Hiking up Leeukop/Lion’s Head – Cape Town, South Africa

Hike up Lion's Head

Hike up Lion’s Head

If you are Capetonian and have never hiked up Lion’s Head mountain, you really should put it on your bucket list. If you ever visit Cape Town, try to do it, it is a quick and relatively easy hike with beautiful panoramic views of the gorgeous Cape Town and Table Mountain. It is completely free to hike as well.

We usually hike up Lion’s Head just before sunset, watch the sunset with a picnic and then hike down with headlamps. Going up can take anything from 30min to an hour, depending on your fitness levels. It is not a difficult hike, I would however not recommend it for people that struggle with their health, and when hearing it is not a difficult hike people usually misjudge it as an extremely easy hike which also is not the case, it is not peanuts. It is a quick steep but flat and even climb, so you might have to stop to catch your breath. You then get to a section where you have to rock climb a bit more (first section is very even and flat). You have a choice here climb up the metal ladders and over a few rocks or take the longer route and walk up. You have to use your hands at the last 20meters or so to help pull you up a bit on some of the larger rocks if you are not very tall, but nothing terrible.

When you get to the top it is amazing. Beautiful, ocean views, mountain views, city views. You can watch the sun rise or set from there. We went up for a sunset and watched the sky turn red and pink and eventually black with golden city lights filling the night. On a previous hike there were fire flies everywhere – beautiful and scarce to see them here.

Do pack a nice picnic and some warm coffee as it can get very cold on top of the mountain. Always pack warm tops, a beany hat is a good idea as well. To climb down the mountain it goes quite quickly. We each had a bright headlamp.

The most favourite time to climb up the mountain for a sunset is with full moon. Do take note that the hike path gets very busy with climbers and you might find yourself waiting at the ‘ladder part.’ You might also struggle to get a nice place to sit and watch the sunset. The top is nice and big, but can get quite full, also to get a spot on the right side.

This is one of the experiences I believe you need to experience as a true Capetonian. A lot of people do a quick Friday morning hike/almost run up the mountain before work which has become a bit of a tradition to those that is fit and stay in Cape Town city itself.

I do hope this post showed you some of our beautiful views and that you will give it a try when visiting. For a quick hike and relatively easy hike you get rewarded big time – not something you find to often on ‘shorter’ hikes. When my husband and myself hiked in Cinque Terre, Italy, we loved it, but kept on saying, Cape Town and South Africa is sooo beautiful we are truly blessed to live here and must get out even more and experience more than we already are, do not miss out on what we have right here on our doorstep.


Sunset from Lion's Head mountain

Sunset from Lion’s Head mountain

View of Table Mountain from Lion's Head

View of Table Mountain from Lion’s Head with its famous ‘cloud tablecloth’ covering it.

View from Lion's Head

View from Lion’s Head

Sunset from Lion's Head

Sunset from Lion’s Head



View of Cape Town, city lights starting to shine

View of Cape Town, city lights starting to shine

Cape Town at night from Lion's Head

Cape Town at night from Lion’s Head

Night view from Lion's Head

Night view from Lion’s Head