A trip starts well when you begin with a scenic drive. The Chapmans peak drive is one of those. Stunning views are waiting around every corner, with changing landscapes along the route. The coastal road starting from Cape Town, takes you to Cape Point, but offers some good places to stop along the way.
A place where you simply must stop is Simons Town. This is the home of the penguin colony of Boulders beach. You can follow a boardwalk so you don’t have to set foot on the beach. This is not so much for your pleasure, but for the protection of the penguins. I almost missed the stars of the attraction, but luckily I tend to look at my feet when I walk and saw them hiding in the shade of the boardwalk.
I was in awe by the three little fellows I saw. This was only the beginning though. Near the water were big rocks, and many more penguins. Apparently used to people, they didn’t even budge when we approached. There were feathers everywhere, since the penguins were molting. The beach would have been an attraction in itself, but the penguins made my day. I was so excited to see some and never expected to get this close.
Next stop: Cape Point. There is a national park, Cape of good hope nature reserve, which is perfect to explore in a day. You pay an entry fee for the upkeep, but then have sealed roads to see the park. Just after entering I saw 7 ostriches. They were so close to the road that I got a good look, but something, probably us, scared them and off they went before I could get a good picture. It’s incredible how fast they can run! Their heads and necks were shaking and it seemed like their legs were running off without their bodies.
At Cape Point is a big parking lot, filled with cars and tour buses. A big group of baboons was feasting on some sugar and teabags from the café until a parking attendant came to scare them away. But no worries, they just climbed onto a car and treated it as a jungle gym. After this scene I made my way to the lighthouse on top of the hill. It was an easy path and at the top dozens of people were staring into the sea. After a quick search I saw that they were staring at some whales in the water. One of them was giving us a little jumping show. The path continued to the most south-westerly point of Africa. Yes, it’s a gorgeous place, but the national park has more to offer.
Off the main road are many smaller branches where the big tour buses don’t go. I saw pristine beaches where nobody else disturbed my moment. There were more beaches, more ostriches and some sort of bok. As a goodbye to the park I landed on a beach full of baboons. I could come pretty close, but saw that daddy baboon was also keeping a close eye on me. I could tell exactly what distance he seemed to be fine with. When I heard a few baboon men fighting with each other I got a little scared after all.
Slowly I made my way back to the car. A storm was coming, so I enjoyed the drive back into the city and a lovely warm house on return.