Top 5 Safari Destinations to see lions

Arguably the most iconic predator on the planet, to see lion up close in the wild is simply breath-taking. Here’s our pick of safari destinations to find this charismatic cat:

1. The Maasai Mara, Kenya

The stage for David Attenborough's "Dynasties" and the BBC’s “Big Cat Diary” for 22 years and counting, the Maasai Mara offers fabulous year-round game-viewing. Probably the greatest slice of wildlife real estate on the planet, the likelihood of encountering the full suite of big cats: lion, leopard and cheetah is higher here than anywhere else. Further, the Mara is famous for particularly large lion prides, regularly numbering thirty-plus individuals and encountering such a large assemblage of apex predators is an awesome sight indeed.

See Lions in the Masaai Mara

2. Ruaha & Katavi, Tanzania

Only seven countries contain over a thousand lions and none has more than Tanzania. Lions are widespread here, from the northern border of the Serengeti - from where they can follow the wildebeest in to the Maasai Mara - Katavi in the west, Ruaha in the centre and Selous in the south east. For the best chance of seeing them, head to where the buffalo roam; Katavi and Ruaha are Tanzania’s wildest parks and play host to several super-herds through the dry season. These buffalo must make a daily pilgrimage to the last remaining water sources – find the buffalo (relatively easy) and there’s every chance that the lions are not far behind. From Katavi it’s a short hop across to the home of another iconic dynasty – the chimpanzees of Mahale.

Track lions on foot in Ruaha

3. Luangwa Valley, Zambia

The place where walking safaris were pioneered is still amongst the top spots to undertake a proper foot safari. Finding lion on foot is a particularly special thrill – looking in to their eyes and wondering who will bolt first connects to something deep in all our psyches. Lions typically spend up to 21 hours a day resting yet almost always react to the presence of man, typically by moving away, sometimes threatening with a growl or a snarl - and very occasionally by charging. 

Escape on foot in South Luangwa

4. Okavango Delta, Botswana

Through a combination of their size, strength and being co-operative hunters, lions are capable of pulling down much larger prey than any other carnivore. Several prides in the Okavango have become expert in hunting hippo, buffalo, giraffe and even the occasional elephant. More unusually they do this in daylight and the chance to witness these battles first-hand is both thrilling and gory, truly nature red in tooth and claw.

Expedition through the Delta

5. Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda

“The Queen” as Ugandan’s endearingly call this park can’t boast the most nor the biggest lions, but in the wild Ishasha sector they habitually do something pretty special and incredibly photogenic; clambering up in to giant fig trees to spend the day sprawled out over the lateral trunks. Stunningly beautiful, with an astonishing 550 species of birds recorded and only few hour’s drive from Mountain Gorilla country a couple of days in Ishasha is always time well spent.

Find lions in Uganda

 

Blog

The Lion’s Plight

The 10th August marks World Lion Day and at a time when the population has fallen by an estimated 88% since 1975 it's high time the world started to...
Read More

Take the first step

Tell us where you'd like to go...

Please sign me up for your newsletter
Please post me your brochure
 

Talk to us

+44 (0) 1747 830950

Our experienced travellers include:

Alex Edwards
Alex Edwards
Rod Tether
Rod Tether
Vanessa Janion
Vanessa Janion

It takes genuine local knowledge to craft trips that go beyond the ordinary.

All of us at Natural High have over 20 years’ experience in the countries we offer. We’ve lived there, worked there and arranged countless one-off journeys for clients. We live to travel – and love to share our tips on what’s really worth doing. For expert advice (and a traveller’s tale or two), speak to one of our team. They’ll be happy to let you in on their travel secrets, and help you plan a tailor-made trip that’s truly unforgettable.

Reviews

Delivered

"Excellent experience - again - from trip design through to execution. Excellent staff in Natural High but also on the trek."

Paul & Liz

Excellent Service

"Really enjoyed the holiday. Was exactly what we were looking for. Service from Natural High was perfect. Would definately recommend and use again."

Patrick and Carmel

THE PERFECT TREK!

"Vanessa from Natural High Safaris provided a very responsive,personal and bespoke service which in turn led to a perfect trip, that was without fault! From our pack mules all the way up to our guide, Oulaid, it was outstanding. We were guided through the most beautiful and remote countryside to camp sites with the most awesome views. Oulaid had really thought about our route and request to be off the beaten track. It was a delight that we did not see any tourist for the whole trek. Our team were professional,hospitable and friendly, delivery a very well prepared and comfortable camp each evening.The camp chef did an amazing job bearing in mind the remoteness of our location, conjuring up very tasty and varied meals each day. If I could book another trip tomorrow I would.Next year beckons!Well done all!!"

Anonymous

Sublime Garden Route

"Fantastic accommodation recommendations in small boutique hotels"

Ian And Jo Ashby CR

I will definitely plan an expedition with this company again.

"They promptly provided an itinerary in response to our desires. Feedback on the plan was well received. Closer to the time we were connected with our guides to further hone our trip. A group of 5 women, arriving from various destinations, camping and lodges in the desert with extraordinary guides. Yes, the cliche works here...a trip of a lifetime."

Anonymous

RECENT UPDATES