Western Cape Tourist AttractionsWally's Cave
Instagram has made Wally’s Cave famous. The jagged circular cave mouth is one of the most prolific photographs of Cape Town to make its way onto social media, so even if you think you don’t know it, you do (#wallyscave to see for yourself).
Which means that the once ‘secret’ spot, is now common knowledge. We’re not surprised, given the views.
Getting to Wally’s Cave involves leaving the popular Lion’s Head trail, however. It is not an official hiking route. If you do use the path, you do so at your own risk.
That said, Wally’s Cave is not difficult to find, or there would not be as many pictures on Instagram. Here are the directions. Head off very early morning, to beat the sun and the crowds.
The faster, very steep route (for the surefooted among you)
Join the Lion’s Head trail starting at the foot of the mountain. To get there, drive up Kloofnek towards the Table Mountain cableway, as if you’re heading over to Camps Bay but take the Lion’s Head/Signal Hill turnoff to the right and leave your car in the parking area at the base of the mountain. The trail begins only a few hundred metres from the car park.
The initial part of the hike is jeep track. Pass two benches, and just after the second bench, but before the paragliders’ launch point, is a tiny series of steps heading off the well trodden path to your right (it’s often overgrown with fynbos).
Follow this path (it is very steep, and keeps zigzagging its way up the mountain), looking out for the next landmark - a huge rock. The steps head around it to the left. Follow the path but be careful, a little later, heading around the corner of the rock face.
You will see Wally’s Cave ahead and above you.
The easier, but longer route
This route follows the Lion’s Head trail all the way to the first metal ladder. Instead of climbing it, head carefully left, between the fence and the mountain.
This is the old path to the summit.
Head past the broken bench (your next landmark), always keeping as close to the rock face as you can. Any evidence of a ‘path’ becomes a little hazy at this stage and there are loose rocks and stones. Tread carefully, keeping to the right, even when the path follows the rocky ledge around the corner of the rock face.
As you turn the corner, the overhang opens up and you will see Wally’s Cave (it does involve a scramble upwards).
You can get to the summit of Lion’s Head from Wally’s Cave, but it isn’t advisable. Rather head back to the first ladder and continue up that way.
Lion’s Head hike is very popular at full moon (it’s popular on most days).