Lion's Head Hiking Trail
Lion’s Head hiking trail is one of the most popular trails to hike close to Cape Town, South Africa. With easy access from the city it is a favourite bucket list hike for locals and visitors to Cape Town. From the top of Lion’s Head at 669M above sea level you enjoy panoramic views of the city of Cape Town, Robben Island and the Atlantic Seaboard or West coast. Book your registered tour guide for your Lion’s Head hike. CapeTownInsider.
How To Get To Lion's Head?
- MyCiTy Bus. Get off at Kloof Nek stop and cross the road and walk to the start of the trail at Lion’s Head. You can catch the bus from various points in Cape Town, the Waterfront and Camps Bay. This is the cheapest option.
- Uber.com or choose your favourite ride hailing app. Pick up is also quite quick but remember there is no WiFi so you will need cell phone data.
- Driving your own car? Take the Lion’s Head Signal Hill turn off. Parking is often hard to find, especially on weekends.
Is Lion's Head Hiking Trail Open?
Lion’s Head hiking trail has been closed at times by SANParks and due to COVID19 restrictions. As of the 1 March 2021 Lion’s Head is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There is no entrance fee and no permit needed to do this hike. Check for the latest news from SANParks on Lion’s Head.
Is Hiking Lion's Head Safe?
There have been a number of accidents on the Lion’s Head Hiking Trail. This is often caused by incorrect footwear that leads to slipping and falls especially when the the Lion’s Head trail is wet and slippery. Cloud cover can often obscure visibility during the hike.
During full moon hikes you will be hiking in the dark. Extra care needs to be taken at night. For guidelines and idea’s on what to take with you on your hike, check out the link below.
There have also been reports of muggings in the area and theft of personal belongings. Please use caution and be aware of people around you.
The main emergency number for SANParks is 086 110 6417
What To Take On Your Hike?
- Water, there is no water at the top so take at least two litres with you.
- Sunscreen or sunblock
- Cellphone or camera. There is cell reception at the top of Lion’s Head
- Proper footwear with a good grip
- A jacket as the weather can change quickly
- Snacks or what ever you plan to consume on your hike
- Flashlight or head torch for full moon hikes
When To Hike Lion's Head?
This hike can be done through out the year but always check the weather before setting out on your hike. Early mornings on Lion’s Head are very popular as you can watch the sun rise over the city of Cape Town.
The other VERY popular hike to do is to watch the sun set and watch the full moon rise over the city. Below is a list of the full moon dates for 2021. Expect the hike to be super busy during these times.
2021 Full Moon Calendar
28 January 2021
27 February 2021
28 March 2021
27 April 2021
26 May 2021
24 June 2021
24 July 2021
22 August 2021
21 September 2021
20 October 2021
19 November 2021
19 December 2021
The Start Of The Lion's Head Hiking Trail
The start of the trail is easy to make out and keep your eyes out for the VidaE coffee truck if you need extra energy for your hike. This is a moderate hike and will take most people around 90 minutes to get to the summit at 669 meters. A round trip will take around 3 hours. The distance is a little over 5 Kilometers round trip. It is an easier hike than hiking Table Mountain.
There are two popular routes to the top. The spiral route is easier and the route recommended for those whose fitness levels are not great, those afraid of heights and people with young children and dogs on their leashes.
The Lion’s Head chains and ladders route is for those who are physically stronger and who want a bit more of an adventurous climb to the summit. On this route you will need to be able to physically pull yourself up the ladders and chains.
The climb to the top gives you spectacular views of the city of Cape Town, views of Devil’s Peak and Table Mountain. As you progress on your hike you will look South along the Atlantic West Coast at the 12 Apostles range and below it the beach town of Camp’s Bay and further along Clifton.
Looking North you will see Sea Point below, Signal Hill with its Kramat and Table Bay with Robben Island in the distance. The Kramat is the burial place of Shaykh Mohamad Hassen Ghaibie Shah, who is one of the two better known Auliyah who lay buried on the Signal Hill Ridge. The other one is Kaape-ti-low.
Once you reach the top of Lion’s Head its time to stop and soak in the stunning views from every angle. The top of Lion’s Head can be a very busy place especially on weekends. Lots of people are trying to take their perfect Instagram picture from the top of Lion’s Head.
Once you have taken it all in, its time to retrace your steps back down to the car park and prepare for your next adventure.