A Sunset Drive up Signal Hill
If you are looking at Table Mountain from Cape Town, you will see Lion’s Head and Signal Hill standing to right. This is one of Cape Town’s best loved sun-downer spots.
For those that prefer to hike to the summit in the comfort of their car, this is an ideal sunset drive and what better way to watch the sun go down over Cape Town – your picnic basket packed, your favourite drink in hand, a slice of lemon, some snacks and arguably the best views in Cape Town stretched out before you.
Whilst sipping your gin and tonic, do spare a thought for the history of the hill on which you are standing. In the 17th & 18th centuries, the Dutch had 3 lookout posts, one at the top of Kloof Nek, another on top of Lions Head and the last on Signal Hill, exactly where you are standing. Using gun shots and flags they would send out messages that could be detected as far as Salt River where the message was passed on to Tygerberg and all the way out to the farms in Paarl. This way, farmers would be alerted to new ships coming into the harbour so that they could pack their wagons with produce to sell to the crews. The flags even told them what nationality the ships were! Source: The Key to Cape
Drive up Buitengracht road towards the mountain. It eventually becomes Kloof Nek Road. On the top of the hill (at the corner of Kloof Nek and Tafelberg Road) turn right into Signal Hill road. You will see the beginning of the Lion’s Head Walk on your left where there are usually a few cars parked with hikers preparing for the walk. Wave at them, smile and carry on your drive further up the hill.
There are many lookout points with the main Signal Hill lookout point situated at the very end of the road – about a 10 minute drive from Lions Head.
What to expect
The hill is 300m high and offers great views across the City Bowl and Table Bay and it’s a truly magnificent spot to sit peacefully and take it all in. Enjoy the city lights twinkling as the sun begins to set. It is also an excellent vantage point from which to admire the floodlights that light up the side of Table Mountain in the summer.
Do note that Signal Hill is not considered to be a safe place to visit late at night so as soon as the sun sets, why not make your way back down into town and enjoy the night life and restaurants this wonderful city has to offer you.