The African lions (Panthera leo) are the largest and most imposing carnivores in Africa. They are the only true social cats and have a special cultural significance in most countries on the continent. In Uganda, lions enjoy a reputation as ‘king of the beasts’ and are popular symbols of royalty, strength and bravery. Lions live in a ‘fission-fusion’ society. Individuals have different home ranges that overlap so that they regularly meet and come together. Males are thrown out of the group at the age of 3-4 years by the dominant male and will try to take over a pride when they get to 7-10 years old. Males usually hole a pride for 2-3 years only before being ousted by another male or coalition of males. The females generally stay in the same area as their mothers, occasionally moving to an adjacent pride when sub adult, and rear a litter of cubs every two years.
The lion in Uganda are mainly found in the three largest savannah parks: Murchison Falls National Park (MFNP), Kidepo Valley National Park (KVNP) and Queen Elizabeth National Park (QENP).
Kidepo Valley Park has a thriving and growing Lion Population and has been called the best place where to find the real Lion King. The park is one of the most remote in all of Africa.
Kidepo Valley Park is a place with rugged beauty and is located near the Kenyan and Sudanese border and certainly one of the best places in Africa to see lions, even tree climbing lions are found here.
It is the only park in Uganda with an increasing lion population. Kidepo Valley Park was named the number 3 park in Africa.
The park is easily accessible with a beautiful savannah studded with Borassus Palm Trees which provides the backdrop and setting for some of the best lion sightings in Uganda.
Most lions can be spotted by visitors while on a game drive and unlike in other places it is nearer lodges plus combined with the beauty of the River Nile and the powerful Murchison Falls it is one of the best places in Uganda to see a pride of lions.
The Queen Elizabeth National Park lions and specifically those found at Ishasha are known for their unique behavior of climbing trees and have been branded the “Ishasha tree-climbing lions” by tourists. These Lions, after the mountain gorillas, are the most sought-after species by tourists visiting Uganda. The early morning hours are best for those wanting to see Lions.
When on a wildlife game drive lions can be spotted in the northern area especially in the early morning and late afternoon. Lions on the Kasenyi often rest in the Euphoria Trees that are commonly found here. On the rare occasion, they can be seen as you are taking Kazinga Chanel Boat Safari in the late afternoon but Ishasha is the best place for Tree-Climbing Lions in East Africa.
These are the main facts about lions;
The Best Places to see Lions in Uganda is in Kidepo Valley Park, Murchison Falls Park, and Queen Elizabeth National Park.