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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
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!
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
Then, directly ahead, you will see Lion’s Head with Camps Bay below.
Stop there for a drink at one of the beachside bars. You deserve it. You just finished one hell of a Hectic Route.
- 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.
Enjoy Cape Town!
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
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.