Lion’s Head is a mountain in Cape Town, lies between Table Mountain and Signal Hill. Lion’s Head peaks at 669 metres (2,195 ft) above sea level. The peak forms part of a dramatic backdrop to the city of Cape Town and is part of the Table Mountain National Park.
During the 17th century Dutch settlers first named the peak Leeuwen Kop (Lion’s Head). Its counterpart, Signal Hill, was referred to as Leeuwen Staart (Lion’s Tail), as the two mountains and the space between them is reminiscent of a sphinx
Lion’s Head is best known for its stunning views of Cape Town City and Table Bay on one side, and the Atlantic shoreline on the other. The hike to the top of Lions head is really rewarding, the views are awesome, and it makes for some great photos of Cape Town city. It is possible to see Robben Island (where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 19 years) clearly from the top of Lion’s head, and on a clear day it makes a great photograph.
Due to its height above the city and the ideal wind conditions that prevail around it, Lion’s Head is a great spot to go paragliding, hang-gliding or microlighting.
Geographically speaking, the “table top” of Table Mountain is of sandstone origin, while its slopes are composed of granite. This underlying composition supports the growth of natural fynbos vegetation.
The three-hour return walk to the top of Lion’s Head is quite a challenge if you are unfit, and not suited to the elderly or very young. The route starts at Signal Hill Road, at the base of Forestry Road and spirals around the head to a section with chains. These have been put in place to assist climbers over a steep, rocky section. Although there is an alternate route that bypasses the chains, the ascent is still steep and not to be taken lightly.