Where to see lions in Uganda on a Safari
Where to see lions in Uganda on a safari? Lions are one of the wonderful big cats that are found within the African wildness. There are other cuts such as the Leopards, spotted hyenas, cheetahs and others which you can find on Uganda wildness. However, the lions is the most wanted animals by the visitors who are interested and coming tom see animals in Uganda. Lions are found in different places in Uganda but majorly in Uganda National Parks. There are some of the caged lions at the Entebbe Wildlife Education at the Entebbe Zoo. But mostly the visitors are interested in seeing the lions in action in the wildlife than those that those that are caged. The national parks are good and it is where you can go and find the see lions in their wildness of Uganda. The major areas in Uganda where you can come and enjoy the lions in Uganda include the Queen Elizabeth National Park, Murchison Falls National Park and Kidepo Valley National Park. There other places where you can see the lions in Uganda but on rare basis and these may include the Lake Mburo National Park and other areas especially those with the open savannah grassland.
Some important facts about lions
- Lions are the largest and most imposing carnivores on the African continent. On average, a male lion weighs up to 190 kg and a female 126 kg.
- All lions leave in Africa below the Sahara Desert and have a small population in western India.
- Lions are capable of running as fast as 80km/h or 50mph.
- Lions sleeping for 16-20 hours per day.
- Cubs are reared together
- Lions get most of their water from plants that is why they can survive in very dry areas
- Lions can eat up to 40kg of meat a day
- Lions live in a variety of habitats but prefer savanna.
- You can get an opportunity of finding a lion living or roaming in Kaniyo Pabidi forest reserve on a nature walk-through that does not rest assured.
Where to see lions in Uganda
African lions in Uganda occur in the four main national parks of the country. These are Lake Mburo national park, Queen Elizabeth national park, Murchison falls national park, and Kidepo valley national park.
Your tour operator should include any of the above national parks on your Uganda safari itinerary to be assured of seeing these kings of the jungle.
During the Uganda safari, the driver guides know the exact places where the lions roam, and they will drive you to see these magnificent animals at an up-close yet still safe distance. Below let’s look at the three main national parks where you can spot lions
Lions in Queen Elizabeth national park
Queen Elizabeth national park located in the western part of Uganda is the best place to see lions as well as tree-climbing lions. The nature of the landscape of the park being stunning and comprising mostly savanna grasslands, forested woods, plains, crater lakes, gorges, thick forest, and having clear views of the mountains of the moon.
Queen Elizabeth national park has over 95 mammals among which include the big 4 Africa game apart from rhinos. The Park is also home to more than 600 bird species recorded. Lions are one of the animals that have made Queen Elizabeth national park famous and also the Kazinga channel which connects Lake Edward to Lake George.
Queen Elizabeth national park has played an important role in the conservation of the big five mammals- lions, buffaloes, elephants, and leopards which are focused and protected in Queen Elizabeth national park. Over 250 lions are protected and conserved within the Queen Elizabeth National Park and these lions enjoy mostly the Kasenyi plains and the in the southern part of the park of Ishasha.
Ishasha tree-climbing lions
Apart from the common lions, there are also the tree climbing lions, there are also tree climbing in Uganda and these can be found in Queen Elizabeth National Park. Queen Elizabeth national park is famously known for hosting the highest population of tree climbing lions in its southern part of the park called the Ishasha sector. The other place in the world where you can see these lions is the Lake Manyara national park of Tanzania. The best time to spot mots the lions resting on tree branches of fig trees is dung the afternoon on your Uganda safari through Ishasha as they wait for prey, escape hit from the ground, and fleeing from insect bites.
Lions in Kidepo Valley national park
Kidepo valley national park located in the northeastern part of Uganda has over 132 individual lions. What makes Kidepo valley national park reasonably unique as far as lions are concerned is that the population of lions in this park is slowly increasing compared to those in Murchison falls national park and Queen Elizabeth national park. With the population increasing in Kidepo valley national park, it means that the park will be a more and more critical habitat in which to witness the lions at any time of the year.
