Rock slides and unstable cliff faces mean this fantastically scenic drive can often be closed for maintenance, as it was for the greater part of 2008–2009. Work began on the drive in 1910, when it was considered an impossibility. Charl Marais, a mining surveyor, wasn't deterred by the task and set about surveying a route by sending a worker ahead of him to chop out footholds and create rudimentary platforms for his theodolite. There are stories of him hanging on to the
side of the cliff by ropes and nearly losing his life on a number of occasions. His tenacity paid off, and with the help of 700 convicts, a road was chipped and blasted out of the rock. Chapman's Peak Drive officially opened in 1922 with views rivaling those of California's Pacific Route 1 to Big Sur. When open, you can access the drive from both Noordhoek and Hout Bay. The toll-gate installed on the drive two years back has been the source of huge controversy - but you as a tourist won't notice a thing (apart from the fee). Btw this is part of the route for the Cape Argus, the world's largest timed bicycle race - with about 35 000 entries every year from around the globe.
Hout Bay, South Africa
May 9, 2005
An absolute must-see on the drive up towards Hout Bay! Be sure admire the views near the route's apex. Was re-opened in 2004, tollgate charge of R20 per car (as of 2005).
Sep 1, 2004
Considered to be one of the most beautiful drives in the world. Was closed because of rock falls. After great expense to prevent these falls the road, now a toll road, has been open to the traffic. A MUST see and do for visitors to the Cape.