Hiking in South Africa: Lion’s Head


One of the most popular climbs in Cape Town, Lion’s Head is a pillar-like structure set away from Table Mountain to the west.

Due to its proximity to the city – and the fact you “cheat” and start the climb already halfway up the mountain – it is an excellent place for a sundowner excursion.

The path winds its way to the top in a circle, looping higher. It begins with a wide dirt path and narrows when you reach the rocks halfway up. There are two routes to get to the flat peak, one of which requires some scrambling up chain ladders, but is not too technical.

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Lion’s Head is also a popular launching spot for hang gliders – you may see several circling on a good day.

Plan about two-three hours for the hike, and make sure to take plenty of water, sunscreen and a hat. A camera to capture Robben Island and distant Green Point from the top is recommended.

Lion’s Head is a popular route to climb during the full moon. If you go, make sure to bring a backup flashlight in case the clouds roll in.

Important Note: Lion’s Head was recently damaged by the Table Mountain fires and has been closed for the past week. Ensure that the road has been re-opened and the area is free of fire before attempting to climb.