The lion is the species that is most sought after by safari goers. Lions can be observed in most protected wildlife areas that are popular locations for safari, but we like to include areas that have particular high densities or good chances for observing behavior.
Kenya’s Masai Mara and Tanzania’s Serengeti have terrific densities of lions. The Mara Conservancies are particularly good for action because you can night drive and go off road. Serengeti is great for the classic poses on rock outcrops (kopjes). Ruaha in Tanzania may be the best kept secret, it is lightly touristed but has some of the highest densities of lions for great viewing during the dry season.
Botswana is another best location due to the quality. The sandy ground allows for exciting tracking, and off road and night driving allows observation during the most active times. Many lion prides in Botswana focus on large prey such as buffalo and hippo which also makes for interesting viewing.
Other Areas of Note
Most protected areas offer opportunities to find lions. Places that have night drives increase the chances of staying out late and finding active lions as opposed to ‘flat cats’ as they often are for hours during the day. Zambia’s South Luangwa and Lower Zambezi, South Africa’s Kruger area, the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, and Etosha in Namibia all can have excellent lion viewing.
In Kenya there are opportunities to go out with lion researchers who track collared lions by radio-telemetry.