Fifteen kilometres south of Cape Town, there’s a dazzling road, hacked perilously out of the side of a mountain. With sheer rock faces on one side, and the blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean 590 metres below, on the other, the Chapman’s Peak Drive is one of the most breathtaking stretches of road in the world.
Unfortunately, it’s not all just staggering beauty. Falling rocks resulted in four deaths and several serious injuries between 1998 – 2000, leading to the indefinite closure of the road. It was only at the end of 2003, after an intensive design and reconstruction, that Chapman’s Peak Drive was re-opened to the public as a toll road, and tourist destination.
Are we ever glad it did.
Overlooking Noordhoek and Hout Bay, the 9 kilometre drive was truly one of the most magnificent feats of engineering combined with natural beauty we’ve seen in the world. The 114 death-defying curves, bends and loops force you to drive relatively slowly, but it’s probably for the best, since you pretty much spend the entire ride, gawking out the windows of the car.
Drive Chapman’s Peak right before dusk, and you’ll be rewarded with a sensational view of the sun setting over Hout Bay.
Getting to Chapman’s Peak
From Cape Town, take the M6 and drive along the coast via Sea Point, Camps Bay and Llundudno to Hout Bay. Once you reach Hout Bay, continue with the M6 coastal road south. Follow the signs to Chapman’s Peak Drive.
The toll booth is on the Hout Bay side of the Chapman’s Peak Drive. Current toll rates are 36 Rand (almost $4)
We thought the drive well worth the toll price. We did it twice! 😀
Have you been on any spectacular drives? Share your experience with us in the comments.