Hiking Lion’s Head, Cape Town

Lion’s Head is part of the Table Mountain Range in Cape Town, South Africa.  It’s iconic peak looms over the city and the ocean and a hike to its summit is popular with locals and tourists alike.  The hike can take a steep 2-3 hours up and down and rewards with views around every corner.

View from the top of Lion's Head. Robben Island spotted in the distance
View from the top of Lion’s Head. Robben Island spotted in the distance

About the trail

Once you turn into Signal Hill road, park your car across the Lion’s Head entrance in Forestry road.  The hiking trail circles around Lion’s Head until you reach the top.  The trail becomes more rocky as you climb upwards.  At about the three quarters mark of the trail you can either decide to use the path with chains to aide you to the top or take a longer trail around to the top.

Lion's Head has chains and grips to help you get to the top
Lion’s Head has chains and grips to help you get to the top

Who can go

Anyone can hike Lion’s head but it is recommended that you have a basic fitness level.  The hike is not suited for young children or the elderly or people with serious knee injuries.

When to go

Anytime of the year is perfect for hiking Lion’s Head as long as the day is clear with minimal wind.  For summer, it’s best to get an early start before the heat and the crowds set in.  In summer you can join in on the ‘Full Moon Hike’ every full moon.  Don’t forget to bring a head light and tread carefully the trails get extremely crowded on these hikes.

View of Cape Town during a Full Moon hike in summer
View of Cape Town during a Full Moon hike in summer

What to Take

  • A good windbreaker is always recommended as it can get chilly on top even in summer.
  • Strong sunscreen
  • Lots of fluids like water or energy drinks
  • Snacks to keep up your energy
  • Pack a small picnic to enjoy when you reach the top
  • A plastic bag to store any garbage like empty bottles, etc.
  • Good walking shoes

The hike provides breathtaking views of Cape Town, Table Mountain and on a good day, Robben Island (Mandela’s prison).  The fauna and flora is typical of the plants in the Table Mountain Park with a certain beauty to them.  You can try to capture the grandness of the Atlantic Ocean and Table Bay as the views sinks into your senses.  The hike upwards is a steep climb and even I huffed and puffed to the top (I’m moderately fit).  The hike is totally worth it and you’re rewarded with great views.  I found coming down a lot easier.

Starting your day off with a hike to Lion’s Head is a good way to start off a trip in Cape Town.  Afterwards you can go to the beach at the nearby Camps Bay and eat at one of the many restaurants on the Camps Bay strip.  If you like mountains, hiking and great views of the ocean this is one activity you have to do when in Cape Town.

view of signal hill from Lion's head
Get an early start to you hike. This is the view of Signal Hill and the city
View of Cape Town from Lion's Head trail starting point
View of Cape Town from Lion’s Head trail starting point
Beautiful views of the ocean and Cape Town beaches
Beautiful views of the ocean and Cape Town beaches
View of the Atlantic from the top of Lion's Head
View of the Atlantic from the top of Lion’s Head
View of Table Mountain from Lion's Head
View of Table Mountain from Lion’s Head
Relaxing on the beach afterwards looking at the Twelve Apostles (mountain heads)
Relaxing on the beach afterwards looking at the Twelve Apostles (mountain heads)

 

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Hike up Lion’s Head in Cape Town for spectacular views of the city and ocean

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12 thoughts on “Hiking Lion’s Head, Cape Town

    1. Thanks, picnics on top of mountains are the best! Thank is an excellent question. I’ve seen many people duck and dive into the bush…but really, by the time I got to the top I lost half my body fluid lol. There’s a pitstop only at the beginning of the trail.

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