Cape Town’s Great Peaks: Table Mountain, Lion’s Head, Signal Hill

CH Travel - Table Mountain Pietro


Of Our South Africa Travel Adventure

Cape Town City is located in a bowl made of its surrounding two mountains and a hill, iconic Table Mountain in the South and Lion’s Head and Signal Hill in the West. This landscape offers a lot of great nature experiences and leisure activities that many Capetonians (and visitors) keep coming back for.

What makes Table Mountain, Lion’s Head, and Signal Hill attractive? All of them are close to the city, offer hiking and biking trails, and from its summits, you have fantastic views of the entire Cape Town area, the coastline to the north and south, and even towards the wine regions.

In this article, we’ll share detailed information and great pictures of these peaks on our current doorstep.

Table Mountain

CH Travel - Table Mountain with Tablecloth

Probably the most famous mountain in all of South Africa. In any case, it is an extraordinary one in terms of shape and weather conditions. Because there is no summit but an expansive plateau flat like a table – this is how it got its name.

Most of the time, the sky is entirely blue. But when there are clouds, they cover the mountain like an overhanging tablecloth, whose ends running down into the valleys like a waterfall – a fascinating spectacle.

I grew up in the Bavarian Alps region, but I never saw such a fascinating weather phenomenon as the "Table Cloth".

So close to the city and suburbs, and yet it feels like miles away as one experiences so much tranquility in nature.

You can enjoy beautiful walks around the entire plateau and along the cliffs – through fynbos and rocks – and with exceptional views.

And for refreshment, there is a café next to the cable car station with snacks and drinks and a large outdoor area to enjoy it.

If you want to get to the top quickly, choose the cable car, which takes around 5 minutes for the 765 meters of altitude. The great thing about it is that the cabin rotates slowly so that every passenger can enjoy a 360-degree view. However, it is a bit of a challenge if you are afraid of heights – like me.

CH Travel Table Mountain Cliffs

Alternatively, you can climb the mountain on various routes, taking 1.5 – 4 hours one way, depending on the track and your fitness. And it’s your workout for the day.

Here are many more details about 5 different Table Mountain hikes.

The ticket prices for the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway (cable car) differ for adults, children, and seniors and depend on the time of day.  Here are all ticket details.

First/ Last cable car up: 8:30 / 15:30

Last cable car down: 16:30

Phrase of this Episode:

Hoe gaan dit? - How are you?
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Local Vocal

Signal Hill (or Lion's Rump)

CH Travel - Signal Hill Paragliding

Only 350 meters of height, it is the hill where in the 19th-century, signal flags were used to communicate weather conditions and anchor instructions for incoming ships. This is how it got its name.

These days it is a great excursion and picnic area with stunning views and the favorite take-off point for paragliders.

At the same time, it is known as Lion’s rump and sits next to Lion’s head. You can easily combine both mountains in one relaxed hike.

What we noticed 

Capetonians are sports fanatics and also love paragliding. Whenever the weather permits, you can see them taking off from Signal Hill – for a couple of laps around the other peaks – and then landing in Camps Bay.

Lion's Head

CH Travel - Lion's Head from Table Mountain
CH Travel - Lion's Head Track

Lion’s Head is located between Table Mountain and Signal Hill and has this very striking rocky peak. For me, it looks more like a thumbs up than a lion’s head.

You can walk around it comfortably, touching the backyard areas of Camps Bay, Clifton, Bantry Bay, and Sea Point and meeting many residents jogging, biking, or walking their dogs. Here you are well off the beaten path.

PS: This route also passes “The Rock”, the southern end of Arcadia Road in Bantry Bay, a popular spot to watch the sunset on the rocks overlooking Camps Bay and the famous 12 Apostles along the coast. Further down North, it’ll take you to Signal Hill.

However, the hike to the Lion’s Head summit is breathtaking. Consider doing it at sunrise over the Hottentot Mountains or at sunset over the Atlantic Ocean, which makes it even more awesome. Don’t forget your flashlight, snacks, and water – and off you go!

We hope you enjoyed this post about two gorgeous mountains and a hill around Cape Town – and will be back for the next episodes 🙂

In the following, we start our adventuring into the wilderness of South Africa, first up the Klein Karoo.

Next up: Episode 5 – The Klein Karoo’s Spectacular Wilderness

Previous Episode 3 – False Bay: Cape Town’s Colorful Bay in the South

Interested in more of our South Africa Photos? Then visit our photography website.

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