Lions

Lion

The lion is the most sought after species by safari goers. Lions can be observed in most of the popular, protected wildlife areas. Including areas with particularly high densities offers good chances for observing behavior. These charismatic big cats are most active at night and only eat every three or four days, however they are opportunists who will use a nearby water source to ambush diurnal species. They also stay attuned to the signals of vultures soaring to snatch an easier meal in the daytime. Lions often sleep for hours during the day earning them the nickname of ‘flat cats’. Selecting regions with a high population density and/or access to night drives allows for the chance to enjoy behavior beyond nap time.
As majestic and iconic as they are, lions make for challenging neighbors, and predator-livestock conflict continues to be one of the major obstacles for lion conservation. This reinforces the need for conservation tourism models that include substantial benefit to local communities in order for the programs to be successful long-term.

Lion Itineraries

Big Five of Southern Africa

From $7,995 per person Southern Africa is an incredibly diverse region with varying weather, landscapes, cultures, and wildlife. This itinerary covers three major highlights of Southern Africa: The Greater Kruger National Park, Victoria Falls and the Okavango Delta.

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Essential Diversity: River and Desert

From $14,750 per person This safari is designed for the safari connoisseur seeking rarity, exclusivity and luxury along with the full diversity of wildlife. The itinerary includes private guiding and vehicle at both safari camps, offering the ultimate in flexibility and maximizing the opportunities to see wildlife you want to see, while maintaining supreme comfort and luxury.

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Essential Tanzania: Best of Wildlife and Ancient Culture (Origins Collection)

From $3,595 per person Our Essential Tanzania Adventure brings you the best when it comes to safari - outstanding wildlife viewing in the Serengeti; the awe of exploring a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Ngorongoro Crater; an authentic deep-dive into local culture and ancient history with visits to a Maasai village and the Olduvai Gorge; and top-notch guiding with your elite, naturalist guide from The Wild Source.

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Botswana Elephant Safari

From $8,125 per person This elephant-focused safari takes you to some of the best locations in all of Africa for seeing and interacting with elephants.

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Ultimate Uganda

From $9,775 per person This safari has been custom designed to provide an in-depth adventure in Uganda featuring some of the most intimate and immersive experiences on the continent – primate trekking.

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Zambia Walking and Waterways Safari

From $8,395 per person Zambian safaris are distinguished by the vintage expedition-style adventure delivered under the care of exceptional guides in remote wilderness areas teeming with wildlife.

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Tanzania Frontier

From $11,395 per person This safari is the ultimate trip for those who truly want to get away from it all, exploring some of Tanzania's less-visited gems.

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Kenya Luxury For Less

From $9,995 per person This safari includes some of our favorite unique Kenyan accommodations and a huge variety of activities, all for an incredible discount- over 40% off of the high season rate.

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Kenya Family “Lion King” Safari

From $9,950 per person Kenya is the original safari country and still delivers the classic game viewing experience. This family safari is inspired by Disney's 2019 remake of its classic animated film, "The Lion King."

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Wild Kenya: Big Cats and Biodiversity in the Mara

From $3,995 per person Kenya is the original safari country and still delivers the classic game viewing experience. Featuring the Masai Mara Reserve, which is quite likely the most productive wildlife viewing area in all of Africa, this is a superb location for serious game viewing and photography.

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Ultimate Predators of Botswana

From $7,650 per person This safari includes our favorite private concession areas which have proven to provide exceptional opportunities to view Botswana's iconic predator species including lion, leopard, cheetah, and wild dog.

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Lion Videos

Best Places to see Lions on Safari

Lion cub relaxing on a branch
Lion cub in the Serengeti, Tanzania.
Kenya’s Masai Mara and Tanzania’s Serengeti have terrific densities of lions. The Mara Conservancies are particularly good for action with the allowance of night drives and off-roading.
Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park is great for finding lions in the classic poses on rock outcrops (kopjes). Ruaha National Park in southern Tanzania may be the best kept secret; it is lightly touristed yet has some of the highest densities of lions with especially great sightings possible during the dry season.
Despite a smaller population of lions relative to East Africa, Botswana ranks as one of the best locations due to the quality of safari experience within the private concessions. The sandy ground allows for exciting tracking, and off-road and night driving allow 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

Zambia’s Luangwa Valley is one of the 10 lion strongholds in Africa, according to the Zambia Carnivore Programme, while the Greater Kafue holds the country’s second largest population.
South Africa’s Kruger area and the adjacent private game reserves are strong for lion populations. However, regions should be selected with consideration to avoid crowding pitfalls. The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, Central Kalahari Game Reserve, and Etosha National Park can all have excellent lion viewing in desert landscapes despite having lower lion densities.
The Selous region of Tanzania and the Niassa Reserve of Mozambique have some of the largest populations of lions, but the areas are large with limited tourism access making sightings less reliable.

Something Extra

In Kenya and Uganda, there are opportunities to go out with lion researchers who track collared lions by radio-telemetry. Similarly, from King Lewanika Camp in Zambia’s Liuwa Plains National Park, guests are staying at the only permanent camp in the entire national park with the opportunity to set out in search of lions with the Zambia Carnivore Programme to find the small, recovering population of descendants of the late Lady Liuwa.

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