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cruisinred Oct 17th, 2006 08:48 AM

Cape geography/driving question
Would it be feasible to drive down the cape peninsula on the way from Cape Town to the winelands (Spier, Franschoek, etc)? I know that that cape peninsula could be a day trip in its own right, but I thought it might be practical to do it on the way, when we pick up a rental car on the way out of the city, heading for 2-3 days in winecountry.

Thanks for helping me with my fuzzy geography.

PrincessOfPenguins Oct 18th, 2006 12:17 AM

Um, no...

ArthurSA Oct 18th, 2006 01:07 AM

I never took Geography at my high school or varsity. But even as a non-Capetonian South African I can perhaps explain why PoP said no. The peninsula is just that, a finger of land exending down to the oceans. (Told you I never studied geog!) But the majority of the winelands (including Spier and the Franschhoek area) are off in an Easterly direction from the "top" of that peninsula. So visiting Cape Point would usually be a to/from Cape Town excursion. Or at best a major detour, if you hug the coast on one of the legs.

There are probably many online maps, but here is one site that seems to have a fair number:

brandywine Oct 18th, 2006 04:33 AM


We did the same trip in the opposite direction when we visited (first part of June) and it was not a problem at all. We were lucky and had a beautiful sunny day for the ride. We were staying in Stellenbosch (which is probably 45 minutes or an hour closer in than Franschoek). We left Stellenbosch first thing in the morning (about 8:30) and arrived in Cape Town late afternoon. Where are you staying in the winelands?

So if you leave Cape Town first thing in the morning (maybe picking up your rental car the night before or very early that morning), drive down the west side of the peninsula all the way to Cape Point (maybe 75 kms. or so from Cape Town), then drive back up the east side of the peninsula back up to Muzenburg. Then instead of heading north back to Cape Town, head east along the main road going along False Bay until you turn north up to Spier/ Stellenbosch area. It is only at most an hour or so from Muzenburg to Stellenbosch. Even if you have to go all the way to Franschoek, you should still get there before dark and in plenty of time to check in at your lodging, relax a bit, and go for a nice dinner. I don't think you will have time to visit wineries this day, but I am assuming you are spending a couple of nights in the winelands. The road along the peninsula is winding and slow going like typical coast roads.

We have a very nice large scale map called Cape Winelands made by Globetrotter that is really good for this area, covering Cape Town, the peninsula, and the Winelands as far east as Franschoek, and shows many of the wineries on the map.

We thought this was a beautiful drive from the winelands, all the way around the peninsula, and into Cape Town, and would happily do the same ride again. You are in the car much of the day, but plenty of "view" stops all along the way and a few short walks.

cruisinred Oct 18th, 2006 05:55 AM

Thanks Brandywine for your helpful reply.

kerikeri Oct 18th, 2006 09:08 AM

i'm confused:

i clicked on your name and read your questions aout booking to athens and europe for may; but then a few posts down you confirmed that you were going to bangkok in may? and then you wrote that you had been to bangkok and the oriental wrote you back? but now you are actually going to be in capetown in may? or did i miss something?

i travel a lot, too, but how can you be three places at once??? teach me that trick! ;)

anyway, you asked if it was "feasible" but that depends on your level of interest in the stops along the way.

everything is "doable" but those who have discouraged you were responding to "feasible."

on my "day trip" to the cape, starting and returning to camp's bay at the end of the night, i still felt very rushed and was very glad i decided on the wine country as a separate drive.

bearing in mind that i haven't had my caffeine yet today: i would say, if you are a tourist interested in really visiting the sites on the cape, then no, it really isn't "feasible."

if you are a professional bus driver, then of course it is doable, it just wouldn't be very enjoyable.

enjoy your busy month of may!

kerikeri :)

cruisinred Oct 18th, 2006 09:15 AM

Thanks kerikeri. We will devote just a day to the cape point drive and leave the drive to winelands for the next day.

As for my travel plans, we went to Bangkok, Vietnam and Laos this year, among other places. We actually booked tickets to Bangkok again(stopping in Europe/Athens) for next May, but upon further discussion my husband I have decided that we would rather do Africa in May 2007.

I am just very indecisive and you found me out! ;)

kerikeri Oct 18th, 2006 06:11 PM

me,too! ;)

glad you two decided to split it up!


ArthurSA Oct 19th, 2006 12:21 AM

BTW cruisinred, I wasn't criticising your geography, there is a differene between a local who never studied geography (me) and a visitor (you). The intention of my post was to try and assist and then let you make your own decision.

PrincessOfPenguins Oct 19th, 2006 02:26 AM

I just got back from that area...

You need a day for Cape Point. As for the Winelands, why bother with other stuff when you can go straight there and start tasting? *boggle*

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