View of Cape Town from Lion's Head

Last Updated on by Chris

On Day 14 of the Hectic Route, it’s time to finish in style with a fittingly breathtaking descent into one of the most stunningly situated cities in the world, Cape Town.

Make It Count

Our first 13 days of the Hectic Route have taken our breath away—sometimes physically, other times emotionally, and almost always unforgettably.

Amongst our most memorable breathless moments were experiencing the dragons’ fury at Cathedral Peak, witnessing a real-life gangster film moment in Durban, scrambling along the cliffs between Mdumbi and Coffee Bay, witnessing a fairy tale in Hogsback, be startled by wild animals while hiking in the Karoo, and indulging in the Robertson Wine Valley.

You will certainly have your own list of unforgettable memories if you’ve been doing your own South African road trip. And if you’re roughly following the Hectic Route itinerary from Johannesburg, today is your last chance to add to that list.

So make your road trip’s last gasp as breathtaking as possible.

A Walk to Remember

Valley of Boesmaskloof Trail

Many of our fondest memories of the Hectic Route will be of all the amazing hikes, so we wanted to do one last hike to finish off in style.

Boesmanskloof Trail was that hike.

While the complete 13-kilometer trail connects McGregor and Greyton, we only did the first half, to Oakes Falls and back.

Compared to some of our previous hikes, it wasn’t as physically taxing. The path follows the gentle slope of a valley stream, which makes for a nice cool-down, I suppose.

Speaking of cool down, after a leisurely hour and a half of walking, a dip in Oakes Falls definitely did the trick!

Altogether, the hike took us three hours. It wasn’t as spectacular as Cathedral Peak or the Wild Coast, but nevertheless is one we’ll reflect on fondly.

Boesmanskloof Trail path
The Boesmanskloof Trail runs along a valley stream.
Plant with mountains behind it
Oakes Falls
Oakes Falls will look very inviting after an exposed hike along the Boesmanskloof Trail.
Chris swimming in Oakes Falls
Jump in! When you do, you too might get shocked by the cool waters and make weird body positions like Chris is here.
Kim walking through protea
Walking along the cliffs

We Part Ways

This is where we part ways.

After hiking to Oakes Falls, we hurried back to Cape Town because we had to move into our apartment, where we’ll have the next five months to explore and enjoy the Western Cape.

You probably don’t have the luxury of so much time, so you’ll want to take a road to finish off your Hectic Route in style.

Here’s what we recommend:

Choose Your Own Adventure

From McGregor, a good spot for a post-hike breakfast, the greater Cape Town area is your oyster.

Speaking of oysters, we don’t recommend you go the way of Paarl (whose name is derived from “pearl”). Pass through the prettier and more famous wine towns of Franschhoek and Stellenbosch instead.

This next section is up to you.

You can choose to stop in either (or both!) of these towns for a final wine tasting or a decadent lunch. Or you can speed past them for some beach time and surfing in Muizenberg. You could also make the slight detour down the Cape Peninsula to Simon’s Town and Boulder’s Beach to see the penguins. It comes down to what you feel like doing and how much time you have to explore this area around Cape Town after your road trip.

You can’t go wrong no matter what you choose.

There’s only one thing we insist you absolutely must do.

The Right Approach

Whatever you do, make sure you approach Cape Town from the south.

Cape Town is kind of like this illusion:

Illusion where you can see either a pretty young lady or ugly old lady depending on how you look at it.

Depending on how you look at her, you will either see the Mother City as an ugly old lady or as a pretty young woman.

You want the latter for your first impression of Cape Town and last breathtaking memory of the Hectic Route, so put Fish Hoek in your GPS in order to approach Cape Town from the right angle.

Seagull in Fish Hoek
On the way to Fish Hoek, you’ll go through Kalk Bay, an active harbour town famous for its fish and chips… and for opportunistic seagulls.

A Drive to Remember

The non-stop-jaw-dropping drive from Fish Hoek to Cape Town will make you want to hold on to your rental car for another day and do it again. It’s the perfect breathtaking way to cap off your Hectic Route.

First you’ll be wowed by wild and wide Noordhoek Beach, which stretches eight kilometers to your left.

Noordhoek Beach
Expansive Noordhoek Beach. (In this photo we’re going in the opposite direction, away from Cape Town.)

Then you’ll hug the cliffs along one of the world’s most famous roads, Chapman’s Peak Drive, en route to the suburb Republic of Hout Bay.

Chapman's Peak Drive
Chapman’s Peak Drive.
Entering Chapman's Peak Drive
Hout Bay’s beach starting to appear around the corner.

Beyond Hout Bay, you’ll crest a ridge, pass the exclusive suburb and surfing beach of Llandudno, and be greeted by Table Mountain’s Twelve Apostles.

Camp's Bay and the Twelve Apostles
Table Mountain’s Twelve Apostles.

Then, directly ahead, you will see Lion’s Head with Camps Bay below.

Lion's Head popping up through the clouds
Depending on the clouds, you may or may not actually see Lion’s Head.

Stop there for a drink at one of the beachside bars. You deserve it. You just finished one hell of a Hectic Route.

Enjoying a drink at a bar by Camps Bay beach
Enjoy the beach bar vibes at Camps Bay.
Drinking at Camps Bay
Why stop at one drink. Have a couple! You’ve earned it!

Quick Tips

  • Boesmanskloof Trail starts with a fork in the trail. Stay left on the way to Oakes Falls and return on the other trail. Use Maps.Me
  • To not be sweaty all day after your hike, pop into Die Galg, the accommodation at the beginning of the trail and ask if you can use their shower for a small fee.
  • In Camps Bay, Cafe Caprice gets all the attention from the guidebooks, but we’d argue Tiger’s Milk next door is equally worthy, if not more because you can get better views from its second-floor patio. And for a solid seafood meal, go to Codfather, one of our picks for best Cape Town restaurants for various unique occasions.

Next Up:
Enjoy Cape Town!

How to find rental apartment in Cape Town cover image of houses below Lion's Head

Check out our Cape Town page to see all the recommendations we’ll be compiling during our five months.

Every South Africa Road Trip Tip and Trick We Learned Along the Way

South Africa Road Trip Planning tips cover image of a sign saying bon voyage in xhosa
“Hamba kakuhle” means “bon voyage” in Xhosa.

For everything from safety tips to how to find the best rental car to what our absolute favorite experiences are, check out our South Africa road trip tips.

Disclosure: Whenever possible, we use special links that earn us a cut if you pay for stuff we'd recommend anyway. It costs you nothing, so we’d be crazy not to.



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