Lion's Head

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Lion's Head
Lion's Head, seen from Table Mountain, with Robben Island in the background

Lion's Head, seen from Table Mountain, with Robben Island in the background

height 669  m
location near Cape Town in South Africa
Mountains Table Mountain range
Coordinates 33 ° 56 '5 "  S , 18 ° 23' 21"  O Coordinates: 33 ° 56 '5 "  S , 18 ° 23' 21"  O
Lion's Head (South Africa)
Lion's Head
rock Sandstone on granite

The Lion's Head (Afrikaans: Leeukop), literally translated as Löwenkopf , but referred to as Löwenberg on older German maps , is one of Cape Town's local mountains alongside Table Mountain . At 669 meters, it is not as high as Table Mountain, but due to its conical shape and exposed location, it is considered to be one of the most beautiful panoramic mountains in Table Bay .

Location and surroundings

The Lion's Head belongs next to the Devil's Peak and the Signal Hill ( also Lion's Rump ) to the massif of the Table Mountain in the Table Mountain National Park . It is almost surrounded by Cape Town . To the north is the Sea Point district , to the east is downtown, south to Camp's Bay and the Twelve Apostles .


There is no cable car to the Lion's Head. In contrast to the neighboring Table Mountain, you have a 360 ° view from Lion's Head. The cloud formation in the fog is less here compared to Table Mountain.

In addition to the towering Table Mountain, you can see Devil's Peak, the Twelve Apostles, the suburbs of Camp's Bay , Sea Point , the extensive Table Bay and downtown Cape Town . The spacious townships are more likely behind Devil's Peak and Table Mountain. Mostly you can also see the former prison island Robben Island and with very good visibility the mountain ranges towards the Cape of Good Hope .

Because of the view, climbing in the evening is also popular. Many hikers climb the mountain with the help of flashlights or headlamps to experience the sunset and then the view of the illuminated city.


View from Table Mountain to Lion's Head, Cape Town and Table Bay with Robben Island

Originally the area around Lion's Head was populated by the San and Khoikhoi . In the 17th century the mountain was called Leeuwen Kop by the Dutch who landed in 1652 . They drove out the indigenous people. Signal Hill and Lion's Head reminded them of a sphinx and inspired the name. Another theory assumes that the lions that live on the mountain gave its name.

The first settlers on the mountain who were brought into the country by the Dutch were Malay immigrants who used the lower mountain slopes as a place for burials. Even today you can occasionally discover historical graves and shrines ( kramats ) in the dense fynbos . The British, who took power on the Cape in 1806, initially called the mountain Sugar Loaf.

Gold quartz was discovered on the northern slopes of Lion's Head in the 19th century. The "Löwenkopf Goldminen Gesellschaft" was founded, shafts were sunk, hundreds of private treasure hunters undertook unauthorized excavations. The promised productivity of the mines turned out to be a mistake.

Web links

Commons : Lion's Head  - collection of images, videos and audio files