Discover Uganda’s lion hotspots for an unforgettable encounter with the majestic Panthera leo, the African lion, amidst the welcoming and diverse wilderness of this East African gem. In Uganda, a wealth of national parks and wildlife reserves offer prime opportunities to witness these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat.
Uganda’s Lion Terrains: Uganda hosts its lion population predominantly across three key savannah parks: Murchison Falls National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park, and Queen Elizabeth National Park. To witness these iconic creatures during your Ugandan safari, your tour operator must include at least one of these parks in your itinerary. Local tour guides adeptly navigate these terrains, ensuring close encounters with lions while prioritizing visitor safety.
Kidepo Valley National Park: Renowned for its vast area covering 1,344 square kilometers, Kidepo Valley National Park boasts a population of approximately 132 lions. Its lion concentration surpasses other parks, establishing it as Uganda’s premier lion destination.
Queen Elizabeth National Park: This park stands out for its commitment to lion conservation, particularly in its southern and northern sectors. Notably, the park is acclaimed for its unique tree-climbing lions, predominantly spotted in the Ishasha quadrant of the southern section. Evening game drives unveil these extraordinary big cats lounging atop fig trees, an iconic sight within the park.
Murchison Falls National Park: The lions of Murchison Falls National Park reign supreme, preying upon the area’s vulnerable kobs, antelopes, and buffaloes. These diurnal creatures actively roam the savannah grasslands, making early morning game drives an optimal time for sightings.
Lion Tracking Experience: Embark on an immersive lion tracking adventure, guided by experienced researchers from the Uganda Carnivore Program. For a nominal fee—$110 for foreign travelers and 150,000 Ugandan shillings for East African travelers—acquire a lion tracking permit. This activity offers an intimate understanding of lion behaviors, habitats, and feeding habits while supporting Uganda’s wildlife conservation efforts.
The Ultimate Encounter at Queen Elizabeth National Park: For an enriched lion tracking experience, head to the northern section of Queen Elizabeth National Park, specifically the Kasenyi Plains. Here, witness the kings of the jungle in action, observing their hunting prowess up close.
Queen Elizabeth National Park, situated approximately 389 kilometers from Uganda’s capital, Kampala, offers an array of activities beyond lion encounters. Engage in captivating boat cruises at the Kazinga Channel, birdwatching expeditions, chimpanzee tracking, and guided nature walks, amplifying the allure of this stunning park. Combining a Wildlife safari with lions and the Primate tracking safari is such a unique experience.