Where to see Lions

Lions, are one of Africa’s most iconic species and are a must see for most safari-goers. They are spread across East and Southern Africa and it is easy to incorporate a reserve or park were seeing them is virtually guaranteed. Tanzania’s Serengeti and South Africa’s Sabi Sands have a substantial population, including the white cats of the Timbavati. If you want to see THE lions from BBC’s Big Cat Diary (like the famous Scar and Notch) then the Maasai Mara is where to go. For the chance to see a lion hunting buffalo or (rarely) an elephant, head to the Vumbura Plains of the Okavango Delta. Or you can visit Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda for the chance to see the famous tree climbing breed of Ishasha! You can even see asiatic lions in Gir National Park in India. Whether or not you see these famous big cats or just a relaxed pride sleeping out the midday heat, these stunning animals are sure to be a highlight of your safari.

Did you know?

  • An adult male’s roar can be heard up to 5 miles (8km) away.
  • Lions are only member of the cat family that live in groups.
  • Working in teams, the females do almost all of the hunting for the pride.


We do not encourage travelers to participate in “walking with lions” activities or to visit lion parks or places where you can pet the cubs. These activities have the potential to be dangerous and we do not believe that the majority of these facilities fulfill the promises they make about conservation. If you want to learn more about positive conservation work going on throughout Africa we recommend the Lion Guardians and Living with Lions (which includes the Mara and Laikipia Predator Projects) both of which are doing innovative work in Kenya. You can also follow the rehabilitation of the population in Mozambique’s Gorongosa National Park through the Gorongosa Lion Project.