Scenic Drive to Cape Town

Panorama of False Bay

Panorama of False Bay

On Sunday our friends Paul and Gina of s/v Solace invited us to a scenic drive up the coast towards Cape Town in their rental car. The destination was ultimately Signal Hill, with stops planned along the way including lunch at Hout Bay. The weather was gorgeous, with clear sunny skies and it wasn’t too windy along the shore. We stopped many times along the way for scenic views over False Bay, the coastline, Long Beach, the lighthouse, the scenic overlook of Hout Bay on Chapman’s Drive, and more. Chapman’s Drive is carved out of the rocky cliffs and at one point goes under part of the rock with large man-made buttresses holding up the cliff above the road. The photo here is a panorama of False Bay with the marina and Navy base on the right.

Hout Bay

Hout Bay

At the scenic overlook of Hout Bay, I took the first 360 panorama. This overlook is really beautiful – you can see “The Sentinels” (huge rocky hills west of Hout Bay), the rugged coastline, and the entire Hout Bay. The photo here shows Hout Bay from the lookout.

Next we drove through Hout Bay to the Bay Market which has arts and crafts and lots of eateries. We went over to the fisherman wharf side later and found a fish restaurant for lunch and enjoyed the beach view while eating.

Cape Town and Table Mountain

Cape Town and Table Mountain

We continued to enjoy the views north along the coast as we approached the south side of Table Mountain and Lions Head. We went to the Lions Head and Signal Hill road where we got our first view of Cape Town and a proper view of Table Mountain as well. We then drove on up to Signal Hill for wider views of the area. The picture here shows a panorama of Cape Town and Table Mountain from the road.

Lions Head lookin south

Lions Head lookin south

Gina and I were itching to hike to the top of Lions Head (our trail is from lower center going up to the right). A 2+ hour walk up and back with some climbing required. Paul and Karen both have trouble with climbing, so they kindly offered to wait for us in the car. Lions Head is almost as tall as Table Mountain, but with spectacular views of the city and coastline as well as Table Mountain. Gina later said the views were better than Table Mountain. We took the trail from the ridge towards Signal Hill and through the NW side of Lions Head which recently had a fire. We took a lot of photos on the way up.

After a short break on the shady side, we began the final stage which involved some climbing – but they have ladders, handles and chains available for safety. We were pretty tired by the time we reached the very top, but were so excited by the views we were distracted. I immediately climbed a pedestal rock that is the highest point and took the first of several 360 panoramas from there. The photo below is one of the better wide-angle panoramas. We spent a while taking photos in every direction and enjoying the views. But, soon left to begin the hike down to return to our spouses.

Cape Town wide-angle

Cape Town wide-angle

After our faster walk back downhill, we started in the car back towards Simons Town. We took a slightly more direct path back with fewer scenic views and were back in time for happy hour at the yacht club. A fantastic day!

Check out a small sample of the many awesome photos we took during the day. Later I will post links to the six 360 panoramas. It took two days to process the photos, which is why this post didn’t go out sooner. You can definitey see why Cape Town is a very popular place to visit!


View full-sized slideshow

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