The safari experts
13/128 Chapter
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lions

Peak Rating
Key Lodges
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High quality encounters with
lions
are a cornerstone of most good safaris. Despite the fact that numbers have dropped by 90% since 1960, fortunately in many safari areas there are still very healthy lion populations.

In common with most of Africa's wildlife, the survival of lions is critically linked to the income generated by tourism and the amount of land that can therefore be set aside for conservation. So your visit will be hugely positive for them.

Finding lions when out on safari is not usually too much of a problem. We always feel that the more important consideration is the quality of each sighting ... how active the animals are, how close you can approach and, especially, how few vehicles there are in the vicinity.

Lions generally hunt at night, so camps which offer the best night vehicle safari are often able to deliver extraordinary and heart-pumping encounters, notably in the key private safari areas of Botswana.

In a few very special locations, such as Duba Plains in Botswana and Busanga Plains in Zambia, lions are known to regularly hunt during daylight hours, most notably when going after buffaloes.

In some rare locations, notably in South Luangwa and Hwange, guides will deliberately track and encounter lions when out on walking safari, which can be really intense.

Some safari locations, such as Manyara and Ishasha, are well known for "tree-climbing lions", although in reality this is behaviour is quite widespread as the cats do so in order to avoid annoying flies.

Lions are inherently dangerous, although man-eaters are very rare. We are aware of only instance in recent years where someone at a safari camp has actually been killed by a lion, which was in Botswana back in 2004.
Best Lodges for lions
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Lenny Franklin
Lenny Franklin, Senior Safari Consultant
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