Lovely Lion’s head

If you were thinking that I was referring to a member of the big five, you’re mistaken. I’m talking about the mountain in Cape Town, named by the Dutch Settlers. Signal hill (next to Lion’s head) was called the Lion’s tail; together these two resembled a crouching feline. If you were wondering why I would refer to it as lovely; the mountain holds a certain magnetism, which many couples make use of. A hike up the Lion’s head offers an ideal starting point to any vacation or adventure in the Cape, because you’ll be able to orientate yourself to the geography of the surrounding area.

Let me tell you a secret, in order to enjoy the view of Cape Town in all its glory, you have to be brave enough to endure the hike or rather, the climb up the mountain. Be prepared: wear proper shoes and pack a small backpack with some must-have items; water, a light sweater and a flash light. Even though you might have a partner to keep you warm, it gets chilly at the top and you’ll also need a light on your way back down. Be sure to look back up at the climbers descending, the headlights that they wear create a string of lights wrapped around the mountain, almost like a Christmas tree.

I have recently had the opportunity to go on this adventure for the first time in the 17 years that I have resided in the suburbs of Cape Town. After the first few metres I felt tricked by my friends who didn’t warn me of the steep hike and then the risky climb. I felt like giving up and turning around, but luckily I have very persuasive friends. The secret is to stop along the way up, to enjoy every little bit of the ever changing view and to appreciate the indigenous fauna and flora. There are over 2000 species of fynbos on Table Mountain alone, which is more plant species than occur in the United Kingdom.

When you finally arrive at the summit you’ll forget about all fear and fatigue.
Even though you promised yourself halfway up that this would never happen again, you’ll find that you are revising that promise. Lions head offers a 360 degree view of land and ocean. You can see the Mother City and Table Bay on one side, and the Atlantic shoreline on the other. You’ll also have a great view of Table Mountain, pulling a blanket of flickering lights over the Cape.

A more romantic spot would be hard to find. If you wait for a full moon, this could be the ideal place to woo a loved one. A picnic back pack, stocked with some champagne, strawberries and cream could easily be carried up the mountain. For many couples, Lion’s head will hold a special place in their memories.

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