Lion's Head Walk, Cape Town: A Guide for 2022 (2023)

The Lion's Head trail is one of the bestWhat to do in Cape Town. Climbing the mountain can be challenging, but the view from the top is worth the effort. Lion's Head offers some of the best views of the city and surrounding area. Even if you don't climb all the way to the top, you'll still get fantastic views along the way.

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Lion's Head Walks and Guided Tours

If you travel alone, joining a guided group tour can be a good option, especially if you want to hike Lion's Head at sunset or sunrise.

Is Lion's Head a difficult hike?

Lion's Head is one of the biggestpopular hiking trails in Cape Town. It is a moderate/difficult route due to the steep slope from the beginning. The difficulty depends on the route chosen. If you just walk around the mountain, it's not too difficult. If you climb all the way to the top, some parts of the trail are quite challenging.The last kilometer is the most demanding partwith rock climbing, metal ladders and chains. It won't be a problem for a fit person, but if you're not in good shape it can be tiring. If you liked the last part of the Lion's Head track, you might like this one.Walk in the Window of India, one of the most demandingHiking on Table Mountainpath

If you are afraid of heights, I suggest taking a circular trail without reaching the top of Lion's Head. Going down can be a little scary for you.

It is highly recommended to purchase travel insurance when traveling abroad, especially when planning outdoor adventures and activities. Always make sure you are insured in case of injury, theft or loss. It is better to choose a reliable insurance company that has been operating in the international market for a long time. We can recommend using World Nomads. They specialize in travel insurance and cover many outdoor activities. Your policy is very flexible, you can buy it online before or during your trip. It can cover the entire duration of your trip or just part of it.Get an instant quote now!

How much does it cost?

That's the good newsThe Lion's Head Trail is free. You pay no admission fees. Parking at Lion's Head is also free. Your only expenses are transport to and from Lion's Head.

How long does it take to climb Lion's Head?

The walk to Lion's Head and back is 5.3 km / 3.2 mi with a 400 meter climb and then a descent. Depending on your fitness level, it could take between 1h30min. and 2h30min. up and down Lion's Head.

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how is the landscape

Lion's Head is the best place in Cape Town to enjoy panoramic views of the city, it's definitely a must-see on your visit.Cape Town itinerary. From the top of the mountain and along the way it is possible to see practically all of Cape Town and its surroundings. The main highlights are Table Mountain, Twelve Apostles, Camps Bay, Clifton Beaches, City Bowl, V&A Waterfront, Sea Point, Robben Island, Chapman's Peak Drive, Cape Peninsula, Blouberg Beach, Seaport and many other city attractions.

Lion's Head Hike - The Standard Route

There istwo walking routes to Lion's Headboth start at the Signal Hill Road car park; the first (path) goes right towards Signal Hill and the second (gravel path, standard route) goes left. Both routes join 1 km before the summit.Shortly before reaching the summit, there is another crossing.; One route is more challenging but shorter, involving chains and ladders, and the other route (the recommended trail) is longer and goes over rocks. You can combine the two routes; Use ladders to climb up and down over the rocks. All routes and divisions are well maintained and marked.

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  • Distance – round trip 5.3km
  • Walking time – 1h30min. up and down, another 30min.-1h. to take pictures, watch the sunset, etc. The walk may take longer if there are many people.
  • Total ascent/descent - 387 m
  • Terrain - Gravel road, wooden stairs, rocks, ladders and chains.
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It is the most popular Lion's Head hiking trail. It starts from the parking lot on Signal Hill Road, the main route up the mountain. Most people use it to go up and down. It's a steep dirt road with a significant incline from the start. The route skirts the mountain and offers great views of Cape Town and the coast. This route offers the best views of Table Mountain, the Twelve Apostles and Camps Bay. It starts on the gravel road, goes up the stairs and ends with a rocky path and stairs. The last part involves a bit of climbing, whichever route you choose.

(Video) HIKING LION'S HEAD - DRONE FOOTAGE CAPE TOWN - Best Hiking Trail in Cape Town - South Africa 2022

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Lion's Head Hike - Loop Trail

Lion's Head Walk, Cape Town: A Guide for 2022 (6)
  • Distance - 6 km
  • Walking time – 2 hours up and down
  • Total ascent/descent - 400 m
  • Terrain - footpath, gravel road, large rocks, stairs, streams
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This is our most popular Lion's Head walking route as you can climb up and down a variety of trails and enjoy 360° panoramic views of Cape Town and the Cape Peninsula. The trail starts at the Lion's Head parking lot. This can be done clockwise or counterclockwise. We prefer an anti-clockwise drive as the gravel path is easier to descend than the rocky path. The same goes for the climb to the top, it's easier to climb with ladders and chains and go down the rocks. This route offers the best views of Lion's Head Peak, Signal Hill and Sea Point. You can go up and down the same path without going around the mountain.

