a commercial here, then you know it’s got to be beautiful! 

The road is 9 kilometers (5.6 miles) long, but you’ll need to take it slow as there are 114 curves in the road! Oh, yeah, and there’s a sheer drop right down to the ocean on the western side. I always drive carefully along here, but there’s no need to be scared. 

The drive begins in Hout Bay and ends in Noordhoek, both of which are home to beautiful beaches and some really fun things to do (but more on that later). The toll booth is on the Hout Bay end of the road. I highly recommend pulling over and snapping some photos at Hout Bay! 

Renting a Car in Cape Town

Naturally, you will need a car in order to be able to drive Chapman’s Peak on your own. I’ve actually got a full guide to renting a car in Cape Town, but it’s pretty simple, really. I always use Discover Cars as it’s easy to find affordable prices and reputable suppliers on their platform, and I’ve had great experiences. However, if you don’t want to rent a car, this full day tour to Boulders Beach and the Cape of Good Hope also includes a scenic drive along Chapman’s Peak. 

How to Get to Chapman’s Peak Drive

It’s easiest to start in Hout Bay, as it’s closer to the city. Personally, I tend to head to the starting point in Hout Bay via Camps Bay, as this means I also get to enjoy the beautiful views on the drive along Victoria Road through Camps Bay and Hout Bay. 

How much does it cost to drive Chapman’s Peak?

At the time of writing, it costs R61 to drive Chapman’s Peak. The toll station is in Hout Bay and remember to keep your receipt if you’re planning on driving back the same way, otherwise you’ll have to pay again. It’s possible to pay with a card but I prefer to bring cash with me, as there’s not much signal out here and the card machine sometimes takes a while. Cash is just easier! 

How long does it take?

It takes about 25 minutes to drive along Chapman’s Peak without stopping. Even though it’s a short stretch of road, it’s quite narrow and there are lots of curves in the road, so taking it slow is a must! I usually allow about 40 minutes one-way, as it’s fun to stop and take photos at the many pullover points along the way. Closer to sunset, I’d recommend allowing about an hour, as it can get quite busy! 

When is the best time to drive Chapman’s Peak?

I love driving Chapman’s Peak on a bright, sunny day. The contrast of the red cliffs against the blue sky and ocean is just spectacular! However, it’s also a popular thing to do at sunset. 

The road does close when the weather’s bad, as there’s a risk of falling rocks from the mountain. I always check the status of the road online before I head out. 

Things to Do at Either End of Chapman’s Peak Drive

Chapman’s Peak is worth visiting in its own right, but I recommend making a day of it, as there are plenty of great things to do in both Hout Bay and Noordhoek. 

In Hout Bay, I had an amazing time with this seal snorkelling experience. I saw SO many seals and my guide, Clemon, taught me so much about their behaviour. I’m still mad that I lost my GoPro footage, but I think that’s just an excuse to go again! 

I also love getting fish and chips from Fish on the Rocks (you can take the girl out of England..) and if you don’t want to snorkel, you can also visit seal island on this cruise

Then, in Noordhoek, I had an incredible time horse riding on the beach. I booked through Horse Riding Cape Town and loved the hour-long ride through wetlands, a small lagoon, and along one of the most pristine beaches I have ever seen in my life! And for me, heading to the Aegir Project for a tasting flight is a road trip classic at this point. The burgers here are delicious, too, if you’d prefer that over fish and chips! 

Thanks so much for reading this blog post! Chapman’s Peak Drive is so stunning and it’s definitely a worthwhile thing to do in Cape Town. If you’d like to check out more posts about planning your trip to Cape Town, be sure to check out the following: 

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