Destination: South Africa: Cape Town
Chapman’s Peak Drive
This five-and-a-half-mile toll road (about $3.50) carved into cliffs 1,900 feet above the sea runs between Hout Bay and Noordhoek and has unparalleled sweeping views of the coast and the ocean. Go just before sunset, and stop at one of the lookout points. Even better, get a Capetonian friend (or a driver) to take you, and open a bottle of wine as you survey the endless sea and sky.
Leaving from the Waterfront shopping center from the Nelson Mandela Gateway, a ferry transports you to the small island where Nelson Mandela and many other prominent African National Congress members were incarcerated for decades. Conducted by former inmates, the two-and-a-half-hour tour gives an absorbing view of the not-very-distant past. Book a day ahead, as tickets often sell out.
The ideal start to a Cape Town visit is a cable car trip up Table Mountain. As you ascend and at the top, take in the spectacular views of the entire city and beyond; there’s also a range of paths at the top leading to different lookouts over the peninsula. Bring a warm jersey, no matter how hot it is down below; the mist can roll in with surprising speed on the mountain, and it can get quite chilly.
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