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You can do the loop walk without climbing to the top of Lion's Head.

  • Distance - 4 km
  • Walking time – 1 hour
  • Total ascent/descent - 280 m
  • Terrain - trail, gravel road

It's an easier alternative for those who don't want to climb to the top by rocks or stairs. It is a suitable option for hikers with children or dogs. The route gives you the opportunity to see Cape Town and its surroundings, have a good walk and take great pictures without sweating and panting. It's pretty much the same route as the loop walk, the only difference is that you walk around Lion's Head without reaching the top. The walk can be done clockwise or counterclockwise.

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Signal Hill, an easier alternative to the Lion's Head Trail

If you want to go up and up a steep hill, there is an easier alternative. Enjoy city views and watch the sunset from the top of Signal Hill. It's a nearby hill, very easy to reach by car. You can drive to the viewpoint without walking or climbing. The view from Signal Hill is very similar to Lion's Head.

The drive to Signal Hill is the same as to Lion's Head, but instead of parking your car at the trailhead, keep driving. There is a car park at the top of Signal Hill, but it is usually very crowded and you may have to turn around and park your car along the road. At the top is a large yellow photo frame with Table Mountain in the background, restrooms and a coffee truck.

It is possible to walk from Lion's Head to Signal Hill.

  • Distance – round trip 5.4km
  • Walking time – 1 hour
  • Total ascent/descent - 50 m
  • Land - Trail

Lion's Head's easiest hike with almost no ups and downs. You can start at Lion's Head Parking and walk to the top of Signal Hill or vice versa. Although you don't go up the mountain, you still have amazing views of Cape Town, Table Mountain, Robben Island, Waterfront, Sea Point and Lion's Head.

There used to be aWalk through Wally's Cave, but it is currently closeddue to the refurbishment of the site. Unfortunately, it's impossible to enter Wally's Cave.

If you like nature and the outdoors, you might likeHiking in Cape Point National Park, there are several day trails that offer stunning views and the chance to spot some wildlife.

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You can combine hiking with paragliding. Paragliding is available at Lion's Head and Signal Hill. Gliding slowly over Cape Town, enjoying the beautiful views and landing on Sea Point beach is a fantastic experience. Don't worry if you park your car in Lion's Head, return transfers are included. Sunset is again the best time for paragliding. It is highly recommendedbook paraglidingin advance.

(Video) The UNFIT tourist's guide to hiking Lion's Head in Cape Town - Do this for #1 view of Table mountain

The best time for the walk

For me,The view of Lion's Head at sunset is the most impressive. You can see how the sun slowly dips into the Atlantic Ocean, bathing the sea and the coast in golden color, the best light for photos. Just make sure it's not overcast or overcast before heading outside. Watching the sunset from the top of Lin's Head is one of the most romantic things to do in Cape Town. It's definitely something to include in yourSouth Africa honeymoon itinerary.

for obvious reasonsSunset is the most popular time to hike Lion's Head. You'll need to be at the trailhead a few hours early to find parking, get to the top (there's usually a line at the rope and ladder part of the climb), and find a good spot to take photos.

Sunrise is another good timeclimb Lion's Head. Typically, fewer people climb at sunrise than at sunset. It will be faster to get to the top. On the other hand, in summer you have to wake up very early to arrive in time for sunrise. To checkSunset/sunrise time in Cape Townbefore heading to Lion's Head.

The full moon is a very popular timefor walks on Lion's Head. On clear nights, hundreds of people climb to the summit to watch the full moon and enjoy the night view of the city. Checkmoon phasesand find the best time to see the full moon.

At nightThe light isn't the best for photography, but the views from the top are still spectacular.

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How do you get the lion's head?

