A great trip around Table Mountain with amazing views, climbing Chapmans Peak and hiking around Silvermine Reservoir.
Summary of Trip
This circular driving route is roughly 70 km with a driving time of 1hr30. With stops for views, lunch and hikes, this is a full days trip. We drove anti-clockwise around the mountain, heading towards Noordhoek along the spectacular Chapmans Peak Drive where we stopped to hike up Chapmans Peak. This was followed by lunch in Noordhoek, a visit to the wild, desolate beach, and a hike around Silvermine Dam Amphitheatre before we returned to Cape Town.
Driving from Cape Town
The drive starts in Cape Town and first you drive along the edge of the beautiful cliffs from Camps Bay to Hout Bay. You reach a great lookout over Llandudno Beach, with Little Lions Head in the background.
Optional Extensions to add to a Day Trip around Table Mountain
- Hiking up Little Lions Head. It’s a short but slightly tricky hike with super great views. We did this on a separate occasion but you could include this hike here if you have time. It takes 1-1.5 hours.
- After Silvermine, instead of driving straight back you could visit Muizenberg to see the beach and the colourful beach huts.
- On the way back, there are many great dinner options at the wine farms of Constantia, or try La Belle Constantia, a lovely restaurant in a historic building not far from the highway.
Chapman’s Peak Drive
After passing Hout Bay you reach the start of Chapman’s Peak Drive. This is a spectacular drive and one of the top things to do near Cape Town. There is a toll on this road of R54 for a normal car. If you only want to go to the start of our Chapmans Peak Hike and return the same way (i.e. not continue to Noordhoek), then you can get a free ‘Day Pass’ instead. If you are paying the toll, the road is open all the time except in very bad weather – i.e. if it is extremely windy or rainy. However, if you get the free ‘Day Pass’ hours are Oct-Mar 06hr-20hr, Apr-Sep 07hr-18hr30.
The views are beautiful as you drive along, and there are a few points to stop and get out of the car. It’s best to drive slowly and have the passenger take photos out of the window.
Geology of Chapmans Peak Drive
Driving along Champans Peak Drive, you will see lots of rocks! There are chunky layers of yellow sandstone (called Table Mountain Sandstone) separated by reddy-brown thinner layers of mudstone.
Halfway along the drive, we stopped at the car park for the Chapmans Peak Hike, a 1.5-2 hour hike up a mountain to get great views down over Hout Bay.
After this hike, we continued driving along the spectacular road. Soon the road rounds a corner and Noordhoek Beach lays spread out before you.
By this time we were hungry, so searched for restaurants and went to The Red Herring Restaurant in Noordhoek. We both had pizza, and it was ok but not amazing. A highlight was the nice deck to sit outside on. It became cloudier and cold, though the restaurant staff provided us with cosy blankets so it was fine.
Afternoon of our Trip around Table Mountain
After lunch we headed to Noordhoek beach, super different from any of the beaches nearer Cape Town – it seemed very wild and windswept, and wonderfully beautiful with the cliffs crashing down into the ocean, with soft white sand below.
After walking along the beach for a while, we drove to Silvermine and went on the Silvermine Dam Amphitheatre Hike which took us 2hr30. There is a fee to enter Silvermine area – see our hike report for details. If you don’t want to hike, it’s a lovely place to just sit by the reservoir and relax or go for a swim.
After this hike we returned home to Cape Town. It took roughly half an hour to drive back, mostly on the M3 highway. A great day out!
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