Tree climbing lions are the highlights of most Uganda safaris to the Ishasha Sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park. Several tourists visit this East African country just to have a glance on these unique features of the pearl of Africa. The tree lions are the second most soughtafter wildlife after the mountain gorillas that are looked for in the jungles of Bwindi impenetrable national park or Mgahinga national park, in south western Uganda.
Today most combined trips have been conducted, those that satisfy the hunger for both tree climbing lions and the forest giants; the mountain gorillas. You can have this amazing experience in just 4-6 days of adventure within Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Queen Elizabeth National Park.
In the whole world, it is only Uganda’s Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National park and Lake Manyara game reserve in southern Tanzania where you can see these lions that have mastered the art of climbing large trees. The parks that are both in East Africa protect a thriving population of lions that have adapted to hiding in the fig trees as they keenly look for the next prey. Tree Lion tracking is done from the vehicle given that these are predators. Encountering them within the minimum distance is possible and is such an experience that will not only be heart pounding but also memorable.
Being a reality in the world, lion tracking is one of the activities that Uganda’s tourism prides in. Over 50 tree climbing lions dwell in Ishasha sector. They mostly lie in the fig and acacia trees found here for shade during day time.
Yes, even if there some tree climbing lions in Lake Manyara game reserve in Tanzania, the most reliable location in the world to track the lions up in the trees is Ishasha sector, making it one of the must visit places while on a Uganda safari.
A place that gives tourists an overrated opportunity to spot tree climbing lions, not only cubs, but also the adult lions. Nothing beats watching these unique creatures climbing up a fig tree, or lying on the tree branches, an amazing sight that no tourist will ever get anywhere else except Ishasha sector, and sometimes Tanzania.
It is believed that these lions climb trees to protect themselves from the biting tsetse flies on the ground and to also escape from the ground and enjoy the cool breeze up in the trees. However, no specific reason has been proved as to why these lions climb trees unlike others.
The ever increasing population of climbing lions in Ishasha has made it a popular destination that offers an exceptional tree climbing lion tracking experiences. Trackers always watch the lions lazily lying up in the branches of huge fig trees, looking at the several Uganda kobs grazing on the plains of Ishasha. Uganda kobs are their main prey, it’s very hard for a day to go without a single lion grabbing a Uganda kob.
Visiting the ishasha plains doesn’t only reward trackers with thrilling encounters, but also sights of other wildlife species like the buffaloes, Uganda kobs, warthogs, elephants, and others since lion tracking involves driving through the flat plains, going off track so as just to have clear glances of these amazing features that Uganda beholds.
Note that other lions that don’t climb trees can also be spotted anywhere else in Queen Elizabeth national park. Still Murchison falls National Park and Kidepo valley national park are other areas where you can find a reasonable population of lions. These lions are mostly found in the savannah regions but can also be found in varied habitats including woodlands and desert.
Remember that lions are the only cats that can be described as truly social because they live in groups of 12–16 individuals called prides. A pride can have 4 – 6 related lionesses and their cubs, as well as 1–2 males who are usually with the pride for a breeding season that is 24-36months.
If you are a lion lover, and desire to have really up close encounters with lions in Africa, Uganda is the way to go. It can never go wrong on tree climbing lion tracking.