With public transport

You can use one ofMyCity-Busseget to the lion's head;Lines 106 and 107go there Get off at the Kloof Nec stop, located at the foot of Lion's Head, from there it's approximately 600m to the trailhead. To use the MyCity buses you need to buya MyConnect card, costs ZAR 35/$2 and can be purchased at any MyCiTi station kiosk and loaded with some cash. An average trip within the city will cost less than $1.

unfortunately,Cape Town tourist bus does not stop at Lion's Head. The nearest stop is the Table Mountain Gondola Station, which is approximately 2 km from the Lion's Head Trailhead. Using the hop on hop off bus to explore Cape Town is still a good option if you don't plan on renting a car. You canGet a 1 or 2 day passand tour the city, disembarking at each attraction. One pass gives access to 4 different routes. The 2-day ticket also includes the sunset bus, boat ride and 2 walking tours.

by car

Rent a carit's the best way to explore Cape Town. If you rent a small car, it won't be expensive, especially if you share it between two people. However, during the week finding parking in the city center can be a bit tricky and you will have to pay for it, but not for the free Lion's Head parking. If you're not a very confident driver (especially considering we're driving on the left side of the road), you mightuse Uber, many locals and tourists use it every day, including us. It works well, but sometimes you have to wait for a ride during peak hours.

(Video) LIONS HEAD Kapstadt erklimmen - Wandern in Südafrika

my ride

It could bethe best option for solo travelersespecially if you choose oneHike that includes transport. Get picked up and dropped off at your Cape Town hotel, hike with an experienced guide who can show you the best photo spots in Lion's Head, and enjoy good company.

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Where to park the car?

Parking near the trailhead can be difficult, especially at peak times like sunset or a full moon.

  1. The best and closest option isLion's Head trail parkingthis is exactly where the path begins.
  2. If there is no parking space, look for one.Spots along Signal Hill RoadHere and there you can see gravel driveways where you can park.
  3. There is "a secret place" on Signal Hill Road between Lion's Head and Signal Hill, a right turn onto the gravel road about 2km from the trailhead.
  4. We usually park our car at Kloof Nek Parking, which is an exclusive car park to the right of Lion's Head on the way to Table Mountain. There are always places available and the path to the starting point is not far, around 700 m.
  5. There is a car park at the top of Signal Hill, which is about 2.5 km from the Lion's Head trailhead. Unfortunately, this parking lot is usually full.
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Cape Town hiking safety tips

Overall, climbing Lion's Head is not dangerous unless you do it at night.

in the summer it isit gets very hotThere is no shade along the trail and nowhere to get water once you start the hike. Evertake plenty of water with youtake with you at least 1L per person, use sunscreen, wear a hat or cap.

If you walk during the day, you can choose any route if you like.Walk after sunsetStandard,Stay on the gravel roadon the lion's head.

Do not take walks at night.Unless it's a full moon night when there are a lot of people on the mountain.

if you go aloneinstead ofUse the most popular hiking trail. If you don't feel comfortable taking a sunset or sunrise hike on your own, you can always do ittake a guided tour.

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There are many amazing long distance tours in South Africa that outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy such as;o OtterwegEthe path of Amatola.

(Video) Lion's Head Hike | Cape Town | October 2022 | 4K

What to take with you on the hike?

  • a small backpackfor water, a camera, snacks, etc.
  • running shoes/tennis, you don't need hiking shoes for Lion's Head, but walking in flip flops won't work either.
  • Jacket/hooded pulloverWhen you arrive at sunset/sunrise it gets cold and windy up there.
  • carafe of water, make sure you bring enough water as there is no way to fetch water along the hike.
  • Cap, there is no shade on the mountain, if you walk in the afternoon it will be very hot.
  • sunglasses
  • sunscreen
  • GoPro HERO9, video footage and some wide-angle panoramic photos in this post were taken with our GoPro.

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Lion's Head Walk, Cape Town: A Guide for 2022 (17)


(Video) {4K} LION'S HEAD CAPE TOWN SA: Team Building Sunrise Hike

The pretty half of the Stingy Nomads, responsible for all our overland adventures (hiking, climbing, walking the Camino) and record keeping. Alya has loved running since she was a child, she would rather walk 1,000 km with a backpack than go on a 10,000 km trip (actually any trip). Alya is a big fan of Latin America, the Spanish language and dance. Every time we leave, she misses our dog Chile a lot.


What is the easiest route up Lions Head? ›

Lion's Head Spiral Route vs Chains Route

The Spiral Route is certainly the easier of the two options. It takes slightly longer, but winds you around the mountain at a steady incline and easy path. This is the right option for beginners or anyone with a fear of heights.

Can you hike Lions Head without a guide? ›

India Venster is a much more adventurous hike and, if you're courageous enough to do it, you absolutely need a guide. If you like hiking you should arrange to do both hikes while in Cape Town. Below: Back at the Lion's Head parking lot. From here I called Uber and got back home in the city within 10 minutes.

