Partly modelled on the arch at London’s Hyde Park Corner, this monumental granite memorial stands on the eastern slopes of Table Mountain, at a spot where the mining magnate and former prime minister Cecil Rhodes used to admire the view. The 49 steps, one for each year of Rhodes’ life, are flanked by pairs of proud lions; the top provides sweeping vistas of the Cape Flats and the mountain ranges beyond.
Rhodes bought all the surrounding land in 1895 for £9000 as part of a plan to preserve a relatively untouched section of the mountain for future generations. His ambition and determination is memorialised by a dynamic statue of a man on a rearing horse (in contrast to the bust of Rhodes himself, which has him looking rather grumpy).
Behind the memorial is a pleasant restaurant and a steep path leading up to the King’s Blockhouse, a defensive position built by the British between 1795 and 1803. From here it’s possible to follow the contour path above Newlands Forest to Skeleton Gorge and down into Kirstenbosch gardens. Don't hike alone, as muggings have occurred in this part of the mountain.
The exit for the memorial is at the Princess Anne Interchange on the M3.