Today I hiked and climbed Chapman’s Peak in slightly stormy weather. It was simply magnificent. During the ascent, you can enjoy more and more fantastic viewpoints of the valley and the bay of Hout Bay, and later across Noordhoek, up to Fish Hoek and False Bay. The view into the distance was a bit hazy today, but on a cloudless day, you can see as far as Cape Hangklip, which borders False Bay on the eastern side.
But from the beginning…
I drove from Hout Bay via the Main Road onto Chapman’s Peak Drive. At the toll booth, you just inform them that you only need a day pass, and then you do not have to pay the toll. Now I was able to drive the first part of this beautiful coastal road to the place where you have to show your ticket. Up to here, you are able to visit free of charge with the Day Pass. After the usual, as always very friendly “Good morning, how are you?”, the nice young man directed me to a small car park on the left. So off I went, parked the car, put on my hiking boots, strapped my backpack on and off we went. By the way, be sure to keep your day pass, as you will have to show it again at the toll station on the return trip to be allowed to pass again without paying the toll.
Valley between Noordhoek Peak and Lower Chapman’s Peak
The path up from the car park first leads up through the valley between Noordhoek Peak on the left and Lower Chapman’s Peak on the right. From afar, the vegetation of the mountain slopes appears quite monotonous. Often it seems as if very little grows here. But the opposite is the case. You walk through a natural garden that is absolutely overwhelming in its diversity and beauty. New plants, blossoming in all the colours of the rainbow, constantly come into view. I wish I knew all their names. Fun fact for my former colleagues at the Ulrich pharmacy: The Cape Pelargonium (Pelargonium sidoides) grows here, from whose roots the essence for Umckaloabo is extracted. In addition, there are countless species of fynbos plants, beautiful orchids and the often so sculptural succulent species that I love so much here.
At a large pile of stones, I came to a junction. More or less straight ahead the path continues up to the Constantiaberg peak . This is a somewhat longer hike, which I would like to do when I have more time. The right fork is the route I want to take today. The path now leads over to the slope of Lower Chapman’s Peak, I continue up its slope and below the peak, I walk around it to the right. Now I have a clear view of my destination for today. I continued to climb until I reached the saddle between Lower and the actual Chapman’s Peak, a little out of breath and with an open mouth. The view over Noordhoek with its long, beautiful sandy beach to the Kommetjie lighthouse, over to Fish Hoek and across False Bay simply leaves you speechless. From up there I can also see, for instance, the beautiful Cape Point Vineyard with its striking dam or Lake Michelle with its housing estate.
Now I just have to conquer the last part of the desired summit. Shortly before the end, the path forks again. When I first climbed it, I took the right fork. Here you have to climb up the rocks to get to the top. On the way down, I noticed that it is quite easy to reach the summit on the left. So this was my preferred route today, and it all went very quickly.
Suddenly I was standing up there with this indescribable 360° panorama – simply spectacular and beautiful. The bay of Hout Bay lies in the sun, its water ranging in colours from light turquoise to dark blue. You can see our Vyn Guest House right next to the big dune and behind it, the view stretches across the vast Atlantic. The Sentinel, which borders the bay on the western side, also looks very formidable from up here.
In shelter from the wind by a large rock, I could enjoy the view and bring my water balance back into equilibrium. As always on a hike in South Africa, you should remember to bring enough water, sunglasses and/or a hat, good sun protection and a light, windproof jacket or fleece. Nothing will then stand in the way of your hike. Have fun! 😉