Muizenberg beach. Beautiful cape town

Cape Point, Boulder’s Beach & Muizenberg: The Ultimate Day Trip Itinerary From Cape Town

If there’s one thing I tell my people not to miss when visiting Cape Town is a day trip to the absolutely stunning Cape Point. Cape Point is home to the famous Cape Point lighthouse as well as the Cape of Good Hope where the Indian and Atlantic oceans meet. It is not the southern most point of South Africa, that honor goes to Cape Aghulas but that is a 3 hour drive from Cape Town.

View of Cape point
Looking over Cape Point

Cape Point, along with visiting Boulders beach home to the African penguin colony, Muizenberg beach, and the Chapman’s peak drive make for the absolute perfect day trip from Cape Town. If this sounds like something you’re keen to do, then all you’ll need to know about planning the day will be in this post!

The famous Penguin colony of Boulder's beach!
The famous Penguin colony of Boulder’s beach!

If you’re staying in Cape Town, make sure to also read my Ultimate Cape Town Travel guide for insider tips on what to do and see in the mother city.

Which places to visit

From Cape Town, a visit to Cape Point would be enough to satisfy the average person’s lust for adventure. However, there are so many more beautiful places to visit around the southern tip of the western Cape that it would be a shame to not do so. I’ve been to Cape Point at least a dozen times and these are the places I always take my friends in addition to Cape Point itself:

  • Hout Bay
  • Chapman’s Peak Drive
  • Boulder’s Beach
  • Cape Point & Cape of Good Hope
  • Muizenberg Beach

There are many other places to discover for this trip but if you only have a day, you don’t want to overdo it and focus on really visiting the above places. Rushing through Cape Point is not worth it!

Cape Point Day trip itinerary map
Map of the route for the Cape Town to Cape Point day trip itinerary.

A Day Trip Itinerary for Cape Point from Cape Town

So now that you’re keen and ready for visiting Cape Point, this is how I would arrange the day. This is of course really only applicable if you’re self-driving or you have a private driver taking you around. If you go on an organized tour, then you’ll follow whatever schedule they’ve laid out for you.

9:00am – Leave Cape Town and drive towards Hout Bay

10:00am – Enjoy fish and chips at Snoeckies, enjoy Hout Bay beach

11:00am – Drive along Chapman’s Peak until you reach Boulder’s Beach

11:30am – Visit the penguins at Boulder’s Beach

1:30pm – Arrive at Cape Point, walk or take funicalar to the top of the lighthouse

3:00pm – Leave Cape Point and drive to Muizenberg Beach to look at the iconic colorful houses

5:00pm – Leave Muizenberg Beach back to Cape Town

6:00pm – Arrive in Cape Town.

Booking an organized tour

If you’re not keen for driving, then rest assured, there are many tours you can book that will take you to most of these places. This is what I do when I plan honeymoons for my readers to the Rainbow Nation as most honeymooners aren’t keen to drive on the other side of the road. If you are keen for driving, rest assured that the roads around Cape Town are in perfect condition and the traffic is pleasant.

On Viator, I normally book this tour for my readers as it visits all the main sights I’ve listed below, as well as a wine farm in Constantia. It is a bit rushed for my liking but it is a fair price for what it is.

Alternatively, you could just book a private driver for the day and tell them to make all the stops listed on this post. They may even have more insider tips than me and take you to cool spots I’ve never heard of before! My preferred tour with be the small group Instagram Cape Point tour that visits all the places that I highlight on this itinerary and in a small group setting.

Drive a scooter around Cape Town

I’ve been to Cape Town many times and on one of my most recent trips, I started driving a scooter around town. One of my friends had been living in Cape Town for many years and she swore by her scooter. I rode scooters all day every day while living in Bali and absolutely loved the freedom so I thought I would give this a shot.

Cape Town Vespas signal hill

Turns out, it is an amazing decision to rent scooters in Cape Town. I did this over New Years when the traffic is unbearable and this was the best decision I ever made. I could easily skip traffic by going around cars and would reach anywhere I needed to go in Cape Town within 20 minutes. This probably saved me like 1h every day and maybe 2h on others which really is invaluable.

Cape Town Vespas scooter rental

On top of no not having to deal with traffic, the views from a scooter is just insane. Cape Town is already so beautiful but to see it from a scooter is even more so. Every morning, I would get up early and drive over Kloof Nek to Camps Bay and enjoy the breathtaking views of the ocean and mountains. It really didn’t get any better. In addition, it’s also a great way to make the day trip from Cape Town to Cape Point.

