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Where Do Lions Live? (Best Places to See Lions in Africa)

These majestic creatures are scattered all over our beautiful continent. We take a look at the top five.

Most of the Big-5 cats (Lions, Cheetahs, and Leopards) and most of the Big-5 herbivores (Elephants, Rhinos, Buffalos, Hippos, and Giraffes) call Africa their native homeland!

Africa’s wildlife simply has no comparison.

It is the richest and most diverse wildlife ecosystem in the world.

Places where lions live in Africa . . .

The King has marked his territory on our planet, and it’s in Africa.

Here are five major places in Africa where the ‘King of the Jungle’ finds comfort in calling home.

5. Luangwa National Parks

North Luangwa National Park,and South Luangwa National Park.

There are two national parks by the name ‘Luangwa’:

  • North Luangwa National Park,
  • and South Luangwa National Park.

Both of them are located within Zambia.

However, South Luangwa National Park leads when it comes to an easy sight of a large population of lions. One great thing about this National Park is that you can easily encounter lions while walking on foot. Unlike its northern counterpart, you do not have to go deep into the park to sight lions.

Within Zambia, there is also the famous Kafue Flats National Park. This Park is located in the central part of Zambia. It is relatively a small park. However, the unique habit of the acrobatic tree lions of Kafue is what draws in many tourists.

These lions like climbing trees. . .

Lion Cub Laying In Tree In Zambia

. . . and really seem to enjoy displaying their tree-climbing acrobatic antics.

Another weird thing about the lions of Kafue is their daring habit of hunting the Cape Buffaloes for prey. Cape Buffaloes are the most hostile, dangerous and ferocious of all herbivores. They are ever ready to gore and kill even without any provocation.

Seeing these dangerous beasts being tactically hunted down through a lot of pride’s teamwork effort, mauled down and killed for a meal is a chillingly amazing scene.

4. Etosha National Park

Etosha National Park In Namibia Where You Can See Lions

The famous Etosha National Park is found in Namibia. It is unique in the sense that it is a desert park. Lions are easily sighted around watering holes as they seek to quench their thirst.

Some of the best watering holes to catch a sight of these jungle cats include:

  • Chudop
  • Goas
  • Rateldraf
  • Rietfontein
  • Nebrownii
  • Okaukuejo
  • Dolomite
  • Kalkheuwel
  • Homob
  • Okondeka
  • Klein Okevi
  • and Salvadora.

Etosha National Park A Lion Hanging Out Eating

In addition to the lions, other surprises you may encounter include the remaining African members of the Big-5 cats – and also some members of the Big-5 herbivores – elephants, giraffes, buffaloes, and rhinos.

3. Kruger National Park

South Africas Kruger National Park Where You Can See Lions

The world’s famous Kruger National Park is the southern-most kingdom in as far as lions are concerned. It is located in South Africa.

Though Kruger National Park is famously known for its big ostriches, it is also home to many other wildlife species apart from ostriches and lions.

Walking With Lions Very Dangerous
Never attempt this! From a documentary called Walking With Lions.

Some of the big herbivores, especially elephants and buffaloes, call it their South African home.

2. Chobe-Okavango-Hwange Ecosystem

Chobe Okavango Hwange Ecosystem Where You Can Watch Lions

Resting between northern-western Botswana and northern-eastern Zimbabwe, the Chobe-Okavango-Hwange ecosystem boasts as a place with the world’s highest concentration of lions.

This ecosystem comprises of:

  • Hwange
  • Okavango Delta
  • Chobe
  • Savute
  • Kwai
  • Selinda
  • and Linyanti, among other areas.

Chobe National Park

Chobe National Park Lion Hanging Out

Chobe National Park is found in the North-Western part of Botswana which borders the Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe. Like the Mara and Serengeti parks, Choba and Hwange are only separated by national borders.

This park is famous for its elephant-hunting lions. Most lions do not hunt elephants for prey. However, this ‘natural rule’ gets wantonly violated in Chobe National Park. The reasons for this are still yet unknown since there are many other traditional preys within the park.

