48 Hours around Cape Town – Day 2

Yesterday I covered what you could do (and what we did do) around Cape Town in a single day.  Today, I’m following up with an itinerary for Day 2.

Day 2 – Itinerary

  • AM:                 Chapmans Peak Scenic Drive and Visit Penguins at Boulder’s Beach
  • Lunch:            The café near Boulder’s Beach
  • PM:                 Hike up to the lighthouse at Cape Point and take the funicular back down.
  • Late PM:        Head back to Airport via last paddle and a bite to eat in Camps Bay.
  • Evening:        Return to Jo’burg
  • Next Day:      Plan next trip to Cape Town

On day 2 we had an extra member joining our party.  Mr Incredible has a Great Aunt who lives close to Cape Town.  We picked her up en route and spent the day getting to know her as an added bonus to our sightseeing.

Chapman’s Peak Drive

This scenic stretch of coastline road is a treat.  The views are stunning, the drops are frightening.  I sometimes hum when I’m nervous. I wasn’t in charge of driving and thus hummed a lot on the way to Simons Town, much to Mr Incredible’s irritation/amusement.

One of the many beautiful view point along Chapman's Peak.
One of the many beautiful view points along Chapman’s Peak Drive.

The Penguins at Boulders Beach

Penguins in Africa?  Yes, penguins in Africa.  A colony settled at Boulders Beach on the Southern coast close to Simons Town.  They are endangered, but you can see them here in the wild from a specially built viewing platform.

We parked in the car park and saw this sign. IMG_5232 We were on the right track.  I also asked a lady in a rangers uniform which way to the penguins.  We followed her directions.

We then saw this penguin with an egg under a bush.  IMG_4307 2I felt we were getting close.  We were getting close, I could see through the trees that we were almost there.

At that point Mr I’s great aunt declared: “No, this is definitely not the right place.”

Me: (hissing discreetly to Mr I) “But I can SEE the penguins.  I asked the ranger lady which way to go.”    He shrugged, clearly not wanting to rock the boat.

Great Aunt:  “Yes, I’m sure we need to go the other way.”

Perhaps she was right we thought, she’s lived in the area for a long time.  So we trudged all the way back to the car park.  We walked through the car park and found a small sandy track taking us in the opposite direction.  The track became narrower, hemmed by hedges and rocky underfoot.  After a while we arrived at a nice little cove with some large boulders.  The kids were thrilled and started climbing. No penguins though.

Going the wrong way. Those boulder you can see were great fun to climb on though.
Going the wrong way. Those boulders you can see were great fun to climb on though.

Great Aunt: “Hmm, perhaps it was the other way after all”.

Prizing the kids away from their bouldering fun was tricky.  We then returned back along the narrow, little used path to the carpark.  Through the carpark (again).  Back onto the wooden walkways, past the Penguin and its egg (again), past the point where we had turned around.  Just metres further we reached the kiosk for the viewing platform and at last we got to see the penguins.  Hurrah!  IMG_4301 2

In terms of lunch, we were all quite hungry after our little detour (the kids were in fact reaching the feral out of control stage), so we plumped for the closest cafe we could find.  I think it was called the Boulders Beach cafe or similar, but I’m not 100%sure.  It was absolutely fine, but not quite special enough to remember what is was called or what we ate.

Cape Point National Park

After lunch our next excursion was to Cape Point.

Drive along a narrowing peninsula with fynbos vegetation either side of you.  Be sure to avoid the baboons.  Apparently, unlike the dassies we met on Table Mountain, the baboons really can be quite unfriendly.

Eventually you will reach a carpark. There’s a steepish path to Cape Point Light house.  It’s a reasonable walk, but before you decide to make excuses about not having the energy to walk and instead hop on the Flying Dutchman funicular which takes you most of the way up, take note that Mr Incredible’s Great Aunt walked with us from the car park to a bench at the top of the funicular.  She’s in her 80’s (and had already made a circuitous walk to see the penguins), we felt very privileged to have such a feisty and interesting Great Aunt to explore with.

Cape Point is touted as the place where the cold Atlantic meets the warmer Indian Ocean.  However, I understand that the meeting point migrates more or less between Cape Point (the most South Western point of Africa where we were) and Cape Aghulas, the southern most tip of the African continent.  Two Oceans meeting point or not, you wouldn’t want to take a dip down there.  It’s rocky and tempestuous.

When you get to the lighthouse, which is as far as you can go you will likely be buffeted by wind and sea mist.  But, as a tradeoff, you’ll be rewarded with lovely views on the way to and from the lighthouse.

Once we’d finished at Cape Point, we dropped Great Aunt home and then headed back to Camps Bay for a little bit of paddling and a bite to eat. I can’t remember where we ate, but it was nice and on the seafront.  I don’t think you can go too far wrong in Camps Bay.  We should have done more paddling and playing by the sea.

Obviously 2 days was nowhere near enough to enjoy all that Cape Town and surrounds has to offer, in fact we didn’t really spend any time IN Cape Town, which can only mean one thing….planning another trip!

IMG_4329
See what I mean about the sea mist?

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