Top 5 (best) places to see lions in the wild!
Is a question we’re frequently asked… the lion is king and although sadly endangered today, it still remains a firm favourite. By going on an African Safari you are helping with their conservation – a proportion of your room rate goes to fund invaluable conservation work. We’re always being asked “where are the best places to see lions in the Wild?” And, because we really want you to have the best experience it’s important to consider the smaller private concessions wherever possible, by sticking to this simple rule of thumb you can avoid being part of a 4×4 safari convoy…
So, here’s our top 5 countdown…
At number 5 we have… Uganda, Ishasha – Lions are regularly spotted at Ishasha in the Queen Elizabeth National Park but these are no ordinary lions – these tree climbing lions who climb to great heights in the fig trees, it’s thought they’re trying to escape the biting insects and to cool off in the gentle breezes but it also gives them a good vantage point to spot their prey. It’s not uncommon to find a lion taking a break in a fig tree and actually fall asleep!
Stay at… Ishasha Wilderness Camp
Best time to go to Ishasha… September to November
Lions in South Luangwa
Number 4 – Zambia, South Luangwa National Park – Excellent game viewing with plenty of action! Lions and leopards live in the valley – there’s a good chance of spotting both these creatures on regular morning or afternoon game drives during your stay. The Park is also a great destination for a guided walking safari, the woodland within the valley offers excellent cover enabling your guide to find a good viewing spot. Listen out for roars at night for the real sound of Africa.
Stay at… Tena Tena, Tafika, Mfuwe Lodge, Kuyenda, Bilimungwe, Kapamba Camps
Best time to go to Zambia… to view lions is when the concentration of game is along the Luangwa during September and October.
Duba Plains, Okavango Delta, Botswana courtesy Brendon Cremer Photography
Number 3 – Botswana, Okavango Delta – an oasis for lions with plenty of prey and water – look out for the confrontations between large buffalo herds and hungry lions. You’ll find the lodges and camps are exceptional. This really is one of the best year round safari destinations and it’s advisable to plan in advance and book early to stay on the private concessions for which demand is high.
Stay at… Any Camp that offers both land and water game viewing
Best time to visit Botswana … between May to November
Number 2 – Kenya, Masai Mara – an area famous for its prides of lions who are free to roam the 1500 km.sq. of woodlands and open plains and home to the BBC’s “Big Cat Diary”. We have a selection of camps in the Mara’s quieter spots. These camps have first class professional guides and often get booked up quickly so it’s best to plan ahead if you want to take a safari in the Mara.
Stay at… Rekero, Governors, Kicheche, Naboisho and Elephant Pepper Camps.
Best time to go to Masai Mara – anytime but you’re best avoiding the months of April and May, this is the long rainy period.
Number 1 – Zimbabwe- Hwange National Park – This vast 15000 square kilometre park bordering Chobe is home to thousands of Elephants, the lion here have adapted to feed on elephant. Hwange is home to huge prides – one pride with 36 lions!
Best time to go to Hwange – anytime but you’re best avoiding the months of February, this is the wettest month.
Stay at… Camp Hwange, Davison’s and Little Makalolo or Leon Varley Walking Safaris
Tourism is probably the only method of preserving these beautiful creatures and with your help we hope to see them in their natural habitat for many years to come.
Ask an expert
We've helped first-timers and seasoned travellers in Africa since 1995. We can help you take advantage of mainstream options.
Better still we'll show you how and where to step off well beaten paths for the more interesting journeys.
Drop a note right here...