Lions Head Mountain, Cape Town

Ladies and gentlemen, what’s an easy mountain that anyone can climb? Spectacular, no equipment needed and with no entry fee as well?

There’s definitely one that comes to my mind easily!

The Lions Head Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa.

Suitable for almost anyone, the view from the top of the mountain is one of the best in the whole of Cape Town and is a huge missed opportunity if you don’t visit it… Often 😉

Where is the Lions Head Mountain?

The Lions Head Mountain is located in Cape Town, South Africa. Cape Town is a major tourist destination of South Africa and is know for it’s gorgeous Table Mountain, jazz festivals, great food and it’s friendly and diverse locals.

Cape Town has a fairly large International airport that’s connected quite well throughout the world. Some people though, may have to connect through Johannesburg which has Africa’s busiest airport. Cape Town International airport is also connected very well regionally and domestically in Southern Africa if you are planning more than one destination in the area.

Lions Head Mountain is located in Cape Town, South Africa.

How do you get to the Lions Head Mountain?

Public transport in South Africa is not good. There’s a very high demand for private transport and that is therefore quite pricey. The best option would be to rent a car.

IMPORTANT: South Africa was a British Colony and driving is therefore on the LEFT side of the road.

It all happens for a reason 😉 Cape Town is best experienced through a road trip anyway!

In order to reach the Lions Head Mountain trail, enter the following into Google Maps: “Lions head hike parking”. This will lead you to the road next to where the trail starts.

You can park at where the trail starts.

How do you climb the Lions Head Mountain?

Once you reach the start of the trail, there’s only one way going up, which then splits into two different routes. The spiral route and the chain route. The chain route is the shorter and more dangerous route which requires climbing up two ladders and a vertical wall. The spiral route is longer, more winding and doesn’t require any climbing at all. Both the routes should take you roughly an hour from bottom to top with a moderate to slow walking pace.

IMPORTANT: It’s very important that you take a few hours and don’t rush this trail. It’s a majestic trail, and not really the one you should be doing a time trial on. So take your time, bring lots of food and snacks, and all your camera equipment as well.

Also, the trails are not paved, but are very clearly marked. It’s not possible to get lost unless there’s something REALLY wrong with you.

The chain route has two ladders that are both around Five meters. The last ladder has a bit of a steep drop next to it. There are incidences of people falling from this ladder and getting injured, although it’s quite stable and very easy to climb.

The most difficult thing about the chain route is that you have to climb a vertical wall that’s around ten meters high. There are steel brackets drilled solidly into the wall with chains around them so no equipment is needed. It can be climbed in under thirty seconds.

If you are not comfortable with this, you can take the spiral route which has no climbing.

At the top of the mountain, you have panoramic views of almost the whole of the city. There’s always people at the top, locals and tourists and everyone almost always seems to be in a great mood at the top of Lions Head mountain! I think it’s the altitude 😉

Table mountain is on the left and Camps Bay on the right.

When is the best time to visit Lions Head Mountain?

This trail can be done throughout the year. Cape Town’s winters are not exactly very cold by world standards. As long as it’s a nice and clear day, go for it. In summer the days are much longer and it’s much more lively and busier as well.

View from the summit of the Lions Head Mountain.

What I would strongly suggest is, since this is an easy trail that offers so much. Climb the mountain everyday that you are in Cape Town just before sunset. Sunset is gorgeous from the mountain!

Sunset on Lions Head Mountain.

Is the Lions Head Mountain Trail safe?

This is South Africa, and therefore requires you to take all the necessary precautions you would as in any other city you visit, along with these recommendations to be extra safe:

Go on a weekend, the trail is busy from sunrise to sunset with locals. Never ever be on the trail in the dark. You don’t have to have company if you don’t want to, on either of the trails. It is perfectly fine to solo climb for both males or females.

What else is there to do in the area?

That my dear friends, is a huge question with MANY huge answers 😉

The world doesn’t know how beautiful Cape Town is. I will do a separate article for all Cape Town’s attractions soon!

The Table Mountain is Cape Town’s most famous attraction, which can also be climbed.

It’s not just Cape Town, but the entire Western Cape in South Africa that has so much to offer. More on this very soon…

A road trip through Cape Town? Ooooh yes please 😉


The problem with the Lions Head Mountain is, people look at the pictures and assume that it’s a difficult technical climb, and I can assure you all that it is DEFINITELY NOT. This is something very important that many people leave out, and if anyone experiences this at least once, trust me, you will definitely want to do it again.

Lions Head Mountain is a MUST for anyone who ever finds themselves in Cape Town.

That is, of course.. Unless you are a boring person 😉

In which case you can stay at home. Please!

Shuayb Ismail

Shuayb Ismail is an entrepreneur, frequent traveller and athlete with a passion for self-development and improvement.

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