What is the best way to climb Lions Head? ›

The best and the closest option is Lion's Head Hike Parking which is right where the trail starts. If there is no space at the parking lot, look for spots along Signal Hill Road here, and there you can see gravel sidewalks where you can park.

How long to walk up Lions Head Cape Town? ›

About Lions Head Walk

Generally the walk takes about 90 minutes and is fairly manageable although there are a few chains and ladders that one might need to negotiate along the way, especially as one nears the steeper sections of the climb.

What is the best time to climb Lions Head? ›

The best time to Hike Lion's Head is sunrise or sunset. The time it takes to hike Lion's Head is estimated at 2-3 hours. If you join our sunset hike starting at around 4:30 PM, you will see the moon and stars rise over the city of Cape Town during your decent down the mountain.

Can kids do Lions Head Hike? ›

Climbed with an 8 and 4 years old and they both made it to the top! Great outdoor activity if done under the sun. At some point you can choose 1 recommended way which we did for the kids to be able to continue to climb.

Is Lions Head hike for beginners? ›

The first hiking trail up Lion's Head is the Lion's Head Chains. This route is a steep section of vertical rock for about 12 meters supported by chains. It is a route that is possible for beginners and advanced hikers.

Which Lions Head Trail is best? ›

Our most popular guided hike tour, the number one route to hike Lion's head safely is to take the Spiral route. The Lion's Head Spiral trail is the recommended route for those afraid of heights, have kids, dogs or not average level fitness.

What grade is Lions Head hike? ›

It is rated as an A+ hike if you choose the easy route. But if you are more adventurous there is the possibility to hike a more challenging route with ladders and chains. The whole way up and down Lion's Head takes about 1.5 hours. Because of this short time, it is perfect for a quick hike during the week.

Does it cost money to hike Lions Head? ›

You don't need a permit to climb Lions Head, and there is no entrance fee. It's a good idea to stick to popular hiking times, which includes all daylight hours, and at night during the full moon.

How long is Lion's Head Trail? ›

The Lion's Head Trail has two loops - the main trail and inland trail for a total of about 18-kilometres. The trails are marked with blue and white blazes.

Is Lions Head busy? ›

View from the top are spectacular, especially during sunset or sunrise. Beautiful views all the way. Suggest an early start in peak season as it gets very busy. It's a great trail which offers a unique view of how Cape Town is sandwiched between mountains and ocean.

How many calories do you burn climbing Lions Head? ›

It's a relatively easy hike and you can even do it alone. The hike is free and you don't need a guide. You can do it all in about two hours, or even less. It's a great workout and you can burn up to 800 calories.

Is it better to hike Lions Head at sunrise or sunset? ›

The best times to hike the Lion's Head are during the sunrise and the sunset. This is because, during the day, temperatures rise, and the weather becomes too hot for hiking. It is better to start hiking around 90 minutes before the sun comes up.

Are there snakes on Lions Head? ›

Besides the above mentioned animal species there are snakes, porcupines, water mongoose and small antelopes that roam the slopes of Lion's Head. However, hikers rarely come across them during their hiking adventures.

How hard is Lions Rock hike? ›

Generally considered a moderately challenging route, it takes an average of 3 h 6 min to complete. This is a very popular area for hiking and walking, so you'll likely encounter other people while exploring. Exit from Wong Tai Shin MTR station at B3. Note: Route can be done in reverse.

Why is it called Lions Head? ›

History. In the 17th century the peak was known as Leeuwen Kop (Lion's Head) by the Dutch, and Signal Hill was known as Leeuwen Staart (Lion's Tail), as the shape resembles a crouching lion or a sphinx.

How much should a beginner hike? ›

Pick A Hike for Beginners

If you're just starting out, pick a hike under 5 miles with minimal climbing. If you want to do a longer hike, make a training plan in advance. Do an extra mile or two each week and build up to your target distance. Don't forget to look at the total climbing on your hike.

What is considered a beginner hike? ›

As a beginner, I recommend looking for a trail that is under 5 miles with minimal elevation gain. Think about it like you're on a treadmill: a 1-mile hike with 500 ft of elevation gain has an average grade of 10%. Look for beginner hikes with less than 250 feet of elevation gain per mile.

What is the hardest trail? ›

Kalalau Trail

For those who are up for the long hike with hundreds of switchbacks, an elevation gain of over 6,000 feet, and drop-off cliffs, then you'll be in for a real treat. The Kalalau Trail is part of the Na Pali Coast State Wildness Park and it is considered one of the hardest hikes in the world.

