Hiking Up Lion’s Head

Last month I swapped on to a flight to Cape Town. If you’re a regular reader here, you’ll know that Cape Town, South Africa, is one of my all time favourite destinations! 

As you can imagine, I was very much looking forward to the trip. After a nice and easy 9 hour flight (my penultimate in first class!) we arrived at the hotel and were greeted with fresh juices and fried chicken! Definitely a great start.

A few of us decided to meet for dinner, and instead of our usual Waterfront destination, decided to mix things up and head to The Butcher Shop & Grill, a lovely steakhouse.

We shared some tasty red South African red wine, and all enjoyed delicious steaks. Slightly pricier than some of the other restaurants in Cape Town, but still very affordable (and even more so compared to Dubai).

The next morning I was up early to do something I love – hike up Lion’s Head! I’ve done the hike once before, but it’s a great morning out and I found one of the guys from my flight who was willing to join. We jumped in an Uber there (around 10-15 mins drive from our crew hotel) and started the walk up.

The starting point for the hike is easy to find on Google Maps or Uber, just put in “Lion’s Head Hike Starting Point”, and it’ll drop you at the exact spot. 

Depending on how fast you walk and how many pictures you stop for, it’s around 45 minutes – 1 hour each way. We did it in around 50 minutes each way, with a short rest at the top!

The weather was just perfect – warm and sunny and beautiful clear blue skies. The last time I did this hike it was grey, cloudy and rainy, so this made for a pleasant change!

Make sure you take plenty of water with you as there is nowhere to fill up or buy until you get back down to the bottom. If you burn easily, make sure to be very liberal with the suncream as well!

The path starts out fairly easy, as a wide gravel path, slowly turning into big steps. As you get higher and higher up, the steps disappear and it turns into narrow, rocky cliff face, so do be aware of that.

You’ll have stunning views the whole way, and as you can imagine, I took hundreds of photos! This view really doesn’t ever get old for me, such a special place.

Soon enough you’ll come to some metal ladders, which you’ll have to use to continue the hike up. Further along, there are also some metal “staples” and chains in the rock face, which you can use, or choose to go around a slightly longer route.

Once you’re up them though, you’ll be rewarded with the best view! Just look at that white sand and incredible blue ocean.

We sat at the top, taking in the view and enjoying a cup of tea that I’d brought up with me in my reusable cup, and had stayed perfectly hot. So British!

We also spotted a couple of cute little creatures which I’d not seen before. I’ve now found out that they are called a Rock Hyrax or “Dassie” and are closely related to the elephant!

After soaking up as much of the view as possible, it was time to make the trek back down. Somehow it felt so much easier on the way down!

Although we started out at 9, by this point it was starting to get quite busy, so I’d definitely advise going as early as you can if you want uncrowded views.

Once we made it to the bottom, we treated ourselves to a nice cold bottle of water from the little truck selling food and drinks at the start, and ordered an Uber to take us to the waterfront. (Yes, the truck has wifi!)

What a great morning out, burning plenty of calories and enjoying some spectacular views along the way! There was just time to grab a coffee at the waterfront before heading back to the hotel to relax a little before the wake-up call.

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  1. Marï Coetzee
    October 12, 2019 / 11:07 am

    So happy you made this hike and taking a friend along. I have a friend who does these hikes every Saturday morning. ❤️Love TableMountain. About an hour drive from where I live next year in springtime you should take a day drive up the West Coast to seethe wild flower spectacular on a sunny day.

    • thedubaidiaries
      October 19, 2019 / 6:42 pm

      It’s such a great start to the morning, I’m impressed your friend does it every weekend! I’d love to hike Table Mountain next time. I think you mentioned the wildflowers, I definitely need to have a holiday in South Africa and see more parts of the country one day! 🙂

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