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Where to see Lion in Malawi

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.


Population decline since 1990

20 hours

Average daily inactivity


Adult male’s daily meat consumption


Hunting done by females

The top camps for seeing lion in Malawi

Based on 7 reports by our travellers since Jul 2018, visitors at these camps in Malawi have the best chances of sighting lion.

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.


Our best Malawi holidays for lion sightings

Based on our travellers' reports, these ideas for Malawi safaris are likely to give the best lion sightings

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Hyena Safari

11 days • 4 locations

Mix relaxation and adventure on a safari combining the South Luangwa with Victoria Falls and the beaches of Lake Malawi. These three locations are among the most iconic in southern Africa.

US$7,680 - US$10,320 per person

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Orange Cap Cichlid Safari

7 days • 2 locations

Combine a safari in the lush and resurgent Liwonde National Park with down time at an island eco-retreat in the middle of Lake Malawi. A great way to explore Malawi.

US$4,280 - US$5,310 per person

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Utaka Cichlid Safari

10 days • 3 locations

Explore two of Malawi's safari parks - Majete Wildlife Reserve and Liwonde National Park - before finishing your trip with some beach time: relaxing, snorkelling and sailing in Lake Malawi National Park.

US$4,610 - US$6,250 per person

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Red Zebra Cichlid Safari

7 days • 2 locations

Explore two of Malawi's highlights, with a safari in rugged, remote Majete Wildlife Reserve before some beach time: relaxing, snorkelling and sailing in Lake Malawi National Park.

US$3,440 - US$4,730 per person

View all holidays to Malawi

More information about lion in our other destinations

Click here for detailed information about lion in other countries, including the places for sighting lion.

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