Which Mount Major trail is easiest? ›

Brook Trail- Marked with yellow blazes, this is the least steep and the longest trail.

Is Lions Head higher than Table Mountain? ›

Yes, the views from Lion's Head are great, even though the peak rises only two-thirds the height of Table Mountain, but so are the views from Table Mountain.

How high are the cliffs at Lions Head? ›

The Lion's Head Lookout is perched above 200-foot cliffs overlooking the Georgian Bay and the peninsula. Practice caution near the cliff as there are no railings. While Tobermory is known as the Bruce Peninsula's most popular tourist spot, your trip would be incomplete without a visit to Lion's Head Provincial Park.

Is Crouching Lion hike easy? ›

The Crouching Lion hike is a moderate hike that is suitable for most people. However, there are some sections of the hike that are steep and rocky, so you need to be sure to wear proper footwear and bring plenty of water.

How much money do I need to hike the AT? ›

Most hikers spend an average of $1,200 – $1,400 a month during the hike itself. Disciplined, frugal hikers willing to forego motels, restaurants, and other amenities can get away with less; those who like to stay in motels and eat at restaurants when they have the opportunity can easily spend much more.

How long does it take to hike Lions Head Lookout? ›

The Lion's Head Lookout Trail is a moderate hike that offers stunning views of Georgian Bay. The trailhead is located at the end of Lions Head Road, just south of the village of Lion's Head. The hike to the lookout takes about 45 minutes, and the return trip takes about 30 minutes.

How long is Devil's Slide trail? ›

Devil's Slide Trail is a 1.3-mile multi-use trail, converted from a former segment of Highway 1, that gives hikers, runners, bicyclists and equestrians access the rocky heights of Devil's Slide above the Pacific Ocean.

Can you hike Lions Head at night? ›

When exploring the Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) a lot of hikers enjoy adding the extra challenge of hiking at night. The full moon hike up Lion's Head is a highly popular monthly event, and some hikers also enjoy tackling Table Mountain at night. You must be extra vigilant when embarking on a night hike.

Does rock climbing help lose weight? ›

Rock climbing is an excellent workout, but it can be rough if your body isn't up for it. Weight loss helps many medical conditions, and rock climbing is an excellent way to drop a few pounds.

How many calories does 2 hours of climbing burn? ›

Calories Burned Rock Climbing

On average, rock climbing burns anywhere from 400 to 600 Calories per hour.

How many calories does a 5 hour hike burn? ›

However, running still makes you burn more calories. A very rough approximation of the calories burned is 450 kcal per hour of hiking. Compare it with 300 kcal for walking and 600 kcal for running.

How long does it take to climb Lions Head up and down? ›


The hike takes roughly 1.5 to 2.5 hours up and down, depending on your level of fitness and how long you spend on top. The main routes start from the parking area on Signal Hill Road.

How long is Lions Head trail? ›

The Lion's Head Trail has two loops - the main trail and inland trail for a total of about 18-kilometres. The trails are marked with blue and white blazes.

Where do you park to climb Lions Head? ›

Where to start the Lion's Head hike. The hike conveniently begins at the Lion's Head parking lot, which can be reached via the Lion's Head / Signal Hill turn-off from Kloof Nek Road. From there, make your way up to the summit and back down again.

How much does it cost to climb Lions Head? ›

Group hikePrivate hike
R950 per personR1350 per person

Which Lions Head trail is best? ›

Our most popular guided hike tour, the number one route to hike Lion's head safely is to take the Spiral route. The Lion's Head Spiral trail is the recommended route for those afraid of heights, have kids, dogs or not average level fitness.

How high is Lions Head Lookout? ›

The Lion's Head Lookout is perched above 200-foot cliffs overlooking the Georgian Bay and the peninsula.

Does Lions Head have a beach? ›

Families have been visiting Lion's Head for generations to enjoy it's main stretch of clean sandy beach. Enjoyed by tots, teenagers, adults and seniors, the Lion's Head beach has been the place for many family memories.

Is Lions Head the same as Signal Hill? ›

For those less inclined to sweat, Signal Hill is the smaller flat-topped hill extending from the northern lower slopes of Lion's Head, also sometimes called the "Lion's Rump." Once the location for signal flags communicating weather warnings to ships visiting the bay, Signal Hill is also the home of the Noon Gun, still ...

Can a beginner hike Lions Head? ›

The first hiking trail up Lion's Head is the Lion's Head Chains. This route is a steep section of vertical rock for about 12 meters supported by chains. It is a route that is possible for beginners and advanced hikers.


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