Length 7.7 km (4.8 miles), terrain: fairly flat, gain 60 meters
Cape Town is happily located in one of the most breathtaking spots in the world, with a rocky coastline on one side and stunning Table Mountain rising right up behind town. And there are lots of old neighborhoods and a fascinating waterfront waiting to be explored, so it's a perfect spot for a great run.
|In the Botanical Gardens|
One other important thing to consider: Cape Town is definitely NOT FLAT. The city is surrounded by steep hills on three sides. The suburbs around the city center climb their way directly up the slope of Table Mountain and Signal Hill, getting steeper with each block. The streets in the city center begin rising as they leave the downtown "bowl". So the neighborhoods covered in this route combine to give you the best area for running on a fairly level surface.
This route will run right through the middle of the historic old town, past the most important public buildings, then head through the modern downtown, head out into the redeveloped waterfront, and then return via Long Street, the heart of Cape Town's pulsing nightlife.
So, if you're ready to run, let's go!
|The Mount Nelson entrance: not bad!|
|Along Government Lane|
|In Company's Garden, with Table Mountain|
Along the right side of the lane, you'll pass Tuynhuys, the old colonial governor's mansion, now used by the South African president.
|Tuynhuys, the presidential mansion|
|Parliament, with Queen Victoria|
|St. George's Mall|
|Thibault Square: run this way to Loop Street!|
Cross Long Street (we'll come back on that street on the way back!) on Prestwich for one more block, then turn right onto Loop Street.
In just one block, you'll cross a busy street, the M6, and now continue on the left side of Loop Street. After just one building, Loop Street starts curving to the right, but you need to follow the pedestrian walk that goes straight into another square at North Wharf, surrounded by several hotel buildings.
|And cross this bridge! Now it's straight ahead to the Waterfront|
|The marina, with Signal Hill in the background|
Keep going straight until you come to the blue draw-bridge, where you cross the bridge and continue straight past the cafè. Just after the cafè, you have no choice but to turn left and continue running west along the north side of the marina.
You will come to the Two Oceans Aquarium, where you turn right and then turn right again as you come to the main street at the Waterfront: Dock Road.
|At the Waterfront|
|More of the Waterfront, with Victoria Wharf in the background|
Now turn south and run past the little shops and the rescue boat (in its own glass boathouse), and then follow the pedestrian path towards the left, back at the water.
|The swing bridge and clock tower: head home this way!|
You'll now run south, down East Quay Road, past a wharf with a collection of old ships being repaired on land.
|Ships under repair at the wharf|
But when you cross the M6, turn left for a block until you reach Long Street, where you turn right and head uphill along this lively street. Long Street has a lot of old buildings with wide verandas, and is home to lots of clubs, restaurants and pubs. The street is not very exciting during the day, but as the evening continues, the place gets wilder and wilder. Definitely a place to explore later!
|Typical Long Street|