Chapman’s Peak Drive is one of the most known coastal roads in South Africa. It’s called “Chappies” by the locals and they really believe that their road is the most spectacular in the world, or at least, on the African continent. Many people include Chapman’s peak in their road trip in South Africa. Indeed, if you will have the chance to drive on this road, you will see it by ourself!
Where is Chapman’s Peak?
Chapman’s Peak Drive is a tourist road near Cape Town in South Africa. It is a Panoramic road on the Atlantic coast.
You can situate the road on the map below:
Enlarge the map
Some details about the road
History of the Chapman’s Peak
Chapman was the captain of a ship that came to the area in 1607. After exploring the area he decided that Hout Bay was a safe place to anchor his ship. After that, people started to call the Bay, Chapman’s. But then it was officially named Hout Bay and Chapman’s name remained after the local peak.
The construction of the road ended in 1922 after 7 years of labor. At that time they built the road to developing tourism in this region of South Africa.
Facts about the Chapman’s Peak Drive:
In fact, Chappies is 9 kilometers (5,5 miles) coastal itinerary with 114 turns.
On one side you will have some mountains with peaks, some of which are more than 500 meters (1640 ft) high, and on the other side, the Atlantic Ocean.
After almost every turn you will find a rest area where you can park to take some pictures.
The road is classified as a National Monument because of the complexity of its construction and its beauty. It can compare to the Atlantic Ocean Road in Norway for its complexity.
In the late ’90s, the road was closed because it became too dangerous: some rocks were falling off the mountains on the road (a person even died). After almost a decade of work, the road reopened in 2005. The road was secured and became a paid one. In 2008 the road closed again to re-secure some passages.
The road is also known for two major sports events:
If you like this road, you can also drive the Garden Route located just east or Clarence Drive.
How to get to Chapman’s Peak?
The road is situated on the South West Atlantic coast near Cape Town.
In order to access the road from Cape Town you have to take the M6 road to Hout Bay this road will follow the coastline and is already impressive. It will take you about 45 minutes and 28 kilometers (17 miles) to get to Chapman’s Peak Drive part. Also, if you want to access faster, you can take the M3 and then the M63 road. Usually, it will shorten the drive by 10 minutes.
If you are coming from the south, for example from the Cape of Good Hope, you have to go to Noordhoek and then get to the M6 road to start the drive.
An overview of Chapman’s Peak Drive:
As it is one the most beautiful drive in the world there are lots of videos of the journey on the internet. For example, here is one that shows the road quite well!
In 1991, the road was used by the Mercedes-Benz car company to film a commercial: a conductor had a car crash and stayed alive, it was supposed to show the safety of Benz’s cars. But, BMW almost immediately responded with a commercial where no crash was shown and with the following message: “BMW, the car that beats the bends.” (refer to the Benz commercial: a BMW don’t crash). You can look at this commercial:
Is Chapman’s Peak open?
Even today, local authorities can close the road if all security conditions are not reunited. They put an effort into security and can eventually close the road for maintenance or because of the weather. In addition, if there is too much traffic the road can close in order to regulate the traffic. You can verify if the drive is open on the official website, here.
In addition, trucks and buses are not allowed on the road.
Chapman’s peak toll
Don’t forget that “Chappies” is a toll road, the price is R 50.00 for a standard car. Obviously, you can check the price for the category of your vehicle in the price section on the official website of the road.
If you have the chance to book a tourist trip to South Africa and you go to Cape Town you definitely should ride on this road. Indeed, these 9 kilometers (5,5 miles) will offer you so many emotions and memories! Chapman’s Peak is one of the must attractive places in South Africa.
Pictures sources: Graeme Churchard (https://www.flickr.com/photos/graeme/4182155487/in/photostream) / kallerna (https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=77640731).
Discover other roads around the world: click here or see our interactive road map!