The Best Places to See Wild Lions in Africa : Although lions are the most recognizable wildlife species in Africa, there are currently only about 23 000 of these apex predators left in the wild, thus they are not as numerous as one might think. Since lions have vanished from 80% of their original range, they are seriously threatened. You’ll have a better chance of seeing one of Africa’s top locations for lion viewing if you go there. These fierce animals are becoming more and more elusive.
The majority of the continent’s remaining wild lions are found in Tanzania while on Tanzania wildlife Safaris and Kenya while on Kenya Wildlife Safaris in East Africa, as well as Botswana, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe in Southern Africa. Travelling to the following areas will offer better opportunity for viewing lions interact, hunt, and, most likely, slumber if seeing them in the wild is at the top of your bucket list.
With the greatest populations on the continent, the Serengeti Ecosystem, which stretches over northern Tanzania and southern Kenya, is the best wilderness area in Africa to watch lions on a safari.
- Tanzania’s Northern Safari Circuit.
The majority of the lions who live in Tanzania’s game parks along the well-known Northern Tanzania Safari Circuit make up the continent’s greatest lion population.
Serengeti National Park, often known as ideal big cat habitat, and Masai Mara (the portion of the Serengeti ecosystem that is in Kenya), are the greatest places to watch lions in Tanzania. The Serengeti has been the site of the oldest lion study operation in Africa for more than 46 years. In the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, and other northern Tanzanian parks, the Serengeti Lion Project analyses and keeps an eye on the lion population.
Every year, the fabled wildebeest migration passes through the Masai Mara National Reserve and Serengeti National Park, drawing a host of predators, including ravenous lions.
In the northern Serengeti Park, your chances of seeing lions on the prowl are especially strong from July to October, when the wildebeest become fair meat as they cross the dangerous Mara River. When wildebeest are calving in the southern Serengeti from January to March, lions and other predators have easy prey in the form of helpless calves.
- Ngorongoro Crater.
Which has one of the highest lion concentrations, comes in a close second as a lion hot location. In order to increase your chances of seeing lions, visit both Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area and Serengeti National Park in one Tanzania safari. Along with the Selous Game Reserve in southern Tanzania, Lake Manyara is located close and is desirable to come because of its lions.
Ngorongoro Crater is the biggest intact caldera (collapsed volcano) in the world, providing a natural bowl where a lot of animals may be found. The lions in Ngorongoro are larger than the lions found in most other regions because there is an abundance of prey there. Given the great density of these large cats, your chances of spotting lions in this very small but diverse conservation area are very good. Despite the inbreeding issues caused by the lion population’s isolation in the crater, this is still a good location to see lion behavior in the wild.
- Lions of Lake Manyara Park are known for climbing trees.
Along with the Selous Game Reserve in southern Tanzania, Lake Manyara is located close and is desirable to come because of its lions. Near the Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti National Parks, the picturesque Lake Manyara National Park is a national park that boasts exceptional lion sightings. Lions in Lake Manyara Park are renowned for climbing trees, a behavior that is often exhibited by leopards.
- Masai Mara Reserve in Kenya.
One of Africa’s highest lion densities can be found in the Masai Mara, which many people regard as the top wildlife destination on the planet. Some think that the Serengeti in Tanzania, which is close by, is the best site in Africa to see lions in the wild, while others disagree. Lions are frequently spotted by the pride in the Masai Mara Game Reserve. The environment in Masai Mara is similar to the Serengeti Plains in that it is primarily open savannah, which makes it easier to spot the lions in this stunning African setting.
In the Masai Mara Game Reserve, a lion hunting pursues a group of zebra and wildebeest.
Between June and October, when enormous herds of wildebeest rush across the plains, bringing many lions, is when visitors to the Masai Mara can view the Great Migration at its best.
The legendary lion prides of the Masai Mara Reserve were the subjects of the BBC’s well-liked television programme Big Cat Diaries. On the Kenyan side of the Mara River, near Musiara Marsh, Rhino Ridge, and Paradise Plain, five lion prides, including the well-known Marsh Pride, were photographed. Lions were filmed in this area of the Masai Mara by the producers of the Disney documentary African Cats. The northern half of the reserve’s Mara Triangle is an isolated location for lion observation, while the Bila Shaka Luggah area in the centre of the Masai Mara is another great lion habitat.
- Okavango Delta in Botswana.
In addition to having big prides, northern Botswana is one of the greatest sites in Africa to observe lions due of the lions’ unusual hunting behaviors in specific areas of the Okavango Delta and Chobe National Park.
The Duba lions, in contrast to other lions, have learnt to swim over waterways. Lions occasionally chase hippos in the Selinda Spillway region, leading to some uncommon and thrilling sightings close to Selinda Camp. However, Duba Island is the finest location for lion watching since it is walled off from the rest of the delta by deep canals, which results in interesting hunting behaviors and large, well-fed lions.
The lions of Botswana are larger than the typical lions found in Africa, and the Duba Plains in the northern Okavango Delta is home to some quite impressively massive and strong individuals. Skimmer and Tsaro, two lion prides that typically hunt at night, have learned to swim in deep water and hunt buffaloes during the day in order to survive in their particular environment. Viewers have the remarkable and enviable opportunity to see dramatic hunts during the day because to this unusual lion habit.
- Etosha National Park in Namibia.
Around 300 to 350 adult lions live in Etosha, where they are frequently seen hunting at one of the many drinking holes that dot this dry national park. The dry winter season (June to October) offers the best opportunity to see lion activity because there is less vegetation and prey congregates at the few available water sources. It is more likely to get up close to lions during the winter since they frequently lie in the roadways, particularly in the early morning hours when they are trying to escape dew-covered grass and soak up the warmth of the roads.