An elephant is a gigantic land mammal. It cannot be wrestled down by just a couple of lions. Thus, it takes a dedicated effort and the tact of pride of about 30 elephant-eating lions of Chobe to succeed in mauling down an elephant. Such a sight is a typical wild war scene to behold.

Okavango National Park

Swimming Lions Of Okavango

Okavango National Park is also located in the northern part of Botswana. It neighbors Chobe National Park to the east.

What makes this park famous is the Okavango Delta. Most lions found along this delta have adopted some form of aquatic lifestyle as they can swim to various islets while hunting for their preys.

Due to the rich variety of preys, the swimming lions of Okavango are relatively bigger and more powerful than those found elsewhere in Africa. The biggest ones are found on the Duma Plains within the Okavango Delta region.

Hwange National Park

Hwange National Park Lion In The Grass

Hwange National Park is located in the North-Eastern part of Zimbabwe. It borders Chobe National Park to the East.

This Park is just a few kilometers drive from Victoria Falls – another great tourist attraction in Africa. The lions of Hwange are easy to sight because of the networked array of water holes which draws them to quench their thirst. Thus, the best sight-seeing point is near a waterhole.

Buffalos are the main source of prey for the lions of Hwange. Other sources include the antelopes.

1. The Mara-Serengeti Ecosystem

The Mara Serengeti Ecosystem Where Lions Call Home

Holding the title of “The 7th Wonder of the World,” the Mara-Serengeti ecosystem is renowned for its spectacular annual ritual of Wildebeasts migration.

The Mara-Serengeti ecosystem comprises of two expansive game reserves – the Serengeti National Park and the Maasai Mara National Park.

These two parks are only separated by the Kenya-Tanzania national border.

The Serengeti Circuit

The Serengeti Circuit Lion Chilling On A Boulder

The Serengeti Circuit is a tourist region in Northern Tanzania. It comprises of Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, and Lake Manyara.

Serengeti National Park

The Serengeti National Park is located in the northern part of Tanzania. It is the ‘Siamese twin’ to Maasai Mara National Park.

Ngorongoro Crater

Ngororongo Crater is the world’s largest intact caldera. This place has the highest population density of lions in East Africa. This place boasts of some the largest lions in the world, thanks to the rich source of preys.

Lake Manyara

Lake Manyara is famous for the tree-climbing lions. It is rare for lions to climb trees as this is habit commonly practiced by leopards, not lions. Due to it having less traffic from tourists, it is one of the best places in Tanzania for one to view lions. However, unlike the lions of Kafue, they are less acrobatic.

Maasai Mara National Park

Maasai Mara National Park Where Lions Live

Maasa Mara is the world’s most renowned Safari tour destination. This expansive national park is located in the southern parts of Kenya. It borders Serengeti National Park to the south.

The Mara-Serengeti ecosystem is the world’s most famous when it comes to lions. There are plenty of documentaries created within and about the Mara-Serengeti area.

These include African Cats a Disney documentary captured within the Maasai Mara National Park. The Big Cat Diaries is another popular BBC series captured within the Maasai Mara National Park.

The Big Cats Initiative is also another adventure created by National Geographic about the lions of Mara with the aim of creating global awareness about saving lions worldwide from poaching and risk of extinction.

Ready for a Safari tour?

Places with dominant footsteps of the king of the jungle are mainly found in Eastern Africa and Southern Africa. Should you want to visit the king of the jungle in his domain, these are the places to go. A visit to Africa without seeing the lions is a visit not accomplished. Take a stride with the pride.

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Hudson

Written by Hudson

Hudson is a freelancer writer, author, accountant, and techpreneur. He writes on topical issues relating to technology, business, entrepreneurship, self-help, society, and geopolitics. Following up on African affairs and writing on topical issues about Africa is one of those things that greatly inflames Hudson’s passion.

You can email him at: [email protected]