Lions in Murchison falls national park
Lions of Murchison falls national park located in the northwestern part of Uganda are known as diurnal meaning that they are active at two primary times during the day that’s morning and evening. Early morning game drives or late evening game drives around the park are the best times to see lions roaming around the park. Lions hunt for less powerful games like the Uganda kobs, zebras, baby elephants, cheetahs, hippos, wildebeests, impala, buffaloes, wild hogs, crocodiles, birds, hares, and lizards many others.
Lion tracking research
Tourists rate lion tracking as one of the most amazing experiences on a Uganda safari. Locating and photographing tree-climbing lions of Ishasha sector in the southern part of Queen Elizabeth national park is one of the breathtaking activities and a safari highlight. The only places in the world where you can see tree-climbing lions are Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth national park located in the western part of Uganda and Lake Manyara national park in Tanzania in the rift valley region.
To take part in the lion tracking research in Ishasha sector, tourists have to join researchers who use directional antenna help out of the window in a safari vehicle to trace lions with radio collars attached to them. The savanna plains of Kasenyi on the northern side of the park and Ishasha Sector on the southern side of the park is where the research is done on the high population of lions in these places. Lion tracking research gives visitors an opportunity of getting close to lions and taking photos in their habitat.
Cost of lion tracking research
A lion-tracking research permit to Queen Elizabeth national park costs $100 for both foreign nonresidents and foreign residents and UGX100, 000 citizens of East Africa. This fee excludes the park entrance fee and 10% collected from permits is given to the Uganda carnivore project to ensure the continued conservation of carnivores. Lion tracking permits can be booked from the park headquarters or through a trusted tour operator.
Where to stay on a Ugandan lion safari
As indicated above lions are found in several national parks in Uganda and each national park is well served with perfect lodges or hotels where you can stay comfortably on your safari. These lodges range from luxury to mid-range to budget and camping.
Accommodation in Kidepo Valley national park.
Kidepo has got several accommodation facilities ranging from luxury to mid-range to budget and your travel budget determines the choice of accommodation to include in your lion safari package. These accommodations are constructed inside the park while others are outside the park but provide different comfort and moderate amenities to guests. These are Nga Moru Wilderness Camp, Apoka Safari Lodge, Apoka Rest Camp, Adere Safari Lodge, and Kidepo Savannah Lodge among others.
Accommodation in Queen Elizabeth national park
Located in the western part of Uganda, the park has a variety of accommodation facilities ranging from luxury to mid-range to budget. To cater for all your safari accommodation needs. Lodges include Mweya safari lodge, Enganzi safari lodge, Ishasha safari camp, Mweya cottages, Queen Elizabeth Bush Lodge, Simba Safari Camp, Elephant Hub Lodge, Elephant Plains Lodge, Enganzi Lodge, Park View Lodge, Ishasha Wilderness Camp, Kasenyi Safari Camp, Pumba Safari Cottages, and Ishasha Jungle Lodge among others.
Accommodation in Murchison falls national park
The accommodation facilities in Murchison falls national park range from budget to mid-range to luxury options. The accommodation facility to use will depend on so many factors including your budget, duration of stay, and group size. Examples of accommodation facilities in Murchison falls national park include Para safari lodge, baker’s lodge, Nile safari lodge, Budongo Eco lodge, Chobe safari lodge, Twiga Safari Lodge, Pakuba safari lodge, Murchison River Lodge, Red Chill Rest Camp, Murchison River Lodge, and Budongo Eco Lodge.
What is the best time to see lions in Uganda?
All Uganda national parks are open to visitors on any Uganda safari throughout the year. The dry season (June, July, August, September, December, January, and February) is considered to be the best season for tourists to see lions in Uganda. This season is good for a lion safari because the roads leading to the park are passable, the park is less muddy and the lions are easier to locate.