Hiking Up Lion’s Head

Lion’s Head is one of Cape Town most popular hikes that lies in the heart if the Mother City. Lion’s Head also makes up Cape Town’s famous skyline that creates that perfect picturesque balance. I did the hike for the first time last year in May 2016 with two friends.

How to get there

Lion’s Head’s base is accessible by car as you drive through Tamboerskloof and is adjacent from the entry to the Table Mountain cable car access point. There is plenty of parking available at the base. If you don’t have a car, you can rent a cab or use Uber.

Difficulty rating

This is an easy to intermediate hike, it really depends on your fitness level. I did it for the first time and had no problems. Kids can do it too, as I saw whole families do the hike and no special hiking gear is really required.

The overall hike takes around 2 hours. I heard a lot about the ladders and chains section that sounded rather ominous, however it was simply installed metals rungs to make the climb convenient and was no problem at all.

Let’s start

You’ll just starting walking up a steep gravel path and then wind your way around the base. You’ll eventually climb up the ladder to start the incline to the next level.

Mid way

We decided to take a rest at the middle bend just to take in the amazing views of the city bowl and the west coast. The views here are amazing. The early morning light are great for those perfect photo opportunities.


To the top

We climbed up many rocky paths and up some rocks. It was an overcast day and it had been raining the day before, and this made the soil a bit slippery, but it wasn’t too perilous.

Reaching the top made this hike totally worth it. The views offer a panoramic view of the city. I had to go to the famous rock that lies a bit off from the main area.


After that we headed down to the Waterfront to get some lunch. I definitely recommend this easy hike for outdoor enthusiasts visiting Cape Town! I’m definitely keen to do it again.

Safe travels,






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39 thoughts on “Hiking Up Lion’s Head

  1. I have never been to SA but first thing I did after reading this blog was googled about it, it appears to be a must do hike. The pictures are awesome especially the last one. I was just curious to know if this name was given by natives & if there is a story behind it or simply the shape of the peak resembles with a head of a lion.

  2. This looks like a fun hike! I’m not a big hiker, per se, but an easy hike would be right up my alley. Especially if it leads to such an amazing view! I’m glad they put in some rungs and stuff to make the hike a little more accessible!

  3. Stunning views at the top, wow! This looks like my kind of hike, although I’m sure it will take me longer than 2 hours since I would probably stop every so often to take photos!

  4. I love hiking, especially when it unveils such rewarding views. I could do it every weekend. There is nothing like cooling off your sweat after reaching the peak, imbibing the breath-taking views from a vantage point. Cheers!!

  5. I am moderately fit but from what I’ve usually read about this hike, it’s supposed to be tough. However reading your blog, it doesn’t that tough after all! I’m planning to visit Capetown this year end and have been researching. The views from the top are breathtaking!

  6. I’m not a great hiker, but Lion’s Head sounds like one I could try. You’re right about those views, they are stunning. Is there a good time of the year to visit?

  7. I admit, I was lazy (and pressed for time), so I took the cable car up. I was nevertheless impressed by the views from the top. You might have inspired me, though, to go back and hike (as well as hike up to Lion’s Head…). Lovely pics, BTW!

    Happy continued travels!

      1. No, I took the cable car up to Take Mountain last time I was there and you inspired me to walk next time plus walk up Lions Head. Sorry, if that was not clear from my previous comment 😉

  8. The Lion’s Head hike looks worth while and as it’s an intermediate hike will make it more fun. You were very lucky with the weather, a bright sunny day makes for a perfect walk. The trail sounds easy to follow too. You took some very Instagrammable pictures up there and on the way up as well. I will remember Lion’s Head for when I visit Cape Town.

  9. That view is totally worth the hike! I’m planning to visit South Africa and your blog is really helpful as reference. It’s good to know that Uber is available that can take you to the base since I cannot drive with my license. 😀

  10. Gorgeous photos! I hiked Lions Head back in 2011 and having some awesome photos from sunset. Such great memories! I would love to do it again.

  11. The reason why i love hiking so much is so beautifully summed up in your post – the panoramic view of the place. Your pictures taken from the lion’s head look amazing. I would love to hike this place. Good travel guide too.

  12. South Africa (Cape Town) is definitely on our list of places to visit. Lion’s Head sounds like a really cool hike. Hiking for two hours would be totally worth it. The views are absolutely stunning!

  13. It’s funny how today is the first day that I ever heard of the lions head hike and then I find (by accident) your post about it. Great timing! Looks like a really great hike to do. I def want to visit Cape Town in the next year so will be keeping this hike in mind. Thanks

  14. It is good to know that you do not have to be in incredible hiking shape to do this trek. I like when people share that information because we have done a couple where we would definitely have waited if we knew how stressful it was. The city looks great from up high as well as the ocean!

  15. Wow,great pictures you have here. I love hiking especially seeing stunning views at the top. I would definitely hike at Lion’s head If I get the chance. So thank you so much for sharing your adventure.

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