A Coastal Drive in Cape Town

Mikayla Tetreault University of Cape Town, South Africa


April 18, 2016

Driving along the coast is one of my favorite things to do. Being from Southern California, this is something that I used to do frequently at home. I didn't live too far from the beach and there is nothing that compares to blasting some music and driving along with the windows down and the ocean in sight. In fact, one of my favorite trips that I have ever taken was driving up Pacific Coast Highway from my hometown to San Francisco. It was beautiful, breathtaking, and one of my favorite memories. 

Another one of my favorite memories, which is more recent, is a trip that I took with two friends to visit some spots along the coast of the Western Cape. On this drive, we visited Kalk Bay, Hout Bay, and drove Chapman's Peak, which stretches from Noordhoek to Hout Bay, and is one of the most scenic drives along the Atlantic Coastline. First, we visited Kalk Bay, which had a cute, small beach town vibe. There was a harbor where you could see docked boats, as well as the seals the ventured up onto the docks, and there were plenty of street vendors selling everything from jewelry to art. There was also a plethora of little shops, ranging from expensive art galleries to artisan shops to stores that sold typical touristy items, like postcards, magnets, and key chains.

After we visited Kalk Bay, we headed towards the start of the Chapman's Peak drive. Luckily, we went almost two months ago when we were still in the midst of summer here in Cape Town, so the weather was perfect. It was a warm, sunny day with a nice breeze, perfect weather for a drive along Cape Town's picturesque coastline. Chapman's Peak Drive is a long windy road that has the mountains on one side and a cliff on the other so that the ocean is always in view. There were several places along that drive where we stopped to take pictures and one of those was above Noordhoek beach, which had some of the whitest sand I have ever seen.

After stopping for a few photo ops, we continued to our final destination, Hout Bay, which was at the end of Chapman's Peak Drive. We walked the entire length of the beach in Hout Bay before coming to the opposite end of it, where there were more shops and small beach restaurants. Though far from where I live, Hout Bay is a place that I love to visit and actually has one of my favorite weekend markets, Bay Harbour Market. On the way home, we drove back along the coast and got to see Camps Bay, which is my favorite beach area in Cape Town, as the sun was beginning to set.

The drive along those parts of the Western Cape's coastline was one of my favorite mini adventures that I have taken since coming to Cape Town and has now earned its spot next to PCH in California as one of the most scenic coastline drives that I have experienced. It's funny how I can be on the other side of the world, looking out at a different ocean, yet coastal drives like those always remind me of home.