Best Places to see Lions in Uganda

Best places to see lions in Uganda: Uganda is a country that is richly gifted by nature, that Sir Winston Churchill called it ‘The Pearl of Africa’. Destination Uganda has a variety of wild game protected in the many Uganda national parks, say the rear and endangered mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Lions are among the wild game that these Uganda national parks protect, as governed by the Uganda Wildlife Authority who are tasked to protect and conserve these Uganda attractions for generations to come.

Big Five Safaris in Uganda

Lions are among the few big cats in Uganda national parks. Lions are also one of the most sought after wild animal that about more than 80% of travellers do ask their guides to look out for lions while on game drives, and upon encountering or sighting them, the excitement and thrill is eminent. While a full grown male lion will weigh between 150-250kgs, a female lion usually weighs between 120-182kgs. 

In the wild, lions live for up to 14 years or so, while in zoos they actually can live for up to 20 years. Contrary to other animal species and humans, it is the female lions who usually do the hunting. Male lions usually need about 7kgs of meat per day while the females do need only about 5kgs.

Facts about Lions of Uganda

  • Lions live for up to 12 years in the wilderness
  • A lioness usually gives birth at the age of 4, and usually to a litter of about 3 cubs.
  • Male lions develop manes after about 1 year and a half after birth
  • Lions roar to attract mates
  • Lionesses, the female lions, do the hunting while the males are the protectors.
  • Hunting in done in packs
  • Unlike other species where children or little ones get the first attention, here the little cubs are often times the last in line for their share of food. Male lions take the biggest share.

The best places to see lions in Uganda include;

Kidepo Valley National Park

Kidepo Valley National Park is arguably the remotest Uganda national park, and yet is the very best for a classic Africa safari. It is in Kidepo Valley National Park that most travellers after sighting lions do visit, for the lions are always spotted on rocks randomly found in the park. Kidepo Valley National Park has a thriving and growing lion population, mostly attributed to the lion research and conservation projects that take place in the park. Prides of lions are not the only attractions of Kidepo Valley National Park for the park boosts of having large herds of elephants free ranging in the park, as well as leopards and other wild game. In December 2015, CNN named Kidepo Valley National Park as one of the best destinations in the world.

Murchison Falls National Park

Murchison Falls National Park is one of the best places to see lions in Uganda. Murchison Falls National Park is a beautiful savannah land with Borassus palm trees giving a backdrop to the park wildlife including lions. It is in Murchison Falls National Park that you can spot a pride of lions during a game drive, in less than one hour. The lions in Murchison Falls National Park are called diurnal, which means that they are active at two primary times of the day that is in the morning and evening when the sun is setting. You can encounter the big five Africa game in Murchison Falls National Park, if combined with the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary.

Queen Elizabeth National Park

The Kasenyi Plains of Queen Elizabeth National Park is where most visitors spot lions during game drives, the very reason why it is most used by travellers on game drives. Lions can be spotted usually in the morning and late afternoon hours. On rare occasions though, lions can be spotted while on a launch cruise on Kazinga Channel.

The famous tree-climbing lions of the Ishasha sector in Queen Elizabeth National Park are a marvel to all those that do encounter them. The lions climb trees and stay there either resting, watching their prey as they get the perfect time to paunch on them, or even sleeping. Lions are known to sleep up to 15 hours a day, while up on the trees. The best time to do a game drive to see the tree-climbing lions is past 8 am. 

Queen Elizabeth National Park does focus on lion conservation, thereby having lions remain among the greatest priorities of the park, with more than 250 lions mostly found in the southern and northern sectors.

The best places to see lions in Uganda therefore are Kidepo Valley National Park, Murchison Falls National Park and the lovely Queen Elizabeth National Park. Lions in Uganda can however be found in Lake Mburo National Park, as well as Semuliki Wildlife Reserve, though usually heard and not seen. Don’t therefor count on spotting lions here but rather book a Uganda wildlife safari to either Kidepo Valley National Park, Murchison Falls National Park or Queen Elizabeth National Park.

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