The phrase tree climbing lions might feel unthinkable to certain people, but this is exactly what you are in for, if you Ishasha part of Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Situated in the Southwestern part of Uganda, the park is the home of the famous but mysterious lions like hanging out in trees.
For travelers, other cats such as leopards resting in trees is not uncommon, but for lions it’s simply a rare sight.
I was lucky to have a chance to observe a whole family of 5 resting in a fig, and it was indeed the highlight of my trip.
It’s an exceptional experience you should not miss once you visit Queen Elizabeth National Park.
The other place where they can be found is in Tarangire National Park and Lake Manyara National Park Tanzania.
Why do the lions climb trees?
There is no exact scientific explanation why these lions climb. Some animal behaviorist experts say that lions simply perfected the art of climbing so they keep passing it on to their young ones.
Others claim that the ground level is over heated for them so they climb the tress to get a cool breeze and a blissful nap.
Another explanation is that they like staying up in the trees to easily spot their prey like the kobs, topis, Buffaloes and others.
The above all summed up to the fact that these lions are not the ordinary lions you know.
When the lions are climbing up the tress, they do so with ease, although getting back down can prove troublesome.
The young ones are also taught at an early stage how to climb the tress and also get back down carefully.
How to see them
One has to take a game drive to see the tree – climbing lions.
Most of the Safari vehicles have a pop-up roof allowing you to stand a get a clear view of the lions and even take amazing photos.
As for when to view them, the dry season is the best time because when its dry the grass is short and you can easily see the lions in the fields.
Other Facts about Lions
Lions are naturally social animals. They live groups of as big as 15 lions and they are led by a dominate male lion.
Lionesses are the hunters of the family because they are lighter and faster than their male counter parts and when they get prey the elderly lions join them and the young ones eat last.
Male Lions eat at least 7 kilograms day while the lionesses 5 kilograms of meat.
Lions are mostly active 5 hours a day and rest for more than 17 hours.
Lionesses weigh around 280 pounds while male lions weigh around 420 pounds.
The Uganda Wildlife Authority has carried out two nationwide censuses on Uganda’s lions from 2007 to 2017.
The census of 2007 to 2010 gave an estimate of about 408 lions while that of 2011 to 2017 showed an increase to 493 lions countrywide.
This is proof that the lions of Uganda are increasing but still under threat.