Signal Hill and Lions Head Travel Guide

These two mountains provide fascinating views over the city, Table Mountain, Sea Point, Robben Island and the ocean. Signal Hill look-out point has recently been upgraded – a popular spot to enjoy sunsets from.  An hour and a half walk will take you to the top of Lions Head (669 meters) – with amazing 360 degree views from here.. this hike is definitely worth the sweat.

They are Cape Spirit’s favourite city mountains: They are easily accessible and provide some wonderful views of Table Mountain, the city and the ocean.

It has become an institution for tourists and locals to gather daily at the Signal Hill lookout point for sunset. On your way to the main lookout stop at the various smaller lookouts on your right for great city views.

Once you arrive at the main lookout, walk around and explore the many different areas – there is a gravel walkway leading down to a fantastic viewpoint of Bantry Bay.

You can easily visit Signal Hill lookout every afternoon and not get tired of it. Remember the picnic bag and blanket while you watch the sun sets perfectly over the ocean.

Climbing Lions Head

If you’re lucky enough to be here over full moon, walk to the summit of Lions Head to watch the rise of the full moon. Hundreds of people join here monthly for this beautiful event. If you are not here over this time, it is definitely still worth walking up for sunset – expect a smaller crowd though.

The walk to the top takes around 1.5 hours so plan your departure time to arrive in time for sunset. If you don’t want to walk all the way up, you can also walk for about 10 minutes on this path for a spectacular view over Camps Bay.

If you’re heading for the top, you will need to climb up one big rock with the help of a mountain cable, nothing impossible though - families do it all the time.  If you don’t want to use the cable, there is an alternative route around it (which is the best way for coming down after sunset – do not climb down the cable during dark.) Also, don’t forget to take a torch with for the journey back. See Table Mountain for more details on mountain safety.

Once on top, it is probably thé spot in Cape Town where you feel closest to Mother Earth: Table Mountain rises triumphant over Lions Head, the mighty ocean stretches as far as the eye can see and the eastern horizon is covered with mountains.  As the sunset paints the sky orange, the moon rises slowly over the east. Everyone is watching… A beautiful experience.

Signal Hill noon gun

If you hear a bomb explode at 12 am don’t panic...  The South African Navy fires their Noon gun at 12 am from Signal Hill (every day except Sunday) To watch this event turn right off Buitengracht Street into Whitford Street which becomes Military Road. The Noon Gun is situated at the end of Military. Be there for around 11:45.

All around Lions Head (and directions to Signal Hill)

Late afternoon… looking for something to do? Drive around Lions Head!

Start at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) and drive up Buitengracht road (becoming Kloof Nek Road) towards the mountain. On the top of the hill (at the corner of Kloof Nek and Tafelberg Road) turn right into Signal Hill road. You will see the beginning of Lion’s Head Walk on your left – there are usually cars parked with hikers preparing for the walk. Visit the various lookouts on Signal Hill as you drive further on. The main Signal Hill lookout point is situated at the very end of the road – about a 10 minutes drive from Lions Head.

On your way back to Kloof Nek Road, turn right towards Camps Bay and an immediate right into Kloof Road. The route circles towards the ocean - there is a beautiful forest picnic spot called The Glen on your left. Driving down, you will reach a T-junction where you should turn right staying in Kloof Road . This road takes you all the way to Sea Point. To view some spectacular real estate turn right into Ave Fresnaye up the hill and back.

Continue with Kloof Road until you reach Sea Point. As the road crosses Sea Point’s Regent Street / Main Road you can either continue on towards the ocean into Beach Road (then right towards the city all along the ocean) or discover Sea Point Main Road’s many restaurants and shops.

Travel checklist

  • Sunset picnic at Signal Hill lookout point
  • Walked Lions Head path for a great view over Camps Bay
  • Walked to the top of Lions Head
  • Visited the Signal Hill Noon Gun at 12 am
  • Drove all around Lions Head - visited The Glen, Fresnaye and Sea Point

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