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

Epic Mara: Big Cats in Focus

This safari is designed with serious photographers and/or wildlife aficionados in mind. We combine all the essential elements for remarkable wildlife viewing and photographic opportunities. The location is the renowned Masai Mara, unsurpassed for prolific wildlife viewing. The guiding is on the legendary level, utilizing one of our 3 Kenyan guide team who are recognized among the most accomplished in Africa.

Intrepid Zimbabwe Explorer: Victoria Falls, Hwange and Canoeing Mana Pools (Origins Collection)

Step back in time to the era of exploration with our Intrepid Zimbabwe Explorers itinerary, customized for remote adventure in some of the most pristine wilderness on Earth.

Big Five of Southern Africa

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.

Essential Diversity: River and Desert

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.

Malawi Expedition: Trekking Mt. Mulanje and Liwonde Safari with optional Lake Malawi Finale (Origins Collection)

Our Malawi Expedition combines an incredible hut-to-hut alpine trekking experience, outstanding scenery, wildlife viewing in a premiere national park, and the optional finale of swimming, snorkeling and kayaking off your private island camp in Lake Malawi.

Wonders of the Crater and Trek to Lake Natron with optional Serengeti Biologist Finale (Origins Collection)

Our Tanzania Trekking and Wonders of the Ngorongoro adventure is the very epitome of getting off the beaten track. This adventure takes you on foot through the volcanic landscapes of northern Tanzania, traveling through areas that are impossible to reach by road.

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

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.

Botswana Elephant Safari

This elephant-focused safari takes you to some of the best locations in all of Africa for seeing and interacting with elephants.

Best of Botswana: From the Kalahari Desert to the Okavango Delta (Origins Collection)

Return to the origins of humanity as you head deep into the heart of Botswana and the world-famous Okavango Delta and Kalahari Desert. These are two of the most iconic safari destinations in all of Africa, and you'll experience the best of Botswana in just one week with this adventurous journey.

Ultimate Uganda

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.

Big Cats & The Great Migration (River Crossing Season) – Group Trip 2022 – FULL

This is the opportunity of a lifetime to go on safari with The Wild Source’s unbeatable team of big cat biologist-guide, Sosy Maira, and highly talented guide and photography expert Joshua Kumbi.

South African Splendor: Cape Town and Sabi Sands Safari

Southern Africa is an incredibly diverse region with varying weather, landscapes, cultures, and wildlife.

Classic Zimbabwe: Hwange and Mana Pools with Victoria Falls

This adventure-level safari features classic bush camps, thrilling walking safaris, and an excellent value.

Zambia Walking and Waterways Safari

Zambian safaris are distinguished by the vintage expedition-style adventure delivered under the care of exceptional guides in remote wilderness areas teeming with wildlife.

Tanzania Frontier

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.

Quintessential Tanzania: River Crossing Season

With the Great Migration of nearly 2 million animals in the area, the Northern Serengeti is the stage for one of nature's most famed events - the dramatic migration crossings of the Mara River.

Botswana Desert and Delta Safari: Outstanding Value, Top Wildlife and Diverse Landscapes

This safari is customized to take advantage of the best opportunities for the green season in Botswana to observe diverse wildlife.

Kenya Luxury For Less

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.

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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