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Chapman's Peak Drive, one of the most spectacular marine drives in the world

Staff Writer | January 18, 2019
Chapman’s Peak Drive on the Atlantic Coast between Hout Bay and Noordhoek in the Cape Peninsula is one of the most spectacular marine drives in the world, and is a must for anyone who is passionate about the majestic scenery of Cape Town.
Chapman's Peak Drive
South Africa   An entirely unforgettable driving experience
Initially constructed during the First World War, this 9km route with its 114 curves, skirts Chapman's Peak, the 593m high southerly extension of Constantia Berg, and follows the rocky coastline to unfold breathtaking views in both directions.

The route starts at the picturesque fishing harbour of Hout Bay and the climb winds steeply up to Chapman's Point, revealing breathtaking views of the sandy bays down below, until the road reaches lower levels again at Noordhoek.

Expect to be wowed by both the engineering marvels and natural beauty alike, as towering cliff faces, majestic ocean views and heart-in-mouth twists and turns make this an entirely unforgettable driving experience.

From stunning vantage points it is not uncommon to see whales and dolphins frolicking in the ocean below, and baboon troops curiously observing passing tourists. This is a perfect place from which to take stunning photographs of the Cape.

There are also some incredible picnic and lookout spots to enjoy, particularly if you wish to savour this paid experience a little while longer.

The maximum speed limit is 40km/h and don’t stop on the yellow lines as the narrow roads can be dangerous otherwise. So, stick to the rules, they are there for good reason.

Thirty years ago‚ Christopher White survived what became known as South Africa’s most famous road accident when his car plunged off Chapman’s Peak Drive in Cape Town onto the rocks 100m below.

Two years after the 1988 accident‚ Mercedes featured it in a commercial making the point that there were two reasons the East London man survived - he was wearing his seatbelt and he was in a Mercedes-Benz.

To re-created his fateful journey behind the wheel of another Mercedes, Mercedes-Benz put White in its most technologically advanced vehicle as part of a 5min 39sec commercial commemorating his accident.

The German car maker’s biggest rival‚ BMW‚ went on to make its own ad on Chapman’s Peak Drive pointing out that if he’d been driving one of its vehicles he wouldn’t have skidded off the road in the first place.

If you venture far enough along Chapman’s Peak Drive (and we recommend that you do), you will have to pay a minimal fee about R40 ($2.9) per vehicle to enjoy it.

Chapman's Peak Drive is open every day of the year except when severe weather conditions persist, so just check in advance to make sure. It is certainly worth the trip.

Over Easter, the world’s most scenic ultra-marathon, the Two Oceans Marathon, takes place in Cape Town, including a section along Chapman’s Peak Drive.