Southern Peninsula

The Cape Peninsula is rocky outcrop that reaches into the icy waters of the Atlantic Ocean like a giant curved finger. At its southernmost point lies the Cape of Good Hope, so called because of the optimism it gave to early trading seafarers rounding the tip of Africa en route between Europe and the Far East.

The south peninsula is best known for Cape Point Nature Reserve - the most south western corner of the continent.

Geographically speaking, the Cape Peninsula actually starts in Mouille Point near the city center of Cape Town, therefore encompassing the Atlantic Seaboard, with the Table Mountain range running the length of the 52km-long outcrop. Ask any local however and they’ll point you instead to the tip of the peninsula between Hout Bay and Simons Town, commonly known as the South Peninsula.

The South Peninsula is best known for Cape Point Nature Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site within the southern section of the Table Mountain National Park. The 77,5km2 reserve contains dramatic scenery of the Atlantic coastline, a number of pristine footprint-free beaches, several hiking trails and two lighthouses with incredible views of the peninsula’s southernmost point. You might even spot some game here – keep an eye out for zebra, eland, bontebok and ostrich.

The Cape fur seals have made Boulder's Beach their home.

The small-town feel of Noordhoek, Kommetjie and Scarborough on the western side of the peninsula is favoured by visitors who want to escape the busy suburbs and popular beaches of the city, while surfers are equally fond of the less crowded surfing conditions.

On the eastern side of the peninsula lies Simon’s Town, a historical maritime town and headquarters of the South African Navy. The town is steeped in centuries-old naval history and the picturesque St George’s Street is lined with preserved Dutch-style buildings now home to boutiques, eateries, antique shops and coffee shops.

Horse riding on Noordhoek beach is an incredibly serene experience.

The most famous attraction in Simon’s Town is the African penguin colony who call Boulder’s Beach their home. The beach is part of the national parks network and visitors can view the penguins from an elevated platform, or better yet, swim alongside them at the adjacent Foxy Beach.

Highlights

One of the breathtaking vistas from a stopover on Chapmans Peak Drive.

• During whale season from June to November, it is possible to spot migrating Humpback, Southern Right and Bryde’s whales rounding Cape Point. These gentle giants can also be spotted from elevated coastal vantage points like Boyes Drive and Chapmans Peak and Clarens Drive. For an up close and personal experience, boat trips are on offer from Simon’s Town harbour.

• Chapmans Peak Drive on the western side of the Southern Peninsula sits right at the top of South Africa’s most scenic coastal drives. The pass in itself is a feat of engineering and the views will leave you breathless.

• Boulders Beach in Simons Town is a protected coastal habitat for a resident penguin colony and one of the only places in the world where you can get close to African penguins. Swimming alongside these unique sea creatures is certainly a bucket list experience!

Travel tips

• Cape Point is about 70km from the center of Cape Town and there is no public transport connection, so you’ll need to take a bus, taxi or self-drive to get there. The drive itself takes about an hour and a half. It is a great self-drive destination and a spectacular scenic drive that is best undertaken as a day trip. If you head out early, you can also visit some of the nearby coastal towns such as Hout Bay, Simon’s Town and Kalk Bay.

• If you prefer not to self-drive, there are numerous sightseeing bus companies and private tour operators that offer half and full day sightseeing tours to the tip of the peninsula and its surrounding towns and points of interest.


Popular Cape Town Safaris

These popular itineraries can be customised to match your budget and travel dates

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Deluxe Honeymoon Safari in Cape Town, Kruger and Victoria Falls (10 days)

Combine three of Southern Africa's most loved destinations into one romantic getaway and you'll share the memories forever...

 | Luxurious South Africa and Zambia Honeymoon Safari (10 days)

South Africa and Zambia honeymoon

Explore the romantic Atlantic Ocean with it's multi-cultural heritage and a Big Five safari in the Sabi Sands, finally ending off at Victoria Falls from the Zambian side...

Exterior view of Ngala Tented Camp | Delightful Cape Town and Kruger Luxury Safari (12 days)

Delightful Cape Town and Kruger Luxury Safari (12 days)

Combine Cape Town and the surrounding Cape Winelands with a safari in the Kruger National Park for a relaxing and exhilarating South African safari...

 | Journey through the Highlights of Southern Africa (13 days)

Journey through the Highlights of Southern Africa (13 days)

Exploring these areas of the Southern African continent should on top of your bucket list...

 | Nature, Romance and Exclusivity - A Complete African Honeymoon (14 days)

Nature, Romance and Exclusivity - A Complete African Honeymoon (14 days)

This exclusive African honeymoon through East and Southern Africa is the perfect way to celebrate the start of your new journey together...

 | South African Bush and Beach Journey (10 days)

South African Bush and Beach Journey (10 days)

Explore the magic of Cape Town followed by the Scenic Garden Route and finally the Big Five members at the Kruger National Park...

 | South African Holiday Adventure (10 days)

South African Holiday Adventure (10 days)

Explore the southern-most city on the African continent, before jetting off to spot the Big Five...

 | Cape Town and Kruger Family Safari (8 days)

Cape Town and Kruger Family Safari (8 days)

Combine the best that Cape Town and the Kruger National Park have to offer – beach and bush – for the ideal family holiday...

Stunning view from the Rovos Rail | The Ultimate Luxury Safari in South Africa (11 days)

The Ultimate Luxury Safari in South Africa (11 days)

Combine Cape Town chic with Africa's most luxurious train and an elegant Big Five safari for a stylish South African holiday...

 | Cape Town to Kruger Luxury Holiday (8 days)

Cape Town to Kruger Luxury Holiday (8 days)

Explore two of South Africa's most desirable locations in this whirlwind safari tour...

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