Lion's Head Hiking Trail

Lion’s Head hiking trail is one of the most popular and easily accessible hiking trails close to Cape Town, South Africa. With easy access from the city of Cape Town it is a favourite bucket list hike for locals and visitors to Cape Town. From the summit of Lion’s Head at 669M above sea level you experience panoramic, ever changing 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. 

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 due to COVID19 restrictions. As of the 1 March 2022 Lion’s Head is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There is no entrance fee and no permit needed if you are planning to hike Lion’s Head, but keep an eye on the weather as it can change rapidly. 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. Your hiking guide can advise you of local weather conditions and what to wear ahead of your 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.
  • Hats
  • 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 and other special moon events for 2022. During full moon and special moon events you should allow enough time to get to the top of Lion’s Head as the trail is normally very busy with hikers and the top of Lion’s Head can be crowded.

2022 Full Moon Calendar For Lion’s Head

18 January 2022
16 February 2022
18 March 2022
16 April 2022
16 May 2022
14 June 2022
13 July 2022
12 August 2022
10 September 2022
09 October 2022
08 November 2022
08 December 2022

Special Moon Events in 2022

Super New Moon: 2 Jan

Black Moon: 30 Apr (second New Moon in single calendar month)

Total Lunar Eclipse visible in Cape Town on 16 May

Super Full Moon: 14 Jun

Micro New Moon: 29 Jun

Super Full Moon: 13 Jul

Super New Moon: 23 Dec

No Blue Moon in Cape Town in 2022 

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 before the start of your hike, but don’t get too carried away as there are no toilets along the way. 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 hiking distance is a little over 5 KM 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 and not be afraid of heights or suffer from vertigo.

What ever route you decide to take, you can be assured of 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. If you do this hike later in the day it’s an amazing experience to watch the city lights come on as the sun sets and the full moon rises over the city of Cape Town.

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 so you may need a little patience. Many people are trying to create their perfect Instagram photo’s and other social media post’s from the top of Lion’s Head as sadly there is good cell phone reception here.

My suggestion when you reach the top is stop taking photo’s for a few minutes and just look around you and appreciate the stunning beauty and tranquility that Lion’s Head can offer you. 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. If you are looking for a similar but quieter hike with stunning views, but with less people why not look at hiking Chapman’s Peak.

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