Cape Town: Hiking to Lion’s Head and how to find Wally’s Cave
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Lion’s Head is one of the most iconic Cape Town landmarks and its spectacular Table Mountain views make a Lion’s Head hike an essential addition to any Cape Town itinerary! We’ll let you in on a little Lion’s Head secret: there are a number of hidden caves on Lion’s Head which have spectacular views of Table Mountain. Wally’s Cave is one of the most famous of the caves and is relatively easily accessible from the Lion’s Head hiking path. It’s an awesome spot to enjoy a Cape Town sun downer with magnificent views of Table Mountain, Camp’s Bay and the Ocean. Here’s our guide to hiking the iconic Lion’s Head and finding Wally’s Cave!
2019 Note: Due to safety concerns, Wally’s Cave is no longer accessible. This route has been permanently closed due to major erosion and is dangerous to hikers. Please respect signage and access rules.
Lion’s Head Hike
Hiking up Lion’s Head is a must at any time of the day when visiting Cape Town but there is something special about the hike on a sunny South African evening. It’s an energetic and challenging hike but its not a difficult one. The views at the top are unrivalled: Cape Town, Table Mountain and the endless ocean, total bliss!
Where to stay in Cape Town: our favourite hotels
The Cape Town sights are spread across the city and its suburbs. Our favourite locations are the Waterfront for sightseeing, Camps Bay (swoon!) for views and Long Street when you want to be in the heart of the action. Here’s our top hotel picks for a Cape Town stay:
- Protea Waterfront Breakwater Lodge: we stayed at the Protea Waterfront Breakwater Lodge. This waterfront hotel is an excellent choice if you want a V&A location at a lower price. The rooms in the main hotel building were our favourites and we loved being two minutes walk from the waterfront – Check prices now!
- POD Camps Bay: Camps Bay is a stunning Cape Town suburb within easy reach of the city and an awesome alternative to staying in Cape Town itself. The rooms are compact but gorgeous and the views are incredible with miles of ocean, a mountain backdrop and magical sunsets. – Check prices now!
- Long Street Boutique Hotel: if you want to be in the middle of the action Long Street, surrounded by restaurants, shows, cafes and bars is a great option. This quirky hotel is a fab boutique choice for leisure travellers and is good value by Cape Town standards – Check prices now!
After spotting some epic Wally’s Cave pics on Instagram we set our sights on finding the cave and its incredible view of Table Mountain. We found the cave on our hike to Lion’s Head, took some epic pics of our own and loved every second!
How to Get to Wally’s Cave
Wally’s Cave is a relatively easy hike from the main Lion’s Head path and totally worth the short detour. The main path to Lion’s Head is marked out and the path to Wally’s Cave is made all the easier with our directions!
Warning: These directions involve leaving the marked trail up Lions Head and onto the now unused older trail. If you follow these directions you do so at your own risk and exercise caution on the route.
After around 20 minutes you’ll reach the first set of metal ladders on the Lions Head hike. Instead of climbing the first ladder, continue around the rock to the left and cross the small wire fence:
Continue past the old bench and try to keep on the upper part of the trail which hugs the rock face. The trail becomes difficult to follow at this point and the terrain gets verys steep and loose. Just keep to the upper paths and mind your step.
If you’ve kept on the right path you should find yourself at the end of the rock with a rocky ledge which leads around the corner of the rockface. If you’re afraid of heights you may not like this part as there is a big drop over the ledge. Try not to get too awestruck by the view at this point as you’re almost at Wally’s cave. It is amazing though!
As you turn past the overhang a rocky area opens up and, above the loose rocky wall, you will spy Wally’s Cave. It doesn’t look like a cave from the lower ledge but if you scramble up the loose rock you’ll come to Wally’s Cave. It’s a peaceful cave with a simply stunning view.
After snapping a few fantastic photos we settled down to a beautiful sundowner overlooking Camp’s Bay and Table Mountain. The setting was really out of this world. A few hikers passed us on the way to the summit via the old path, but for the most part we had the place to ourselves.
A brief word of warning, make sure to leave before it gets completely dark as the route back to the main hiking path would not be fun in the dark, especially if you don’t know the way well and don’t have a torch.
Hiking to the top of Lion’s Head from Wally’s Cave
You can access the summit of Lion’s head by continuing on the old path beneath Wally’s Cave but the route is only used by experience hikers as it can get hairy in places. There are aslo lots more caves to explore on Lions Head but we had a beautiful evening at Wally’s Cave. The hike is totally worth it!
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