Tree climbing lions are amazing and unusual with a rare behavior not commonly seen on African safaris. Truly the Pearl of Africa, Uganda is blessed to be home to the tree-climbing lions found in the Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park.
World over, only two populations of lions do have the behavior of climbing trees. The only documented tree-climbing lions are those of Queen Elizabeth National Park and those of Lake Manyara National Park of Tanzania.
Among the big cats, it is so usual to find a leopard lazily resting on a tree but not with the lions though they are all big cats. Lions have adapted this behavior for varied reasons learned by animal behaviorists and the best reasons known to them
Some animal behaviorists believe that lions climb trees as a behavioral adaptation to protecting themselves from the constant irritation of insect bites that they encounter while lying and resting on the savannah plains ground.
Others believe that tree-climbing lions do this as a way of escaping or staying away from the uncomfortably hot ground. It is much cooler to stay on the tree trunks than on the ground especially in the dry season when the floor is very hot.
The other reason for these lions climbing trees could be that the tree branches offer such a good point to view the movement of their prey on the grounds below. It’s what helps them to catch their prey successfully.
With time the lions have taught their young ones to perfectly climb trees and becoming a tradition for them in the Ishasha sector. This makes it more of learned behavior. It is very likely that the tree-climbing lions can be seen on the Uganda wildlife safari game drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park.
No matter why these lions climb trees, it is such a great sighting during an African safari. Kruger National Park of South Africa is also documented to have tree-climbing lions.
Other wildlife safaris in Uganda
The top wildlife viewing parks in Uganda include Murchison Falls National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park, and Queen Elizabeth National Park. Wildlife viewing or game drives are done in a safari vehicle with the Uganda safari guide and a park ranger in search of wildlife.
Game drives in Uganda can be done either in the morning, evening, and at night. These are referred to as morning game drive, evening game drive as well as night game drives. The day game drives are usually less expensive than the night game drive. A game drive lasts about 2-4 hours within the park.