The second most iconic peak in Cape Town (sorry, but Table Mountain wins based on sheer size), Lion’s Head is hard to miss. Located adjacent to the Camp’s Bay neighborhood, Lion’s Head reaches 699 meters and offers views of the Atlantic Ocean all the way out to Robben Island.
Dubbed Lion’s Head but 17th century Dutch traders that thought it resembled a crouching animal, it is a perennial attraction for both tourists and locals with a variety of trail and climbing options to get to the top.
So, is it worth it? Well, it depends on what kind of person you are, but generally yes. It’s a short Uber ride from the city center to the entrance of the trail at the base. From there, the trail takes about 60-90 minutes depending on the particular path you take and your level of physical ability. Plenty of kids can and do climb up, but it’s advisable to be in pretty good physical health if you’re going to attempt to go all the way up. Even though it’s a well trodden trail, there are sections that will make you feel more like a mountain goat than you may like.
The full moon hike is incredibly popular, offering a breathtaking view of the city and coast. Just be sure to bring a head flashlight (South African’s will call them torches to the eternal delight of Americans) so you can watch your step.
If you’re not in the best shape or prefer a more leisurely ascent to the tops of mountains, try the sky tram (funicular?) to the top of Table Mountain. The carriage rotates as you rise, giving you 360 degrees views of the city, the cape and the mountain side. Once you’re up, you can wander around a vast expanse of national park to take in many different views of the coast line. While you may not have the same sense of accomplishment you’d get from scaling Lion’s Head (make sure you tell your friend’s you “scaled” it, they’ll never know it was a glorified hike), you’ll have arguably better views.