Cape Town scooter traffic
Skipping traffic in Cape Town. No better feeling

Driving around Cape Town in a scooter was also not scary at all. The traffic really isn’t fast moving and cars are more obedient than I thought. I would just avoid driving on the freeways, especially on windy days.

Unfortunately, scooter culture has never picked up in South Africa and there are very few shops that rent scooters. Cape Town Vespas is one of the best shops in Cape Town but you’ll have to pay premium prices as they are vespas (still much cheaper than renting a Vespa in the Amalfi Coast for example). Scooter Dr is another shop that rents scooters but you’ll need to provide a license that allows you to drive scooters that are 125cc and above (A1 in Europe).

Map of the Cape Point Itinerary

I always find a good itinerary on Google Maps to be the most useful. This helps you visualize what your day is like and how to plan your drive to all the main sights.

Hout Bay and Chapman’s Peak Drive

First up on the Cape Point day trip is a drive to the lovely beach-side town of Hout Bay 20 km south of Cape Town. You can drive along Victoria Road in Camps Bay and hug the coastline down towards Hout Bay.

Hout Bay Beach
Hout Bay Beach
Hout Bay Beach
Hout Bay Beach

Hout Bay is a suburb of Cape Town and where many families live to escape the city life of Cape Town at more modest prices and lower decibel levels. As you get into the town, you’ll notice the township at the entrance which really encapsulates the income divide of South Africa. As much as I love the country and its natural beauty, I do not turn a blind eye to its problems stemming from Apartheid and beyond.

There isn’t too much to do in this town besides enjoy the view from the beach at Hout Bay. Grab a morning coffee from Vida E Caffe and enjoy a lovely stroll along the quiet beachfront of the town. If you’re hungry and want to try a seafood institution, the drive to Snoekies nearby. They serve delicious fish and chips, squid, prawns, and much more. I always get their Hake and Prawns combo, eating it on their benches while enjoying the views of the Atlantic.

Chapman’s Peak Drive

From Hout Bay, continue along the main road climbing up towards Chapman’s Peak. Chapman’s Peak is the name of the mountain that hugs the coastline between Hout Bay and Noordhoek. It’s a 9km drive along the mountain side well above the ocean. It offers some of the most spectacular views in the world of the Atlantic and nearby beaches.

Noordhoek Beach
Stunning Noordhoek Beach on the Chapman’s Peak drive

Take it slow, soak up the views, and stop at the various lookouts to really enjoy the views! If you’ve road tripped the Big Sur in California, this really reminds me of that but a more stunning rendition of that.

This is a toll road at R50 per car (subject to change in the future of course) and you are able to pay with credit cards. The road is quite narrow so you’ll want to really pay attention to the road even though it is quite easy to get distracted by the beauty of the area.

Boulder’s Beach

As you exit Chapman’s peak, the next stop is at the iconic Boulder’s Beach in Simon’s Town. Boulder’s Beach is home to thousands of African Penguins that make a permanent home in these parts. Most people associate penguins with Antarctica which is not untrue. Those are the emperor penguins but there are many other species of penguins that reside in South Africa and South America.

Boulder's Beach Penguins Cape Town Cape Point
Guy swimming at Boulder’s Beach trying to get to the penguins.
Boulder's Beach Penguins Cape Town Cape Point

Boulders Beach located in the stunning naval town of Simons Town outside Cape Town is popular for the penguin colony found here. The scenery in this area is beautiful with panoramic views over the bay while a number of gorgeous restaurants and cafes as well as boutique shops line the streets making a trip to Simons Town the ideal day-trip from the Cape Town.

Boulder's Beach Penguins Cape Town Cape Point

Boulders Beach is home to a unique land based colony of penguins and they rule the rocks, ocean and sea here and humans are simply visitors. There is a beach here open to the public where you can swim next to the penguins if you’re lucky. In the summer months, this beach will get packed as it is very small and is a huge tourist attraction. I’d recommend bringing your bathing suits on the trip as you may feel the urge to swim towards the penguins.

Boulder's Beach Penguins Cape Town Cape Point

Otherwise, I would go straight to the viewing platforms of the penguin colonies. The entrance fee is R150 or so as of 2019/2020 and this will likely increase as the rand depreciates. The main entrance can have long lines so the trick is to buy tickets at the small booth in the main parking lot and walk towards the main entrance.

