Are you a tourist looking for a lion-viewing experience? We present to you the best places to see lions in Uganda. Lions are among the big five mammals in savannah national parks in Uganda. Lions are the largest carnivores in Africa that live for up to 14 years in the wild. They meanwhile can live for about 20 years in zoos. Lions have a gestation period of 110 days and give birth from 1 to 4 cubs which normally weigh 1.2-2-1 kilograms.
A full-grown male lion can weigh between 150 to 250 kilograms. Meanwhile, a full-grown lioness can weigh between 120 to 182 kilograms. Lions live in prides of 2 to 40 lions and females are responsible for raising the cubs and hunting. Weak male lions are normally thrown out of the pride by the dominant males at the age of 3 to 4 years and when they are about 7 to 10 years old, they usually try to take over a pride. Lions are one of the most sought-after/ most wanted-to-see animals during the safari in Uganda after the chimpanzees and mountain gorillas. Lions in Uganda are best seen in three national parks including,
Queen Elizabeth National Park is the second largest and one of the best places to see lions in Uganda. The national park is in the western region in the Kasese, Rukungiri, Rubirizi, and Kamwenge districts. Queen Elizabeth National Park is famously known for the tree-climbing lions which are found in the Ishasha sector. The sector is in the southern part of the park. The park is home to 95 mammal species including elephants, buffaloes, leopards, hyenas, Uganda kobs, and warthogs. Others include waterbucks bushbucks, topi, hippos, Nile crocodiles, primates like chimpanzees, red-tailed monkeys, l’hoest monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, and over 600 bird species.
Lions in Queen Elizabeth National Park can be viewed during the game drives in the Kasenyi plains, Mweya peninsula. You can also find them in the Ishasha sector where you will view the tree-climbing lions lying in fig/acacia tree branches. Game drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park can either be done very early in the morning in the savannah plains, in the afternoon, or at night in the Mweya peninsula.
Kidepo Valley National Park is located in the northeastern part of Uganda. It is in the Karamoja district between Uganda’s border with Kenya and South Sudan. The national park was gazetted as a national park in 1962 and it’s a home of over 77 mammal species including lions, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas, buffaloes, elephants, giraffes, waterbucks, reedbucks, Uganda kobs, warthogs among others and over 476 bird species. Lions in Kidepo Valley National Park can be viewed during the game drives in the Narus Valley or Kidepo Valley. You can do game drives in Kidepo Valley National Park very early in the morning when animals are more active. You can also do them in the afternoon or at night where you will be able to spot the lions hunting.
Murchison Falls National Park is in the Northwestern region. It’s one of the best places to see lions in Uganda. Murchison Falls National Park is home to different mammal species including elephants, buffaloes, lions, leopards, waterbucks, giraffes, and Jackson’s hartebeest. You also find oribis, Uganda kobs, bushbucks, hippos, Nile crocodiles, primates like chimpanzees, black and white colobus monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, and over 450 bird species such as the illusive shoebill stork in this park. You’ll view Lions in Murchison Falls National Park during the morning game drives, afternoon game drives, or night/nocturnal game drives.
Lions in Murchison Falls National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, and Kidepo Valley National Park can be seen anytime throughout the year. However, the best time is during the dry season in June, July, August, September, December, January, and February. This is because during this period there is less or little rainfall in the national parks. Therefore access roads and game drive tracks in the national parks will be dry and passable. This makes game drives easy and vegetation will be short which allows you to spot the lions.
Lions in Uganda can also be seen during the low/rainy season in March to May and October to November. This is because during this time there are few people in the national parks due to rains therefore you will be able to explore the savannah parks with fewer crowds.
Tourists who wish to see lions on their wildlife safari in Uganda should visit all three national parks. Or, at least two of the parks that is Queen Elizabeth National Park, Murchison Falls National Park, or Kidepo Valley National Park. For more information about the best place to see lions in Uganda, you can reach out to us at Safari Vacations and Travel Services or visit our website for various safari packages.
Besides lion tracking, Uganda National Parks have a variety of fascinating attractions. Consider having a gorilla or chimpanzee trekking experience with us, you will live to appreciate the moment. We organize both budget and Luxury safaris in Uganda and Rwanda, and our 10 years of experience is our strength.