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Lion
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Lion

Lions in Africa

Lions are at the top of most safari wishlists and a sighting may be seen as a safari prerequisite. Today, with numbers falling fast, any encounter with Africa’s largest predator should still be considered a privilege.


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Quick facts about Lion

Scientific name: Panthera leo Habitat: Savanna & woodland
IUCN status: Vulnerable Adult weight: 120–225kg

The lion, Africa’s largest cat, is a formidable predator. Working together, a pride may down prey as large as buffalo and giraffe. Prides vary in size from fewer than 10 to more than 30 individuals. Each typically comprises adult females with cubs and yearlings, plus one or two adult males.

Distinguished by their heavy mane and greater size, males devote much of their energy to securing territory – advertised with a far-carrying roar (a series of resonant grunts). Females do more of the hunting but leave the pride to give birth, their litter of 1–4 cubs being vulnerable to attack from interloping males.

Though often seen by day, typically resting in the shade, lions are more active at night.


43%

Population decline since 1990

20 hours

Average daily inactivity

7kg

Adult male’s daily meat consumption

85–90%

Hunting done by females

Africa's top camps for seeing lions

Based on 1315 reports by our travellers since Mar 2018, the camps below have the best chances of sighting lions. Simply follow the key below.


Best chances to see

Good chances to see

Some sightings

No sightings yet

Top 10 camps for lion

% of travellers who saw lion

Top 10 camps for lion

% of travellers who saw lion

Where to see lions in Africa

Africa’s 20,000-odd wild lions are largely confined to conservation areas. Sightings are fairly reliable in most parks, with the best viewing generally at dawn or dusk, when the cats come to life.


Top tips for viewing lions

Lions are most easily seen in open terrain, such as the Serengeti-Mara. In denser habitat, you may find tracks and hear roars but locating the cats can take more work.

Tanzania has nearly half Africa’s lions. Significant numbers also occur in the Okavango/Chobe (Botswana) and Greater Kruger (South Africa), while Hwange (Zimbabwe), South Luangwa (Zambia) and Etosha (Namibia) all offer reliable viewing. Circling vultures often reveal lions on a kill.

A pride spends much of the day snoozing but may become more active as temperatures fall. Night drives offer a chance to watch lions hunting, and the great Serengeti migration promises kills galore. No lion experience is more thrilling than tracking them on foot, with South Luangwa and the Zambezi Valley offering outstanding opportunities.

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Holiday ideas to see lions

Based on our travellers experiences, these are the holidays which will give you the best chances of good lion sightings


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The Highlights of Africa

17 days • 7 locations
CAPE TOWN AIRPORT TO KIGALI AIRPORT

An epic adventure taking in some of Africa’s most incredible sights and wildlife experiences, from Cape Town to the Okavango Delta, Victoria Falls, the Maasai Mara and an encounter with mountain gorillas.

US$12,500 - US$15,100 per person

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Ostrich Self-drive Safari

14 days • 9 locations
WINDHOEK AIRPORT TO WINDHOEK AIRPORT

Great value self-drive adventure through the epic desert landscapes of southern Namibia and South Africa’s Kalahari, visiting highlights such as Fish River Canyon, the ghost towns of Lüderitz and Sossusvlei’s dunes.

US$2,060 - US$2,600 per person

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Black-footed Cat Safari

14 days • 6 locations
WINDHOEK AIRPORT TO VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT

Combine three of southern Africa's most iconic destinations in this exciting and varied safari. Discover the world's oldest desert in Namibia, seek iconic wildlife in Botswana and gaze in wonder at Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe.

US$11,190 - US$19,660 per person

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Wild Dog Safari

13 days • 5 locations
KASANE AIRPORT TO MAUN AIRPORT

An in-depth discovery of northern Botswana’s wilderness, from Chobe and the private Kwando Reserve to the Moremi and iconic Okavango Delta with a great variety of activities and wildlife.

US$9,180 - US$15,600 per person

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Marabou Stork Fly-in Safari

13 days • 5 locations
KILIMANJARO AIRPORT TO DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT

Four luxurious camps enable exploration of Tanzania’s north and southern regions. With a range of land and water-based activities available throughout, decidedly comfortable accommodation and applicable long-stay discounts, this adventurous safari is excellent value.

US$13,390 - US$18,440 per person

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Black-faced Impala Guided Safari

13 days • 6 locations
WINDHOEK AIRPORT TO WINDHOEK AIRPORT

A unique mix of luxury and adventure in our original, and perhaps most varied, destination on a privately guided Namibian overland safari. Perfect for families, friends or couples travelling together.

US$6,060 - US$8,450 per person

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Leopard Safari

13 days • 4 locations
VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT TO CAPE TOWN AIRPORT

Victoria Falls, Botswana and Cape Town – a classic southern African itinerary combining luxury, wilderness, safari and culture. We can't think of a better way to spend two weeks.

US$8,100 - US$11,060 per person

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Goshawk Fly-in Safari

12 days • 6 locations
WINDHOEK AIRPORT TO WINDHOEK AIRPORT

Discover Namibia’s remarkable landscapes, fascinating wildlife and unique cultures on this luxury adventure flying between a selection of the very best camps and lodges in the country.

US$10,520 - US$13,190 per person

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Our top destinations for lions

Click below for detailed information about lions in these countries, including our latest sightings data from the camps and lodges there.


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