Surrounded by mountains, gorgeous beaches and diverse flora and fauna, I do concur: Cape Town is home to one of the world’s most stunning settings. And its privileged location isn’t its only claim to fame. Where mountains meet the sea, the multi-ethnic Capetonians also enjoy a lively cultural scene. Colorful architecture, diverse restaurants and trendy boutiques (all with a unique ethnic flare) make this city worth a visit. But it’s what lies beyond the city limits that give this cosmopolitan melting pot its well-deserved pride.
We got ourselves some wheels and were now free to explore all the Cape area had to offer. Hemmed in by the Atlantic Ocean and False Bay, we soon discovered the Cape Peninsula Loop is one of the most stunning drives in the world. Just south of Cape Town, this area boasts magnificent scenery, quaint fishing villages, beautiful beaches and lovely vineyards, making it the place to uncover the real beauty of South Africa.
Our journey began just outside of Cape Town in sophisticated Camps Bay where Capetonians sip iced lattes under the shaded umbrellas of seaside cafes. Next up was the surfers’ paradise known as Llandudno Beach. The water along this particularly beautiful stretch of sand are renowned for having some of the best surfing in the area. Although we didn’t try our luck on riding the waves, admiring the perfect swells and sinking our toes in the soft-sand made this an idyllic pit stop.
As the drive continued so did the coastal beauty. With each turn, the scenery grew more dramatic. Mountains became more precipitous and waters more blue. Each bay we passed could only be rivaled by the next. Soon we came upon Boulder Bay in Table Mountain National Park where hundreds of African penguins call home. Down at the beach we watched as penguins waddled by us, out of frigid waters to bask under the hot sun.
Our final stop for the day was the Cape of Good Hope. Also inside Table Mountain National Park, we learned this is a must-see for anyone visiting the area. The Cape makes up the tip of the most southwestern point of the African continent and the scenery here is really spectacular – definitely the culmination of our day and perhaps the most beautiful area in all of coastal South Africa. Here the Atlantic Ocean meets the Indian Ocean and a rocky peninsula jets out into water stretching as far as they eye can see. When not dodging baboons who frequent this area of the park, we took our time taking in the fantastic views.
In the distance, the mountainous coastal road that brought us here looked almost ethereal, as we stood on what felt like the edge of the world. It was one heck of a drive and was certainly the Cape experience we were after.