Uganda Travel Blog

Tree Climbing Lions: Uganda’s Gem in Ishasha

Can lions climb trees? Yes, some lions climb trees. Uganda is one of the only two places in the world where tree climbing lions are found. The other is Lake Manyara National Park in Tanzania.

These lions spend their afternoons relaxing on the fig trees at the Ishasha Sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park. So why do lions climb trees? I will explain this later on.

They are apparently the greatest sight to see in Queen Elizabeth National Park. You should request your Uganda tour operator to organize for you to see them.

Do not get scared when you get to close to them. Some clients go as far as screaming in fear that the lions will jump down and feast on them.

Lions are less dangerous between 11:00 am to about 5 pm. You will visit them outside their feeding hours hence, makes them harmless. Besides, these lions like feasting on Kobs.

Uganda has never recorded any cases of tree climbing lions eating clients on safaris. So when your guide gets a bit close to the trees where the lions are, feel free to take as many photographs as you can.

So why do lions climb trees?

Some people claim these lions climb trees to protect themselves from ground flies like tsetse flies where as some claim they do so to escape the heat on the ground.

No particular reason explains why lions climb trees but basing on the fact that these lions like relaxing on tree branches especially in the afternoons proves that they could be escaping the heat on the ground.

You will hardly find these lions on trees when the weather is not hot.

Ishasha Sector has become so popular because of these lions. Just as mentioned earlier, they are one of the best sights in the park.

How to see these tree lions in Uganda

When going to Queen Elizabeth National National Park in Kasese, make sure you pass by the Ishasha Sector. This sector is located in the south western part of the national park.

Please note that the main sight in this sector are the tree climbing lions. You will not see as much animals as you would have seen in the Kasenyi sector.

So your visit to Ishasha Sector will definitely be limited unless you insist on spending a night there. You only need about 1 hour to see these lions and you will not have anything else to do besides that unless you transfer to Mweya or Kasenyi.

Whats the guarantee that you will see a lion climbing trees?

Nature is funny and you should not feel upset if you fail to see the tree climbing lions. These lions can be hard to spot on some days.

Some clients even depart without seeing them. Your tour guide can only do his best to locate them for you and if he fails, do not over react towards him.

For a better experience, you can opt for a lion tracking experience in Uganda. The last time i checked, i cost about $50 per person.

Want to see Uganda tree climbing lions? Book your safari with these safari companies.

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