Boulder's Beach Penguins Cape Town Cape Point

From the main entrance, you can continue to walk straight to the main viewing point, or right towards a more secluded viewpoint. Both viewpoints will afford you fantastic views of the penguin colonies and beach.

There’s not much else to do here besides walk a few steps and see the huge flock of penguins. Some of them get very close to people and aren’t scared. Do not touch them (obviously).

Cape Point

From Boulder’s beach, continue along the main road to the southern point in the peninsula. You’ll see signs to turn to as you drive up the mountains. The entrance fee is roughly R300 per person as of 2019/2020 and is subject to increase as the rand depreciates.

Amazing views right at the entrance of Cape Point
Amazing views right at the entrance of Cape Point

As you enter the park, you will immediately notice the breathtaking scenery and flora of the the mountains. There are a few places to take photos right off the side of the road here.

Cape of Good Hope

The first stop is the Cape of Good Hope. It is about 10 minutes after the entrance and the signs to turn right can be hard to read. You’ll find the iconic Cape of Good Hope signage on the rocky beaches. The sign reads the longitude and latitude of the coordinates where the Atlantic meets the Indian oceans. Expect big crowds here in the summer months!

Hike to the Cape of Good Hope as well!
Hike to the Cape of Good Hope as well!
View of the ocean from the Two oceans restaurant
View of the ocean from the Two oceans restaurant

Cape Point Lighthouse

Both the old and new lighthouses are quite a sight to behold. The Old Lighthouse, 238m above sea level, is easily accessible from the trail and funicular. The New Lighthouse, constructed in 1919 and electrified in 1936, is the most powerful light in Africa with a candlepower of 19 million.

Cape Point

It’s an estimated 1.5h walk to the new lighthouse via the Lighthouse Keepers trail. From here you’ll get a great view of the 200m cliff face towering out of the ocean with the Old Lighthouse perched at the top. The views of the ocean from so high above the cliffs is absolutely stunning.

You can also take a funicular to the top of the lighthouse if you do not want to walk. It costs about R100 per person round trip and takes only 5-10 minutes. Alternatively, you could take the funicular to the top and walk down. Keep an eye out for baboons as they’ve been known to grace the area!

Cape Point

Cape of Good hope Hike

Cape of Good hope

From the main grounds of Cape Point, you can also do the Cape of Good Hope hike. This hike is roughly 1.5 hours round trip and ends at the Cape Point sign (see section above). Note that if you don’t have a private driver, you’ll need to walk back to the starting point. If you want to see the rest of the sights on this tour, you’ll need to start much earlier to have enough time to make it in time.

I’ve done this hike before and it is absolutely worth it if you have the time. There is a beach you can access that is devoid of people and the blindingly white beaches are a sight to behold.

Muizenberg Beach

Last on the list is the most iconic Muizenberg Beach. Drive back towards Simon’s Town and past it for another half hour until you reach the town of Muizenberg. Park your car anywhere near the beach and walk towards these brightly colored houses.

Beautiful drive along the coast to Muizenberg beach
Beautiful drive along the coast to Muizenberg beach
Muizenberg beach. Beautiful cape town
Muizenberg beach. Beautiful

These houses are empty wooden structures painted with bright varying bright colors right on the Muizenberg’s sandy beaches. I thought people used to live in these houses but they are all empty and far too small.

Muizenberg beach! cape town
Muizenberg beach!
Muizenberg beach from another angle

The bathing box is a throw-back to the “bathing machine” of the 1800’s—a cart-like structure that was wheeled down to the water’s edge, allowing the ladies to change into their chin-to-ankle bathing wear and frolic modestly in the shallows.

Some huts, in recent years, fell into disrepair and with the threat of removal of the huts as recently as 2017, there was a huge public outcry.  The plight of the beach hut is close to the heart of every “Muizenberger” and together with the mountain, surfing and beach walks makes up the locals’ love and passion for this much loved attraction.

Muizenberg beach from another angle
Muizenberg beach from another angle

Bright, vibrant and very photogenic, these beach huts make for the ultimate Instagram photo. Whether you choose the ocean or the mountains as your backdrop, you can bet that no picture will turn out poorly. We did a mini photo shoot of our own here while admiring the breathtaking ocean views of the Cape.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *