Posted on November 24th, 2016
With many spectacular mountain ranges, Cape Town really is the perfect place for the happy hiker. As a kid I used to dread our weekend family hikes but as I’ve grown up I have come to realise just how privileged I am to live in a place that is so abundantly rich in beautiful hiking trails. One of the most trendy hikes and which has become increasing popular over the past little while is Lion’s Head. It is a fairly easy-going hike that should only take about an hour to climb up and you are treated to panoramic views the whole way. From the vast blue expanse of Camps Bay to Clifton and then wrapping around to the city bowl, it really is the best spot to admire Cape Town’s beauty.
The one slight downside to this otherwise amazing hike is the foot traffic. It is very popular and so can be quite crowded. An event that has gained much attraction is the monthly full moon hike. At each full moon thousands of Cape Townians and tourists alike gather to climb the mountain in time to reach the top to watch the sun set over the Atlantic and the full moon rise over the city before descending by the light of the moon.
The 14 November 2016 was no exception especially since it was a super moon. The crowds came out in the thousands to admire this incredible natural phenomenon. There were so many people that not everyone was allowed to go up to the top.
The super moon was not only the closest and brightest that the moon would be this year but was also the closest it had been since 1948- a whole 68 YEARS AGO! It was quite something watching this massive ball of light being pulled up into the sky, it’s backdrop blackening and the city lights beginning to flicker on, creating a sea of twinkles below. And to think that the next time this would happen would be in 27 years in 2043! Just breathtaking.
Start your climb about 1 hour 30 minutes before the scheduled sunset. This’ll give you enough time to get to the top and settle to watch the sunset and moon rise.
Parking becomes an absolute nightmare so be prepared to walk a fair distance from your car to the start of the trail.
Bring a warm top for the top. It’ll be a bit chilly once you stop walking.
Dress appropriately in exercise clothes and shoes.
Bring enough water and a few snacks.
Be aware of your surroundings and if possible leave your valuables at home (there have unfortunately been a few cases of muggings in the past).
Walk with a group of people. Safety in numbers!
While I do think that everyone visiting Cape Town or if you’re a local should do this hike at least once, I am wanting to find a less crowded option where I can still admire the full moon. Leave your favourite full moon viewing spot in Cape Town in the comments below. The next one is on the 14 December.
*Photo credits go to Alan Hunter. (I didn’t want to bring my camera up in case)