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Where to see Lion in Zambia

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 Zambia

Based on 694 reports by our travellers since Mar 2018, visitors at these camps in Zambia 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 Zambia holidays for lion sightings

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

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Puku Safari

11 days • 3 locations

Discover South Luangwa’s prolific wildlife before exploring the wildly remote pans of Liuwa Plain National Park and relaxing in one of the Livingstone area’s most romantic and exclusive hideaways. A safari of luxury, style and impressive diversity.

US$13,200 - US$18,440 per person

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Perekani Walking Trail

10 days • 5 locations

Five smart but rustic bushcamps are the comfortable staging posts for this walking safari in South Luangwa. The route offers outstanding seclusion and rich wildlife with top-quality guiding throughout.

US$9,250 - US$11,500 per person

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Duiker Safari

10 days • 3 locations

Three luxurious bushcamps in stunning riverside locations, split between the South Luangwa and Lower Zambezi national parks, offer a wide variety of expert-guided safari activities in stunning game-rich environments.

US$8,060 - US$10,020 per person

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Civet Safari

9 days • 4 locations

Combining three intimate bushcamps in the quieter south of the South Luangwa, this safari will appeal to those looking for an interesting mix of walking and vehicle safari.

US$7,480 - US$9,230 per person

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Defassa Waterbuck Safari

9 days • 3 locations

Stay in three intimate, owner-run camps during this exploration of Kafue National Park. Remote locations, true wilderness and a range of activities make for a real adventure off the beaten track.

US$8,240 - US$8,670 per person

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Greater Bushbaby Safari

8 days • 2 locations

The perfect safari for a family or group of friends during which to create everlasting memories. Visit Zambia’s two most productive wildlife parks staying in four-bedroom houses, designed in a unique and fun way.

US$9,400 - US$12,260 per person

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Boehm's Zebra Safari

7 days • 2 locations

This safari combines two high-quality owner-run camps in a very productive region of the South Luangwa. The guiding is excellent and with its hides this safari is perfect for serious photographers.

US$7,130 - US$9,410 per person

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Robin Pope Walking Safari

7 days • 3 locations

The definitive, original mobile walking safari; explore the remote north of the South Luangwa on foot while staying in a simple mobile camp that moves with the group.

US$6,500 - US$7,870 per person

View all holidays to Zambia

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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