The steep spiraling hike up Lion’s Head is a challenging yet popular mission among locals and tourists alike. You can join a tour that climbs the peak for sunset or stop by on a cycling tour of the city. To see Lion’s Head set against its surroundings, hop on a helicopter tour of Cape Town and the Atlantic Coast. Thrill seekers can also take in the views on a paragliding adventure that takes off from the mountain.
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Things to Know Before You Go
- Reaching the peak of Lion’s Head is a must for outdoor adventurers and photographers.
- The hike up Lion’s Head includes steep sections with ladders that are not suitable for children or elderly.
- Unlike the neighboring Table Mountain, there is no cable car to the top of Lion’s Head.
- Lion’s Head is less crowded than Table Mountain and provides unmatched views of the famous rock formation across the city.
How to Get There
The Lion’s Head trail head is about 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) from downtown Cape Town off of Signal Hill Road at the base of Forestry Road. If you don’t have a personal car you can reach the mountain by taxi, on foot (if you want to extend the hike), or on a guided tour that provides roundtrip transportation.
When to Get There
Visit Lion’s Head on a clear day for panoramic views of the city and at sunset for the best photographs from the peak. To avoid the crowds but still see the city blanketed in golden light, make the hike at sunrise instead of sunset.
Hiking up Lion’s Head
The hike up Lion’s Head is strenuous and it takes about an hour for a fit hiker to walk from the base to the peak. The trail is well marked and includes sections with ladders and chains to aid in climbing up the steepest portions. If you choose to make the climb you will be rewarded with panoramic views from numerous overlooks along the way as you wind your way to the top.
- Signal Hill
- Noon Gun
- Long Street
- Company's Garden
- Iziko South African Museum
- Greenmarket Square
- Cape Town Stadium
- Two Oceans Aquarium
- Iziko Museums Slave Lodge
- South African National Gallery
- South African Jewish Museum (SAJM)
- Atlantic Seaboard
- Cape Wheel
- Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA)