Have you ever seen or encountered the tree climbing lions? If yes, then you are among the few people. If not it’s not too late for you to see them. The Lions – the Kings of the Jungle are found within several national parks in Uganda, South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya but the tree-climbing lions are exceptional attractions with East Africa. These rare lions are found within only two places in the whole world that include Lake Manyara of Southern Tanzania and the Ishasha Sector of the Queen Elizabeth National Park. It is so rare to see lions; the Kings of the Jungle climbing tree but once you are in Uganda, your chances of seeing them is higher than any part of Africa. Tourists who visit East Africa even think it is a myth used as a marketing tool by tour companies but be assured that it is true, these tree climbing lions actually exist. Seeing them largely depends on your timing, where you will not see them. Tourists normally visit the Ishasha sector in the afternoon.
The Ishasha sector is a home to three prides of lions and an estimated total of over 50 lions within this interesting place. These lions are often seen on the Sycamore fig tree and the acacia trees although the former is the most preferred by these Lions. The Lions of Ishasha sectors are not only unique for their tree climbing behavior but also the male lions have black Manes. The tree climbing lions are often sighted lazily resting up within the tree branches of the big fig trees as they stare down at the large herds of Uganda Kobs that graze in the vast Savannah Plains. The Uganda Kobs are the main prey of the Lions within Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Several theories exist to explain why these lions prefer being on tree branches. Some people believe that these lions climb trees to escape from the numerous pestering tsetse flies on the ground hence prefer climbing trees. Others believe that these lions climb the trees to escape from the heat on the ground and enjoy the cool breeze from the trees. This is the reason why they are always sighted on the tree during day. Other people claim that the tree-climbing behavior is just an inborn cultural preference to climb trees. Nevertheless, the reasons why they climb trees remain a mystery.
It is such a thrilling but scary experience to be chased by the lions but never do a mistake to climb the trees. This is because they can climb trees with ease. After or before your safari, do not ignore to experience the tree climbing lions within the Ishasha sector.
Besides the renowned tree climbing lions found within the Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park, other wildlife species exist and they include Antelopes like the Topi, Uganda Kobs, water bucks, bush bucks, elands, elephants, large buffalo herds and Hippos among others. This means that your eyes will have a lot to see apart from the exceptional tree climbing lions
How to Reach the Ishasha Sector
The most commonly used route to access Queen Elizabeth National Park is Kampala – Masaka – Mbarara – Bushenyi route to Queen Elizabeth National Park. The path from Katunguru is not convenient because it is very muddy during the rainy season, hence tourists are advised to use 4×4 cars that can travel over rough terrain. The most reliable route is to go through Kihihi, Ishaka and Rukungiri.
In conclusion, the tree climbing lions found only in two places; Lake Manyara of Southern Tanzania and the Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park. The search for these tree carnivores is a must-do activity for tourists who take safaris in Uganda because it is an exceptional phenomenal to see lions climb and relax on tree branches.