This week we bring you a “hidden gem” that will leave you with unforgettable memories during your time in Cape Town. This gem is a gorgeous cave, called Wally’s Cave, which is tucked away on Cape Town’s ever so popular mountain – Lions Head. We think you should absolutely take the time out to find Wally’s Cave as it is pretty awesome and the photos you take are guaranteed to be spectacular.
So let us tell you more on how to find Wally (and no, we are not taking about this dude….)
Almost every year over 200 000 people climb up Lions Head, making it the most climbed peak on the African continent. These primary paths are constantly buzzing with chatter from likeminded hikers appreciating the spectacular views. During your hike to Wally’s Cave you will experience a nice combination of this chit chat together with a quieter, more peaceful vibe as you steer away from the main path.
Wally’s Cave is situated on the side of the mountain and from the cave you get the most impressive views and photo opportunity of the iconic Table Mountain National Park. The cave almost works like a picture frame for Table Mountain.
In order to make the most out of this photo opportunity you will want to get as far back into the cave as possible so you are able to capture the whole shape of the cave.
Please be aware that the cave is small and it is possible there will be some other hikers exploring this picturesque cave – so a bit of mountain common courtesy might be needed.
We suggest that you take your scenic photos from the cave first (the ones you will show your future children) and then go wild with your silhouette. Find your inner child and do the wackiest poses possible. We did just this during a recent crew visit to the cave and we have to admit, the jumping pics were very entertaining…….
There are essentially two routes that will get you to the cave. One goes up the old path to the top of Lions Head (more direct) and the other uses the regular circular route up there (more scenic). Please be warned that both options require you to walk a rocky terrain that can be quite dangerous.
Circular route – this route will take a little more time than the old path but is the less strenuous route to the cave. You can still enjoy the 360-degree views as you hike this route too, which we think is a real highlight.
You start as you would usually when climbing the mountain, go past the paragliders launch point, and all the up until you get to the first ladder.
Once you get to this point, STOP, do NOT go up the ladder. Instead go around the left behind the fence (making sure you stay away from the barb wire).
Follow the path until you see an old bench on your right side and then look for a path that will take you onto the LOWER path. Once on the lower path keep right to ensure you don’t end up taking the old path back down again. Keeping right and then around the corner you will find Wally’s Cave.
Old path route – Exactly like the circular route, head up the track until you are around mid-way between the second bench and paragliders launch pad. Now keep your eyes peeled as here you will have to look out for the path of steps heading up to the right. Be warned you might initially walk past it as at times it is slightly hidden by the surrounding bushes. Basically if you get to the launch pad you know you have gone too far and you should turn back.
This path is much quicker, but it is quite the workout as it is steep, so be prepared to sweat a little and then a little more!
You need to be sure to keep to the left of the path and before long you will get there. This route in the summer can be pretty dusty and in the winter wet and slippery so be sure to plan accordingly.
– Make sure to take enough water with you when hiking.
– Take along some snacks to enjoy along the way or even a picnic to have inside the cave but remember DO NOT LEAVE YOUR RUBBISH BEHIND!
– Do NOT graffiti and write stuff on the walls of the cave. It doesn’t look nice and it ruins it for future Wally hunters.
– Be careful! The path does have some dangerous sections where the drop is dramatic.
Whether you plan a trip to Lions Head and add Wally’s Cave to the regular hike to the top or come here for the cave alone, you won’t be disappointed.
Where: Turn off from Kloofnek Road to get to Lion’s Head Mountain
Contact: 24-hour emergency number: +27 86 110 6417