The tour starts from the first pick up, even though all the passengers are not on board. The guide gives running commentary on the drive to collect passengers. After our pick up, we collected passengers at The Radisson Blu Hotel, the Protea Hotel President and the Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa.
The journey started at Granger Bay all along the beach road into Sea Point then making our way to Victoria road on entering the Camps Bay region. The scenery is magnificent with beach and mountains with the sun breaking through the clouds. Once all the passengers were aboard the bus the tour officially started, with the guide explaining the history of the areas. I am not a history buff and I hated having to learn it at school, but even I was fascinated by what was being said. The guide was clued up on the areas and answered questions as they arose.
As our journey along the Cape Peninsula continued, we entered Hout Bay for a stop at the harbour. To our surprise we boarded a boat bound for Seal Island. I don’t have a sensitive stomach, but the rough seas nearly got the better of me, add in a chilly wind and you have an exciting journey. There were a few harrowing moments when I envisioned a wave capsizing the boat. It felt like I was starring opposite George Clooney in the movie A Perfect Storm.
We arrived at Seal Island a little worse for wear still standing partially upright. It was amazing to see the amount of seals all just relaxing in the sun…that is the life. On arrival back at the dock we were given 10 – 15 minutes to purchase curios from the local vendors. After the allotted time everyone boarded the bus and we continued on our journey towards Noordhoek, travelling over Chapman’s Peak Mountain, with a spectacular view of Hout Bay. Chapman’s Peak is approximately 10kms long and has a toll at the end. The funds from the toll are used for the preservation and upkeep of Chapmans peak. We passed through Noordhoek and an area called Ocean View which has absolutely no ocean view. Ocean View is one of many reminders of the old South Africa when we were still in the heart of the Apartheid era and the people of non white descent were displaced from their homes to areas designated by the government.
We continued along the peninsula we head toward Cape Point, the most westerly point of Africa, with a stop at the Cape of Good Hope. We took a few pictures at the Cape of Good Hope and headed to Cape Point. The driver dropped us at the bottom of the cliff with the option of hiking to the old lighthouse or taking the funicular, the funicular does not go right to the lighthouse, and there is still some walking to be done before you reach the lighthouse. We opted for a hike, although not the most strenuous climb, it really got the heart rate going. I have to be honest and admit I am not the fittest person around, but I made it to the top, after many breaks to catch my breath (thinking each breath was my last one….note to self start exercising). The wind didn’t help the pace of my climb, I felt like I was taking 5 steps back for every step forward. The destination was worth the near “death” climb. The view was breathtaking and wind was even stronger at the lighthouse, but still worth the walk. After taking more pictures we made our way down the cliff for much needed sustenance. You are given the option of a sit down meal at the Two Oceans Restaurant or a take away meal at the café. The meals at the restaurant are predominantly seafood and pizza at the café. The café doesn’t have a sit down option so you would need to eat outside (bearing in mind the area is known for baboons who are attracted to food) or you can sit in the bus and have your meal.
After lunch we set off to Simons Town, home of the Naval Base. The town is well known for its history and Naval Festivals. We continue towards Boulders famously known for the jackass penguins. Like the seals they live a life of leisure lazing the day away. More pictures were taken and at this stage I’m starting to feel like a professional photographer.
We leave Boulders and the little birds in their tuxedos and followed the scenic route via Fish Hoek and the Kalk bay region. We all started feeling the effects of the day, whether it was the early morning start or all the fresh air, it seemed like we were all ready for a siesta. Everyone was quiet and taking in the scenery when the guide spotted a shape in the water. We made an unscheduled stop on Boyes Drive to view two whales frolicking in the water. Once everyone had their fill we boarded the bus and continued to Cape Town passing the Tokai/Steenberg Estate area, which is part of the Constantia Wine Route.
We were dropped off at our respective hotels at the end of the tour and I am sure everyone went home to entertain their families with descriptions of the beauty of the Cape Peninsula, I know I did.
All in all it was a fantastic tour signifying the beauty and history of the towns surrounding Cape Town (aka The Mother City…..the first city “born”) and I would highly recommend it.
Things to bear in mind when booking the trip, the boat trip to Seal Island, the Funicular at Cape Point (if you are not interested in walking to the top) and lunch is at the passengers own expense. All other entrance fees are included on the tour (Chapman’s Peak toll, Cape Point entrance fee and Boulders entrance fee).
Living in Cape Town surrounds we tend to take the beauty of our city for granted and the Cape Peninsular Tour just makes one stop and take note and glory in this amazing place.