Lion’s Head and Signal Hill as good as gold
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Translated from the Dutch name, Lion’s Head and Lion’s Tail/Flank (now Signal Hill) were named for the joint shape of a Sphinx or Lion. During the British Rule it was named Sugar Loaf. Both names were used in the 17th century, at the time that the building housing Labotessa Luxury Boutique Hotel was built.
Gold was discovered on Lion’s Head in 1897, with a shaft going down 30 meters. The grade of gold was deemed to be too low, and the mine was closed a year later.
Lion’s Head is a popular mountain for hikers. At 669 meters above sea level it is not for the faint-hearted, with climbing chains and metal ladders when one nears the summit. The one-hour climb is worth the effort, with lovely views over Table Mountain, Camps Bay and Sea Point, and the City centre and City Bowl. Full Moon walks are popular, and the moving chain of climbers’ lights adds a touch of romance to the city. It forms part of the Table Mountain Nature Reserve, and is covered in indigenous fynbos.
Signal Hill was renamed due to being used as a place from which signal flags depicting weather conditions were hoisted for passing ships. From the mountain one could see if ships were in trouble if they hoisted their flags. The Noon Gun is fired from Signal Hill daily at 12h00, originally designed to check the accuracy of one’s watch at midday. It is a popular sunset picnic spot, a paragliding launch pad, and a tourist photograph spot with a frame with Table Mountain in the background.
Labotessa Luxury Boutique Hotel…….’like no other in Cape Town’.
Labotessa Luxury Boutique Hotel, 5 Church Square, Parliament Street. Tel (021) 010-6600 www.labotessa.com